How I Met Your Mother The Time Travelers

How I Met Your Mother The Time Travelers

HIMYM

How I Met Your Mother
CBS
March 25, 2013

This was the single saddest episode that I have ever seen of this series. It’s sadder than the funeral episode for Marshall’s father, I think. This is probably just my opinion, though, since I’ve often felt that time travel is the most depressing trope in all of storytelling. Nothing good comes of it. The whole episode is a little confusing since it’s never really clear what happens and what doesn’t, or when it happens, but here we go.

Future Ted begins with a voice over about how physically close he and his wife-to-be are, by this point in the series, while being so far apart in terms of where they are in their lives. He explains how put together the Mother already is and how she’s dating a man who works on Wall Street. Meanwhile, we cut to see that Barney is begging Ted to go to Robots vs. Wrestlers (a call back to earlier seasons). Ted is, of course, hesitant to go along with anything that is Barney’s idea, so Barney summons a version of himself from twenty years in the future!

Twenty-Years-From-Now Barney (TYFN Barney) asssures Ted that it is totally worth while to go to Robots vs. Wrestlers and that it will be a night that he’ll never forget. To prove his point, he summons TYFN Ted who readily agrees that it will be a night worth experiencing. Ted is about to agree, but before he can Twenty-Minutes-From-Now Ted appears with a hangover and a wrist splint, determined to stop him from going.

Meanwhile, Marshall has invented a new umbrella cocktail that he’s very proud of. When he gets to the bar and explains how to make it, Carl the bar tender tells him that it’s already a menu item, named after Robin because she orders it so much! Gasp!

So while Marshall tries to take down Robin and earn the name-rights to his drink back (it involves writing on bathroom walls and an argument with Carl because Marshall doesn’t know his last name, finally culminating in a dance off), Ted continues his debate with Barney and his future selves. Then, all of a sudden, a beautiful girl walks in. It’s the coat-check girl from that fancy club that they went to several seasons ago! He gets up to go talk to her, but quickly realizes that nothing good will come of it. He’s dated long enough to realize that “dating” is not for him. He will get tired of her or she will get tired of him. The whole thing is doomed from the start and not worth pursuing.

As he returns to his table, he tells Barney that he should have gone after her because you can’t let opportunities get away. Then Barney reveals he did let that opportunity get away…five years ago. He’s been sitting alone, staring at a Robots vs. Wrestlers ticket for several hours, because everyone else was busy having real lives. He’s all alone.

Futurue Ted tells his kids that if he had it to do over again, knowing what he knows now, he would have gone to their mother right then because he wants to have the forty-five days between when this story took place and when they actually met. That didn’t happen, though. We don’t know where Ted went that night (though presumably to see Robots vs. Wrestlers), only that the story still trudges on.

Told you it was a depressing episode.

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