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:

How I Met Your Mother actress

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.

What did you guys think of the ‘HIMYM’ season 8 finale?

After all that talk of inclusivity, Star Trek Beyond falls into the Hollywood trap of implied sexuality.

Mild spoilers for Star Trek Beyond.

Star Trek Beyond, already a wildly anticipated movie, made headlines ahead of its release because of the franchise’s decision to introduce the first openly LGBT character: Mr Sulu, played by John Cho.

While this decision was certainly met with excitement, there was disappointment, too. The original Mr Sulu, George Takei, openly voiced his opinion that they should have introduced a new LGBT character rather than expand on original canon (as they have been the whole trilogy), while Simon Pegg beautifully argued that there was power in using an established character who wouldn’t be defined by his sexuality.

Then came the movie itself, and while the introduction of gay Sulu is still a great thing, we’re left sorely disappointed by Beyond‘s decision to depict the LGBT relationship — or rather, hardly depict it at all.

As reported by our friends at The Mary Sue, the scene featuring Sulu and his husband Ben depicts a “lukewarm” relationship, although Sulu is very affectionate with the pair’s daughter.

This is, unfortunately, a common problem in Hollywood when an LGBT couple — almost impossibly — makes it into a big franchise film. They’re allowed to be there, but having any kind of physical interaction even remotely resembling what a heterosexual couple might have still seems to be off-limits.

Related: Hollywood is failing the LGBT community: GLAAD slams Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros.

And, according to John Cho, there was actually a kiss filmed. “There was a kiss that I think is not there anymore,” he told Collider. “It wasn’t like a make-out session. We’re at the airport with our daughter. It was a welcome-home kiss. I’m actually proud of that scene, because it was pretty tough.”

Cho points out that Ben was played by a non-actor, writer Doug Jung, and says, “Obviously, I just met the kid, and then Doug is not an actor. I just wanted that to look convincingly intimate. We’re two straight guys and had to get to a very loving, intimate place. It was hard to do on the fly. We had to open up. It came off well, in my view.”

And we wish we could have seen it. Introducing a major LGBT character in the Star Trek franchise is a fantastic first step, and depicting two POC actors raising a child together is a great statement — but, unfortunately, the decision to cut out their kiss (which was already chaste, by the sounds of it) is emblematic of Hollywood’s continuous phobia of depicting LGBT relationships and intimacy on the big screen.

As Screen Crush also points out, this exact same scenario played out in Independence Day: Resurgence, too. In Finding Dory, the lesbian couple are only implied, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sequence.

LGBT representation (when present at all) is always so subtle, evidently in fear of offending straight audiences while not totally erasing non-straight sexualities. And, sadly, even that is considered a big step forward — but maybe it’s time we start depicting humanity as it is, and not what society wished it was 100 years ago.

Here’s looking at you, Star Wars.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reviews from theater critics are glowing, so when the hell can Americans get a chance to see the play in New York?

With just days to go until The Cursed Child script book is released around the world, The New York Post’s theater reporter has spoken to sources who say the play will be coming to Broadway sooner rather than later. Producers are currently holding discussions to bring the play to NY as early as 2017.

They haven’t yet announced a Broadway engagement for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” but New York theater people say it’s only a matter of time. Word is that Friedman and Callender are in negotiations for a Shubert theater possibly for next season. They may hit Toronto first, however.

The idea of The Cursed Child hitting Broadway so soon (“next season” could mean around May 2017) will come as a relief to American Harry Potter fans who would rather not travel overseas to see “the eighth story” (though it’s a little more affordable to do so right now thanks to #Brexit). It also speaks to this important fact: It’s important to see The Cursed Child rather than reading it.

If the show does go to Toronto first as The New York Post suggests it might, a trip to Canada would also be easier for Americans. Sorry, people who don’t live in North America.

This writer saw the play in June and absolutely loved the characters and magic happening on stage. But the story is… not the best. I’m very eager to see what fans, myself included, think of the story after reading the script book this weekend.

For her part, Rowling has promised that fans around the world will get to see the play. Only time will tell if she’s hinting at a movie or a world tour:

If ‘Cursed Child’ comes to Broadway next year, will you try to see it ASAP?

The West End production currently has dates running into May 2017, but additional dates are expected to go on sale in early August.

Present day Han Solo may’ve left the main Star Wars series after the events of The Force Awakens, but the character’s time in movie theaters is far from over.

The new Han Solo film from Lucasfilm — scheduled to hit theaters in May 2018 — might turn into a trilogy for the reluctant hero, according to the New York Daily News.

The paper reports that star Alden Ehrenreich has signed a three-picture deal, suggesting that the studio intends to expand the Han Solo spinoff into a trilogy. “They feel that his character has the right potential to become a central figure in several movies,” a source told NY Daily News. “They’re keeping things under wraps at the moment, but the deal is that he has signed for at least three movies.”

This makes a lot of sense given the popularity of the character coupled with his absence in Episode 8 and beyond. We also know that Lucasfilm and Disney have many, many grand plans for Star Wars in the years ahead: The very first Star Wars theatrical spinoff, Rogue One, opens later this year. Episode 8 then hits theaters a year later (2017), followed by Han Solo’s own movie (2018). Next comes Episode 9 in 2019, followed by yet another spinoff reportedly focused on Boba Fett in 2020.

As for 2021 and beyond? Only time will tell, but we expect more movies set in the worlds of The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and now Han Solo.

The Han Solo spinoff will be directed by LEGO Movie helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. They’re currently deep into pre-production, as this tweet from Lord this morning shows:

“This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with,” the directors said last July. “We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.”