Faith restored? During today's How I Met Your Mother panel at Comic-Con, executive producer Carter Bays dispelled any notion that the show's final season would take place only at the wedding of Barney and Robin. "We want to stress [the weekend] is the framework," Bays said. "It's not four episodes of flower-arranging." Or specifically: Expect many, many flashbacks and flashforwards. "Decades will span over the course of the season in this one weekend," he said. (On the flip side, executive producer Craig Thomas added that there will also be an entire mid-season episode that takes place "in the middle of one slap." It may end with a musical number. It may be titled "Slapsgiving III: Slappointment in Slapmara." So … yeah. Or, Yeah!)
A clip featuring Ted's (now much older) kids bitching over the eight-year wait to hear about their mother kicked off the event, HIMYM's first at Comic-Con. ("I hope the story ends with you not meeting mom, because I wish I was never born," the son says.) By all accounts, the final season will get right to it, picking up "literally" where the show left off, according to executive producer Pamela Fryman. Viewers could see Ted together with the girl with the yellow umbrella "very soon," she said at a press conference following the panel. "We really know where we're going. It's truly how we dreamed of finishing this tale." Earlier, producers reassured fans that the final episodes would spend considerable time with the mother (Cristin Milioti), who made her debut in a surprise cameo last season. "We, like you, want to know who she is. We want to get to know her," Bays said. "We're going to get to know this lady, and get to know [she and Ted together]."
Other teases for next season include: more guest stars than ever (including Wayne Brady, whose character James will be getting a divorce, Harris revealed), more Barney-and-Robin dancing ("I bet it's going to have some lifts," Neil Patrick Harris said), and, naturally, more Robin Sparkles ("It's a wedding, people sing songs at weddings," Thomas said).