Season 9, Episode 19
Tonight’s new HIMYM, “Vesuvius,” was a tough pill to swallow. We have all heard the theories and weighed in on the conjecture that perhaps the Mother is dead in the future. It would be a logical (and emotional) reason that Future Ted tells his kids all these stories. While I always felt this could very well be possible, I just didn’t WANT it to be the case.
A snowy night in 2024
Head’s up East Coasters: Looks like the winter in 10 years from now may give this winter a run for its money in terms of snow. Ted and the Mother barely make it to their favorite romantic spot—The Farhampton Inn—for a little getaway without the kids. Bart the judgmental receptionist is still there, but now Ted can be the lovey couple the Inn demands. Ted and the Mother immediately begin to reminisce, which as we all know is Ted’s favorite pastime. But the sweetest part is that Ted and Mother have finally reached the “old married couple” phase where each knows every single story of the other: “Nice! We did it!”
Yes, as Ted begins to recount stories of snow that the Mother and we have heard before, it leads to the continuation of the infamous wedding day morning of Robin and Barney. And thus we welcomed back Lucy Hale as Robin’s little sister Katie [last seen in season 2 before she was a ‘pretty little liar’] and the return of the amazingly terrible movie, The Wedding Bride, courtesy of an equally bad sequel: The Wedding Bride Too.
Wedding morning moments
Future Ted fills Mother in on some of the last minute prep before the wedding, even though she already knows most of these stories as well. Ted spent the beginning of the day helping Barney pick his suit. Obviously this was no easy task; even more difficult given that Barney checked his suits into their own room, “Susan Tupp” (read: Suit Up). Ted really came through as a solid best man by giving the groom a heartfelt pep talk about his upcoming nuptials and love for Robin until Barney was ready to feel great in his custom Tim Gunn-created suit.
Meanwhile, Lily projected her own nerves, emotions and bridal freak-out moments onto the very chilled Canadian bride. Little sister Katie didn’t seem too worried about her big sister, and willingly gave her crap about her hockey skills. But Lily just couldn’t let it go, and she made it her mission to get some burst of emotion out of Robin, good or bad. Her plans took a detour when she, Marshall and Robin all got sidetracked watching The Wedding Bride Too on pay-per-view…a movie they had been forbidden to watch. Side note: apparently it became a Broadway musical as well. Marshall particularly enjoyed it until seeing himself as a slovenly character named Narshall.
When Lily decided enough was enough, she stormed out of the room determined to get a reaction out of Robin. So she returned in her own wedding dress! Yes, it seems Lily decided that she and Marshall would “borrow” Robin’s photographer to re-take their own wedding day photos (in all fairness, they did have a lot of disasters), but she also hoped that THIS news would finally get Robin to crack some emotion. Nope. Instead, it was Lily mentioning that Ted’s move to Chicago would be the next day, and that this would be the last time all of them would be together for a while. Hold your sniffles for the moment…
Because Robin headed into the hall to get some ice and who should she see? Her mother! Robin’s mother made the journey after all at the last minute, and she was played by none other than Tracey Ullman. Continue to hold your sniffles as Robin hugs her mom…
Back to snowy 2024
…because it turns out that Robin’s mother’s arrival was a part of the story that the Mother has not heard before. She is not totally impressed with Future Ted’s surprise reveal when she responds, “Of course she showed up! What mother is going to miss her daughter’s wedding?” Future Ted’s face crumbles and they grab each other’s hands as they both think about this statement with clear and utter heartbreak. Oh F* no. We also quickly think back earlier in the episode to the Mother telling Future Ted that she doesn’t want him to live so much in the past with his stories: life moves forward.
Clearly this looks to be like serious bad news for Ted, the Mother, and us all. If it is not an outright reveal that the Mother will pass away from an illness, at the very least they must think her diagnosis is pretty darn bad. Again, while I knew it was a possibility, this is just not what I wanted to see for our Ted…and for the lovely Mother now that we know her. It’s interesting that I have usually applauded this show for its darker and sadder threads (see: Marshall’s father dying; Robin learning of her infertility; Barney’s struggle to reconnect with his father). And I truly do believe that HIMYM has covered these more serious life influencers with greater depth and human spirit than any other “sitcom” ever has or would. And it’s not that it doesn’t make sense that Ted would tell his kids all these stories to preserve the memories of his late wife—but I just feel like the tone would have been different this whole time. Wouldn’t the kids—even snarky teens—be a little more invested and caring at remembering a deceased mother? Maybe that is just my wishful thinking and my desire to live happily in the past with our favorite HIMYM stories. Maybe I am more like Ted, not ready to let go yet and move forward.