Season 8 of How I Met Your Mother started with Ted sitting at the Farhampton train station “a little ways down the road” on the day of Barney and Robin’s wedding day. An elderly woman asks him what about the wedding he came from. He starts telling her about it and the scene flashes back to 10 hours earlier to the scene where we find out Robin is the bride. She tells Ted she is having a crisis and he tries to calm her down.
Cue to the present where Season 7 left off: Barney and Quinn getting engaged. Quinn quickly asks Robin and Lily to her bridesmaids, which Robin finds weird as she used to date Barney. She talks to Barney about this and he tells her that Quinn has no idea that they used to date. Quinn finds out about it and threatens to leave but Robin tells her that she doesn’t have feeling for Barney as she is dating Nick (her “Secret Crush” seen in Season 6). Meanwhile, Ted is happily driving off with Victoria, who left her fiancé Klaus at the altar. Ted finds out that she didn’t leave a note for him, which he asks her to write so he can leave it in her dressing room, at the same church where Barney and Robin’s wedding is in the future. During this process, Ted meets Klaus who has also gotten cold feet, and Ted makes sure that the blame comes on him, instead of&Victoria. As Victoria and Ted take off again, he stops at the Farhampton train station where Klaus is and asks him why he doesn’t want to marry Victoria. Klaus tells him that Victoria just wasn’t “The One” for him and makes a big speech, which is one of the best in the series, about how we shouldn’t settle for someone and wait for “The One”, which everyone finds eventually. Cue to the scene at the train station on the day of the wedding, where it’s raining. The Mother gets off a cab, walks to the train station and stands a few feet away from Ted, holding her Yellow Umbrella in one hand and a guitar in the other, revealing that this is the place where Ted and The Mother meet.
The season then jumps to September of 2012 in the next episode. The Autumn of Break-ups has begun, by the end of which, the three new couples (leaving out Marshall and Lily) will have broken up.
First to break-up are Barney and Quinn. Barney designs a pre-nup with preposterous terms for Quinn to sign, and she retaliates by designing her own pre-nup. This makes them realize that they don’t trust each other, and they break up.
Next couple to take a hit is Ted and Victoria. When Ted proposes to Victoria after she gives him numerous hints that she wants a deeper commitment, she gives him and ultimatum: He must stop being friends with Robin. After a lot of thought, Ted tells her that Robin is like family to him and he can’t do it, which results in Victoria breaking up with him.
The final couple to split up is Robin and Nick. When Nick injures his groin and can’t have sex with Robin anymore for a while, she realizes he is really thick, and can’t stand him anymore. However, she is reluctant to break up with him, but Barney helps her by falsely confessing his Robin (as he tells her) in front of Nick.
Marshall and Lily need a nanny for their son Marvin, and choose Lily’s dad Mickey, after he assures them that he won’t disappoint Marvin, like he disappointed Lily in her childhood. They also have to decide on a guardian for Marvin and after a game show in their apartment to decide which one of their friends to choose, during which the others make them realize that they haven’t been there for them ever since Marvin was born, they choose all three as guardians for Marvin.
Marshall has to fight a case for his environmental law firm against Gruber Pharmaceuticals, who have his longtime friend Brad as their lawyer. Although he wins the case, he fails to get the claimed 25 million dollars from Gruber, which disappoints him. During this arc, we learn that Marshall applies for judgeship in the future.
When Barney kisses Robin after a drunken night at a strip club, she pushes him away. Barney later tells her that he is done chasing her, which drives Robin nuts. She plans on sleeping with him one more time to get him out of her system, but is shocked to find out that he has started dating her arch nemesis from work, Patrice. She tries to break them up by showing Patrice the Playbook to tell her who Barney really is. Patrice then confronts Barney but he burns the Playbook to show her that he has given up his old ways. Robin then decides to fire Patrice to make her go away, but ends up breaking down in front of her and tells Patrice that it is really hard for her to see her with Barney.
Meanwhile, Ted’s building in construction; The New GNB Headquarters is finished. During a trip to Wesleyan to get his old architecture professor to come to the opening, Barney tells Ted his plan to propose to Patrice, and makes him swear he won’t tell anyone. Ted then deliberates if he should tell Robin. He tries to tell her at MacLaren’s but ends up asking her to be his date to his building’s opening. However, on their way to the opening he tells Robin about Barney’s plans to propose to Patrice on the roof of the World Wide News building (where Robin and Patrice both work). After much convincing from Ted, Robin is ready to tell Barney about her feelings for him. She heads to the roof of the WWN building, and finds it decorated with roses. She sees a piece of paper on the floor, torn from The Playbook. It explains how everything Barney did, from confessing his love to Robin in front of Nick, to dating Patrice and his plan to propose to her was all part of a play, titled “The Robin”, to get Robin back. Robin is furious at Barney for lying to her, but when he proposes to her, she becomes teary eyed and accepts his proposal.
