Young Sheldon season 7 episode 4 recap: The mystery of the three knocks explained

Sheldon and Mary readjust to being home, and we find out why Sheldon always knocks three times.
Courtesy: CBS
Courtesy: CBS /

Thursday nights mean a new episode of Young Sheldon season 7, and this one was a good one! In last week's episode, we saw how Sheldon decided to disobey his mother and ride on trains throughout German all alone, Mary and George send each other letters and it's so sweet, and Dale and Connie adjust to living together in hilarious ways.

In last night's episode, "Ants on a Log and a Cheating Winker," the Cooper gang is back together when Sheldon and Mary come home, Sheldon finds his room at home and dorm at school occupied, Mary deals with the family not needing her as much anymore, and the infamous three knocks origin story comes into play. Read on below for all the details about the episode!

Ants on a Log and a Cheating Winker
Credit: Bill Inoshita / 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. /

Reunited and it feels... sort of good

It's finally time for Sheldon and Mary to return home to Medford, Texas and leave their summer in Germany behind. The flights (there's many connecting ones) aren't so smooth sailing with a crying baby. Though as Mary points out, sometimes mothers aren't able to quiet their kids no matter how hard they try. And of course she looks at Sheldon while saying this. Ha! Sheldon mentions that he can't wait to share what he learned in Germany with his colleagues, and telling his mother that if there's one thing the country has taught him it's that "brutal honesty is its own kind of love." Well, he doesn't learn that's not true until many years later.

Sheldon's doesn't have a room

The Cooper gang welcomes Sheldon and Mary home with a sign at the airport, and it's a cute little family moment. When they get back to the house, Sheldon finds out that his room has been taken over by Georgie, Mandy, and CeeCee. Of course he's not happy about this but they're not going anywhere else. He either gets the couch or the garage. While initially choosing the couch, CeeCee's crying in the night forces him to reluctantly find some peace and quiet in the garage. That's also after he calls Meemaw and asks her to stay with she and Dale. But she lies and says Dale said no. I love Connie!

Throughout the episode we see how his family loves him, but no one really missed Sheldon and his quirks. We really can't blame them! Mary is also feeling a little displaced coming back home as it seems the whole family is able to function just fine without her. But more on that below. Mary and Sheldon wake up to Missy having breakfast ready, Georgie doing the dishes, and they've got the chore chart and bathroom schedule down to a T.

Sheldon, who walks back into the house in the morning after a night in the garage tries to go to the bathroom but it's Georgie's turns based on the schedule. There's only one bathroom, so the family needs it. And Sheldon couldn't argue with a schedule! Thinking, one place he can be alone and have his own bathroom is his dorm room at the university. Right? Wrong.

Sheldon shows up and someone else, who he doesn't bother learning his name, is occupying his dorm room and it's now his. So Sheldon apparently doesn't have his own room at the school anymore? He sort of makes a new friend as the two bond over video games. And Sheldon refuses to leave so there's that. I'm sure he'll be going to President Hagemeyer to complain about this sooner or later. But for now, he has a video game buddy.

Ants on a Log and a Cheating Winker
Courtesy: CBS /

Mary feels displaced

Mary is happy to be home, but has noticed that the family has been able to operate on their own. She's used to doing everything for everyone. When she shares this with her mother, Connie sarcastically asks her "you're feeling displaced because your home that wasn't blown away in the tornado is running smooth?" Lol! She does have a point. To try and combat this, Mary shows up to George's football practice and makes food for the team. And has some fun on the sleds. But, George tells her she can't be the team mom and asks her not to come back.

Eventually later in the day, poor Missy comes back home angry and crying. We find out that Taylor, who she'd been seeing over the summer, broke up with her. She asks Mary not to tell her father because he doesn't know they were dating. Mary agrees and is more than happy to comfort her daughter. In a sweet moment, Missy tells her mom "I'm glad you're back." Aw!

Ants on a Log and a Cheating Winker
Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita / 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. /

The origin story of the three knocks: George was not having an affair

One of the biggest questions us The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon fans have had is, who does George cheat on Mary with? In the flagship series, Sheldon explains that during spring break he came home early from college. His mother was at bible study, and he walked into his parents' bedroom finding George with another woman. And that's how and why he knocks three times - the first is a courtesy while the other two is to give people time to "get their pants on."

Well on last night's Young Sheldon episode, the show answered the question on who George was "having an affair with." And it turns out he wasn't at all. Mary told her husband she had a surprise for him, and she dresses up like a German barmaid named Helga in a role play outfit. With a blonde wig on and everything, Sheldon mistakes her for another woman. The voiceover of Jim Parsons' older Sheldon reveals that he never talked to his father about what he saw, and that's why he added extra knocks. Which is exactly what he says on Big Bang.

Young Sheldon changed up the story a little bit, as it's obviously not spring break and his mom wasn't out of the house. But it kind of works I guess. George has become a much more likable character than what was established on The Big Bang Theory. And honestly, I'm personally relieved that he didn't cheat on Mary and it was just his wife the whole time. And finally, the mystery of the three knocks is solved!

It's a shame though that even as an adult, Sheldon believes his father cheated on his mom. Perhaps with Parson and Mayim Bialik reprising their roles in the series finale, Sheldon will somehow learn this isn't true? While unfortunately George's death storyline is coming, at least the writers skipped out on this one. That will make for a bit of a better ending than what we thought.

A Frankenstein's Monster and a Crazy Church Guy
Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS /

Next week on Young Sheldon

Young Sheldon season 7 episode 5, “A Frankenstein’s Monster and a Crazy Church Guy,” will see Sheldon helping his roomate "beat the stock market," per the synopsis. So I guess Sheldon is just going to accept sharing his dorm room with someone else. Interesting. Elsewhere, Mary finds a new church. I think this will definitely be good for her! Finally, Missy and Billy Sparks "throw a party." Huh.

The new episode airs Thursday, March 14, 2024 live on CBS. If you have Paramount+ with Showtime, you can also watch the episode live on the streamer. Otherwise, Paramount+ Essential subscribers can tune in to the installment the next day on Friday. Check out the promo below!

Stay tuned to Hidden Remote as we bring you weekly recaps of Young Sheldon season 7!

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