We love it when shows choose to break out of their mold a little bit, which is precisely why Monday night’s new episode of “How I Met Your Mother” worked so well. Like “The Burning Beekeeper” from earlier this season, the half-hour focused on a frame for the story (having it being told by Ted, Marshall, and Barney each looking at their future three years ahead) and the managed to work the characters into it.
When it comes to this thread in particular, we found it particular insightful to look back at the past for these characters, look at what they wanted to be the future, and then what actually was the future. There were some fun nuggets of humor in there (such as something involving women in Stormtrooper costumes — fitting with the “Star Wars Trilogy” theme brought on here), some secret desires involving Marshall and facial hair, and most importantly some character development brought out through looking at these characters in this way.
It’s still unusual to see Barney in a happy relationship before Ted, especially to the point where our long-publicized womanizer actually wants to be with the same woman (in Quinn three years down the road). It was also sad to see Ted downtrodden at the end of the episode for the first ever in his history of trying to predict his own future. The irony? Three years from now in 2015, Ted is going to have everything he wants — including a baby girl. (Aww.)
For all of the fans of chronology, we take Ted having a child in 2015 as a subtle sign that season 8 could (and probably should, sad as we are to say it) be the last season. If Ted doesn’t meet the mother until the end of a possible season 9 in 2014, that would mean that she would have to get pregnant almost immediately in order for the scene at the end of the episode to be possible.
Overall, we love the idea of three characters imagining their future with a bit of sweetness and humor mixed it. These sort of things are what “Mother” does so well, and for the first time in months we are happy to see that some hope for Ted is coming on the horizon.