How I Met Your Mother managed to satisfy two groups of fans in one fell swoop.
For years, fans have disagreed about when The Mother (Cristin Milioti) should be introduced and how much we should see of her. Some wanted Ted (Josh Radnor) to meet her early and to see them as a couple, while others preferred the meet-and-cut-to-black series finale route. Last week's season premiere contained the best of both worlds: present-day, lonely, single Ted, who has still yet to meet the love of his life, juxtaposed with a flash-forward of the future Mr. and Mrs. Mosby being adorably sweet together.
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"[Writing The Mother] was something we had so much trepidation about," co-creator and executive producer Carter Bays tells TVGuide.com. "But the way Cristin has inhabited the character, integrating The Mother into the story has kind of been a breeze."
He adds: "We're all kind of amazed at how naturally she has fit into the world of the show."
The Mother also appears to be a perfect fit for Ted, what with their dorky humor, shared love of driving gloves and admiration of belt inventor Florian Van Oderloo. While Bays says it's important to show why the two are each other's missing halves, he promises that it won't always be rainbows and googly eyes.
"Their life after they meet won't be perfect. How could it be?" he says. "Even 'happily ever after' has some bumps in the road, and we'll see them."
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Those bumps most likely won't be in the eighth episode, though, which Milioti has described as "really heartwarming and very, very exciting," and believes "fans will love it." Bays concurs that it's a "can't-miss" and would only tease that it will feature another flash-forward with Ted and The Mother. The episode is titled "The Lighthouse" — aka the sightseeing locale that hotel clerk Curtis (Roger Bart) told Lily (Alyson Hannigan) is "so romantic." Might that be where Ted proposes?
Speaking of episode titles, Bays reveals that the show's landmark 200th episode later this season is titled "How Your Mother Met Me," but declines to share more. The possibilities, of course, include it being an episode from The Mother's perspective recapping her journey to meeting Ted — or they could actually, finally meet! "You'll have to watch and see!" he says.
But before Ted and The Mother can lock eyes on each other on that train platform, he has to resolve whatever unresolved feelings he has for Robin (Cobie Smulders). Though Ted didn't give the locket back to Robin last week, a flashback revealed him buying a plane ticket to go to Los Angeles to find it — which had ended up in Stella's (Sarah Chalke) possession — and Future Ted half-ominously telling his kids that you never know who the wild card will be at a wedding.
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"Well, first of all, we don't want to get ahead of ourselves and say Ted is necessarily the wild card just yet — there's a long season ahead of us!" Bays says. "But yes, Ted has embarked on a journey to find the locket. Whether or not he actually found it will be revealed in due time."
Also to be revealed in due time? The Mother's name. But does she even have one?
"Nope, she's untitled," Bays quips. "Well, technically her name is a series of runes, like that Led Zeppelin album. No, I'm just kidding. She has a name and we'll find out what it is eventually."
How I Met Your Mother airs at 8/7c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)
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