The goal for The Big Bang Theory finale was to ensure everyone that life would go on for the main cast. However, behind the scenes, things were a little more bumpy on the road to the final episode. Jim Parsons announced his departure from the show at the start of the tapings for the season. This flipped plans around completely, and it also left the cast in shock. Johnny Galecki admitted to being blindsided by Parsons' decision, given that he hadn't spoken to any of the cast prior.
Nonetheless, the show had a finale to prep for, and the cast was mostly positive about the way things ended. In the following, we'll take a closer look at how the finale came about, and why it ended the way it did.
In addition, we're going to take a closer look at how Jim Parsons felt about Sheldon's final moments on the series. As we'll reveal, certain cast members weren't as happy with the way things concluded at the start.
Chuck Lorre had different ideas for how The Big Bang Theory was going to end. However, he had a great appreciation for the way Steve Holland's vision played out.
"I had a couple of different things in mind, but this was far better than anything I could have presented. Credit for this finale has to go to Steve Holland and the writing staff. They proposed a finale that was centered on emotional closure in the characters' lives, in their relationships and in them growing as individuals and in their lives expanding."
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Holland revealed that the biggest goal was to ensure that everyone's lives would go on, and that it wasn't a finale with absolute closure in it.
"Knowing it was the end, we'd been talking about where we wanted to see these characters land. The show has never been plot-heavy and, for us as fans of these characters, it didn't feel right or necessary for us to do a heavy finale like that and put a "the end" stamp on all these stories. It was important to feel like their lives and their friendships went on. That was our starting place of how we wanted to build this finale."
The cast also had a sense of appreciation for the way things ended, especially Jim Parsons who was the center of the finale.
It was the perfect ending for Sheldon in more ways than one. He won the Nobel Prize but used the moment to acknowledge his friends and the impact they made on his life.
How did Jim Parsons feel about it? Well, the actor was more than satisfied with the way things ended. He was especially appreciative of the way his character evolved during the show, into the final episode.
Parsons revealed, "Chuck Lorre once said that watching these characters change will be like watching paint dry — you wouldn't even notice it was happening. That turned out to be both true and not true."
He continues, "We got to play long enough that they were allowed to change and you did notice it because at some point they were writing enough episodes, like, well we have to. They have to morph a little bit. And that made it really fun. I'm deeply satisfied with how it ended."
The rest of the cast echoed a similar sentiment to Parsons, however, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki were taken aback by their closing storyline.
The final storyline for Penny and Leonard shows the next chapter of their lives, as future parents. Penny reveals that she is pregnant, despite the fact that it was hinted throughout the show that Penny and Leonard wouldn't have children.
Johnny Galecki admitted he was little confused with the storyline at first.
"The pregnancy shocked me. I didn't get it at first. Molaro and I talked about them maybe not [being pregnant]."
However, both Galecki and Cuoco came to terms with the storyline, given that it ensured fans that the two would be okay.
"The main takeaway is that these friendships will continue; the writers didn't want someone to move away. We wanted to leave the audience with the idea that these friendships and the love that they have continues," Galecki revealed.
The main motivation for this storyline proved to be Leonard's words from the pilot, when he said that he'd have Penny's kids one day. It took 12 seasons, but the show finally decided to go through with the idea.