The last two episodes of How I Met Your Mother’s eighth season may be titled “Something Old” (airing May 6 and featuring the return of Robin’s dad, played by Ray Wise) and “Something New” (May 13), but don’t assume that means we’ll finally see the long-anticipated nuptials of Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders). “I don’t want to necessarily promise the wedding,” executive producer Carter Bays says. “It’s more complex than that.”
What Bays does promise is a “fantastic bachelor party” for Barney on the April 29 episode of the CBS comedy and “some earth-shaking events in the finale, including some new tidbits about the mother.”
The finale takes place during the week leading up to the scheduled wedding: Barney and Robin connect in a sweet way; Marshall takes his first trip with baby Marvin to see Grandma in Minnesota; Lily gets offered a new job; and Ted makes a big decision that “will end the series as we know it,” Bays says. “We’re going to be taking some surprising risks with time. The finale is almost like a pilot for the new series that the ninth [and final] season becomes.”
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Alright, let’s break this business down.
“I don’t want to necessarily promise the wedding,” executive producer Carter Bays says. “It’s more complex than that.”
W. T. F. I’m assuming this is them being deliberately coy, because the alternative is that we can’t trust what the writers have said in the past. Take this TVGuide.com article from July 18th, 2011:
TVGuide: So Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) does get married, right?
Craig Thomas: Barney does get married. It’s not the smoothest wedding day, but it’s epic — truly epic.
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Next we skip on ahead to May 15th, 2012:
TVGuide: Everyone noticed in the 2015 flash-forward in “Trilogy Time” that we can’t see Barney’s left ring finger.
Thomas: Very intentionally done that way. One of those little moments where you realize what a good actor Neil Patrick Harris is because he can somehow make hiding his left hand seem perfectly natural. We don’t want to give away too much. Remember: Barney and Robin’s wedding won’t be smooth, but they will get married.
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And then there’s this article from December 16th, 2012: (NOTE – this was before season 9 was confirmed, so Carter Bays was speaking as though the show might have ended with the season 8 finale)
TVGuide: And he’s going to propose to Patrice. Is he really or is it all a ploy and he’s proposing to Robin?
Bays: Well, Barney’s always a sneaky guy. But Barney is moving very quickly with Patrice, and their relationship comes to a boiling point this episode. But we know he won’t marry Patrice. We know that the series ends with Barney and Robin getting married. That’s the one we can’t hide, but we’ve concocted a windy route of them getting there.
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Sooo…wtf, man? Are the scenes of Robin and her dad dancing at the reception a ruse? Is this a wedding that doesn’t actually happen, but then another one does? Has it al been a ruse?? I don’t like any of this business whatsoever. Let’s review the other info in this article also, because I’m not sure how I feel about all of it:
The finale takes place during the week leading up to the scheduled wedding: Barney and Robin connect in a sweet way; Marshall takes his first trip with baby Marvin to see Grandma in Minnesota; Lily gets offered a new job; and Ted makes a big decision that “will end the series as we know it,” Bays says.
Lily has already been offered a new job with The Captain, so I’m assuming that’s what this is referring to. Unless she gets yet another new job offer? Barney and Robin connecting in a sweet way could be when Robin agrees that he should keep his apartment, because she loves him for who he is. We still haven’t seen Marshall and Marvin visit Minnesota, so that should be coming soon.
As for Ted’s big decision…it could have already happened, or it might not have. It may have been when he was sitting amidst the ruins of Abby’s destruction, and deciding not to date anymore. The whole series has been centered around him trying to find the one, so this was a big, defining moment for him. But there could be an even bigger moment ahead! I just don’t know!
Also – “the finale takes place during the week leading up to the scheduled wedding”. Sooo the wedding doesn’t actually happen in season 8 finale? Do we see anything from it at all? More importantly, will Ted (will any of us!?) meet The Mother this May? Chronologically speaking, Barney and Robin are to be married on May 25, 2013. In the recent episode “The Time Travelers” (S8E20), Ted discusses how he is just 45 days away from meeting The Mother. That episode was set in early April, 2013, so the timing lines up. But will the timing hold true for us viewers, or just the characters? I don’t know!
Please tell me your thoughts – I need some input on this :)