Recently I re-watched the entire How I Met Your Mother series because I have an addiction to television. And, I don’t want to review the entire series but I do want to talk about one specific episode, episode 19 of season 9. It’s one of the last episodes in the entire series and the reason I wanted to talk about it is because I think it brings up something interesting enough about the series to justify it being shared. Also, warning, major spoilers ahead.
By this point in the series Ted hasn’t met the mother in the current timeline of the show but we see moments in the future where Ted and the mother are already married. The episode, entitled, “Vesuvias” is told from the perspective of future Ted and his future wife. The episode itself, set in the current timeline of the show is alright, the ninth season narrative of Ted moving to Chicago get wrapped up and in the B side of the story the gang gets into their normal hijinks. But what’s really interesting is what happens in the scenes where we see future Ted telling the mother the story.
The running gag throughout these scenes is that the mother has already heard all of the stories that Ted is tells her, which tells the audience that Ted is always telling stories about his single days. And when you couple that with the fact that the entire premise of the show is based on the idea that Ted is telling the story of the show to his kids you figure out that Ted is a man who is obsessed with his past.
But this is a very different version of Ted Mosby from the one we see throughout the series. Through nine seasons of the show Ted has been obsessed with one thing. The future. He’s obsessed with finding his wife and starting a family and spending the rest of his life with them. And in this episode the audience is shown that after he finally does find his wife, the thing he always wanted he immediately switches all of his attention to the past.
This story seems incredibly pathetic. Ted isn’t a hopeless romantic or a wistful old storyteller. He’s a man who wants what he can’t have.
For nine seasons the only thing Ted ever talks about is how he wants to settle down and find a wife. Sometimes it’s endearing and sometimes it’s annoying but at least it tells the audience what they are going to get. It tells us, “just wait till he finds the mother, then everyone will live happily ever after.” But then he does and he still isn’t happy.
But then we find out the real reason that this episode is so important, we find out why it’s called “Vesuvius”. At the end of the episode it is revealed that the mother is sick and that soon she is going to die. And suddenly it makes sense why Ted is always telling stories about his single life. Because it’s before he met her and fell in love with her and before she was torn away from him. The show is no longer pathetic, it’s tragic. Ted is a hopeless romantic and he just wants the love of his life back.
So in the end we get a man who searches for the love of his life for nine years before he gets it. Finally, he get’s the happy ending but then it is torn away from him. And in the aftermath the man becomes obsessed with his past, forever reaching to a time when his destiny was in front of him.
And that seems like a great ending to the series. For anybody who watched How I Met Your Mother the first time around, I know that a lot of people were disappointed. I was too. But when I took a second look at it I was quite satisfied.
Thank you for reading, I know this isn’t really like what I normally do but I was sort of inspired to write this review and I hope you enjoy it. As always, please like and follow this blog and if you maybe have any other interpretations of the ending of How I Met Your Mother or anything else please feel free to leave a comment.