How I Met Your Mother has always been a show that isn’t scared to make a big speech the highlight of the episode. Ted is usually the one giving these speeches, whether he's insisting to Robin that he should be able to tell someone he just met that he loves her or sharing with his kids the idea of being in the right place at the right time. "Farhampton," the premiere of HIMYM’s eighth and most likely final season, turned the tables on Ted, though. In this episode, Ted Mosby was the one listening to a speech that would change his life.
But before we get to that, let’s jump back a few scenes. After revealing that Robin was Barney’s bride at the end of Season 7, tonight HIMYM picked up right where it left off. Ted found himself dealing with Robin’s bout of cold feet. Looking at the window in her dressing room, Robin remarked that it would be easy to climb right out of it. Her mention of going out the window caused Ted to quip that it’d be much easier to climb out that window than it would be to climb in through it.
Jumping back to the present day, we found Ted and Victoria happily driving off together, only for things to come to a halt once Ted realized Victoria hadn’t left a note for Klaus, her fiance. Ted quickly explained that an “I’m leaving you at the altar” note gives the rejected party a chance to mourn (and eventually cause some brick-fueled destruction). It’s a common courtesy.
I’m still torn on the idea of Ted running off with Victoria for this very reason. Ted was the guy who got left at the altar. We watched him fall in love with Stella, earn her daughter’s trust, come to terms with moving to New Jersey, and even agree to assume ownership of the most hippy-esque wedding ever... all for him to have his heart broken. And now Ted is encouraging Victoria to do the same to Klaus as she leaves the poor guy a note? C’mon, Teddy Westside, you’re better than this.
That said, Ted wound up getting the moral loophole he was hoping for, running into a fleeing Klaus at the church. Klaus had realized that Victoria wasn’t the woman he should marry and planned to leave her at the altar. Unlike Victoria, he left a note. As Klaus ran away, Ted finally summoned the courage to climb the church’s drainpipe and stage Victoria’s room to make it look like she'd found Klaus’s note, cried over it, and then ran away herself.
With that, Ted cleared every obstacle to being with Victoria. He finally had the girl of his dreams. He had the chance to stop looking for the one. He could be with Victoria. They could bake cupcakes together. They could sit on the porch with Marshall and Lily and grow old. But Ted just had to do one more thing: He had to ask Klaus why the runaway groom couldn’t marry Victoria.
Ted couldn’t just be happy with Victoria. He had to have someone tell him why Victoria was—or wasn't—the one. Like those great speeches of the show’s past, Klaus’s words to Ted set a course for the rest of the journey HIMYM plans on taking us on. As Klaus explained to Ted that Victoria wasn’t his “lifelong treasure of destiny” and was instead “the thing that is almost the thing that you want but is not quite,” you could see that Ted had realized the same thing. I think he loved the idea of being with Victoria more than he loved Victoria.
As Ted let us know that he was still a bit of time away from finding the one, we jumped back to Barney and Robin’s wedding day just in time to see a taxi arrive. A woman got out of the cab. She pulled her guitar case out of the taxi’s trunk. And as the camera panned out, we saw it—the yellow umbrella. This is the endgame. This is the mother. We don’t know her name, and we haven’t seen her face yet, but Ted Mosby is now just a few feet away from the one. As Ted once told us many seasons ago, the universe has a plan, and that plan is always in motion. Ted had finally found himself in the right place at the right time.
So what happens next? This scene was in the future, taking place ten hours after Ted was talking Robin down before her wedding. We still need to get to this point. How long will HIMYM make us wait before returning to this point? Season 7 began with Barney’s wedding day, but didn’t return to it until the season finale. If this is the last season of HIMYM, we’re going to have to return here sooner rather than later. We’ve watched Ted fall in love with Robin, Victoria, Stella, and Zoey—the story of Ted falling in love with the mother of his children needs time to be told. This show now has us closer to hearing that story than we’ve ever been before.
The other big plotline of the episode followed the rest of the gang as Quinn learned that Barney had dated Robin but was okay with it because Robin was now dating Nick. Marshall and Lily, suffering deadly levels of sleep deprivation, blew Barney’s secret. As Klaus’s speech to Ted played out in voiceover, we saw Robin open Barney’s box preserving the memories of their time as a couple while Barney looked longingly out his taxi window as Quinn fell asleep on his shoulder. Barney still loves Robin. Poor Quinn. Just like Nora, she doesn’t stand a chance.
This was likely the beginning of the end. We know where Ted’s going, and we know some of the stops along the way. There are possibly just twenty-something episodes left to finish a journey that we began with How I Met Your Mother back in 2005. I’m going to miss this show when it’s gone, but I can’t wait to see what it has in store for us over the next season.
NOTES & QUOTES
– When we first saw Ted sitting on that bench at the beginning of the episode, his right hand was bandaged. What happens to him at the wedding? With this group of friends, it could be anything. Hopefully someone’s hidden away the hair clippers this time.
– Quinn on why she can’t ask her co-workers to be in her wedding: “I worked at a strip club, and I know they’d complain about any bridesmaid dress with a front.”
– Robin to Barney after he showed her the edited versions of his pictures: “ You replaced me with a tiger?”
– Barney’s 52-second summary of How I Met Your Mother was fantastic. It also reinforced the belief that HIMYM has evolved from being Ted’s story to being Barney’s story instead. The latter part of Barney’s summary was all about himself, Robin, Nora and Quinn.
– Lily after learning that Quinn lets Barney fart in front of her: “She lets you fart in front of her?” Marshall after learning that Quinn lets Barney fart in front of her: “Barney, you go get that girl.”
– Robin to the gang while explaining that she’s really into her new boyfriend: “I don’t wanna be crude, but I wanna spend all day licking his abs.”
– Is Robin really happy with Nick? If so, it’s the first time we’ve seen her this happy in a while. I always thought she seemed on-edge with Kevin, which probably had to do with the fact that he was her shrink.
– Klaus to Ted after Ted tracked him down: “I don’t know what kind of vibe I was giving off before, but I am not interested in your schnitzel.”
– We’ve seen that guitar and those ankles (well, maybe not those exact ankles) before, when Ted was in Cindy’s apartment. The show’s creative minds won’t reveal whether the woman under the yellow umbrella is a stunt mother or the actual actress who plays her. Sneaky.
– The song playing during the end of the episode? “The Funeral” by Band of Horses.
What'd you think of the episode?