It’s time to discuss what happened on the season finale of “The Big Bang Theory,” the long-running sitcom about the socially maladjusted geniuses and the women who love them. The show has lasted so long because of the various ways that it has allowed the characters to grow and develop beyond the initial premise. Leonard married Penny, the pretty, wonderful girl next door. Now it is Sheldon Cooper’s turn to grow as the result of a love of a woman.

What happened on the season finale

We find Sheldon, the strange, emotionally damaged super genius finally in a live-in relationship with Amy, a female scientist who has had her own problems with human relationships.

Amy had been offered and had accepted a summer research fellowship at Princeton, leaving Sheldon alone for the first time in several years.

Then the worst thing that can happen occurs. Dr. Ramona Nowitzki, who had idolized Sheldon when she was a young grad student, is back. She is everything that someone like Sheldon might want in a woman. She is intelligent, has a basket full of stories of having worked at CERN, and is beside tall, blond, beautiful, and athletic. More to the point, she wants Sheldon and makes that desire plain toward the end of the episode.

Sheldon does the only thing a man like him can do. He tells Ramona to wait right there. Then he takes a cab to the airport, takes a flight to New Jersey, then another taxi to Princeton.

The next scene we see is Amy in her quarters when she hears the characteristic three-part knock at the door. “Amy…Amy…Amy.” Surprised, Amy flings open the door to see Sheldon on bended knee, holding up an engagement ring, popping the question. The episode fades to credits, and we have until next fall to ponder what happens next.

Sheldon Cooper becomes a man

Sheldon has certainly grown from a man who is so emotionally stunted that his human relationships have been ones of mutual hostility. He masked internal insecurity with arrogance and snark. In a few short years, he has evolved from a man who, when confronted with a seemingly perfect woman who desires him, walked away for the sole reason that she was not Amy.

Amy was, after all, the first woman who valued him as a man, a quality that for someone like Sheldon is more precious than riches or, perhaps, that Nobel Prize that he so yearns for.

One can hardly wait for what comes next. A wedding followed perhaps by children? One person who will be very pleased is Sheldon’s long-suffering mom, the very religious Mary Cooper, who never envisioned that this day would ever transpire.