In the fall of 2009, fans of “How I Met Your Mother” heard future Ted Mosby (aka Bob Saget) tell his kids how his friends quit smoking, mentioning that Lily (Alyson Hannigan) dropped the habit when she started trying to get pregnant and Marshall (Jason Segel) followed suit when his son was born.
There was no date given as to when that whole deal might go down. But, having just visited the set, I can tell you that the topic of “maybe baby?” is about to hit Marshall and Lily in a major way.
“We’re a show about exploring those rites of passage in the late 20s and the early 30s,” “HIMYM” co-creator Craig Thomas told Korbi TV during the filming of this year’s finale. “And it makes sense for Marshall and Lily, who’ve been together something like 14 years at this point, to be really considering that next rite of passage.”
That next rite of passage Thomas speaks of is of course pregnancy, something that his two lead actresses have recently experienced in real life. “Yeah, we’ve had a lot of babies born on this show,” he noted. “We really couldn’t have timed Lily and Marshall thinking about having a baby worse, a year after Alyson actually gave birth.”
And yet, for the show, the timing is sort of perfect. Five seasons and 100-plus episodes in, it does seem like the next logical step for TVs most loving married couple.
“It’s a great place to end [this fifth year] I think,” said Thomas. “The second half of the season hasn’t had an emphasis on ‘When’s Ted gonna meet her?’ and ‘Who’s the mother?’ It’s been more on watching Robin (Cobie Smulders) get into this relationship with Don (Benjamin Koldyke) and what does that mean for her, getting more serious with a guy now that she’s in her 30s. And it feels kind of fun to wrap up the season by putting the focus on Lily and Marshall and what’s coming for them. I’ve always felt like this show is about that second wave of adolescence. It’s not just about answering the question of who the mother is — even though we still have that question and I love writing about that question — but there’s something kind of great about deciding that we’re not going to end purely on that question. We’re going to show that we’ve really been telling a story about five characters.”
As for the aforementioned Robin, Thomas teased a somewhat more serious storyline that ends up in the finale as a kind of poignant emotional awakening for her.
Of course there have been rumors that one of “HIMYM”‘s former couples will reunite soon, which sparked the thought of Ted and Robin Part 2 being a possibility. I asked Thomas if he was aware of the talk and he offered this: “All I’ll say is, you know, we have a little bit of a triangle on the show. Both Barney and Ted have dated Robin and both were in love with her, so we have a fun moment toward the end of our season where that is acknowledged and explored. These are two guys who dated this girl who is awesome and now she’s getting really, really serious with this new guy Don — her cohost on the least-watched morning show on local television in New York — and there’s a great episode that kind of springs out of the idea that these are two guys who could want her back. It’s not the easiest thing to see someone who could have potentially been [your] dream girl get really serious with someone else.”
Thomas revealed that Robin will become involved with Don to a degree that she never really did with Ted or Barney and it will happen fast. “The end of the season explores Robin becoming a real boy, in a way, when it comes to love,” he explained. “She’s been a bit of a cold fish in the past. But we’re really going to see her be more vulnerable than she ever has and it’s really great stuff. Definitely some good comedy, but some really great dramatic acting from Cobie Smulders in our last couple episodes.”
As for Ted and Barney, the two will provide much of the comic relief, especially during the finale where we’ll see a blonde Josh Radnor and knife-juggling Neil Patrick Harris, dressed in a street performer jester-type outfit, apparently being driven crazy by one of only 11 women in the world who can swallow swords.
“There’s like this roller coaster ride of these really huge, exciting and emotional moments in certain characters’ lives and then just absolute insanity for other characters,” said Thomas. “I feel like it’s going to be a great finale, I feel like it’s going to be firing on all cylinders.”
As for Marshall and Lily, Thomas won’t say whether or not they intend to knock Lily up immediately or have the couple undergo fertility issues or have them run screaming from the whole process, for that matter. But one of the big questions of this finale definitely is, “Is the universe telling them to have a baby?”
Lily feels like the decision is too overwhelming to make on her own, so two episodes before the end of the season, she and Marshall will make a private deal saying that when they see their group’s fifth doppelganger, it will be time.
As longtime fans of “How I Met Your Mother” already know, we’ve seen three lookalikes so far: Lesbian Robin, Mustache Marshall and Stripper Lily. And before the finale, we’ll see the spitting image of Ted in the form of someone else too.
“And so,” said Thomas. “We meet them in the beginning of the finale, committing to the idea that [once they see Barney’s lookalike], they will to start trying [to have a baby]. And then all hell kind of breaks loose as they wait for that to happen.”
Think Marshall and Lily are ready for the pitter patter of tiny feet?
Photo credit: CBS