TV's longest (and most backwards) love story will come to an end next year when How I Met Your Mother wraps up — but not before the longest wedding ever.
The 24-episode ninth and final season will cover Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin's (Cobie Smulders) 56-hour wedding weekend, during which Ted (Josh Radnor) will finally meet the love of his life (Cristin Milioti). But when will that fateful meeting occur? And what is The Mother's name? Co-creator and executive producer Carter Bays gives us the scoop.
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1. What's in a name? We can only call her The Mother and Mrs. Mosby for so long (aka eight years). The producers do have a name in mind. "I'm not going to say how soon we're going to learn that, but we are going to learn that," Bays says. But can anything top Blah Blah?
2. When Ted will meet The Mother: We know Ted and The Mother will meet on the Farhampton train platform after Barney and Robin's wedding, but when during the season will that occur? Though many fans are behind the idea of having the two meet at the series' last moment and then cut to black — a conceivable option with the season taking place over one weekend — Bays promises that "we're going to see much more to them than just their meeting."
3. When they'll meet The Mother: Marshall (Jason Segel), Lily (Alyson Hannigan), Barney and Robin will all meet The Mother before Ted, and each will have their own opinion of her — but don't worry, she'll get the seal of approval from all of them... eventually. "They will meet in a somewhat surprising order. That sounds much more cryptic than it actually is," Bays says. "The order they meet doesn't matter so much, but the context [in which they meet] is the right context for each character. ... It will vary in reactions, but ultimately everyone will love this woman because she's very lovable."
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4. How I met your father: Robin has already narrated an episode to her (non-existent) children, so why not The Mother too? Bays says it's "definitely" in the cards that we see the past eight years from The Mother's perspective, including those handful of near-miss meetings between her and Ted. As such, don't rule out flash-forwards of the whole Mosby clan. "It was a great way to kick off the season [having Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie film a foul-mouthed Comic-Con teaser] because one of the themes of this season is kind of the family reunion," Bays says. "[We're] bringing back the people we've met over the years, that we've loved working with and giving them the series wrap they deserve."
5. When will Ted finally get over Robin? Well, the whole process will start in the third episode, "The Broken Code," when he and Robin discuss their rain-drenched hand-holding at the end of last season. "Ted is such a great dude. He is so kind and he is so sweet, and that's a guy who you're like, 'That is a solid guy. Father of my children. Yes,'" Smulders says. "But Robin just doesn't love him, and that's what it comes down to. She lets her emotions drive her and she loves Barney. I think there are probably parts of her that wants her to feel about Ted the way she feels about Barney. He's a safer option. ... In terms of roadblocks [at the wedding], Ted is a big one. And we'll see how that plays out."
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6. Mama Mia! Good things come to those who wait. We'll meet not one, but two Mama Scherbatskys, including Robin's stepmother, who wants to perform at the wedding (with Robin Sparkles, hopefully). "I pitched Annette Bening," Smulders says. "I think they're in the process of offering [the part of her mom]. We'll see who takes the bait." Bays' picks, however, will be a mission impossible. "Ingrid Bergman, I guess. Grace Kelly, maybe," he quips. "Go old school if we're dream-casting. So Ingrid Bergman, if you read this, call me!"
(Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams)
Who do you want to play Robin's moms? What do you think The Mother's name is? How I Met Your Mother returns Monday, Sept. 23 at 8/7c on CBS.
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