One thing you can always count on with How I Met Your Mother is that creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas know how to kick off a season right. If that’s not hint enough, spoilers from here on in! The two co-wrote the first two episodes of season 8, and it truly does seem as if they’re planning for this year to be the last. 8×01 “Farhampton” set us in three different timelines:
1) Ted sitting at the Farhampton train station where we now know he will cross paths with The Mother (!!)
2) Before that, Ted helping Robin get over her nerves of marrying Barney
3) And even before that, the present day where Ted and Victoria are running off into the sunset; Marshall and Lily are sleep-deprived with baby Marvin; and we see the Robin/Barney/Quinn love triangle start amping up.
And while I’m psyched that the end of the episode showed how clearly Robin and Barney still love each other, with her crying over his box of stuff even though she has her hot boyfriend Nick (Michael Trucco)… Come on, obviously the most monumental part of 8×01 was the scene “a little ways down the road” where Ted and The Mother are mere steps from each other!
We don’t know why Ted is sitting at the Farhampton train station after Barney and Robin’s wedding alone in the rain, but it doesn’t bode well for them. Could Ted have walked out of the reception, or the ceremony itself? Does the bride or groom get cold feet, forever causing a schism in the group? HIMYM‘s weddings are always bittersweet: For the reception where Ted first met Victoria, you can never forget Marshall and Lily’s nuptials where he and Robin revealed that they had broken up two weeks prior. So I’m incredibly worried for Robin and Barney.
Or maybe everything is happy but it still sets Ted off, because it finally sets in how he still hasn’t met his soulmate and he feels like a fifth wheel. We’ll certainly find that out by season’s end, but for now let’s finally focus on The Mother. In the span of twenty seconds, we learned about as much about her as we have in seven seasons’ time. You can refresh your memory here, but now we’re going through that final sequence shot by shot.
She takes a cab from the wedding. In “Girls vs. Suits” we learned that The Mother is Cindy’s roommate; Ted notices all of her belongings around the apartment and notes that he’d be compatible with whoever owns all this stuff. (I also just realized that if she is leaving the wedding as well, then things couldn’t have gone so badly.) Since the wedding isn’t too far in the future, The Mother is likely still in college. Which would explain why…
She was playing the reception. At Cindy’s apartment, we noted The Mother’s bass guitar; here, the cabbie reminds her not to forget it in the trunk. My guess is that, as a starving college student, she was supplementing her income playing in the band at the reception. That also solves the mystery of how she’s at the wedding, since it seems unlikely that neither Robin nor Barney would a) know a girl in her early 20s unless she were family, and b) have not introduced her to Ted already.
She likes funky shoes. Again, this matches with the age, and of course it was to show us again the ankles that we glimpsed in “Girls vs. Suits.” Considering how much meaning Bays and Thomas put on visuals, I wonder if we’ll be expected to remember these T-strap heels for futures.
Ted is reading a book. Again, speaking of visuals, I’m sure there’s some meaning behind Ted’s reading material. He probably gets it from the old woman he tells the story to, after he exhausts that narrative. Try as I might to freeze-frame, I couldn’t make out the title. Anyone else have any luck?
She’s carrying the yellow umbrella. In “Girls vs. Suits,” Ted accidentally leaves The Mother’s yellow umbrella at Cindy’s apartment, so we know it gets back into her hands. And when the writers introduced the Barney/Robin wedding in last season’s premiere “Big Days,” Ted tells Marshall that he forgot an umbrella and it’s raining.
Now that we’ve seen so much of The Mother, I’m kinda scared that Bays and Thomas will hide her away again. And because so many times we’ve watched Ted pass her in the street obliviously, it would be so easy for him not to look up in this scene. You’d think he might recognize “his” lost umbrella, but it’s just as likely that this is not the scene where they technically meet.
We’ll just have to wait out season 8! Please share your own theories or other hints you might’ve picked up, in the comments!
.gif: iamwalp on Tumblr