How I met your mother celebrates its 200th episode with a heartbreaking and emotional episode about the Mother and her backstory: How your mother met me. The show dedicates the whole 20 minutes to tell us what has been happening in these last 9 years to the Mother and why she wasn’t ready for Ted until the present. WARNING: This review contains SPOILERS.
Despite “not having big present” for the past 8 seasons, The Mother is a very BIG part of the show. In fact, looking at the name of the show, it’s the whole reason this show exists in the first place. It’s not surprising then to see what the show has done to celebrate this occasion: chang the opening titles. The opening was exactly the same style as the classic one, but only this time it featured photos of the Mother with her friends. This helps the viewer to see the Mother in a way very similar to Ted and its friends. And this idea is reinforced when it turns out that the Mother had been attending a bar called MacLaren’s too. Only this one, was located in the East Side.
The Mother’s backstory is quite tragic since her boyfriend, Max, died in the day she turned 21. Before he passed away, she gave her a ukelele with a note that read “So your breakfast doesn’t need to sing a capella. Love, Max”. Something that doesn’t make much sense until we see the Mother singing a song using her English muffins. Since that day, the Mother has been unable to fall in love again, much to her roomate’s disappointment.
There’s two things the show has been known for: their story-telling ability with the use of flashbacks and flashforwards, and musical numbers. None of these things lacked in this episode. The story of the Mother was nicely tied up with the story we’ve come to know: how she lost her yellow umbrella in that pub and then it “mysteriously” came back to her appartment, how she was in Ted’s classroom when he taught Architecture 101 and how that’s where she met her new roommate (the student Ted dated). It’s surprising to see that, even though Ted hasn’t known the Mother yet in the present, the Mother had already seen (and liked) Ted when she saw him entering the classroom. She even shares his sense of humour by laughing at his lame “shell fish” joke!
The Mother started dating Louis (Lou Ferrigno Jr.), but she wasn’t in love. He didn’t even get her humour when she sang her English muffin songs! When he proposed to her, she had to take a moment to talk with Max (who she believed was in Heaven) in what probably was one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the season so far.
“I think that I have been holding myself back from falling in love again. And I think it’s because I can’t let you go. But you’re not here anymore so, I have to ask this. Would it be OK if I moved on?”
But it doesn’t matter what she tells Max, because once she enters the room she realises that she doesn’t really love Louis and breaks up with him (something that we had already guessed). Louis was clearly just a replacement for Max, someone she felt obliged to date due to everyone else’s pressure. The Mother is actually as lost as Ted is at the moment. And it does make sense that she wasn’t ready for him. Not just yet. The musical number comes when, once she’s settled in her hotel room for the wedding, she takes her ukelele and starts singing by La vie en rose by Edith Piaf in the balcony. It’s really nice to get to hear Cristin Milloti’s lovely voice. The song also follows the current situation of our characters: Marshall and Lily’s fight and Robin and Barney trying to sleep the day before the wedding. And Ted. Lonely Ted who’s sitting in the balcony next to hers, listening to her song and thinking about his desperate situation.
“Kids, I must have heard your mom’s rendition of “La Vie en Rose” a million times over the years. Every night when she tucked you in, for instance. But that performance, that first night I ever herd her sing, that one will always be my favorite“
While we’re still brushing our tears away, Ted enters the room explaining what had just happened to Barney leaving us with a cliff-hanger: Barney is gone. Guessing that’s a cliché that had to be played: either the groom or the bride freaks out and disappears before the wedding. Barney’s arc might be finished, but Barney and Robin’s doesn’t seem to be.
Overall thoughts? This was an excellent episode. And it is an episode that we needed. We needed to know the Mother’s side of the story and we needed a whole episode for that. And what better than having her telling it on episode number 200? How your mother met me helped us understand who the Mother is, why we haven’t seen her until now and why she’s the right one for Ted. I already love her. And if you don’t by now, you probably won’t.
Final Rating: 9.5/10
Next episode is gonna be called “Sunrise” and will premiere on February 3rd.