We know the following things about “How I Met Your Mother”:
1. Throughout its time on CBS, the show has unfolded more or less in real time. Ted and his friends are on the same calendar as those of us watching the show.
2. In Monday’s (Jan. 14) episode, “Band or DJ,” we learned that Robin and Barney’s wedding date is May 25, 2013, and thanks to a flash-forward featuring the return of Rachel Bilson as Cindy, the Mother’s ex-roommate, we know that Ted meets her at the wedding. (The flash-forward also suggests that Robin and Barney got over their cold feet and went through with it.)
3. CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler is pretty confident that a deal to bring the series back for a ninth season will be done soon.
4. Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have never explicitly said whether Ted’s future wife would appear before the series ended, but the way the show has played out, it sure seems like we won’t see her until the end.
“Band or DJ,” however, lays out the circumstances of Ted’s meeting with the mother pretty specifically — so much so that at least one of the above facts or assumptions will have to change.
If the show gets a ninth season, and if Bays and Thomas don’t want us to see the mother’s face until close to the end, then it’s going to be a very long four months for Ted and Co. That would be a fundamental change to the structure of the series, and one that could cause some already disillusioned fans to pitch a fit.
Another option, again assuming a ninth season, would be to have Ted and viewers meet and start dating his future wife at the end of this season or early in 2013-14. The show has already established (in last season’s “Trilogy Time”) that Ted is married and a father by the spring of 2015; having a season or so of him and the Mother together could even let fans see Ted get married. We’ve watched eight years of Ted searching for his soulmate, so one year of him with her doesn’t seem too much to ask.
One final thought: In the season premiere, it was easy to assume Ted was in a bad mood after Barney and Robin’s wedding because the wedding itself went awry. That doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. Maybe Ted blows his first meeting with the Mother and is beating himself over that when she reappears at the train station.
If “How I Met Your Mother” gets a ninth season, would you want to see the mother before the show ends?