Andy Pham ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff
The closing seconds of last spring’s season finale of How I Met Your Mother had America on its toes as… drumroll, please… the long awaited identity of the show’s titular “Mother” was finally revealed! With her signature yellow umbrella along with a bass guitar case, the mother, played by Cristin Milioti, stood at the ticket counter to purchase a ticket to Farhampton, Long Island, the location of Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin’s (Cobie Smulders) wedding, and it’s only a matter of time before she is led to the longtime loveless Ted (Josh Radnor).
Cristin Milioti has made her claim to fame as a stage actress on the Broadway musical Once, and can be seen alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the upcoming film, Wolf of Wall Street.
Last night’s premiere of the ninth and final season of How I Met Your Mother opened up where last spring left off: Barney and Robin are off to Farhampton for their wedding; Marshall (Jason Segal) is offered a judgeship, just as he and Lily are planning their move to Italy, and Ted drives to Farhampton with Robin’s locket in his backseat, resisting the urge to upstage her fiancé/his best friend Barney as her Prince Charming.
In the kick-off to what has been revealed as a season spanning over the course of the entire wedding weekend, many questions popped up, some more head-scratching than others: Will Marshall take the ultimate opportunity of his career? Are Barney and Robin—wait for it—blood related? And lastly, who is going to be the wild card at Barney and Robin’s wedding? Here’s a hint: it’s not going to be “Racist Uncle Victor.”
In the first half of the season’s one-hour opener, Marshall, on his way to New York from Minnesota for the wedding, finds crisis upon boarding his flight: his mother has revealed to social media of his judgeship, open for the public—including Lily, who is still in the dark—to discover. Marshall, refusing to shut off his phone until his technologically incompetent mother removes the image from the Internet, causes a scene onboard with the flight attendants, and is kicked off flight. Of course, in the television tradition of unpleasant neighbor passengers, Marshall finds himself in head-to-head battle with Daphne (Sherri Shepherd), the woman who sat next to him, who too was kicked off the flight from conflict with Marshall.
Meanwhile, Lily and Ted are driving to Farhampton for the wedding, as she tries to prevent Ted from going to the wedding with hopes of returning Robin’s locket. But wait—does she open her notification of a picture revealing Marshall’s judgeship? Yeeeeeeee… No. She decides to ignore it and prevent her mother-in-law from guilt-tripping her from the impending move to Italy. Eventually, Ted and Lily argue to the point where Lily finds herself on the train, only a couple seats away from none other than the Mother.
At the time, Barney and Robin are in the limo to Farhampton, driven by (who else but) Ranjit! The two are happily in bliss and love, discussing the possible wild cards guests who could ruin their wedding. However, upon the mention of their individual cousins named Mitch (described as having six fingers total), the two face a question: is it possible the two are (gulp) blood-related? This realization is soon followed by a hysterical series of telepathic thought exchanges between Barney and Robin, as they try to make peace with their situation until a solid answer is provided. After a slowly built up and awkwardly fast peck on the lips, the phone finally rings! AND HOORAY! The two share no DNA, as Mitch was adopted! As Barney puts it, his and Robin’s marriage will be simply “legendary,” because with her by his side, there is no reason to wait any longer.
On the train to Farhampton, the Mother graciously shares her cookies with a panicking Lily, and instantly the two hit it off. The first clue? They both call her cookies “Sumbitches.” Already we can see clues that the Mother is Ted’s soul mate. As revealed through a series of humorous “freeze and Older Ted narration” bits, they are practically the same person. With the Mother calming Lily down, she finally decides to open her notification, only to find it has been deleted.
(You have baby Marvin to thank for that, who miraculously deletes the photo with a single touch off Marshall’s laptop at the airport.)
And that, everyone, is how Lily met the Mother.
In the second half of the season opener, Marshall, with baby Marvin Waitforit Eriksen, is competing against Daphne for transportation to New York. After he miraculously beats her to the head of the line for a rental car, his environmental conscious gets the best of him, alongside his naivety, to lend the car to Daphne on account of it being a “Monstrosity”—a car famed for being environmentally unfriendly. Of course, not without giving her some cash first. And with his ultimate faith in the good of humanity, he sits on the sidewalk, waiting upon Daphne’s arrival.
Meanwhile, with everyone arriving in Farhampton, Lily is making sure that Ted will not ruin the wedding, and what do you know? Ted does not give Robin the locket, but instead a photo of the gang, taken eight years ago during the series’ first season at MacLaren’s. At least even Ted realizes his faults and impulsive behavior, admitting that he understands Lily’s concerns given his history.
Lily, realizing that Marshall is arriving late to Farhampton, is to make sure that she spends the weekend with a drink in her hands—at all time. Luckily she has bartender Linus right by her side (literally) to take care of that. Thank you, one-hundred-dollar bill tip.
Barney’s brother James (Wayne Brady) is of course here for the wedding. However, missing is his husband Tom and their baby. It seems that the only marriage that has given Barney faith in the idea of matrimony (sorry Lily and Marshall) has deteriorated, due to James’ infidelity. Of course, Robin has to make sure Barney would not find out this bombshell before they tie the knot. But who is there to spill the beans? Good ol’ drunk Lily. Thankfully, Barney proves himself a good man, staying true to his commitments without any cold feet. In fact, the biggest drag is that he now has to fix up James’ suite, which he had set up with sculpted nude cakes of James and his now ex-husband. At least he and Robin can now “nibble on his brother’s dong together.”
In the midst of all things, Ted can’t seem to escape his single stigma, even at the Farhampton Inn. There to remind him is nosy and overly sentimental hotel clerk Curtis (Desperate Housewives and Revenge’s Roger Bart) constantly telling him that he is, indeed, booked in a single room. In an emotional and heartwarming scene flash-forwarding to Ted and the Mother’s one-year anniversary in Farhampton, he reveals that present day Ted made a promise to himself that within a year, he would take the love of his life to Farhampton. Clearly, the promise is fulfilled.
Let’s face it: we were all worried that after an eight-year build up, we would not like the Mother that has been promised to Ted all this time. However, Milioti’s charisma and charming portrayal of Ted’s quirky soon-to-be soul mate has won us over, and I personally cannot wait to see where this season will take us. She has proven herself to be thoughtful, generous, and has already hit it off with one of Ted’s best friends! All I can say is, so far, the character has been worth the wait.
This season is kicking off with a promising start. With a challenging concept of spanning a season over the course of a single weekend, the writers have shown they have plenty in store. With a wedding that has been in the making for the past eight seasons, surely this is going to be a weekend to remember, and I’m anticipating all the antics the gang will be up to before Robin and Barney tie the knot. If they do.
We have plenty of questions we want answers to. Who is the next of the gang the Mother will encounter? Will Barney and Robin actually go through with the wedding? How is Lily going to react to Marshall’s news when (or if) she finds out? Will he take the job? Most importantly, how is Ted going to meet the mother?
All will be answered this season, and we are on the edge of our seats waiting to find out. Catch all-new episodes of the final season of How I Met Your Mother on CBS, Mondays at 8/7c.