If you’re a fan of How I met Your Mother and caught this week’s episode, you probably remember a cute scene involving Ted bemoaning his crappy love-life followed by a look into the very immediate future, showing his daughter being born. But before you cue the sniffles and the “awes”, you should know that the moment I just described really doesn’t have much to do with the plan for this season of HIMYM. Executive producer and co-creator Carter Bays spilled the beans on this season and its conclusion to Entertainment Weekly.
“We had a week of treading water, to be honest,” says Bays. “We have the arc of the season going, but this was one week where there wasn’t one, specific big event happening. We always get nervous about those kinds of episodes because you want to know that the story is moving forward.” So basically, they took a “step back,” and side-stepped the big issue in favor of a smaller one – though one that offers the series perspective. “We were really telling the story that a father probably should tell his kids because it was only 22 minutes as opposed to seven seasons,” he jokes.
Other tidbits you may have missed: Barney was sure to cover his left hand so we wouldn’t know whether or not he’s married in three years. That’s purposeful according to Bays, who wants you to concentrate on what they’re showing you, where you’re going, but not give everything away. Praising Neil Patrick Harris, Bays said, “He’s so good at making that look natural,” continuing, “He’s a magician; he’s good with his hands. He knows what he’s doing.”
Harris’s character, Barney Stinson, has always been known as a womanizer and lothario on How I Met Your Mother, but has been showing signs of a shift to monogamy in recent seasons. After a long-term relationship with Robin, he’s now living with Quinn, portrayed by Becki Newton, and things are moving fast. Too fast? “I think Barney is in love. At a certain age, you stop worrying about the pacing so much and you sort of realize you’re only on this planet a short time so you might as well be with the person you care about the most,” says Bays. “And I think that’s Quinn right now for Barney.”
But it’s all about breaking barriers. If you can accept your significant other when he or she breaks wind in front of you for the first time, you may have something, right? Bays thinks so, and it signals some emotional maturity in the character of Barney. “We put off having a fart sound effect on our show for seven years, and we did pretty well without it. And it was one of those things as a showrunner that you know two things right away: You’re going to be embarrassed that you’re doing it at the table read, and you know that in the final cut, it’s going to be the funniest moment and get a laugh,” he says. “And it’s not Blazing Saddles — cowboys sitting around eating beans — it’s actually a very real threshold to cross in a relationship. It’s a big relationship moment.”
Robin and Ted are still on the minds of fans as well, with many still trying to work out a theory that puts Robin and Ted together, making her the mother of his children or at least his wife (despite many in-show suggestions to the contrary). Bays is still playing up Robin and Ted drama after all this time, leaving many fans wondering why. His approach for this season of How I Met Your Mother is rooted in realism. “I feel like on this show we’ve gone as far as we can go where it’s just the gang hanging out at the bar week in and week out, with these big thing happen to them that don’t really change things. Ted and Robin have now reached the point where it’s not as simple as hanging out at the bar and forgetting the fact that Ted’s in love with her, and she’s not in love with him. It’s complicated.”
But to what end? “I feel like [there’s] a satisfying ending — the way it all wraps up as the season comes to a close.”
Do you watch How I Met Your Mother?