How I Met Your Mother

Season 8 Episode 20

The Time Travelers

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Mar 25, 2013 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

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out of 10
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • The Mother of all Episodes

    I'm wondering if anyone on earth is worthy enough to live up to the ultimate Reveal that will be 'The Mother'. Expectations will be too high.

    - She will have to be hot, as nearly everyone expects her to be. I am sure almost all of us were disappointed at the 'teaser' prospect of the emaciated Jayma Mays (the Coat Check Girl / Glee) being the mother.

    - At the same time she will have to have supreme screen personality. This is where there could be scope for disappointment as she might falter in this or the former category. They had 8 years time, so here's hoping Bays & Thomas have found someone who will knock it out of the park.

    - As evidenced most of the time she will certainly be blonde. Of course the fakeouts with Sarah and Zoey also tell us that, not to mention glimpses of her. Despite him and his kids being brunette, Ted seems to mesh well with blondes.

    I personally liked the girl they revealed to be one of Barney's potential stalkers (the Number One Seed): Holly from Brooklyn (Episode 314, The Bracket). She has that compatible 'beauty' and charisma.

    The entire episode was murky upto Ted's sad Epiphany. But that moment, together with the Barber shop quartet of a lifetime, just raised the bar to the stratosphere!

  • Filler? If only fillers were this good...

    In the words of Mr. Stinson: This episode was legen-----wait for it-----dary!

    I must admit, watching the first minutes of the episode, I didn't expect a very good the last

    5-10 minutes that makes this episode one of the best in a long time.

    Personally, I don't think he's crying because the mother is dead in 2030, but with the twist we've seen in this knows?
  • How Your Father Met Me...

    As Ted and the narrator tell the story over the years of the show, time passes and stuff happens, and obviously we get closer and closer to the time when he meets the mother. Here now in Season 8 we are 45 days away from when it actually happens for real.

    So this is my take on this episode:

    Ted is retelling this time just like any other, only he starts off the episode talking about how close he now is to her, yet at the time she couldn't have felt further away from him. He is very low, he sees his friends moving on with their lives in such major ways, while he is seemingly going nowhere, with no-one, and it was all getting to him subconsciously. Even moreso now because in reality his friends are now actually SO busy with their new lives, they are moving on without him. He is back at the only place he calls "Home", where he feels he should be - at MacLaren's, but now he is left all alone, as they are too busy to be there with him, and he realizes their separate lives are now more important than he is, and he is left feeling very empty.

    He sits by himself, having memories of times they were together mixed with daydreams of them being there, mixed with imaginations of the future (the various future selves), mixed with what if's of the past (the coat check girl).

    It's so bad he can't even bring his imagination to let him think he would have talked to her even in this dream; that they would never have lasted, one of them would have left the other, it always happened so why even bother going through it all again.

    Finally he snaps out of it and he's alone on the street outside the pub as the narrator takes over from where he himself started at the beginning. Yes he'd rather be with his friends, even just doing everyday things, it was still better than this so long as he was with them and not alone.

    But the real irony of this moment in his story is that she really WAS just down the street, and if only he'd known that then his daydream would have been SO very different - he'd have run to her door to tell her it was all going to happen for them both and that he loved her, even if it meant a punch in the face, because it would have been worth it just to have had her in his life even for only 45 seconds more.

    I don't at all see this as any kind of twist on either of them dying and him looking back and wishing he'd had longer with her. It's just a very touching scene that tells how much he loves her and how close she was at a time when he was so down.

    And for the record I have always thought there was nothing to stop the writers making the final reveal that the kids are on the couch facing both their parents as they tell them the story, all together in one room, with the mother finally able to say "For goodness sake are you done yet!? It's my turn... right then, now I'll tell you both the real story of "How Your Father Met ME".

    For me this was the best show of this season, and actually in a strange way probably where I'll always think of Ted having met the mother.
  • Jayma Mays reprises as 'coat check girl' , YES!!!

    first I thought it was a repeat of the future barney

    but it got fun really quickley- plus a good end twist

    Jayma Mays reprising her 'coat check girl' role:)

    the song at the end- :)

    NPH rules!
  • What Filler

    People who call this episode a filler does not have patients. It showed us how really alone Ted is at the moment and was illistrated in a very unique and created twisty way. What would have happened if he met the mother today? This episode really captured the thing Ted was affraid of since Season 1. Not getting a wife and now it has become reality... everyone is moving on except him which will make the encoutner with the wife much more special. it's almost as if ted could say to the rest that was complaining to him about getting a wife.. see i told you so and now I am the one that is alone.

