The 200th episode of How I Met Your Mother was not merely an episode surrounding the Mother. It was a nine-year montage filled with scenes that made us fall in love with a character we were always supposed to love instantly. Ted’s future wife, mother to Penny and Luke, has had some sparingly interesting and adorable scenes in the ninth season. This episode, however, allows us to enter the world of the titular character.
We go back to September 2005—the date of the premiere episode—to MacClaren’s, the night Ted met Robin. Except we’re not at the gang’s MacClaren’s on the west side. There happens to be one on the east side, at which the Mother is celebrating her 21st birthday. The Mother is waiting patiently for her boyfriend, Max, to show up, but he doesn’t. We later learn that The Mother has had a pretty sad life. It turns out her boyfriend died that night, which sends the character into a two-year period of isolation.
The next scene we are lucky enough to see is the infamous St. Patrick’s Day party—the episode with the bump girl and when Ted first gets the yellow umbrella—where The Mother is partying with Kelly. We always knew that she was there, but we didn’t know that she knew Mitch: the Naked Man. He tries to pull off the move on her after it worked a week earlier, but it fails. Then he tries it on Kell,y and it works. It was great seeing that the Naked Man based his entire philosophy on a trio that included the Mother. I love seeing how intertwined Ted’s life was with the Mother. There’s some validation that he knew he was so close, but so far this entire time.
Rachel Bilson returned as the Mother’s roommate, Cindy, who Ted dated. The night that they broke up because Cindy realized Ted would basically fall in love with the Mother once they actually met was also the night Cindy started to realize she was a lesbian. To be honest, I wanted more with this plot line, but I understand why it had to be rushed.
It’s because we dive into the Mother’s relationship with Louis, her last boyfriend before meeting Ted. She loves Louis, but it’s not true love. The Mother is basically Ted. Throughout this episode, we see sprinkles of how perfect she truly is. Like laughing at a joke he tells when he’s accidentally teaching the Mother’s economics class.
This catches us up back to the wedding weekend. Louis proposes to the Mother, but she turns him down. It’s a sad moment, but she talks to Max and realizes it is time to move on, just not with Louis. She leaves Louis’ house near the Farhampton Inn to get a room. The one right next to Ted. In a rather poignant moment she sings “La Vie en Rose,” and the entire audience weeps.
So, that’s where we ended the episode, but there is more to the mystery. There has been a faction who believe Ted is telling the story to his kids because the Mother has died. This all stemmed from the famous “45 day speech” he gave during “The Time Travelers” last season. I was hoping that the Mother would have some voice over with the children somehow, but she didn’t. This leaves the door open for the possibility of a grim finale. I’m still holding onto hope that HIMYM will turn out to be a happier ever after tale and feel that the creators know of people’s concerns and are playing games with us. Which they have been known to do.