How I Met Your Mother

Season 8 Episode 20

The Time Travelers

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Mar 25, 2013 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
203 votes

By Users Episode Review


    How I Met Your Mother "The Time Travelers" Review: T-Minus 45 Days

    Even without its closing minutes, this episode would've ranked as one of Season 8’s best.

  • Episode Summary

    Ted and Barney's future versions attempt to persuade present day Ted to go see Robots Versus Wrestlers. Marshall and Robin have a dance-off.

    Who was the Episode MVP ?

    • A Look Inside the Mind of Sad and Lonely Ted

      I love this episode. It's fantastic.

      Ted is all alone. In a group of five you always run the risk of being the fifth wheel, the odd man out. People partner off, and you're just kind of left there. Sad and lonely. And that sucks. That really, really sucks. It hurts. It scares you.

      So, what does Ted do in this moment? He tries to revisit something familiar. Something safe. He buys a ticket to Robots vs. Wrestlers Legends because he remembers how great that moment was. To be a part of something. A memory.

      And that's what the first 16:10 of this show is. It's visiting the familiar. The safe. The comforting.

      An earlier better time: Minnesota Tidal Wave.

      He sees one that got away: Coat Check Girl. But in the same way that he can't actually bring himself to go to Robots vs. Wrestlers, he can't bring himself to approach her. He's reached the ultimate low point. He is presented with something that a younger, more hopeful Ted would view as a sign of fate and go to CCG, but instead he thinks about how all of his other relationships have flamed out, and decides that it's not even worth it before it begins.

      The entire time traveling aspect: It's just Ted's subconscious playing out. Barney, Twenty Years From Now Barney, and Twenty Years From Now Ted are basically his id, 20 Hours From Now Ted is his superego. They battle out it trying to convince Ted to go try to reclaim past glory- indulge- or be prudent and steadfast.

      So, that explains the first 16:10, but what happens in that last five minutes is where it all pays off.

      It's kind of like a microcosm for the entire series.

      Consider this: The thing that really separates this show from the way so many others are told is Bob Saget.

      His voice isn't just a father regaling his children with a long (and ridiculous) story about how he met their mother (and banged a parade of sluts), but also it's about reflection. This show has the magical gift of hindsight. Ira Glass always talks about how good storytelling has two components: the anecdote and the moment of reflection. The anecdote is just a series of events: this happened and then this happened and then this happened. And the moment of reflection: that's where you get a chance to come in and look at those events and farm meaning from it. This entire series is built upon these two ideas. Old Ted is not just giving his kids a series of events, he's trying to say something, to give them meaning.

      And that's what the last five minutes does so brilliantly. It takes a series of events (or non-events because it's all just in Ted's mind) and it farms out this amazing sentiment. Everything in life is building towards something. When you're at your worst, at your lowest moment- you can't see that. Only when you have distance, time, perspective can you look back and say "Yeah, that was awful, but if I'd only

      I guess the only other thing that I can say about this episode is this:

      We all have our moments where we like to throw a rager of a pity party for ourselves. But when that time passes and things get better and then we look back on that mess we've made from wallowing in it, we realize there's so many better things that we could have been doing. Appreciate the little things and realize that it's not always lonely being alone. You can learn things about yourself- like being able to appreciate the small stuff in life. Your friends can't come out? Go see them. And if you could go back, knowing what you know now, well... you know the thing that Ted or any of us would do first.

      All in all, I think this was an absolutely brilliant episode from one of my favorite shows in the last decade.moreless
    • Some weird sci-fi attempt.

      This was one of the most random episodes I've seen. I watched the last one which I really enjoyed, so I was hopefuly we were going in the right direction, but this episode was bixzarre.

      The storyline was nonsensical. What was the purpose of the future people there? It wasn't funny and this isn't a sci-fi.

      The Marshall/Robin storyline over the Robin Scherbatsky drink was somewhat entertaining.

      The last couple of the episode's minutes was actaully pretty intnese and interesting. It redeemed the episode to some wonderful moments and left us with a few questions.

      But the episode minus the last two minutes was basically pointless.moreless
    • IMO...

      one of the best episodes ever!
    • Aaaaaa

    • Filler, filler, filler

      I couldn't agree more with the review entitled "The sausage fillers". It is quite obvious for me that the writers are having a difficult time finding ideas to fill the chapters until the end of this season, when Ted and The Mother finally meet: Ted has already stated that he will not date any other girl before The Mother; Barnie and Robin are in a boring cheesy relationship that is destroying the characters built in the previous 7 seasons; and Marshal and Lilly, well, they are doing Marshall and Lilly stuff, but with no narrative arch whatsoever to keep us interested.

      So, what do they do then? They invent silly one-episode narratives that go nowhere just to fill the air. And they overload them with cheesy romanticism, be it Ted declaring his love for future wive (whom he hasn't even met yet) or Barnie insisting over and over again on his love for Robin.

      This show is getting closer and closer to moralist feel-good series like "Full House"... it's hard to recognize the original and somewhat politically incorrect show that it was in its first seasons...moreless
    Jayma Mays

    Jayma Mays

    Coat Check Girl

    Guest Star

    Lou Ferrigno

    Lou Ferrigno


    Guest Star

    David Henrie

    David Henrie


    Recurring Role

    Lyndsy Fonseca

    Lyndsy Fonseca


    Recurring Role

    Joe Nieves

    Joe Nieves


    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Ted: (to the Mother) 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 2 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. Look 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 gonna love you, till the end of my days and beyond. You'll see.

    • NOTES (2)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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