    Great episode, funny, moving, creative and we get to feel for Ted. 10 out of 10
  • The Sausage Fillers

    This would be a good title for this episode: "The Sausage Fillers". In fact, it would fit the whole season, since they decided to extend the series and now they have to "fill the sausage", as we say in Brazil. I mean, the theme has been fully explored and there's nothing more to say. Still, they have to blablabla it to the last episode of [let's hope] season 9.

    Too bad for such an amazing series to end like this.
  • My first review.

    Well, i didnt write a review for any show until now, but i just had to do it for this episode. Im sorry if my english is possibly bad.

    Im still really touched by this, Ted is really absolutely down at this moment, and still he will find the love of his life in a few days. (Although after watching this episode for a moment i had the idea that his kids exist just in his imagination)

    The whole story of this episode is just extremly sad; but it gave me a good feeling on my own life, and yeah, it was just extremly touching
  • rumors...

    i heard the most depressing rumor about this

    they're saying that in 2030 (which is when Ted is narrating the story to his kids) the mother is already dead, and that's why in this episode, at the end, when he goes to see her in her apartment, tears are kind of welding up and he asks to be those extra 45 days with her...

    i seriously hope that doesn't happen..
  • One of the best and most depressing episodes ever...

    I usually never rate a perfect score, for any episode of any given show. But I had to tonight, having JUST finished watching this episode. Looking back at this episode, you realize how confusing and head-scratching it is--perhaps even a "filler" before we reach the season finale/wedding that everyone is waiting for. But if these "filler" episodes can make us laugh and cry, then I don't see why the hell not.

    This episode really gets on your "nerves" as well as on your "heartstrings". Those final 5 minutes are simply the most amazing 5 minutes in television history that I have seen, in a while. I may be exaggerating here, simply because my judgment is very clouded right now considering it's been 10 seconds since I've finished watching--and this is the normal reaction anyone would have after watching The Time Travelers but seriously, since the moment that present-Barney says in all seriousness "I'm not gonna stop you from going home", you start to feel the chills. And then he goes on with "This whole Minnesota-thing happened 5 years ago, and everything other than that never happened... Look around you, Ted. You're all alone. "

    And then we see Ted, all alone in the bar.

    Seriously, no one could have EVER played the part of Ted Mosby better than Josh Radnor. I have heard and read several articles about people criticizing Josh and Ted himself simply because he is "depressing" and uninteresting. I could NOT disagree any more. I find it amazing that in these few months, Ted reaches his ULTIMATE lowest before he meets the Mother. It makes perfect sense.

    The "imaginary" scene where Ted goes to the Mother's door and tells her that he loves her and that in 45 days, they will meet is just beautiful. For a second, it gave me the idea that the Mother in 2030 is dead or something and he's saying he wants these extra 45 days with her but I don't know.

    What a beautifully wrapped episode, to an outstanding show that proves, that after 8 long years, it can still be creative, cleverly-written, witty and let's not forget legen-----wait-20-years-for-it-----dary.
  • Best - Hats off

    Its one of the best moments ever................ got everything...................
  • For the Longest Time

    It's been a while since HIMYM has really hit like that. Not when Lily admitted she sometimes thought about not being a mom. Not when Ted encouraged Robin to go to Barney. It did a spectacular job of illustrating how outcast Ted feels how that the others are moving forward with their lives and he's stuck behind. This episode wasn't perfect (speaking to the mother, especially, felt rather like a cheat), but it had all the elements that made HIMYM so successful. I actually had forgotten Marshall's a lawyer and a dancer. It was great to have his talents countered by Robin Sparkles. And Lily doing that support dynamic they've had from the beginning. And Barney being Barney (I was disappointed he didn't scold himself for mussing a suit, but he's come far enough it's understandable). Good job, guys. Let's have a few more like that.
  • Best (and saddest) HIMYM episode this season!

    I know a lot of people are frustrated/annoyed with Ted, but I think tonight's episode illustrated how alone Ted feels right now. And how hard it is to deal with everything around you changing, especially when you feel like you're stuck and everyone is moving on without you. Tonight's episode reminded me why I love this show ! 45 days!!!!
  • Best episode this season

    This episode is why I love HIMYM. No matter how much of a slump HIMYM might get into they always manage to pull out a episode that completely blows you away.