'How I Met Your Mother,' 'Parenthood,' 'Fringe,' 'The Closer': Spoiler Room!

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Image Credit: Byron Cohen/NBC; Ron P. Jaffe/CBS; Fox

How I Met Your Mother: Find out how season 8 begins
Q: I am counting down the minutes until How I Met Your Mother returns in the fall — any scoop on big plot points for season 8? Thanks! — Whitney
With roughly 136,500 minutes to go, I’m excited, too, Whitney. After what I felt was one of their best seasons yet, my expectations are sky high. And executive producer Craig Thomas, who was nice enough to break down the season 7 finale for me as part of EW’s Emmy Watch, promises we won’t be disappointed.

Now, while I couldn’t squeeze too much info out of him on next season (the writers’ room is in the thick of it now!), here’s what he did share. “One little tidbit: The season premiere picks up right where we left off in May, with Ted and Victoria — a runaway bride — driving off into the sunset. Suddenly, Ted is struck by horrible guilt over the fact that he was left at the altar back in season 4 and now finds himself on the other end of that dubious equation,” he says. “So the entire premiere takes place on that day in May — a first for us, starting a season that way — and then episode two jumps us through the summer and into September.”

So will we get to see Marshall and Lily’s first day as parents? Will Ted drive Victoria BACK to her wedding? What about Barney? What about Robin? WHY ISN’T IT SEPTEMBER YET? Anyway, discuss… (Note: My countdown was based on a “start time” 1 p.m. ET on June 22 and a premiere date of Sept. 25, which is simply a guess. And if you figured that out before reading this sentence, you’re crazy.)

Fringe: Will Walter die?
So, we already know that much of next season will take place in 2036. We know that we have a mere 13 episodes to go. And we know it’s a journey we’ll be taking without the watchful eye of co-showrunner Jeff Pinkner. (J.H. Wyman will remain as the sole showrunner.) But other than that? Fringe can take us in any direction is pleases.

For John Noble, all that matters is that Walter gets a chance to right his wrongs. But is death the only way to do that? We discussed: “I think they’ve got to find a way to do it… I think they’re going to find a way to disappear him,” he says. “The storytelling mode, does it work to kill off a hero? I’m not sure that it does sometimes. You can see a person go through an enormous journey, but somewhere at the end of that journey, there’s a change — whatever the change is. It’s [usually] a change for the better, even though it may mean that person is not there.”

But he doubts the writers will, as he jokes, say, “Die, old man!” “I think that would be horrible. I think the fans would storm the citadel,” he says. “But I think it would also be really honorable and dignified if they find some way for Walter to willingly end this nonsense. But I don’t actually know how they’ll do that yet. But I believe they have to.”

Elsewhere, he also feels like the “extraordinary love affair” between Peter and Olivia needs to “become validated.” “That would be satisfying to me as an audience member. Again, not walking into the sunset, just really [reassuring us] they are in love and they need each other,” he says. Of course, he adds, “we’d know that anyway.”

Parenthood: Three teases for season 4
Jason Katims never intended for the season finale of Parenthood to feel like a series finale. (For the record, he thinks it was the wedding that gave that impression.) So we asked Katims to preview some of the great stuff coming up for the characters. And since you’ve already read about what Sarah and Mark will be facing (darn you, Ray Romano!), here’s a look at some of the others:

+ Julia and Joel: “We want to explore the addition of Victor, who’s the boy that Julia and Joel adopted. And we want to look at both the joy of what that is but also the challenges of what it’s like adopting [a child]. It’s not what they expected. They never pictured an 8-year-old. They pictured a baby. So what is that like for them? What are the challenges?”
+ Crosby and Jasmine: “We’re excited about exploring the first year of marriage between Crosby and Jasmine. We have a couple ideas for some really big storylines for them. It’s a little early to pitch those quite yet, but we’ll be really taking the show to another level.”
+ Drew: “It’s last year of high school. I have a bunch of friends who have children graduating high school, and it’s a really interesting period of time from both the parents’ point of view and the high school senior, who is ready to take off and branch out.”

NEXT: Weeds, The Closer, Suits, and more scooplets!

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