Exclusive: How I Met Your Mother Boss on [Spoiler]'s Return: 'She's Part of the Endgame'

Imagine our surprise (and joy) when TVLine hit the set of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother last month and found a familiar face hanging out with the gang: Victoria!

After six long years, Ted’s sweets-making ex-girlfriend (played by Ashley Williams) returned in the final moments of Monday’s one-hour premiere. Although things didn’t end well between the pair — he cheated on her with Robin — executive producer Carter Bays tells TVLine that “there was a palpable electricity in the air when we were shooting her stuff” for next week’s episode (Monday, 8/7c).

“I don’t normally talk this way about episodes because there’s no bigger critic of our own work than me, but I think [the Sept. 26 episode] is one of the best we’ve ever done,” he declares. “I’m very excited about it.”

TVLine chatted with Bays about what’s in store for Ted and Victoria this season, why he decided to bring her back now and what role she plays in the show’s endgame.

TVLINE | How long have you guys been planning to bring Victoria back?
It’s been in the works since she left. That’s the funny thing. It really has. I know while it seemed like maybe we’ve forgotten, we always knew that there’s more to the story there with Ted and Victoria. The truth is, Ted has dated enough girls on the show that it almost puts Barney to shame. There have been a lot of girls. But you really could count on one hand the ones that really had this kind of indefinable chemistry with Josh [Radnor], and Ashley’s right at the top of that list. There’s something about that story and those actors together that first season that really was something special. We knew it at the time, and in the six years since then, nothing has quite… Great other ladies have come and gone in Ted’s life, but Victoria was always someone very special. We knew we wanted to see a little more to that story.

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TVLINE | Why did it take six years?
It had a lot to do with where the series is going and where we’re going to end up. That’s not to say that the end is coming too soon because we have at least two more years, maybe more. We knew that she would be part of the endgame of the series. She’s all over the third episode. And I don’t know exactly when she’s coming back beyond that, but there’s definitely going to be more to the story.

TVLINE | What else can you say about next week’s episode?
The most fun thing about being in the sixth season with this particular show is that the characters have lived a good chunk of their lives between when the show began and right now. … It’s been fun thinking, “Well, OK, that’s what happened to Ted. What’s been going on with Victoria?” We haven’t seen her since she got on that plane to Germany, essentially, and this will sort of be catching up with her, seeing what her life has been about, and seeing how there’s a little bit of destiny to the fact that he happens to run into her this particular night. She’s bringing with her a little bit of wisdom that will become very important to Ted as the season goes on and as the series goes on.

TVLINE | They didn’t leave off on the greatest note. Is it a happy reunion?

It’s not all peaches and cream. It’s interesting because we all looked at our own lives. When you’ve been in a situation like this, where you see someone with whom you had this very intense experience, and maybe it ended badly and you haven’t seen them in a long time, what’s it like when you bump into that person after all these years? It’s a different reunion than it would’ve been if he had bumped into her six months later, for instance. It’s six years, and they’ve lived life since then. So it’s not as simple as just Ted did her wrong, and then she’s angry about it.

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TVLINE | Is he going to try to make amends for what he did?
Yeah. … The last episode that Victoria appeared in, Ted cheated on her with Robin, and the narrator called it the worse thing he’d ever done. I think that’s something that Ted’s been turning around. He feels bad about what he did. This episode is him taking steps to right this wrong that now, six years later, maybe doesn’t even need to be righted, but that’s just what makes him Ted.

TVLINE | At one point, I talked to [HIMYM co-creator] Craig Thomas and asked him where he thinks Victoria is. He said, “She’s probably 600 pounds.
Oh yeah. That was a running joke, actually. We came very close to doing that storyline. We’d put Ashley in a fat suit. All signs point to her being enormously fat now. She’s going to pastry school in Germany. I can’t imagine staying in that profession and not at least putting on a buck-50. We decided to spare Ashley Williams the fat suit.

TVLINE | Ashley brought scones that she made from lemons in her backyard to the set when I was there last time. I don’t know if you got to taste them.
Oh, I did. Those were delicious.

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TVLINE | So who’s the better baker: Ashley or Victoria?
[Laughs] All due respect to Ashley — she’s a wonderful baker — but I think the expression of joy on Marshall’s face in the “Drumroll, Please” episode when he bites into her cake says it all. Victoria’s got something very special in the cooking department. But Ashley’s no slouch [either].

TVLINE | You guys are also bringing back the slutty pumpkin girl.
That’s in the works, as well, yeah. There’s a thematic undercurrent that’s been slowly emerging on this season about exploring our past and exploring our history. … [The characters are] all in a place where they’re ready to be grown-ups now, but there’s just so much baggage that they’re carrying around. We’re going to see some faces from the past. Victoria’s one of them. The Slutty Pumpkin [is another]. There may be more down the road. It’s [Ted] exorcising some of his demons.

