The How I Met Your Mother season 8 finale just aired – join our discussion and read the recap here!
As the season comes to a close, it’s important to notice the theme of this season: change. Tonight was no different. We see the gang in a transitional period. Ted is finishing the remodel on his house in West Chester, and Barney and Robin are putting the final touches on their first-dance routine (it involves backup dancers and confetti) for their wedding a week from that day.
When Barney and Robin go out to celebrate their impending nuptials, they make an arch nemesis out of fellow diners Kiristin (she says the ‘r’ is before the i, as well as after), played by Casey Wilson, and her boyfriend, played by Keegan-Micahel Kay. There’s something in both Robin and Barney’s personalities that work well together – their love for cigars, their scotch drinking – but it’s funny that it certainly didn’t start out that way. Over the years they’ve developed and become more compatible than other couples (Robin/Ted, for instance).
Throughout the night, Kiristin makes them put away their unsmoked-cigars at the bar and takes their special table by the window. Robin decides to sabotage Kiristin and her boyfriend of seven years by slipping her engagement ring into a champagne flute, making it seem like her boyfriend was proposing. After the mishap is straightened out, they’re initially furious but decide getting engaged was the right step anyways. Hooray for love!
Meanwhile, in an attempt to get Lily’s mind off the move to Rome and Marshal’s visit to Minnesota, Ted takes her on a trip out to his remodeled, yet unfurnished, house in West Chester. They have a fantastic friendship dynamic, but beyond a few select scenes, we haven’t seen them in plot lines exclusively together lately.
While looking around the house, Lily throws a nice meta shout-out to the longevity of the show, “[Your kids are] going to sit on a couch right here and listen to your boring stories,” and discovers a ‘for sale’ sign, and that’s when Ted let’s the other shoe drop – he is selling the house and moving to Chicago the day after Robin and Barney’s wedding. Lily, always perceptive, sees through Ted’s desire to find a soul mate in another city, and realizes just how in love he is with Robin, which is to say, a lot.
Over the seasons, Ted has become more and more cynical. Here he’s been on this great quest to find true love and has failed dozens of times over. At this point, we should understand his desire to start over anew.
In a nice call-back to a past episode when Lily pries, she asks, “Where’s the poop, Ted?” and learns about the locket incident from last week. As we learn in a flashback, Robin didn’t find the locket last week because she dug it up years ago with Lily, right before Robin moved to Japan when she got frustrated Ted wouldn’t marry her. These two move away from each other in hopes that putting thousands of miles between them will help bury their feelings. Hopefully, Ted’s move to Chicago will not happen once he meets the mother the night of Robin’s wedding.
The locket, a symbol for Robin’s marriage, as it happens, has been sitting on Ted’s desk all this time. And he’s going to give it to her as a wedding present – good or bad idea, readers?
While all that chaos is happening on the east coast, Marshal visits home in Minnesota with baby Marvin so his mother can see them before they leave for Rome, or so they all think. His mother has plans to either keep them on this continent, or go with them, and neither plan is okay with Lily.
A wrench is thrown into all the Rome plans, though, when something that has been widely speculated on the web happens. Marshal gets a call to be a last-minute replacement for a position on the judge’s bench. He refrains from telling Lily over the phone, though. He says it’s “face-to-face” news. Only thing is, he won’t get a chance to tell her until the day of Robin and Barney’s wedding. Something tells us we’re in for an eventful season 9 premiere.
As the gang gets ready to go to the wedding, we hear Ted say he’ll get back to the city that night by taking the train. Slowly, all the pieces start clicking into place. We see a woman get in line at the train station, donning boots (that Lily had said she will have in her size) and the yellow umbrella that’s been a clue since the first season or so.
The last shot of How I Met Your Mother‘s season is the face of the mother! A petite brunette, who Ted doesn’t actually meet in this episode, but with HIMYM we suppose you have to take what you can get. The mother is actress Cristin Milioti, pictured below:
Watch the momentous unveiling:
For someone who has stuck with this show since season 1 and was convinced Robin was the mother until Ted dropped “Aunt Robin” for the first time, this shot was immensely satisfying. The question is, will the character actually develop over the next season? Will she join the cast? Only time will tell.