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Last night’s How I Met Your Mother was supposed to explode but instead it imploded. “Vesuvius” was supposed to rely on Barney’s suit’s and Lily’s fights for fireworks. Instead, a tiny inkling blew up the entire episode. Prepare yourselves: This isn’t a happy thought.

The Players:

  • Director: Pamela Fryman
  • Writers: Barbra Adler
  • Cast: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Cristin Milioti, Bob Saget, Roger Bart, Chris Kattan, Lucy Hale, Jon Heder, Barbara Nathanson, Tracey Ullman

Episode Title: “Vesuvius”

Future Ted tells The Mother the story of Robin and Lily’s wedding day fight while Present Day Ted helps Barney pick a suit for the ceremony.

The Good:

  • Boned: Barney is the perfect man to highlight the plight of the groom’s wedding day rebuff. No one stands when the most important man enters the room; there is no exaggerated stroll down the aisle. Though that will never change, let’s pay homage to Barney’s genuine shock and hilarious disappointment. The only thing better was watching Ted scream, “Say yes to the suit,” into a sobbing Barney’s face.  Your suits will always get a standing ovation from us Mr. Stinson.
  • Momma Scherbatsky: The Mother was right; there was no way Genevieve Scherbatsky was going to miss her daughter’s wedding. Next week will shed some light on the very little we know about the Scherbatsky matriarch. The good news is with Tracy Ullman filling the role, whatever they have planned will be worth the wait.

The So-So:

  • No Can I Do’s-ville Baby Doll: If Robin and Lily are best friends shouldn’t Lily have been prepared for Robin’s aloof attitude? Making Lily so crazed to see Robin loose it on the day of her wedding cheapened Lily’s character. Marshall shouldn’t have to remind Lily that everyone experiences things a different way. The argument could be made that Lily was so blinded with grief over when the gang would be together again that her judgment was clouded. The prospect of Ted not being a part of the group is upsetting even though the show will be over at the end of March. When it comes down to it, Lily jumping into her wedding dress to provoke an emotional reaction out of Robin just wasn’t funny. Watching Robin and Lucy Hale call each other Scherbatsky and say, “hosier,” in full on Canadian was light-years better.

The Bad:

  • