When The Big Bang Theory debuts in September, Sheldon will be dealing with heartbreak. Season 8 ended on a cliffhanger with Sheldon's long-suffering girlfriend, Amy Farrah Fowler, breaking up with him over Skype.
Spoilers for the new season have been scarce, but a producer told Entertainment Weekly that a special guest star will appear in the season premiere: Laurie Metcalf. As Big Bang Theory fans know, Metcalf plays Sheldon's devoted mother, Mary Cooper.
Metcalf's appearances go all the way back to Season 1. She's often come in times of crisis for Sheldon, but she's also been known just to drop by for a visit. Last season, Mary Cooper met Leonard's mother, Beverly Hofstadter, for the first time when both women came by to celebrate their sons' receipt of a physics award.
Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy, wrote in her blog on Kveller that the season premiere picks up hours after where the finale left off. She confirmed the episode deals with the unresolved issues, including Leonard and Penny's mission to get married and Amy's intent to take a break from Sheldon. She left little hope that the conclusion would be simple, however.
"It's a very funny episode. It doesn't tie everything up in a neat package; our show rarely does that."
Penny is also set to get some attention from family in the new season. EW learned that Keith Carradine will return in Episode 3 to play Penny's father. Unlike Metcalf, Carradine's appearances have been rare. He has so far been in only one episode: "The Boyfriend Complexity" in Season 4.
His appearance in Episode 3 is appropriate if Penny is looking for family support. Past spoilers have revealed that Leonard's "other woman," whom he kissed while on a research trip, will show up in Episode 2. Leonard's revelation about that tryst had created a moment of awkwardness as he and Penny were heading to Las Vegas to tie the knot during the Season 8 finale.
There's also another relationship at a crossroads. Raj and Emily had a moment of miscommunication at the end of Season 8 when he intended to break up with her, only to express further affection. At a recent CBS press appearance, Kunal Nayyar said of his co-stars' characters Leonard and Penny, "nothing ever goes smoothly for any of these guys, does it?"
The IMDb page for the as-yet-untitled premiere episode lists Laura Spencer, who plays Emily, as one of the main cast members. No word yet on any future appearances in the new season for Emily.
The Big Bang Theory Season 9 premiere airs on Monday, September 21, at 8 p.m. on CBS.
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