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Review: The "Mother" of All Episodes

James Canellos ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti in the How I Met Your Mother episode "How Your Mother Met Me." Photo Credit: Ron P. Jaffe / Fox.
Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti in the How I Met Your Mother episode “How Your Mother Met Me.” Photo Credit: Ron P. Jaffe / Fox.

How I Met Your Mother has been one of the biggest teases in sitcom history. Season after season, the creators have laid Easter eggs all over the place. Last night the patience of loyal fans was greatly rewarded, with the show’s first one-man-show of an episode. The show’s most mysterious character, simply named “The Mother” (Cristin Milioti), is no longer shrouded in wonder after this episode’s honest and revealing portrayal of the title character.

What makes this episode, titled “How Your Mother Met Me”, so uniquely fresh wasn’t just the presentation of The Mother on her own, but how the writers (Carter Bays  and  Craig Thomas) so smoothly transition her into the main character’s lives in such unexpected ways. This episode almost feels like a re-pilot, as it opens on the first episode of the show back in 2005 as The Mother’s story runs parallel to Ted’s (Josh Radnor). There’s even a completely new opening sequence based around The Mother. Throughout this episode it’s revealed that The Mother had met her own true love back in 2005, but he tragically died, leaving his girlfriend unable to recreate such feelings for years. During these flashbacks in time, the wide eyed future Mrs. Mosby brings back some of the show’s most memorable moments from her own perspective. It’s even shown that she’s the one who ended The Naked Man’s (Adam Paul) winning streak.

Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti in the How I Met Your Mother episode "How Your Mother Met Me." Photo Credit: Ron P. Jaffe / Fox.
Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti in the How I Met Your Mother episode “How Your Mother Met Me.” Photo Credit: Ron P. Jaffe / Fox.

Bay and Thomas haven’t shied away from getting creative with their forms of storytelling and this episode ranks so highly in that category, while it seems so simple. No episode of this show has been about one character. Sure, most of the episodes tend to focus more on Ted as opposed to let’s say Lily (Alyson Hannigan). But this one puts Milioti front and center, no side stories or any specific theme, just simply a parallel story of what this woman’s life has been like for the past eight years. The writers don’t show The Mother as the essence of perfection, she’s given an appropriate level of pain, that never feels like it’s too much, but only makes her more plausible after she’s had such an angel like presence about her.

Aside from the comedy and the slightly darker tones, what HIMYM has done so well is fuse such a charming level of romance that never feels too cutesy. While Ted and The Mother never meet it’s shown so nicely how they do belong together. It can be very in- your-face, but those moments where The Mother says the lines Ted has said makes the moments so sweet. It’s like how people finish each other’s sentences, except they don’t even know they’re doing it.

Milioti fits the role like a pair of red cowboy boots. She has such a likability about her that makes me believe she’s meant to be Ted’s wife, she’s not afraid to declare herself as part of the gang without forcing her way in. Milioti uses her deadpan humor and eyes as her greatest tools in laughter, while saving her lovely voice for a beautifully bittersweet rendition of Edith Piaf’s ‘La Vie En Rose’. It was obvious that she had the approval of all the characters who have already met her, but now she’s won the approval all those who have been waiting for eight years. This episode was so pivotal because it needed to let the audience know that there will be a great payoff if they hang in there. Thanks to sharp writing and an excellent Milioti, they prove that some people are worth waiting for.

“How You Mother Met Me” Overall Grade: A

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