Season 8, Episode 24
After an eight-year pregnancy, the Mother was born into the world, on this day, the thirteenth of May, 2013. Just like actual labor, it was at once both exciting and terrifying (or so I am told). And there were times we never thought it would happen. My only fear now is a final season of post-partum depression as we face the reality of what is on the other side of such intense anticipation. But we still get to look forward to TED meeting his future wife and their courtship, and that makes me happy. Regardless, it is a bittersweet moment to actually see the face and hear the voice of perhaps the most elusive and anticipated character in television history. Things will never be the same. But that is a very good thing for Ted.
For a finale that aired in two parts over two weeks with wedding-y names like “Something Old” and “Something New,” we did not get any more actual glimpses of the infamous Scherbatsky-Stinson wedding. But, I am going to let that slide because tonight’s finale was so jam-packed with cliffhangers, I almost forgot about the actual nuptials.
Robin and Barney head to a sentimental restaurant to toast the end of wedding planning. With the big day just one week away, the two seem perfectly in synch. Barney even brings their favorite cigars to enjoy after dinner, but another obnoxious couple proceeds to ruin the mood of the evening. After putting the cigars away and getting stuck at a table next to the kitchen door, Robin and Barney agree that the only thing that could still make this night magical is to diabolically mess with Krirsten (yes, that is an ‘r’ both before and after the ‘i’) and her equally snooty boyfriend. Let’s pause just one moment to mention that Krirsten is played by the wonderful Casey Wilson, also known as Penny Hart on the sadly just-cancelled Happy Endings. Tear. Overall, this story line doesn’t do too much other than fill time before Robin and Barney walk down the aisle and once again emphasizes that they behave like two peas in a pod. But will that be enough for a happily ever after? I certainly hope they get legen-married, because I totally want to see their choreographed first dance, complete with chorus line and confetti.
Lily accidentally spills the beans about the big move to Rome to Judy, Marshall’s mother. Apparently Marshall had not planned to tell her…and instead just come visit at Christmas. Upon learning of this big move, Judy insists that she get some quality grandson time. Marshall heads off to Minnesota with cutie Marvin in tow, and some crushed nuts thanks to his brother. As Lily grows concerned that her hubby will be talked out of Italy by his over-protective mother, he consistently reassures her that Rome is happening. Until…a twist that I did not see coming. It’s funny because I have been waiting for some excuse that would keep Marshall and Lily in NYC—or maybe perhaps a time jump one year into the future when the show returns next season—but tonight we got a new wrench thrown into their plans that harkens back to much earlier this season, something I had totally forgotten. Marshall had applied to be a New York State judge so that he could really make a difference and affect change. Mr. Belding was on the judge panel in fact. Well, while home in Minnesota, Marshall gets a call offering him an open judge seat. And despite Marshall lawyering the man in true Marshall fashion, the job starts a week from Tuesday, not a year from Tuesday as he would like. So now we have both Lily and Marshall presented with incredible, once-in-a-lifetime career opportunities…and not both can happen. With Marshall’s brother calling him “your honor,” it sounds like Marshall has a huge announcement to delicately break to his wife. But Marshall is not the only one with major, life-changing news…
Sans baby + husband, a solo Lily is ready for a night on the town with her bud, Teddy Westside. But Ted has other plans—he needs to put some finishing touches on his refurbished house out in Westchester, and he wants Lily to see the final work. It is so good it is like Ryan Gosling’s house in The Notebook. Lily is truly amazed at what Ted accomplished (and we see the final den that we know and love from the year 2030) but she is even more shocked to see a for sale sign. When she asks Ted why he would put his beloved house on the market, he tells her that he will be moving to Chicago, a city perfect for him because it is like a Cleveland-y New York. Yes, apparently Ted has quietly made the arrangements to move to Chicago the day after the wedding…and Lily smells the poop. At first she thinks it is because he still hasn’t found ‘the one,’ but she quickly realizes it is actually because it will be too hard for him to stick around and see one of his best bros married to the woman he thought could have been the one.
When Ted fills Lily in on the missing locket from last week, Lily actually knows about the locket and even where it is. She recalls a hilariously drunk Robin (Cobie Smulders really does a great drunk) not long before Ted’s impending marriage to Stella in 2008. Past Robin was so upset that Ted was about to marry another woman, she dug up her ‘something old’ and wanted to hide it in her butt, like her grandmother did in war! But instead Lily placed it in a pencil box…that apparently Ted still has. Now Ted knows what to give Robin for her wedding, but we feel Lily’s concern that Ted is setting himself up for more heartbreak with that kind of gift.
One Ticket to Farhampton
It is two days before the wedding and everyone heads out in planes (Marshall), cars (Lily and Ted) and limos (Robin, Barney…and Ranjit!!) to Farhampton for the celebration weekend. This entire ending montage was fabulous, as each person expressed so much emotion in their facial expressions. Lots of potential new beginnings, secret news, and the fear and excitement that comes with those things.
But little does Ted know that on her way to the train station at that moment is his future wife, who we shall simply call Mother for now. We see boots and a guitar walk up to the ticket window. Then we see the yellow umbrella. And then we see a face. And she speaks! “One ticket to Farhampton, please!”
Eight years in the making. And it makes me a little sad to know this journey is coming to an end. But I am so glad that we didn’t get some big-name actress casting stunt. Going with a more obscure actress (Cristin Milioti) without ‘baggage’ was the right move in my book. This means we will get to know her just like Ted will. And I am excited for that…and for the final season.
P.S. If I was that actress—selected to play the long-awaited Mother—I don’t know how I would have kept that secret so well these past few months. Granted, I know the actress would be sued to kingdom come for telling people….but that would be one “mother”-f-ing secret 🙂 Also, here is a nice Q&A with Bays and Thomas about the Mother of all reveals.