This episode has to be my favorite of the season; it had many throwbacks to past HIMYM stories and provided an amazing story for Ted.
Although I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure it was going to be as good has it was from the beginning of the episode, with all the time travelers and whole Marshall vs. Robin plot; but in the end it all worked out perfectly. The first third of the episode consisted of Barney trying to convince Ted to go to robots vs. wrestlers, which all know is a group tradition and a nice throwback to the earlier seasons. Barney decides the best way to get Ted to go is by talking to their future selves, bringing in “20 years into the future Ted and Barney,” “12 hours from now Ted,” and “20 minutes from now Barney.” These scenes were pretty funny, to watch them imply future happenings that they couldn’t really specify. It also allowed for the story to bring back Glee’s Jayma Mays, who played the “coat check girl” in season one. She didn’t really have much of a purpose but for her future selves to convince Ted not to talk to her because it wouldn’t end well. Even though it was nice to see an old character back she really wasn’t needed for the story and just seemed like a filler scene for the episode. Nevertheless, Ted doesn’t even talk to her, and just goes back to talk to Barney and their future selves.
Before I get to the most interesting part of the episode, I wanted to discuss Marshall and Robin’s story a little. So Marshall decides to create a drink, but when he – meaning Lily – goes to order it, they tell him that it’s already named after Robin. To his displeasure, he challenges Robin to a dance off, but because of his dancer’s hip (another HIMYM throwback), Lily doesn’t let him. So instead Marshall does the reasonable thing and writes something about her in the men’s bathroom, which Robin reciprocates in a greater and funnier way. This all leads to a confrontation with Carl, whose last name we still don’t know… which I guess will just be another question for the writer to answer before the series finale. Anyways this entire fight culminates into a dance off to Marshall’s jam; this scene also had my favorite line of the night, “Cause I’m Sparkles, bitch.”
As all of this is happening, Ted tells Barney that he’s leaving, as Barney tells him he isn’t really there and Ted realizes that he is in fact all alone because everyone else couldn’t make it out to Robots vs. Wrestles. This was an amazing plot twist, and provided the perfect transition into the emotional half of the episode. However, just a side note here, this is a bit of a plot whole, because in a previous episode Future Ted said that they always made it out because it was their tradition. It was also incredibly heartbreaking to watch Ted come to this realization with the audience. Not only was it well acted by Josh Radnor, but the direction and writing of the scene were great too. Having Barney be that voice or reason and watching as all people in the background disappear, as the lights dim and the camera zooms out, was the perfect way to convey how alone Ted is now that everyone has someone. Although I have high praises for this scene, the next one is definitely my favorite. As Ted leaves the bar, his Future self narrates how he wishes he had gone home, to see Marshall, Lilly and Marvin and to Robin and Barney’s. But what he wants most is to go to “the mother’s” apartment and tell her about their life together and how in 45 day they will meet and be together forever, but he desperately wishes he could have spent those 45 days with her. Watching Ted’s speech to the mother is so saddening because, as someone watching his life for the past 8 years you just want him to meet the mother and be happy. Even though this entire scene was fake, it held so much emotion and once again Josh Radnor delivered an amazingly sad speech that could make anyone tear up. Not only were these scenes amazing to watch, it was also nice to see the show getting back on track and placing focus on the main question again. Also Ted’s indication that there were only 45 more days until he meets “the mother” proves that he will meet her by the end of the season, unless the writers plan to have Robin and Barney’s wedding carry over into the next season; that would just be cruel. Also the tag at the end of the episode where Ted, Barney and their future selves are singing was a fun way to end the episode on a high, happy note and was just a joy to watch.
However, I have some final thoughts on this episode, which is: why was Ted so concerned about time? It brings me to speculate the maybe this story doesn’t have a happy ending. It brought me wonder if the mother dies or if he’s dying because the last part of the episode spoke so much about how he wished he had more time with “the mother” and spent more time with his friends. I might be reading too much into this, but I do feel HIMYM could and would possibly go down this path.
How did you like the episode? Did you get emotional watching Ted realize how alone he is? What about his speech to the mother?