Lily and Marshall get engaged. They are a nice young couple living in their first deluxe apartment in New York City. One of their newest friends, the lovable scoundrel Barney, is happy for them. But what of their oldest friend? Ted is initially thrilled, then melancholy, over this development. Why you may ask?
Because Ted is still single. And no prospects are on his horizon. So Ted sets out on an epic journey to find his soulmate. He immediately meets spunky reporter Robin, but we quickly realize she is not the chosen one. But the viewer knows Ted fulfills his quest and finds his true love. How is this feat of foretelling achieved? Because this entire tale is being told in flashback by Ted to his teenage daughter and son.
So, we and the kids are following along as Ted details How I Met Your Mother. This is the central conceit of the show, how Ted’s decision propels destiny towards him. And tonight’s season seven finale might bring us one step closer to finding out the biggest secret on television since the mysteries of Lost. For longtime fans, the payoff will be extremely gratifying. For those who came in late, like myself, the anticipation still exists.
Truth be told, this show flew under my wife and mine’s radar when it premiered. After a few seasons passed by, our good friend Katherine cajoled us into watching it. She is a Buffy fan, so she must be obeyed. We slammed through the first two seasons and grew to love Ted and Lily and Marshall and Barney and Robin. Season three and up eludes us, since Katherine misplaced those dvd’s. Grumble Grumble Gripe Gripe. We have managed to see reruns (Google that word) of scattered episodes from the other seasons, so we know generally where things went and with who. Clues have littered various shows as to the momentous event of HIMYM, with speculation online being rampant, but we remain gleefully oblivious to Ted’s destiny.
Our only quibble is this past season featuring Ted’s misadventures on the way to love. The multiple storylines (SPOILERS ON!!!!!!!!) with Lily and Marshall temporarily entering suburbia while awaiting the birth of their first child, Barney planning to wed a stripper, and the Ted/Robin doomed romance flaring up yet again, have simply not thrilled us. It felt like a transition time, but it all seemed to take too long. Getting from point A to point B with these wonderful characters should not take this long. Then again, it has taken how many years to get, well, someplace, anyplace, with Ted. It seems to be a factor in this tale’s DNA.
One recent episode illustrates how the end is nigh for Ted’s loneliness. Again with SPOILERS on for this season, during the Star Wars show they flipped three years into the future. Ted was shown carrying a baby (his daughter??) and sporting a wedding ring. Barney on the other hand (sigh!) was never clearly seen with a wedding band, despite the finale’s promise of his nuptials. Many questions abound from this short future burst. Many answers lurk in the subtext of this time jaunt. HIMYM now has to combine both together to provide the proper coda for Ted.
This brings up my fearless predictions for the next few seasons. Ted will meet the mother, drunkenly at Barney’s wedding. A one night stand will occur and she will part with Ted not recalling anything about her, let alone a name. The group will continue on their merry little adventures, with our hero none the wiser. When the ultimate conclusion is reached, Ted and the mother will finally cross paths, with no alcohol involved. At this point the mother will reveal the pregnancy.
Cue the tearful looks of love. Cue the warm embrace of the couple. Cue the ending. And now Ted’s kids know the full story of How I Met Your Mother.
P.S. How I Met Your Mother pictures are copyright 2012 to CBS.
P.P.S. The How I Met Your Mother season seven finale airs on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8pm on CBS.