HIMYM fans, were you surprised by Victoria’s return? Are you glad to have the cake-maker back? And what did you think of the season premiere? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Rebecca Parker says:

    Well, I just got spoiled. It’s pretty silly to leave out the person’s name in the title of the article and then include her picture on the main page.

    Watching as we speak. My own fault.

    • timshel says:

      Agreed. No point in leaving out the spoiler in the heading if you are going to spoil it with an accompanying picture. Wasn’t a spoiler for me since I saw the episode first, but I figured it would be for some. Poor form.

      • J says:

        don’t see how, if you were spoiled its your own fault for reading the article. The title clearly indicates that someone did return

        • Jax says:

          J – They were spoiled because TVLine has a picture of Victoria right there on the front page. You don’t have to read the article. Even if you are just scrolling down the main page and don’t read the title you can’t help but see a photo of her.

        • Mike says:

          Yeah J, way to read the comments fully there and then talk about things being “CLEARLY INDICATED”.

    • Matt says:

      They had an issue with repeatedly doing this a while back… I’d thought they’d gotten it ironed out, but I guess not.

    • Joe in L.A. says:

      Yes, I watched it today, but had already seen her photo on your website so there was absolutely no surprise to me. Bummer. :( Would have preferred to have not known as I am sure seeing her would have been much more enjoyable that way.

  2. Meg says:

    I had this great thought a couple of weeks ago that they should bring Victoria back. Glad to see her back for a couple of episodes.

    • dane says:

      I love Victoria .. but I am sad she’s back because i am afraid it means she is not the mother. I REALLY wanted her to be the mother.

      • Meg says:

        I thought it was already implied she wasn’t the mother. Ted meets the mother at Barney’s wedding. He already knows Victoria, so…

  3. Tyler says:

    Loved it! Definitely did a “Whoa!” when I saw Victoria. Can’t wait for next weeks episode :-)

    • Rock Golf says:

      They kinda gave it away earlier in the show, when they played The Kinks’ “Victoria” (at least the instrumental introduction). Did anyone else pick up on that?

  4. katie says:

    i cannot express the joy in my heart of seeing ashley williams again! woo hoo!!!

  5. steph says:

    refresh my memory – is she DEFINITELY not the mother or is she still a possibility?

    • Liz says:

      I’m pretty sure that she isn’t the mother because Ted meets the mother at Barney’s wedding. Most people I’ve spoken to believe that the mother is Barney’s half sister, who we haven’t met yet because she’s in college and would most likely be invited to the wedding.

    • Nadine says:

      I don’t think she’s the mother. Ted is telling his kids the story of how he met their mother, and he already told his kids about Victoria in season one.

    • Lindsey says:

      She is definitely not the mother. “No Tomorrow” from season 3 basically indicates that anyone we’d seen before that point isn’t the mother. Too bad since Victoria was always my favorite and was actually the only girlfriend of Ted’s I ever liked.

  6. Darth Pablo says:

    I yelled out “Buttercup” when i saw her. I remember reading here i think on a poll of everyones favorite ex of Ted and it was Victoria. Then i think i read it here (cause this is my fav site) that Ted was having someone was coming back into his life, and hoped it was her. Cant wait for next monday

    • Emma O says:

      Me too. Of all of Ted’s exes they always like to point out how magical it was for him to see Robin from across a room, but lets be honest folks his best meeting was with Victoria. That was the most magical and most special of them all. I’m glad that we get to wrap of Victoria properly, but most importantly, HELLO! Slutty pumpkin is coming back!

  7. Sarah says:

    LOVED the surprise. I always liked ted and victoria, and to have her brought back like that was such a satisfying twist

  8. Lauren says:

    I’m glad I wasn’t spoiled, I had no idea she was appearing!! I absolutely loved Victoria, the episode where Ted and her met and he finds her at the end and she says, ‘Thank god!’ was the moment I realized how much I loved HIMYM. So glad she’s back. I agree that Josh Radnor hasn’t had the same chemistry with anyone else. I think the narrator has said Victoria wasn’t the mother, but I wouldn’t be at all adverse to them turning that around. She’s by far my favourite of Ted’s girlfriends. I’m not including Robin in that because while I love Robin, I think of her as Barney’s love interest now, not Ted’s. And I never really liked them together.

  9. will says:

    not really sure how i felt about the premiere. The second of the two episodes was more entertaining than the first, mostly because of Beercules and Jimmi Simpson’s character. Still both were decent episodes, but I agree with an article on AOL TV (or as I still refer to it TV Squad) where Maureen Ryan discusses how she’s grown tired of the serialized episodes.

