Guest Review How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother 9×19 – Vesuvius

“I don’t want you to be the guy who lives in his stories… Life only moves forward.”

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We all got the hint those damn, damn writers were trying to throw at us at the end of Vesuvius, a heartbreaking episode that’s just the beginning of a string of potentially devastating couple of episodes. It’s been a couple of hours since I finished this latest How I Met Your Mother and no, I’m still not doing okay.

With only four episodes left to wrap up the show, I anticipated a Mother-heavy episode with storytelling development. What I (and everyone else who cried their eyes out last night) didn’t expect, was the theory of the Mother being dead when Ted is telling this story, to rise to the surface again. When the theory originally came to light last season in The Time Travelers, I was reluctant to give it much thought. I just never believed Craig Thomas and Carter Bays would take such a dark path for such a light and comic show. But minutes after Vesuvius ended, it all started sinking in.

“I don’t want you to be the guy who lives in his stories.” Then, “Life only moves forward,” the Mother says to Ted at the Farhampton Inn in 2024 while staring deep into his eyes and holding his hands softly. It’s not a pretty scene—it’s quite devastating really, the idea of the Mother being dead when Ted is narrating this whole story in 2030. In terms of storytelling, though, it makes perfect sense for those poor, unlucky kids to be sitting there and listening to their dad’s extravagantly long tale.

That’s not it, folks. Ted tells his wife the story of how Robin’s mother (Tracy Ullman!) ultimately showed up a few hours before her and Barney’s wedding and how sweet of an ending that was. The Mother interrupts and says, “What kind of a mother wouldn’t be at her own daughter’s wedding?” There’s this long, calm pause after that, and Ted looks deeply at the Mother and cries his eyes out. Not so long after that, we join him in his tear-fest.

Because really, this is the writers’ way of telling us that the Mother is dying, and won’t be there at Penny’s wedding one day. While I still think it’s very obvious at this point to predict such a devastating ending for the show, something just doesn’t quite add up. This is How I Met Your Mother, guys. When were the writers known for giving us hints and clues that are so obvious? In fact, this just might be the perfect red herring. They pulled the rug right from underneath us here perhaps to have us shocked by the end. Am I crazy, or have we really not learned anything from the misdirections the writers kept throwing at us for the past nine years?

I guess I’m just still hoping that there’s still a bit more “comedy” to this show, and that we’re not in for a real tear-jerking finale next month. However, if the writers were just trying to deceive us, are we going to be disappointed? Hey, no one wants the Mother alive more than I do (and I think I’ve made my celebrity-crush feelings to Miliotti pretty clear in the past), but I would sort of feel cheated if Vesuvius was just a ploy to get on our heart strings, and what really went on in the end only meant that maybe Ted’s mother died before she got to see him get married.

Elsewhere, we had a few more callbacks to earlier seasons in this week’s episode. Seriously, it feels like the writers are sitting in their room, watching old reruns of the show and taking down notes to incorporate into these final few episodes. Frankly, I didn’t quite expect the return of the Swarley nickname…it was very enjoyable, as was The Wedding Bride Too! movie. Also, Robin’s sister finally returned after God-knows-how-long, and the flashbacks we saw in the first few minutes of the episode were very entertaining. This show always knows the exact moment to go back in time just for a few seconds before making that “flash” sound again and jumping into the present and the future. Barney had a difficult time choosing the perfect suit (why didn’t he already pick one?) and booked a room under the name “Sue Topp” (suit-up) where he stashed every single suit he had. Luckily, with the help of Ted, he ultimately found the perfect one.

Slaps & Bits

– The gang realize that this might be the last time they’re all hanging out together, what with Ted moving to Chicago (wait, is that still happening?) and Scherbatsky tying the knot with Swarleze Theron soon.

– It was hilarious that Barney thinks the groom actually “walks down the aisle” and everyone stands up for him.

– Lily got so upset that Robin wasn’t turning into a Bridezilla that she put on a wedding dress and planned on taking her photographer to shoot their wedding pictures with Marshall. The scene with Robin hugging her mother was warm and touchy, and reminded us that Robin does care about this wedding.

– “It’s got everything! Intrigue! Betrayal! Lamps!”

– The Wedding Bride Too not only brought Ned back, but also introduced us to Narshall. Sweet!

– For those wondering, yes, there is a third Wedding Bride movie. In season seven’s No Pressure, Future Ted tells his kids that the first time he told their Mother he loved her, it was outside a movie theater. The movie that was showing at that time clearly said The Wedding Bride III. Let’s hope we don’t even get a glimpse of that because it’s pretty worn out by now.

– Advocates of “The Mother Is Dead” theory are hitting themselves right now for being almost, kind of right.

Conclusion
Another episode that is low on the comedy and big on tugging at our heart strings, all while keeping us unsettled about the fate of this show, and the Mother.

 Chris Rating
B+

2 comments

  1. When I first heard about “The mother is dead” theory I always thought it was far fetched and I never thought that such a comedy show would have such a sad ending especially after everything Ted has been through to find the one. Then we met the adorable mother and I really didn't want to believe that theory anymore, but that last scene in today's episode when Ted chokes up at the mention of a mother's presence at her daughter's wedding almost proves that this is the case 🙁

    P.S. The song at the end was perfect for that scene!

  2. Yeah, the fact that the Mother is as adorable as she is makes twice as hard to accept that she might be dying by the time March ends.

    I agree about the song! It's Bob Dylan's “If You See Her Say Hello” and if you listen very carefully to the words, it's about a woman who has left a man and he's saying to her “she still lives inside of me, we've never been apart.”

    I don't think it's a coincidence that the writers just put THAT specific song right there. Then again, this just might be my HIMYM-obsession talking.

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