In season 6, Linkletter’s relationship with Meemaw might shed some light on Sheldon Cooper's persistent commitment issues in . While ’s version of its title character is undeniably similar to his grown-up counterpart in , there remain a few important distinctions between both incarnations. Since Sheldon is younger in the spinoff, he comes across a lot less cynical, while the positive influence of his friends in means adult Sheldon is generally less obstinate than his younger self.
has given rise to many . The spinoff proved that Sheldon did have friends during his childhood and adolescence, despite his claims to the contrary. These friends were not, however, as close as Leonard, Howard, Raj, and Penny in, explaining why Sheldon can be even more stubborn in the spinoff. Another character quirk that season 6 has offered a possible explanation for is Sheldon’s commitment issues. Since he can be almost emotionless at times, it is somewhat surprising to see how anxious committing to Amy Farrah Fowler made Sheldon feel in .
secretly explained why Sheldon has such major romantic trust issues in later life, and it dates back to the romantic endeavors of . In season 6, episode 2, “Future Worf and the Margarita of the South Pacific,” Dr. Linkletter took Meemaw on a date. Only a few episodes later, in season 6, episode 13, “Ruthless, Toothless, and a Week of Bed Rest,” Sheldon’s colleague stole his grant database idea after Meemaw and Linkletter decided to just be friends - a move that doubly betrayed Sheldon’s trust.
It is understandable that Sheldon would be suspicious and uncomfortable with romantic entanglements in . This issue consistently arose throughout his relationship with Amy, most notably in season 8, episode 8, “The Prom Equivalency,” and season 8, episode 24, “The Commitment Determination.” season 6 saw Sheldon betrayed by a colleague shortly after that co-worker pursued a failed romantic relationship with Meemaw, giving the young character an impression that love only leads to trouble and backstabbing. Like the , had explained another aspect of the Cooper family's future.
While it is understandable that Sheldon developed commitment problems with colleagues after a formative experience in which his co-worker dated his grandmother and then stole his proposal, Sheldon’s trust issues still derailed his relationship in later life. Sheldon and Amy’s love story was imperiled by his struggles with commitment at numerous points, with the pair even temporarily breaking up over this problem.
While this was a fair reaction on Amy’s part, season 6 did a good job of contextualizing Sheldon’s behavior. The incident with Linkletter would, in Sheldon's mind, sow seeds of romantic mistrust - especially considering the youngster's deep affection for his Meemaw. spinoff cannot explain all of Sheldon Cooper's foibles, but this story does make sense of the title character’s trust issues.
New episodes of season 6 air Thursdays on CBS.