As Ted started recounting the day of Barney and Robin’s wedding in Monday’s How I Met Your Mother Season 8 premiere, viewers got one step closer to meeting mom.
It all began with the bride wanting to see the best man, because she was seriously considering climbing out the window, the very same one — cue flashback — he climbed into to leave Victoria’s note to Klaus (Thomas Lennon). After finding out that the groom was planning to ditch Victoria at the altar too, Ted couldn’t help asking him why he’d want to leave behind such a perfect girl. She’s “almost the thing you want, but not quite,” Klaus told him, adding that one day, he would meet the right woman and know it instantaneously. For Ted, it looked like that day wasn’t too far off: At the Farhampton train station after Barney and Robin’s wedding, the future mother got out of a taxi, guitar in one hand, yellow umbrella in the other, and stood on the platform as Ted read a book on a nearby bench.
If you’re worried she might get on a train before they ever exchange any words, executive producer Craig Thomas assured a group of reporters, “That’s the moment we’re going to meet the mother. I feel like we can honestly say that. That’s where it happens.”
Added fellow EP Carter Bays: “ We specifically made it the day of a wedding and not at a wedding. I think a lot of people were a little misled by that. It’s not actually the wedding, but it’s at that train station.”
As for whether those legs really belong to an actress who’s been cast as the titular mom or if what we saw was just a stunt mom, the EPs were more coy. “I don’t want to say because, ultimately, when we do cast the actress who’s the mother, it’s going to have to be shrouded in secrecy,” said Thomas. “If we already did it, I don’t want to say.”
In addition to leading up to that fateful meeting between Ted and his future wife – “We’ll see more of that moment as the series goes on,” teased Bays – the writers will also have to explain how Barney and Robin both went from having cold feet to actually getting hitched (remember, they do tie the knot). “We’re going to fill in all of the blanks on that day,” promised Thomas. “That day is the biggest day in the history of the group, obviously, and that’s where the series is heading, and we’re getting close.”
Rewinding further back, there’s the matter of how Barman and Robin go from being with other people – him engaged to Quinn, her with new boyfriend Nick (Michael Trucco) – to betrothed. As the montage of Barney smiling to himself as Robin looked through his storage box of photos from their relationship made it clear, just because they’ve moved on doesn’t mean those feelings are all gone. “The chemistry between Neil [Patrick Harris] and Cobie [Smulders] is so great that she doesn’t even need to be in the scene with him for them to have chemistry,” raved Thomas. “When I watch that scene, I always think, ‘It’s Robin.’ He has his fiancée asleep on his shoulder, and he’s thinking about another woman.”
Come October, three relationships will explode to make way for the reunion of that legendary couple, as well as for Ted’s mystery woman, and each one will have its own unique flavor. “Ultimately, the challenge was: Can all three of these break-ups be completely different from each other?” shared Thomas. “Can there be a funny one? Can there be a dramatic one? I think we’ve done it.”
And before Ted can live happily ever after with his bride, “there’s still stuff there” between him and Robin left to tackle, added Bays. “As we get to the end of the series, we’re going to explore that a little more.”Follow @VladaGelman