'How I Met Your Mother' News: Ted Meets 'Mother' WHEN?
(WARNING! Though the headline pretty well suggests it, let's just state it with unmistakable directness: If you haven't caught mostly up with the seventh and most current season of "How I Met Your Mother," this bulletin MAY contain some SPOILERS. Our suggestion? Mosey over here, take a good long refresher course, then come back and read both this piece and the one linked to it. Cool? Cool.)
Starting from the very first episode ending with a smirking fake-out that sets straight from the get-go what could've been a garden variety, aggravating "Will they or won't they?" scenario and lays out the CBS hit's unconventional ground rules in no uncertain terms, "How I Met Your Mother" has kept fans off-balance, stumbling, and fumbling over speculation. Meticulous continuity and end-around callbacks evoke a constant faith from within its audience (never unrewarded) that co-creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays really do know exactly what they're doing and where they're headed, and have from inception.
Bays and Thomas know their Point A. They know their Point B. They know every scrap of ground in between. There's just never been any intention of a straight line. They lead their crew and cast, they know the map better than by heart, but they've burned it and scattered the ashes to be sure they're the ones.
Case in point? According to The Huffington Post, take the whiteboard outside Thomas' Fox Studios office in Los Angeles. The board outlines the entire season, but concludes regarding Machiavellian horn-dog bachelor Barney Stinson's (Neil Patrick Harris) wedding: "____ is the bride."
Thomas knows. Bays knows. We don't know. But they do. So it's cool.
As has been previously revealed in a season past, this also marks the moment that love-lorn lead - not to mention, mildly unreliable narrator - Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor/an uncredited Bob Saget, in each episode's flashback-voiceover narration) at long last meets "Mother."
Well . . . . recall that trust thing?
According to The Huffington Post, not necessarily. That shouldn't be surprising at all.
Recall that aforementioned fake-out? 'Twas a harbinger. Ted's remembrance of the episode-consuming manic first date concludes with Saget's now legen . . .
Wait for it . . .
. . .
. . . DARY narration "And that's how I met . . .
...your Aunt Robin (Cobie Smulders)."
That first of many diversions off the expected path? It didn't go over so well. Not at first, anyway.
Thomas and Bays didn't exactly get rave reviews over that moment, but Radnor feels they've more than paid back the patience of those who've hung tough.
"I always thought the frustration about it was a little misplaced," Radnor said. "There's so much to enjoy beyond the central conceit of the show that I always felt like, 'Relax.' If he meets the mother, the series is done, so if you like the series you should be waiting. Enjoy the wait. Maybe this whole series is some grand lesson in patience for people. It certainly is for Ted."
It's a funny, dichotomous time for the show.
The 150th episode was only recently completed, which features Ted and Barney's married pals Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) leaving New York City for the suburbs at long last. More importantly, up 19 percent over last season, ratings have hit a series high seven years deep into the show's run. It's achieved syndication deals with both lady-loving Lifetime and more testosterone-y FX - respectively, the home of horrible Valerie Bertinelli movies and one of the new basic-cable homes of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. This is a TV sitcom's equal to Jack LaLanne busting out geriatric one-arm push-ups.
This just isn't something that happens.
"There's almost no scientific explanation and we couldn't have counted on that," Thomas said.
All of that being said, that doesn't mean the ones who make the show don't feel at least some sands trickling down the hourglass.
The cast remains signed only through May 2013. Thomas and Bays need decisions soon regarding whether the core four will be back. Thomas recently even told TVLine outright, without ever tipping whether or not he expects that the eighth season could be the last, that Saget won't narrate the series finale, but Radnor.
That's "Mother" for you: always knowing where the exits are. Still, one thing will ultimately be proven certain, and that is that Season Seven's end tipped how it all resolves - whenever that happens.
"It's kind of a momentous thing to say," Thomas said. "Because it retired one of the tricks on this show that we had milked for half a decade, which was that any girl that Ted bumped into anywhere could be the mother. Last year we said we'd done that enough."
How I Met Your Mother