The season 8 finale of How I Met Your Mother ended with one of the biggest reveals in television history, The Mother. However, the show had three main stories running before we got to the reveal, and unfortunately the characters were split up from each other for the entirety of the show, but worked well to create a nice foundation for the final season.
The episode opens with everyone preparing for the future: Ted finishing the house he bought for his future family, Lily and Marshall packing for Italy — until his mother calls — and Barney and Robin practicing their pretty extravagant first dance for their wedding. With Marshall off to Minnesota for the week to see his mother, Lily is left with Ted and when she finds out that he finished his house they go to see it. Once they arrive Lily goes on and on about how his future family until she finds out he’s selling it and moving to Chicago because everyone is leaving and moving on with his lives, and “the one” isn’t in New York. Although, I was shocked by this decision, it’s understandable for Ted to have a “leave before everyone leaves me” mentality.
However, it doesn’t take Lily long to realize the reason he is leaving is because he still believes that Robin is “the one,” but is marrying his best friend. She then asks if anything happened between them recently, but he says nothing happened. But Lily asks “Where’s the poop?” and he ends up telling her about the locket and their moment in the rain (from the previous episode). He goes on to say that all he wants is to see Robin smile and to be there for her, which is why – even though he wants Barney and Robin to be happy – he thinks it would be better if he weren’t around. After hearing his story, Lily confesses that she knows where the locket is and through a flashback to Ted and Stella’s wedding, it is revealed that it is in a pencil box Ted has at his apartment. Ted becomes excited when he finds out and decides to give it to Robin as the perfect wedding present. Lily then warns him to “be careful” something that I completely agree with. Even though, I wish the writers would end the Ted-Robin relationship, I think it is necessary for them to be at this crossroads before they move on with their lives, but hopefully it won’t last more then 2 or 3 episodes next season.
While Ted and Lily are off having their heart to heart about Robin, Marshall is in Minnesota, where his mom is not so subtly trying to force herself into their new life in Rome. This leads Marshall to have to constantly reassure Lily that nothing is going to get in the way of them moving to Rome, until he gets a call that he has been appointed a judgeship. When he gets the call he tries a number of ways to take the job but still move to Rome, but unfortunately he can’t. At the end of the episode we learn that he has taken the job when his brother calls him “your honor,” but has yet to tell Lily, which can only end badly. This was the only cliffhanger type moment in the episode, because his character is the only one dealing with this uncertainty of what’s to come. He made this big decision but as yet to tell his wife, who plans to move to Rome, so this should be an interesting arc next season.
Elsewhere, Robin and Barney are having dinner a week before their wedding, where they meet a very annoying and pretentious couple (played by Happy Endings‘ Casey Wilson and Mad TV‘s Keegan-Michael Key). They end up becoming Barney and Robin’s archenemies and end up splitting the couple up but then get engaged. Showing how twisted Robin and Barney are, making them perfect for each other because they complement each other and understand each other in a way no one else does. This was a nice contrast from the previous episode, where Robin was having all these doubts, but at the same time I would have liked to see her deal with her hesitation to get married. This story also gave the episode a nice balance, because it served very comedic purposes, whereas Ted and Lily’s story was very emotionally driven.
The very end of the episode is a compilation of moments from all five of the characters leading up to the wedding and similarly to the beginning preparing for their future lives. Ted leaves an empty apartment with the locket all wrapped up, Barney and Robin leave for the wedding, Lily is excited for Rome and Marshall is left with this big secret he must tell Lily. But the final moments of the show is the moment we’ve all been waiting 8 year for, the reveal of The Mother. In the last 30 seconds of the episode we see a woman holding a yellow umbrella and guitar. At first I thought we weren’t going to see her face, but we get that and more, we get to hear her speak. She says one line: “one ticket to Farhampton.” After the 8 year build up to this reveal, I wasn’t sure what to expect the Mother to look like, but I was pleasantly happy with who they chose. The actress playing the mother is Cristin Milioti and I like the casting choice and the fact that she isn’t a known actress. It makes reveal of the mother more special to the show and the role. Nevertheless, at this point, only we have gotten to meet her, Ted still has no idea who she is, which will be interesting to see how the writers work her in next season. Now we know where Ted meets the mother (at the train station) and who she is, all we have to wait for is the actually meting of these two characters.
Overall I thought it was a very fitting season finale and created a great foundation for next season. Next season is also rumoured to take place in real time, meaning 24 episodes at the wedding. My only hope is that we will get to have episode with Ted and the Mother, meting the gang, dating, etc., rather than the final shot be of Ted meting her.
What are your thoughts on the mother? Do you think she was a good choice? Are you excited for next season?