HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: Did We Just Get a Major (Depressing) Clue About the End?
March 26, 2013 by Marisa Roffman
[Warning: This post contains spoilers for tonight's episode of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, "The Time Travelers." If you haven't seen it, please turn away now to avoid having key elements of the episode ruined.]
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER is no stranger to playing episode-long long cons on the audience (for instance, the episode where Robin was speaking to her future children…both of whom never existed), but Monday night’s episode, “The Time Travelers” had me wondering for a moment if this was secretly going to turn into a story of how Barney and Ted finally went off the deep end: the duo spent most of the installment “talking” to future versions of themselves about whether they should go to a robot show, while Marshall and Robin fought over the rights to name a drink.
But wait, not everyone was losing their mind — one of the Barneys revealed to Ted that this was all in a lonely Ted’s imagination. Barney and Robin were off together. Marshall and Lily were with their son. Ted was just by himself at the bar, debating whether he should go to a robot show. Narrator!Ted told his kids that 2013!Ted should have gone to see any of his friends, but if had the choice to do anything in hindsight, it was clear what he would do — go to their as-yet-fully-seen mother.
In Narrator!Ted’s imagination, he would run to the mother’s door and give her this message:
“Hi. I’m Ted Mosby. In exactly 45 days from now, you and I are going to meet. And we’re going to fall in love. And we’re going to get married and we’re going to have two kids. And we’re going to love them and each other so much. All that is 45 days away. But I’m here now, I guess, because I want those extra 45 days. With you. I want each one of them. And if I can’t have them, I’ll take the 45 seconds before your boyfriend shows up and punches me in the face. Because I love you. I’m always going to love you. Until the end of my days. And beyond.”
And his words got me thinking…have we ever heard a reference to the mother in the present 2030 story? The way Narrator!Ted wanted to speak to his future wife (specifically the “…I want those extra 45 days. With you. I want each one of them. And if I can’t have them, I’ll take the 45 seconds before your boyfriend shows up and punches me in the face. Because I love you. I’m always going to love you. Until the end of my days. And beyond.”) sounded like someone desperate for just one more moment with a dearly departed loved one.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been assuming that this story has been gearing us towards a happy ending. Maybe not a perfect one, but I figured at some point, whether it was in the series finale or some time in the final season, we’d get to see Future!Ted, his wife, and maybe their kids. (They’d probably have to flash further to the future to account for the real time passed between the first shots of the kids to their ages now.) If he’s been telling this story to his kids about his dead wife…that’s going to color things a bit differently.
So, am I reading too much into it? Has there been a reference to his wife being alive in 2030 that I’m blanking on?
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