Josh Radnor, Thomas Lennon Josh Radnor, Thomas Lennon

[SPOILER ALERT: The following story reveals major plot points from the How I Met Your Mother Season 8 premiere. Read at your own risk.]

The end is nigh.

That's what How I Met Your Mother co-creator/co-executive producer Craig Thomas hopes fans get out of the Season 8 premiere's much-anticipated "gasp" moment: The titular mother — bass guitar and yellow umbrella in hand — standing 15 feet away from Ted (Josh Radnor) on the platform of a train station after Barney and Robin's future wedding.

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You said Ted will have a final fling after Victoria before he meets the mom, which a lot of fans weren't too excited about.
I would be upset with us too! [Laughs] But it is just a fling. We're not asking the audience to fall head over heels with his dates, so Ted's romantic escapades between Victoria and the mother will be for comedy and to spin him toward that ending. We do have Abby Elliott. She's a crazy chick who comes into the group's lives and complicates things. But Victoria is the last significant love interest for him.

Is Chris Elliott going to be in the same episodes?
[Laughs] Chris comes around as grandpa Mickey in the third episode. Abby's not in that. Lily and Marshall have to deal with the presence of Lily's deadbeat dad. We think it's a true observation that once you have a kid, you have to redefine your relationship with your own parents. The door is open for Mickey to come back later in the season. I don't want to say if we'll have a Chris and Abby Elliott family reunion on the show, but it'd be cool if we did.

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Did you enjoy the glimpse of the "mother"? How would you like this season's breakups to go down?

How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.