  10. Jake says:

    So Happy Victoria is back, definitely was very surprised. she was always my favorite of Ted’s ex girlfriends besides Robin that is.

  11. Sue Nan says:

    Way to go CBS!!!! Love, love, love having Victoria back. I agree, there has alway been a special chemistry with Ted and Victoria. Do the right thing, keep her in and make her Teds wife.

  12. The part that threw me wasn’t that Victoria came back, but when… I completely expected it at the end of ‘The Best Man’ but got thrown for a loop when it came during ‘ the Naked Truth’. Still I’m ecstatic to see Victoria back. That whole relationship felt unresolved.

    … will she be the mother, definitely not. But is it still a worth avenue to spend time on for the show, absolutely.

  13. madhatter says:

    I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that if the show wasn’t picked up for a second season they were going to make Victoria the mother.

  14. Dawn says:

    I totally agree with u on the Ted/Victoria match they have chemistry and she was always my fave he has been with… Welcome home Ashley so glad to see u back even for just a few eps girlie :)

  15. Jo says:

    I could not be happier! I have been waiting for her return since she left! I always loved Ted & Victoria!

  16. vdw says:

    actually, I kinda know that the ex-girlfriend who’s gonna show is Victoria. I loved Victoria and Ted together.

  17. Carmichael says:

    I knew the SECOND I heard the song, that she’d spring up. That didn’t stop me from being all sorts of happy.

  18. Sarah says:

    I seriously can’t believe it’s been six years since we’ve seen Victoria. Seeing her tonight made me feel like it was just last year she was on the series (okay, not literally, but at least in the past few years). It’s amazing how far this show has come and I can’t wait to (eventually) see how it finally ends!

  19. Scott says:

    I find it rare for two actors to share such amazing chemistry on screen as Ted and Victoria. I always hoped that she was the Mother and even if she isn’t, I’m glad that she is making another appearance on HIMYM.

  20. Sarah says:

    I’m so excited that they brought her back! I’ve been waiting for her to come back since she left!

  21. Liz says:

    I wasn’t a big fan of the cupcake girl when she was originally on because I really wanted Ted with Robin, but after watching the first season in repeats on Lifetime I really like her. I’m glad she’s back, even though she is definitely not the mother.

    Also, I cannot believe HIMYM is in its 7th season. It is still so fres, and i remember when it was always on that damn bubble–one of the few shows to make it off of it successfully.

  22. JB Smooove says:

    YESYES YES YE YES YES YES YES YES MOTHERF-ING YES!!! maybe a bit over joyed.

  23. Tucker says:

    Utterly surprised. Pleasantly so.

  24. Tom says:

    just finished watching the new episode and when i saw Victoria, i was like OMG YES SHE BACK
    next week episode cant wait to see what happens

    • Ken says:

      Exactly how i reacted.. i watched both episodes up till that point and im like.. its a good start for a season and all.. and then i saw her and im like.. ZOMG SHES BACK! im ecstatic for next weeks episode :)

  25. kristen says:

    I want to find a clip of Barney’s joke about Lebron James!! Sooo funnY!!

  26. Julie says:

    Before I read the article, just wanted to point out that you did put the whole (SPOILER) thing in the title, but we have a picture of that (SPOILER)… so no need to write (SPOILER), right? hehehe!

    Ok, reading now!

  27. Edward says:

    “That’s not to say that the end is coming too soon because we have at least two more years, maybe more.” This line scares me. While the show has had a great run, I fear that trying to pull the plot along for, potentially, MORE than two years leaves it susceptible to a very mediocre final season. :(

    • Meg says:

      Jason Segal has said repeatedly that he won’t go past season 8. I hope they don’t try to have Ted, Lily, Robin, and Barney without Marshall. It just doesn’t work.

    • b says:

      Another season beyond that and we’re going to have to not only see Ted’s wedding, but also at least the conception of his daughter for the timeline to work out.

  28. Julie says:

    I had a feeling this summer as I rewatched the whole series that Victoria was due for a comeback. I do agree Ted and her had something intensely-special and I cannot wait to see how this plays out. The good news here for Ted is that him and Robin are done until they turn 40 (my bet still is that if HIMYM gets to season X where they all turn 40 and they are both still single that is the only way those two can get back together… but let’s face it; she should stick with Barney now! *HOT DANCE SCENE FTW!*)

    These 2 episodes were actually better than I thought they would be. I’m overly excited that they are going to tie some lose ends from the past seasons, and I am so happy that Lily and Marshall did tell the gang they were pregnant :) I can’t wait to see episode 3 now!!!

