By Natalie Abrams
May 11, 2017 at 08:30 PM EDT

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season finale of The Big Bang Theory. Read at the own risk!

Will wedding bells be ringing next season on The Big Bang Theory?

During the season finale, with Amy (Mayim Bialik) away at Princeton, Dr. Ramona Nowitzki (Riki Lindome) made a play for Sheldon (Jim Parsons). As it turns out, she’s still very much obsessed with him, so Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) were forced to step in to protect the Shamy relationship.

But when Sheldon realizes that Ramona has been pursuing him romantically — she kisses him! — he immediately hops the first plane to New Jersey to propose to Amy. Will she say yes? EW turned to executive producer Steve Molaro to get the scoop:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why was now the right time for Sheldon to propose to Amy?
STEVE MOLARO: I think because we were excited and nervous about it. Anytime we have that feeling in the writers’ room of, “Should we really be doing this?” that tends to be a good sign, because it means it matters to us, and hopefully it’ll matter to people watching. That’s what keeps the show exciting.

Obviously, you’ve left her answer as a cliffhanger, but can you talk about Amy’s mindset in the moment that he asks?
I think she is completely confused. She was sitting there in her robe on her laptop and there was a knock at the door, so I don’t think she knows what’s going on. She knows there was another woman floating around and she was mad about it, that’s about it.

How would Amy feel if she knew that Sheldon proposed in the wake of Ramona kissing him?
I don’t know. I’m excited to find out in season 11 though.

Do you think Sheldon is actually ready or was there a part of him that feels guilty?
It’s hard to say. In the episode the week before, he was able to admit to himself that he’s become dependent on her, and he didn’t know how he felt about spending three months in that apartment without her, so I think he’s a complicated guy. I’m not exactly sure where he is in his head. After Ramona kisses him, you can see a good moment where he takes the time to process what just happened and realize, I assume, “Okay, Penny was right, everybody was right. How am I feeling about my relationship with Amy right now? Excuse me a moment.” Then we just follow him on his journey.

Is it fair to say the kiss made him realize it’s time?
It clearly had something to do with it. It certainly helped him realize that all his friends were right about Ramona’s intentions.

Have we seen the last of Ramona?
I don’t know. That’s a good question. I do know that we love Riki and she did an amazing job. I wouldn’t say no. There’s no plan yet, but she’s terrific, and if we come up with a story that makes sense to see her again, then by all means, that would be great.

How do you think the rest of the group is going to react to this news?
Who knows how it’s going to play out? Maybe they don’t even find out for a while. It could go so many different ways.

Do you even have a sense of where next season would kick off?
Not officially. I’m floating around possible scenarios in my three weeks off. But what it’s like for us is it’s really exciting. It feels good to know this season premiere is going to kick off at such an explosive point in the series. That’s great.

Do you plan to kick it off in real time or will there be a time jump?
I have no idea. I plan to try and make it funny and exciting. That’s the only goal right now.

Will we get to see wedding planning next season or do you feel like setting a date and actually getting down the aisle will take as long as their slow-moving relationship?
I really have no idea at this point, but I’m happy that you’re the one pointing out that it is a slow-moving relationship. I think when things go slow with them, it doesn’t feel artificial or weird, it feels very much in line with Sheldon’s resistance to change, but you also look back at how far they’ve come. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I am looking forward to it.

Were there alternate endings to this season or alternate ways in which he’d propose?
There really wasn’t. We landed on this endpoint and how we were going to get there, and we just went for it. It really didn’t change a lot. We were very happy with how it turned out. We wrote it and went to the table read, and that was really fun. We thought, “Okay, I don’t know how this montage is going to feel, it’s a little weird, there’s not a lot of laughs in it, you’re just quiet silence following Sheldon from walking out of a building, to going downstairs, to getting in a cab, to buying an airplane ticket.” We thought, “Okay, let’s see this at the rehearsal tomorrow and see how it feels.” Amy opened that door and he was on his knee and we all started crying and we’re very happy with how it turned out.

This was a very Amy and Sheldon-heavy finale, but do you have a sense of what’s next for Leonard-Penny or Bernadette-Wolowitz?
I would say as much as the storyline was kicked off by Sheldon and Amy in the finale, everybody else plays a major part in rallying around them. It was very much a really sweet group episode, right down to them all walking down those stairs together as a family, protecting Sheldon. I don’t know if I’d call it a hardcore Amy and Sheldon episode, but moving forward there’s a lot of places they can go. This Air Force project ended for Leonard, Sheldon, and Wolowitz, so they’re looking to — and Koothrappali as well — move forward professionally. It’s probably time for them to attack something new in the world of science in some interesting way.

Will the Air Force project come back into play at all next season?
I don’t know if it will or it won’t, but I can tell you that we adored Dean Norris. We think he’s hilarious. Any opportunity that we can create for him to come back, we would be thrilled to have him.

Raj was moving in with Bert. Will we see more of their dynamic next season?
I hope so. The plan is that he’ll be living over Bert’s garage, so he’ll have a little bit of privacy. But Brian Posehn has been such a delightful addition to the show. We love the character of Bert. There’s a sweetness there. I like Bert because he aggravates Sheldon by being nice, which is such an odd thing for a foil to be, so that’s been terrific. I’ve enjoyed watching Bert and digging into Bert’s life a little more this season, and letting him play with our main cast. Brian Posehn has been fantastic.

The show has been renewed for two more seasons. Are you building toward that being the end?
We never think that far in advance, so right now I’m happy that season 10 turned out as well as it did. Then, the next thing up is how do we make season 11 great? We’re not a vehicle that focuses on end points very much.

The Big Bang Theory will return this fall on CBS.

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The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Raj, and Wolowitz, Amy, Bernadette—the gang keeps growing. Bazinga!

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