Season 7 of How I Met Your Mother was all about solving mysteries, and I think most of us fans appreciated that. We all love the setups for future episodes, teasers and tricks, but we also really want to see how they play out. So, the writers accommodated us with quite a few legendary scenarios and problems solved this season. There were some less-than-satisfying solutions – *cough cough slutty pumpkin cough cough* – but for the most part things worked out as we hoped/expected they would. Here’s a breakdown of the seven mysteries solved in season seven, in order of when said mysteries were originally introduced. Sorry if it’s confusing, I got a little obsessive about the arrangement of the list. :)
1. The Slutty Pumpkin Returns – The Slutty Pumpkin, season 1 episode 6
2. Barney’s Bride – Challenge Accepted, season 6 episode 1
3. Eriksen Baby Name Game – Baby Talk, season 6 episode 6
4. Now We’re Even – The Mermaid Theory, season 6 episode 11
5. The Ducky Tie – The Best Man, season 7 episode 1
6. ♥ Marshall & Steph 4-Eva – The Naked Truth, season 7 episode 2
7. MacLaren’s Mystery Door (introduced online?)
Okay all, here are where the spoilers start!
1. The Slutty Pumpkin ended up being Katie Holmes. Cue the waaa-waaa letdown music. It isn’t necessarily the idea of Katie Holmes the actress that fans objected to, although that sure didn’t seem to go over well. Our main problem was simply the complete lack of chemistry between Ted and his long-awaited gourd girl. I was/am one of those fans that wants every little thing to line up perfectly. I wanted the mother to be the slutty pumpkin, and the “Milk” date, and the “No Tomorrow” bump girl, etc. I want all of these mysterious ladies to be one and the same, because, damn, that would be fun.
But alas, it was not to be with Ted and Naomi. Her strategically carved costume holes just weren’t enough to keep Ted interested, and I don’t blame him, because she was crazy awkward. It’s funny later, when you know how it all plays out, but it was almost painful to watch at times. On the plus side, though, the infamous Slutty Pumpkin has been eliminated from the potential mother pool. Thank God, because otherwise they could have down to the aisle to “One Week” by the Barenaked Ladies, and that might have been too much for me.
2. Barney’s bride is…Robin! Barney did propose to Quinn near the end of season 7, but the last image we see is Robin in a wedding dress. At a wedding where Barney is the groom. And they’re getting married, hooray! I was always really bothered by the idea of him marrying anyone else, so this makes me oh-so happy. :)
3. The newest member of the gang (or, as I call him, Mini MacLaren) was sans name while in the womb. I had my doubts about him being named after Marshall’s dad, Marvin, because I’m still convinced that Marshall’s brother’s son is named Marvin Jr. But it was pointed out to me that perhaps that child is named Martin (with a T) Jr, after Marshall’s brother Martin. Those “Ma” names get confusing, don’t they? Anyway, I guess some families have cousins with the same name? My extended family has a whole tradition of doubling down on names, so I get it.
But what of his middle name? I was rooting for the name Aldrin Marvin Eriksen, but that didn’t pan out. Thanks to a drunken agreement between Barney and Marshall, though, little Marv was blessed with the most awesomest of all middle names, ever. Wait for it…no really, you don’t have to wait, because THAT’S THE NAME. AND THAT IS BADASS! Marvin WaitForIt Eriksen is clearly destined to be the coolest kid in school.
4. “NOW we’re even!” is also known as “that time when Ted wore a dress”. Ted in the green dress was confusing, particularly as a flashback inserted into the wrong chronological point of a story. There was no explanation when we first saw his lovely ensemble, but season 7 was happy to oblige. Barney discovered the drawback of dating a stripper – every evening you’re plagued with the knowledge that she is currently grinding away on someone else’s lap.
He attempts to remedy this by concocting ways to “make every night legendary”, including exploits like starting a mariachi band, bringing a horse into the bar, and hoping to reunite Genesis. Anyway, Ted attempts the dare of picking up a woman while wearing a dress, both to cheer up Barney and to put both of them at equal levels of awesome points. Once he succeeds, he marches back into MacLaren’s and (regarding the aforementioned points) declares, “NOW we’re even!”
5. Ted mentions the Ducky Tie in a scene from Barney’s wedding preparation, but we have to jump back a bit to get the full story. It involves a highly elaborate ruse (devised by Barney, of course) towards the ultimate end goal of touching Lily’s boobs. This takes literally years of preparation, with Barney mentioning the restaurant “Shinjitsu” each time Marshall sneezes. Barney then disparages the restaurant in an effort to hide his practiced talents with teppanyaki cooking. And thus he hustles Marshall into betting Lily’s cleavage against Barney’s ability to slice and dice Japanese cuisine. The bet is amended several times, as Marshall and Lily try to discern exactly how tricky Barney is being. At the end, a Hail Mary is thrown when Lily flashes Barney. This causes him to mess up his dish, lose the bet, and be required to wear the ducky tie for a year.
6. ♥ Marshall & Steph 4-Eva refers to a t-shirt that we see Marshall wearing in a casino. This snippet is presented as a flash forward to when Lily is giving birth, and Marshall is inexplicably with Barney instead of at the hospital. We see him, wearing the odd shirt, and yelling “All hail Beercules!!!” Near the end of season 7, we discover that Lily has surreptitiously shipped Marshall off to Atlantic City for some pre-baby downtime. Marshall has gone pretty baby crazy, and he has the fake (watermelon) baby to prove it. Lily lures him to the car with promises of a baby boot camp seminar, and then switches Barney into the driver’s seat as soon as Marshall falls asleep. Which was immediately, because he’s so tired from his diligent care of the watermelon. When he awakes to find himself en route to the AC, Barney gives him a shirt that Lily packed. It celebrates the love between Marshall and his high school “girlfriend”, Steph, and it’s kinda an official symbol of Lily and Marshall fighting but still being in love. I say “girlfriend” because they were together for all of 2 days.
7. What’s behind that door? I am almost positive I saw a blog entry about the MacLaren’s mystery door a long time ago. Like at least a year. Now, of course, I can’t find it, but I still consider it as a mystery solved. The mystery, of course, being “what’s behind that door?” The answer is simple – it’s a supply closet. That didn’t stop Ted, Barney, Robin, and Lily from tricking Marshall into thinking it was a portal to another universe though! So, now all of the viewers are also aware of what this seldom-seen door actually leads to.
Season 7 left the major question unanswered – who is the mother? But in terms of the show’s title, we are actually quite clear as to HOW Ted meets the mother. We know that he meets her at Barney and Robin’s wedding. That’s a short but accurate answer to the titular question of this show. So that is, in itself, another bit of a mystery solved! Soon we will know who she is (I’m still betting it’s Carly Whittaker) and then HIMYM will move into a new era where the show is either off the air, or has all the cards on the table.