The cast and creators of “How I Met Your Mother” took part in their final Television Critics Association press conference ever Wednesday night (Jan. 15) on the show’s set — and they were in a chatty mood.
Co-creator Craig Thomas shared with Zap2it and a handful of other outlets a whole lot of details on the show’s final episodes, and his partner in comedy Carter Bays filled in some details as well. Read on for a list of which guest stars will be back in the final episodes, what those episodes are called and a few choice bits — including an early contingency plan for the show’s ending — from the press conference. Spoilers abound, obviously.
The guest stars
Per Thomas, the following people are returning to “HIMYM” in the final episodes. Details filled in where we know them.
- Tim Gunn as himself, Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) wedding-weekend tailor.
- Roger Bart as Curtis, the overly concerned Farhampton Inn desk clerk.
- Rachel Bilson as Cindy, Ted’s (Josh Radnor) one-time girlfriend and former roommate of the Mother (Cristin Milioti).
- Lucy Hale as Robin’s (Cobie Smulders) younger sister, Katie.
- Kyle MacLachlan as the Captain, who offered Lily (Alyson Hannigan) the job in Italy.
- Bill Fagerbakke as Marvin Eriksen, Marshall’s (Jason Segel) late father.
- Sarah Chalke as Stella, who left Ted at the altar a few seasons back. In the Season 9 premiere, Ted bought a ticket to Los Angeles to see her and try to recover Robin’s locket. “[She’s in] an episode called ‘Sunrise,'” Bays says. “We did leave that thread hanging in the beginning of the season. We’re going to find out what happened when Ted went to L.A.”
- Jon Heder as a new character, details unknown.
- Ashley Williams as Victoria, one of Ted’s most memorable former girlfriends.
The episode titles
- “Unpause,” focusing on Marshall’s attempts to stave off their argument over his taking a judgeship without consulting her. We’ll also learn the names of Ted’s kids (Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie) in the episode, Thomas says. Airs Monday (Jan. 20).
- “How Your Mother Met Me,” the show’s 200th episode that tells the story of what the Mother has been up to over the course of the series. It will feature callbacks aplenty as it shows how she occasionally crossed paths with the gang. Airs Jan. 27.
- “Sunrise,” featuring Chalke as Stella (see above).
- “Gary Blauman” — “If you dig really deep [you’ll recall] that’s the name of Taran Killam‘s character,” Thomas says. “Believe it or not, there’s an episode called that.” Killam has appeared in four episodes as one of Barney and Marshall’s GNB co-workers.
- “The End of the Aisle”
- “Last Forever,” the hour-long series finale on March 31.
All the cutaways to Future Ted talking to his kids were shot in the show’s first couple of seasons so the characters wouldn’t age over the course of the show. Bays and Thomas say they shot some material with them in 2006 that will be part of the series finale, an indication of how long they’ve had the show’s ending in mind.
“When they came in to shoot the thing we did for Comic-Con, we reminded them of that: ‘You guys have been walking around with a secret all this time,'” Bays says. “I think Lyndsy was like, ‘What? Oh my God!’ She just didn’t remember it.”
Bays also says that if “HIMYM” had been canceled quickly in its first season, he and Thomas were ready to commit to a different ending.
“I don’t even know if we ever consciously said this out loud, but I would imagine we both kind of agreed,” Bays says. “Ted meeting Victoria happened at the end of episode 12 … and I think there was a feeling of, like, God forbid the show just gets yanked, it would have been Victoria, probably.”
Thomas: “Cut to Ashley Williams reading this and going, ‘Motherf***er!'”
So what do you think, “HIMYM” fans? Are you excited by all the returnees for the show’s final episodes?