By Meryl Gottlieb| firstname.lastname@example.org| @buzzlightmeryl
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS
Recently, one could argue I’ve given How I Met Your Mother more credit than it may have deserved. I honestly did like the “Slapsgiving 3” episode and last week’s episode wasn’t half bad, but here I can truthfully and wholeheartedly gush over the wonderfulness that is HIMYM. Tonight we learned “How Your Mother Met Me” as we went back in time, all the way to the pilot, until we caught up to present day to see what had been happening in the Mother’s (Cristin Milioti) life this entire time. This episode gave the Mother a beautiful background and even answered some of the questions we have had as the creators teased us with little known facts about the Mother all throughout the series.
I’m going to give a special shout-out to Cristin Milioti now because her performance is what made this episode so special and so believable. I cannot stress enough how perfect she is for this role. I can totally picture her character ending up with Ted (Josh Radnor) not only because they are written so perfectly together but also because the chemistry between Radnor and Milioti is unbelievable. You simply have to watch them in order to understand. I adore them and I love her. Also I loved that they had a special title scene for this episode.
Tonight’s amazingness begins with the pilot. It’s the night of the Mother’s 21st birthday and her friend went to the wrong MacLaren’s Pub — the one on the west side where Ted and co. go instead of the one on the east side. It seems like a magical night will ensue until she gets a call that her boyfriend, whom she is in love with, has died. Devastated, she goes back to their apartment and finds the ukulele he had bought her for her birthday.
We honestly haven’t had that much time to connect with the Mother but I felt just as bad for her as I would have for any one of the main characters on the show. I was devastated that such a tragedy had to have happened to her and felt for her as if I had spent nine years with her like I did with Marshall (Jason Segel), Lily (Alyson Hannigan), Ted, Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris). I am already deeply invested in this character and that speaks wonders about Milioti’s talents.
The Mother then sits around for two years, making sporty robot paintings of course, and finally goes out on St. Patrick’s Day. This is important, folks. This is the day she leaves her yellow umbrella at the same club Ted is at (when he gets outrageously intoxicated, remember?). Want to know why she left her umbrella there? It’s because she ran into Mitch (Adam Paul), a guy she had gone to school with, and decides to donate her cello to his school. They go back to her apartment and we find out that Mitch is the Naked Man!! The Mother is not about that move, thus creating the “two out of three” rule. This was a tie-in that I was not expecting! It was so cool how they did that. It’s obviously a major stretch that the Naked Man happens to be her old pal, but still it was funny.
Mitch ends up actually helping her, telling her that she needs to figure out what she wants to do and every decision she makes from now on should be based on that choice.
The Mother decides she wants to end poverty, so she enrolls in school to major in economics. Cut to the fall of 2009 and she’s in class with Cindy (Rachel Bilson), who becomes her roommate. Boy, they just snapped out one essential moment after another! This is also the day when Ted mistakenly went into that classroom instead of the architecture 101 class he was supposed to teach on his first day. She laughs at his corny jokes, and I’m head over heels in love with these fleeting moments between these two.
In January 2010, Ted is dating Cindy, but we all know it’s short-lived because he can only gush about the things the Mother owns and shows he’s clearly more interested in the Mother’s tastes than Cindy. Here’s the famed scene where we finally see the Mother’s ankle. (Remember when that was a big deal?!) The Mother consoles Cindy, while also remarking about the return of her yellow umbrella, for it to end with Cindy kissing the Mother. Yeah, Cindy’s a lesbian; remember that?!
It was so cool to see how they so accurately and beautifully replicated the scenes we all know so well.
Now, the Mother meets Darren (Andrew Rannells), who gushes over her band, Super Freakonomics. She invites him to jump on stage the next time he sees them play, which evolves into him taking over the band. It’s April 2012; Darren is blabbing away as the Mother struggles with the band’s equipment. A man, Louis (Louis Ferrigno Jr.), helps her and the two go on a date. At first, she is hesitant about continuing anything but then starts dating him.
Did anyone else realize that this is the same guy who was featured in “The Time Travelers?!” This is the guy who punched Ted in his fantasy when he runs to the Mother’s apartment “45 days” before they actually meet. I love the continuity on this show. It’s flawless.
The two date, but Bob Saget narrates how it just wasn’t love. How could you not love someone who does a song to the tune of “One” from A Chorus Line about English muffins?!!! That was the cutest and it made me love Milioti even more.
Now we’re caught up to present day. The Mother is staying at Louis’s beach home in Farhampton, knows about the “Bass Player Wanted” advertisement from Darren, stole Darren’s van, picked up Marshall and bought the best man a drink. She heads back to Louis’s, only to find that he’s down on one knee, proposing. NOPE.
She has to take a moment and go outside to talk to Max, the boyfriend who passed away nine years ago. She cries, looking up to the sky, asking Max if it’s OK that she moves on. Even though she thinks Max sent his blessings, she still doesn’t accept Louis’s proposal. She books a room at the Farhampton Inn, the one Robin’s mom was supposed to stay in, which just so happens to be the room next to Ted.
The Mother goes outside on the terrace and sings “La Vie En Rose” while playing her ukulele. Thank the heavens that they figured out a way to get Milioti to sing on the show! The song is beautiful and is the song she apparently sings to her future children. I wonder how they narrowed it down to that choice. While she sings, we see everyone else in the cast looking quite disenchanted, except Ted. He’s enthralled with this mysterious woman’s voice.
Everything is fine and dandy until Ted goes back inside to find that Barney has disappeared. Oh no!!!!
I think this was a beautiful episode. We got to really know the Mother and where she is coming from when she meets Ted. We know all about him; we’ve seen his journey for nine years. Now, we know about her and have even more reason why we should love the fact that these two will shortly end up together and fall madly in love. It adds so much to a love story when we are given another perspective. When Stephenie Meyer wrote Midnight Sun, it was so interesting to read because we had never known what Edward was thinking while we knew very well of Bella’s every thought. This, even though it’s much better than Twilight, is similar. We know how Ted has felt so now it’s interesting to see just how much this relationship will mean to the Mother as well. I’m simply in love with this show.
What did you think of the 200th episode? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl