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Young Sheldon Makes Paige's Big Bang Theory Absence Much Darker
13/03/2023

McKenna Grace's Paige, 's other child prodigy, returned for the show's 100th episode, and it made her absence on much darker. Sheldon's (Iain Armitage) rival makes another appearance on the sitcom, and this time she needs help from the socially-inept genius. With her return, audiences learn that things aren't going well with Paige, setting up a more tragic explanation why she never appeared on .

The titled "A Solo Peanut, a Social Butterfly and the Truth" had three different storylines. Specifically, Sheldon's narrative, like most of his recent ones, mostly unfolds while he's at school, as Paige visits East Texas Tech for a special talk with her fellows from the University of Texas. While she's still charmingly arrogant, it's clear that she isn't happy with her life. Things take a turn for the worse when she learns that Sheldon is actually coping so well in college that he even has his own set of friends.

Because of Paige's frustrations about not feeling that she belongs, she decides to drop out of school and run away from home. She asks Sheldon if she can use his dorm in the meantime, and he surprisingly agrees after seeing how distraught she is. Ultimately, Paige also leaves, and for a while, (Zoe Perry) were worried about her. Luckily for Paige, sees her turn up eventually to reunite with her mom, but that doesn't solve her internal issues – even adult Sheldon's (Jim Parsons) narration acknowledges that.

Paige's Young Sheldon Story Is Surprisingly Dark

If Paige doesn't get the help that she needs, she might continue to rebel and go down a dark path from which she might never recover. Instead of being insecure that he might not actually be that special in terms of intellect given her existence, Sheldon's decision to not bring up Paige, 's noteworthy rival, on could be because he views her story as a tragedy and a cautionary tale. After all, despite their tumultuous relationship, he clearly still cares for her as seen in season 5, episode 17.

Whether or not again in the future is unknown. The last time she appeared, there was also no indication that she was making another appearance. The decision lies on the writers as dictated by where the sitcom's storytelling goes moving forward. As fans have pointed out, spin-off's storylines have become increasingly more mature in the last several months. This is due to the kids growing up, which means that their life experiences are also starting to change. Georgie (Montana Jordan), in particular, was met with an unexpected responsibility after it was revealed that he got his girlfriend, Mandy (Emily Osment), pregnant. In case Paige returns, it isn't outside the realm of possibility that the show further leans into her potentially dark storyline.

The Positive Look At Paige's Absence From TBBT

On the other hand, the fact that might not have such a dark significance. Instead, it could simply be that Sheldon has stopped fixating on their rivalry so much since he was clearly the victor, having stuck with academia while Paige pursued other things without finding contentment. Even though has grown more mature, Sheldon is still Sheldon, and it wouldn't be surprising if he made no mention of a childhood rival after reaching adulthood simply because she was no longer relevant. This is perhaps a callous move on Sheldon's part, but one that would still fit with his often-petty character.

CBS' is confirmed to run until at least season 7. Considering how popular it is, coupled with the fact that everyone involved is willing to continue working on the show, chances are that will see it get renewed again. Fleshing out the backstories of characters that feature in merely by their absence is a skillful use of the prequel format and adds depth to the other characters on the roster, in this case, Sheldon. This means that fans can expect that the show will continue to tackle more sensitive and mature topics, including mental health, especially since Sheldon was often unfairly dismissed as crazy on even if those jibes were mostly played for laughs.

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