  29. Timmy Bauer says:

    My fav Ted’s ex girlfriend will always be Natalie. So funny and sweet, and at the same time strong (with kicking a*s Krav Maga!).

    I hope one day we will see her again (yes I know she reappeared recently, but it was a flashback!)… Go Natalie!

  30. yay says:

    ok i watched the show since like the beginning and i was like 10 or 11 and i knew from the first time they broke up that she would come back at some point, they were amazing together if she turns out to be the mom that would be wow!!!!!!

  31. Ally says:

    VICTORIA! I jumped off the couch and did a happy dance! Thank you HIMYM for bringing her back, she was always my favorite. Of all of Ted’s ladies, she rang the truest to me.

  32. qeee says:

    I loved The Twist, I heard they were bringing back a girlfriend but i wasn’t expecting it to be Victoria. My first was “Woah” as well.

  33. Sheri says:

    I think my reaction to Victoria was- “OH YAY!” I thought she was so cute. YA! I love HIMYM. ;)

  34. Lauren says:

    I wondered the same thing, but my boyfriend reminded me that Teds wife was a student in the first class he taught, and I really don’t think Victoria would have been in that class.

  35. C says:

    I agree with everyone – even if she’s not the mother and they don’t start dating again, it’s awesome to see her back. The first time I watched season 1 I wanted her gone so Ted could be with Robin, but I’ve been re-watching it recently and I just love her. I actually squealed when I saw her! What a nice surprise :)

  36. Tommy Byrne says:

    Very excited to see Victoria return, shes one of my favourite exs! My review if anyone cares to look it at! http://the-tv-room.blogspot.com/b/post-preview?token=IvsBiTIBAAA._cI3wLZ9sIgXX–7Jxka2A.sw1Vm_f-cFNTp4K8X_AR7g&postId=1444476691960527987&type=POST

  37. Heather says:

    Delighted! I think my exact words were “TWIST!!!” followed by a girlish squeal. I know she’s not the mother, but her character is just so great with Ted, it’ll be nice to see a more “grown-up” version of that relationship.

    P.S. Am I the only one who noticed a huge shift out of McClaren’s last night???? Talk about grownig up!!

  38. Jodi says:

    Loved seeing Victoria. But did anyone else catch the scene about a Marshall and lily split?

  39. Rock Golf says:

    How about that flash-forward with Marshall drunk at another wedding? But look at Barney next to him on the cellphone, looking like he just got the worst news of his life.

  40. Jodi says:

    I think thought that scene was Marshall’s bachelor party. His t-shirt had a heart with “Marshall + Steph 4-Eva” in the middle. I thought that was a hint to him and Lily splitting…

    • Lisa J says:

      I noticed that, too. Rewound (sp?) to see what it said. How old was Marshall in that clip….could it refer to his son?

      • Mike says:

        I noticed Barney’s look of terror and am curious what it means. I don’t know about Marshall’s shirt. I can’t see them splitting again–it would be a recycled plot and the show is already dragging on far too long. I would suspect Steph must be his daughter’s name. Unusual to get that kind of shirt for a daughter, but maybe there’s some sort of gag that goes with it. Or maybe he’s just drunk at a casino and some random chick gives him the shirt.

      • murley says:

        what i noticed in that scene is that barney is wearing the duckie tie that he and ted referenced earlier in the epsiode, when the 2 are talking at barney’s wedding.

  41. Lisa J says:

    I squealed like a girl…oh, wait I am a girl. Loved that twist!!! Thought I had read somewhere she is def not the mother, so very interested where this is going. Oh, and that “we have at least two more years, MAYBE MORE” comment didn’t go unnoticed. Lots more years, please….it is getting good!!!!

  42. pakqq says:

    I love Victoria’s arc in the series, but it just getting weird because after all you already knew that future Ted’s wife is gonna be Leighton Meester character’s dorm friend and it should stick to that arc for this season

    sorry, for my English anyway :) but I love this show…

    • Danielle says:

      That wasn’t leighton meester, it was Rachel Bilson.
      P.S. I love Victoria and I hope that future ted gave the wrong name to his kids so they wouldn’t have noticed that she was the mother the whole time.

  43. Kate says:

    About Marshall’s shirt… In another spoiler on here, it said that Barney’s wedding is the beginning of Ted’s love story and the end of another. Maybe that meant the end of Lily and Marshall’s? If they split up after having a baby I’ll be very upset!

  44. djp says:

    If you remember, she tells Ted, Victoria That you have to find out if it’s Robin, or figured out what the relationship is between Barney, Robin and himself, so now Ted’s is now going to find out his answers, I know it’s Victoria, well I hope it is