Lionne Posted May 6, 2013 Posted May 6, 2013 It is interesting to me that this season has featured more quotes from Sheldon's father than we've ever heard before, the story about Pop Pop, and now this episode with Bob Newhart. The single most important relationship for any child is with their same-sex parent, so no matter how important his Mee Maw and Mother were to Sheldon, you cannot discount the role of his father in this life. When quoting his father, it's always been interesting to me that I've never heard Sheldon reject or question anything his father has ever said. He edits the language, for instance, "Shelly, women are nothing but flippin' pains in the bottom," but he doesn't disagree with the sentiment behind it. He doesn't question or comment on such things as his father's "driving whiskey" either, and while we know his father had an affair with a barmaid, Sheldon never spoke any judgements about that state of affairs either. But it seems clear that Sheldon and his father are as different as night and day. Nevertheless, his father made some sort of effort with Sheldon, trying to teach him football or how to "shoot so close to a raccoon it craps itself," and such backwoods skills as archery. It was the longest 7 years of Sheldon's life, but his father definitely made some impression, and Sheldon hasn't forgotten the lessons that his father taught him. Pop Pop died when Sheldon was only 5, and his father died only a few months before the series starts, as we find out during Missy and Mary's visits in Season One. Whatever longing Sheldon has had for a patriarchal influence in this life - as the matriarchal influences were obviously the strongest in Mary and Mee Maw - we've only seen that explode out of Sheldon once, in the Christmas episode this year. But in particular, as Sheldon "grows up" and starts finding more to life outside of science, such as his friends and relationship with Amy, I can see Sheldon groping around for role models even more than usual (and I think he did this his entire life) to which he can relate and model his own behavior as a man on. I feel pretty sure that somewhere along the line Sheldon rejected the idea of growing up into a man like his father, with his football and driving whiskey and hunting and affairs and "manly man" way of operating in the world. And perhaps this is why Sheldon has never really fully grown up either - with no father figure in his life for Sheldon to try to model and pattern his behavior on (and Sheldon needs this more than most, with the natural lack of social skills he has) Sheldon simply didn't evolve into a full-grown man at all, there was no real role model for him to latch onto. I know that it's been pointed out that the Professor Proton episode finishes up some things from 6.11, but I also think it continues on the Spiderman speech from 6.1 - the entire thing about Sheldon and the kind of man he wanted to be. As we saw in this past episode, Sheldon is still remarkably childish, and not really a full grown up. Professor Proton's request of Sheldon to fill in for him, which Sheldon rapidly associated with being "Junior" (and remember that in the Cooper family, it's Sheldon's older brother George who gets to be the "Junior") and latched onto the idea of Professor Proton being his father, to me it goes back to Sheldon finding a man and role-model to whom Sheldon can relate and who Sheldon would actually want to be like. Finding a male role model, finding some type of father figure at all, particularly to help Sheldon replace or grieve the one he lost in Pop Pop when he was only 5, in order to help him figure out that "man he wants to be" and still "working on" becoming seems to be part of the theme of the show this season (consciously or unconsciously on the part of the writers) for Sheldon's character. In any case, it's hard for me to say much else. I have currently moved out of my old place and am living in between moving into the new one while I do a lot of things like have it painted and replace carpets and whatnot. It'll be awhile before I have an Internet connection again other than when I'm hanging out at Starbucks. So I'll be around when I can, which might not be much, and I won't be able to watch the episodes a few times to get my mind around all of the little things I normally like to analyze. Don't forget about me while I am gone! I'll see you all on the flip side, when I start to settle in and get my new life going. Share this post Link to post Share on other sites More sharing options...
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