Season Nine, Episode Sixteen
Can I just say this? Finally! We get a decent amount of time with Cristin Milioti as the mother! It’s about damn time, and to no surprise it’s one of the best episodes this final season of HIMYM. What took them so long? This episode was like The Lion King 1 1/2 for HIMYM, taking many of the hints Ted’s been dropping to us since the first season about his wife and showing us her perspective throughout the years. I honestly would’ve loved more than just one episode, because how great was this episode? The Mother was able to carry this episode with plenty of sympathy as her love of her life passed away. Her best friend, Kelly, was the perfect compliment to the Mother’s oddball personality. Everything came together so well.
We zip through the years and have plenty of cross-overs and close calls from Ted meeting his future wife. From the Mother hanging out at the other MacLaren’s bar to leaving her umbrella at the St. Patty’s Day party with Mitch, giving him the 2-out-of-3 for the “naked man,” we breezed through the outline of many important plot points along the series. We see how she ends up in the economics class, meets Cindy, and for the first time sees Ted who is lecturing the wrong class. Cindy becomes her roommate and goes out with Ted and for the first time we see how much Ted and his future wife are so compatible. We also see how she meets Darren and gets invited to play at Barney and Robin’s wedding, bringing us up to date at the wedding weekend.
But this wasn’t just an episode to introduce us to the Mother and to splice her into the story. She had her own heart-breaking event that has taken her years to get over. And only until now, she has finally allowed herself to let him go. When she’s outside of Louis’ house after she proposed to her, she looks up to the night sky and asks Max to finally move on and to love again. It’s an incredibly emotional scene, and it’s such a feat to feel such heartache from a character we’ve only just met. Milioti does a great job and it’s impossible to not really feel for her at that crucial moment. She turns down Louis and checks into the last room at Farhampton Inn and plays the ukulele that Max bought for her. This is the sort of pull that HIMYM has always had with its viewers. The deep breath that you release when she’s singing “La Vie En Rose,” wanting to burst through her room to tell her that things are going to be all right. This is some powerful stuff.
And that’s what makes this episode so special. Through all the jokes, gags, and slapstick comedy there is a gigantic heart for all the characters in this series. And along with the creators, the audience is sitting beside these characters that we’ve grown to laugh and cry with for almost ten years. We know that the end is soon and that’s sad. But also we know that very soon, Ted will meet his future wife and both of their pain will soon be lifted. Just knowing that is enough to wish for the end to arrive as soon as possible.
So that’s where we’re left. Everyone is caught up with only hours remaining until the wedding. Marshall and Lily are still recovering separately from the huge fight they just had. But in a beautifully shot scene, we see Ted on the balcony right next to his future wife, listening to her sing. He returns to his room to alert Barney of the singing girl next door, but to his surprise Barney’s gone. With only a handful of episodes left, we’re in full throttle mode to the wedding and until Ted meets the love of his life.