'How I Met Your Mother' 200th Episode Recap: The Mother's Side of the Story
Monday, January 27, 2014
How I Met Your Mother
celebrated its 200th episode with something completely different. "How
Your Mother Met Me" was told from the perspective of the Mother,
chronicling her journey over the past nine years that ultimately led her
It was filled with tons of references to past episodes, making it a real treat for long-time fans who remember all of the times we heard about the Mother but didn't see her. However, it was the Mother's emotional journey, filled with tragedy, that gave real weight to this genuine celebration of 200 episodes.
The Mother's Connections
The episode paid homage to many iconic moments in How I Met Your Mother history, and here's a quick refresher in case you've forgotten:
-The Mother and her friends drink at MacLaren's Pub, but not the one on the west side that the regular gang drinks at.
-The Mother paints robots playing sports and makes her breakfast foods sing show tunes, two things Cindy told Ted about back in the 100th episode, "Girls Versus Suits."
-We also see the Mother reading World's End (the book Ted pointed out in "Girls Versus Suits") and she's a fan of calligraphy, coin collecting and renaissance festivals, three things Ted loves (complete with the same pretentious pronunciation of "re-nay-sance").
-The Mother attended the St. Patrick's Day party Ted and Barney were at, where she left behind her yellow umbrella that Ted took in season 3's "No Tomorrow." Barney also hit on the Mother's friend, Kelly. I should also note that, inexplicably, the show said "April 2008" for this scene despite the fact that the holiday is obviously in March. Keep the timelines straight wasn't easy, and they mostly got it right, but this was just a dumb mistake.
-The Mother knew Mitch (aka the Naked Man), since he was her instructor at orchestra camp. He then performed his trademark move (introduced in season 4), but she turned him down, thus creating his rule that it works two out of three times.
-The Mother was in the economics class Ted accidentally lectured in from the season 5 premiere, "Definitions." That's also where she met Cindy (Rachel Bilson), who became her roommate.
-During the lecture Ted made a joke about being "shellfish" and the Mother laughed. In season 5's "Double Date," he made the same joke and we were told the Mother would laugh at it.
-Cindy kisses the Mother after Ted breaks up with her and leaves behind the yellow umbrella, thus beginning Cindy's lesbianism that was first seen in the season 6 premiere, "Big Days."
-When the Mother first meets Louis after a gig there are signs in the background that say "Save the Arcadian," the building Zoey tried to save in season 6.
-Louis tells the Mother that he thought MacLaren's was called Puzzles, a callback to season 4's "Three Days of Snow" when Barney and Ted took over the bar and renamed it. The Mother also guesses correctly that why the bar is called Puzzles is the puzzle.
-The Mother's first date with Louis ends as we see Barney hugging a pregnant Lily before Ted walks in wearing a dress, a scene from season 6's "The Mermaid Theory."
-Kelly tells the Mother about a guy who claimed he was a genie whose penis granted wishes, which is one of the plays in Barney's Playbook.
-Louis, the Mother's boyfriend, was first seen in season 8's "The Time Travelers" when Ted imagined running to the Mother's apartment and professing his love for her.
-The episode also featured many references from when we've seen the Mother this season, including the origin of how Darren (Andrew Rannells) joined her band.
The Mother's Sad Journey
While all of those references were fun, the true arc of the episode centered on the tragic love life of the Mother. The night Ted met Robin was also the Mother's 21st birthday, and the day when her long-time boyfriend Max suddenly died.
The next nine years showcased the Mother as a wounded soul whose one true love was dead and who could never love again. While Ted's journey has been about searching for the One, the Mother's journey was about learning to love again.
Things took a shocking turn when, on the day before Robin and Barney's wedding, the Mother's boyfriend Louis proposed to her. After a beautifully poignant scene of the Mother asking her dead soulmate Max if it was OK to move on, she turned down the proposal and got a room at the Farhampton Inn, right next to Ted's room.
The episode closed with a broken-hearted Mother playing her ukulele and singing "La Vie en Rose," a haunting and sweet moment that ended with the revelation that Ted heard it.
The episode was great on two levels. In terms of honoring the past and connecting the dots from nine seasons and 200 episodes, it was like looking in a high school yearbook to remember all the great times. But the Mother's story itself was extremely well done and moving. Cristin Milioti's performance, especially talking to Max and singing "La Vie en Rose," was sensational. Fans have already grown to fall in love with the Mother, something the show has handled nicely, but this episode solidified it.
For nine years we've been left wondering what kind of woman Ted will marry. This episode answered that question by allowing the viewers to fall in love with her first.
There are now only six new episodes left before the one-hour series finale of How I Met Your Mother, and this was the perfect way to bring us into the actual day of the wedding.
(Image courtesy of CBS)