Never accuse Carter Bays and Craig Thomas of not having a plan! Even though How I Met Your Mother seems to have dragged in the last few seasons and could be accused of using its renewals to stretch out the mystery of The Mother to a ludicrous extent, last night’s episode 7×20 “Trilogy Time” put us back on track. It was also one of the better episodes of season 7, and not just because the last few minutes revealed that Ted has, as we guessed, met The Mother and had his first child by 2015.
“Trilogy Time” brought us back to the early years of the show, when the gang were our age (mid-20s), idealistically enjoying their post-college adventures in one of the greatest cities in the world. The premise of last night’s episode was that every three years Ted, Marshall, and Barney meet up to watch the entire Star Wars trilogy (original, natch) and daydream about their futures three years later. We start in 2000 and laugh along as Ted and Marshall envision themselves rich, famous, and handsomely coiffed, plus both settled down with Robin and Lily respectively.
But more than a decade after this experiment started, Ted has been through the ringer: He’s lost Robin over and over (they’re currently not speaking); he’s embarrassed about his broken engagement and failed architectural firm; and it seems impossible that he’ll stumble upon the love of his life in a mere three years. And yet: We see Ted reuniting with the guys in 2015, with Barney snarking that Ted “brought a girl.” Right as you think that we’ll get to glimpse The Mother’s ankle again, Ted comes out of the kitchen with a newborn, saying, “Good thing she takes after her mother.”