How I Met Your Mother premiered its ninth and final season Monday night with two new episodes, planting the seed for a blossoming romance between Ted and The Mother.

“The Locket” found the gang all desperately trying to make it to Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) wedding – Ted (Josh Radnor) giving Lily (Alyson Hannigan) a ride and Marshall (Jason Segel) on a disastrous flight from Minnesota while Barney and Robin are chauffeured by Ranjit (Marshall Manesh).

Ted quickly drove Lily out of her mind and out of his car with his road trip antics, leading Lily to hop a train. Turns out, that was exactly what Ted wanted. He needed to shake Lily so that he could give Robin her Locket (her ‘something old’) in private.

On the train, Lily became the first of the group to meet the Mother (Cristin Milloti). The two swapped stories, shared cookies and got close when Lily freaked out because she missed her son and tried to bite the Mother.

Marshall’s turbulent trip was not as productive. He got kicked off his flight after getting in a fight with fellow passenger, Daphne (Sherri Shepherd). The two then fought over plane tickets and rental cars until finally putting aside their differences and coming together to share a rental car and drive to New York.

Meanwhile, Barney and Robin had a minor wedding scare when they thought they might share a crazy cousin – Barney is part Canadian after all – but it turned out to be a false alarm. The real wedding scare occurred when James (Wayne Brady), Barney’s brother, revealed to Robin that he and his husband were getting a divorce due to his infidelity. Are the Stintson’s cursed with the inability to remain faithful?

Robin was worried the news of James’ deteriorating marriage (a marriage that Barney says made him believe in love) would give him cold feet, but Barney surprised her by remaining calm.

In a few glimpses at the Ted’s future, we saw Ted and the Mother one year later, sitting together at the hotel bar. In the present, checking in for Robin and Barney’s wedding at the hotel, Ted is feeling the pressure of being single at a romantic, getaway wedding, only to have the Mother appear beside him. The two don’t speak, but in their very first scene (one year later) featuring the future Mr. and Mrs. Ted Mosby was a winner, and gave viewers a taste of what the rest of How I Met Your Mother’s final season will be like.

Another step into the future, and Future Ted (Bob Saget) delivered his kids ominous news: he ruined Barney and Robin’s wedding.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong