As any regular viewer of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother well knows, the show’s May 16 season finale includes a wedding. Yes, these are the nuptials that were teased in this season’s premiere back in September, but we still don’t know who’s getting married — it could be Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) or Robin (Cobie Smulders) or even Ted’s (Josh Radnor) pal Punchy (Chris Romano). Alas, there’s a bigger question that stems from the impending nuptials, one that has been bouncing around the rumor mill: Are we also going to meet the mother in the season finale’s wedding on May 16? Well, here’s your answer:
Despite what you’ve heard, the short answer is… no. You won’t be meeting the mother on May 16 because we don’t actually see much of the wedding — viewers will actually just see a brief, wedding-prep scene that reveals one half of who is tying the knot. Then, cameras will quickly cut to black for the summer. But this is the wedding where we will indeed meet the mother, as was promised in the season premiere.
Confused yet? Here’s the explanation: This wedding, as you probably guessed, is set a year ahead of the show’s present, meaning we’re at least one full season (but very likely more) away from meeting the girl with the yellow umbrella. This final scene, however, does set things into motion for the series’ eventual endgame. “We can’t really talk about how long that endgame is going to play out, but this finale sets the ducks in a row for everything we’re going to see after it,” HIMYM creator Carter Bays explains, “leading up to Ted meeting the mother.”
Says star Jason Segel of the long route to the wedding: “I think what people will be most curious about is how did we get from A to B.” In fact, that journey — from May 16’s season-finale peek at who’s getting married to the TBD ceremony itself — is what will make up the bulk of the show’s seventh season. Beyond that, Bays is tight-lipped about when we’ll actually meet Ted’s wife. As usual.
The road to the finale begins tonight, as the first of the show’s last three episodes for this season airs at 8 p.m.
For more on How I Met Your Mother‘s big wedding and the season overall, pick up the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, which is on stands now.
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky