'How I Met Your Mother' finally reveals mother

Image: How I Met Your Mother
"How I Met Your Mother" finally revealed the title character on Monday's season finale.Cliff Lipson / Today

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By Michael O'Connell

"How I Met Your Mother" has finally resolved its biggest mystery. At the end of the CBS series' eighth-season finale on Monday night, it revealed its titular character. Spoilers ahead ...

Identified only as "The Girl With the Yellow Umbrella," the actress playing the mother and set to figure prominently in the series' final season is Cristin Milioti. Speculation about who would be cast in the role has come up with nearly every female guest star to join the series -- though this is a first appearance for Milioti.

Red herrings have been par for the course since the series first started teasing the big mystery, but a CBS rep confirms to The Hollywood Reporter that Milioti is indeed the actress playing the future bride of Ted (Josh Radnor). No other details about her addition were available at the time.

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Milioti is likely best known for her Tony-nominated performance in the stage production of "Once," though her TV credits are many. She recurred as Johnny Sack's daughter Catherine on "The Sopranos" and became a top Google search in 2011 when she played a foil to Tina Fey's Liz Lemon in the "30 Rock" episode "TGS Hates Women."

And while "How I Met Your Mother" may have introduced Milioti's character at the tail end of the episode, at the conclusion of a montage showing the series' core five cast members en route to Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin's (Cobie Smulders) wedding, the show held off on introducing her to anyone other than the audience. Milioti and Radnor shared no scene in the episode.

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Co-creators and executive producers Craig Thomas and Carter Bays have previously confirmed that official meeting of Ted and The Girl With the Yellow Umbrella will take place after the wedding, as the season-eight premiere teased.

The introduction of Milioti sets the stage for a very different "How I Met Your Mother" when the comedy returns for its final run for the 2013-14 season. Thomas and Bays have previously suggested that the series could have a new narrative structure in its final run, giving it a noticeable distinction from previous episodes.

Watch the big reveal below, set to The Shins' "Simple Song":

What did you think of the unveiling? Are you looking forward to how this might change the show next season? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page!