Three days later, Ted has absorbed himself in planning Robin and Barney’s wedding which is taking place on May 25th, 2013, and he suggests that they get a DJ, instead of a band. However, Robin insists on getting a band. When Ted hires the band for the day of the wedding, so that they can’t appear at the wedding, Lily realizes something is up. She takes Ted aside and he tells her he is not OK with Barney marrying Robin as he STILL thinks she should be with him. Lily also admits to Ted that being a mother is getting to her. Although she loves Marvin, sometimes she wants to pack a bag and leave and that being a mom has stopped her from pursuing her dream in art. Meanwhile, Barney is busy convincing Robin’s dad that he is the right guy for her, which he achieves. At the bar, Ted tries to convince Robin to get a DJ again, but she doesn’t agree. Future Ted then says that getting a band was monumental in him meeting the mother. Cue to the future with a week to the wedding. Ted is at a train telling his former girlfriend Cindy and her lesbian partner that the band cancelled right before the wedding. She tells him that her former roommate (The Mother) and her band are available to play at the wedding, as their gig for that weekend got cancelled. Cue to the wedding, where Robin is dancing happily with her dad. The Mother is playing the bass, and Ted sees her and smiles.
After dating many a women, Ted is dating a young girl, but realizes that they have nothing in common and is about to break up with her, but Barney stops him. He tells him that he has to sleep with that girl as Barney is living through Ted after his engagement and is detoxing from his old lifestyle. Ted does sleep with her and when he shows her picture to Barney, he is shocked to see that it is his half-sister Carly. When Barney arranges a shotgun wedding for them, Ted makes him realize that his detox is done. This arc debunks the popular theory of Carly being The Mother.
Ted meets a girl, named Jeannette, at the train, but before he can talk to her, she gets off. He tries to look her up, and runs into her at the university where he teaches. He gradually finds out that she was stalking him for over a year, and started a fire at the university to meet him. However, Ted finds this endearing, and while discussing this with the gang, Robin lets it slip that she was also obsessed with a guy during her teens. While trying to find out who the guy was, Barney is informed that Robin wrote and sang a song, titled “P.S. I Love You”, about the guy she was obsessed with. With this song, she quit being Robin Sparkles, and became Robin Daggers, a darker side of her. It is later revealed that the guy Robin was obsessed with was Paul Shaffer.
Ted continues seeing Jeanette who we find out is the last woman he dated before he met The Mother. However, she turns out to be crazy. He tries to break-up with her, but she stops him from doing so. However, later on, she breaks up with him, and when Ted tries to get her back, Barney stops him and tries to find a new girl for him to be his plus one for the wedding, using the Playbook. He tells Ted that he didn’t burn the real Playbook earlier, and that Robin should never find out about this. Later Jeanette gets back together with Ted, and she and Robin both see the Playbook. Robin gets mad at Barney for lying to her, and tells him that he can never lie to her again. However, Barney tells her that lying is the reason they are together, and although he can’t stop lying to her, the one thing that isn’t a lie is his love for her.
Jeanette’s reaction to seeing the Playbook is totally different. She throws a tantrum and starts destroying Ted’s apartment. She then blows up the Playbook with fireworks. Ted then says that after this relationship, he is done with dating, and is ready to settle down.
Lily gets a job offer from The Captain, Zoey’s ex-husband, to be his art consultant, which she accepts. Although Marshall is supportive at first, he soon feels neglected due to Lily always being busy. However, Lily apologizes for ignoring him. Sometime later, The Captain tells Lily that he is moving to Rome for a year and he wants Lily to accompany him as his art consultant. Lily rejects his offer, as she thinks the Marshall loves his job, but soon finds out that they firm Marshall is working at is dead after the Gruber case, and he lied to her about being busy at his job. She tells him that this cost her the job offer from The Captain. Marshall then convinces The Captain to offer her the job again. However, Lily rejects the offer again, as she terrified to move away. Marshall assures him that everything will be fine, and they decide to move to Rome for a year.
With 45 days to the wedding, Ted is all alone as his friends are busy in with their lives. He then imagines an evening involving future versions of himself and Barney and plays out a night that happened five years ago. We also learn that 45 days before Ted met The Mother, she was dating a finance guy named Louis.
The gang plan Barney's bachelor party. For someone who makes every night of his life the best night ever, they give him the worst night of his life, which involves the return of Quinn as the stripper for his bachelor party, Ralph Macchio, Marshall’s life being endangered by Chinese mobsters after an evening at the casino, and Robin breaking up with him when she sees him with Quinn. When Barney finds out that this was all a hoax planned by Robin, he is blown away. He then meets his hero, the “real” Karate Kid, William Zabka.
With the wedding being so close, Robin tries to get her “something old” for the wedding, a locket she buried years ago when she first came to Central Park with her father. When she calls Barney for help after not being able to find it, he is busy, and she tells him that it’s not important. She then calls Ted, who after telling her that he is at a meeting, shows up at Central Park to help her when he realizes that this must be really important to Robin. They find the box in which Robin put the locket and Robin tells him that she has beenhaving doubts about the wedding, and finding the locket is a sign form the universe that she should get married to Barney. However, when the box turns out to be empty, she freaks out, and thinks that this is a sign from the universe that she shouldn’t get married. Ted then tells her that he has learned that there is no such thing as “a sign form the universe” and deep down we already know what we want. As Robin holds Ted's hand, they both affectionately look at each other as the camera backs away.
So this is everything important that has happened so far in the Season 8 of How I Met Your Mother. With the season finale airing this Monday, what do you think will happen? Will Marshall and Lily actually move to Rome? Will Barney and Robin's wedding take place in that episode? Will we finally see the mother, as has been hinted? Share your thoughts.
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