Prediction: How I Met Your Mother Is About to Become How I Met Your Father

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Now that we know that How I Met Your Mother will officially return for a ninth and final season, many fans have been trying to figure out exactly how the show will handle its homestretch. Will we meet the mother this spring, in the Season 8 finale? Will the show make us wait until the end of Season 9? Will the writers just pad out a storyline it already had prepared for Season 8? Naturally, we don't have many answers.

But yesterday, TV Guide ran a story based on a recent interview with HIMYM co-creator Craig Thomas. The article declared that next season will “look and feel much different from past seasons,” with Thomas revealing that there’s “going to be a new way to tell the story” and that fans are “never going to mistake a Season 9 episode [as being] from one of the previous eight [seasons]."

“A new way to tell the story” could mean just about anything, but here’s my theory:

HIMYM is going to go Nikki and Paolo on Season 9.

Let me explain: During the third season of Lost, the show introduced the characters Nikki and Paolo and used flashbacks to insert them into key moments from the show’s first two seasons. They were always on the outside of the main group, but somehow seemed to be around whenever cool things were happening. Fans hated Nikki and Paolo, and Lost eventually buried them alive.

However, if we’re going to get a new season of HIMYM that looks and feels different from any other season, what better way to accomplish that than by spending large amounts of time with Ted’s future wife? The series can show her side of many of the stories we’ve heard Ted tell over the years. Her experience at the bar on St. Patrick’s Day when she forgot her yellow umbrella. The time Ted was in her apartment while she was in the shower. I’m sure HIMYM could even create "new" close calls, where the mother almost met Ted over the years. And as a bonus, allowing a few new actors to carry some of the final season's storylines would free up the principal cast to work on other projects—which would make sense, considering that the growing careers of stars like Jason Segel are what almost kept Season 9 from happening in the first place.

For this plan to happen, though, HIMYM will have to introduce the mother in the finale of the current season. The showrunners have already made it clear that they’re not going to make a casting announcement when they’ve selected an actress to play the Mother, so don’t expect any hints to arrive in that form. Would you be on board with this idea? After eight seasons of listening to Ted talk, are we ready for How I Met Your Father?

What do YOU think?

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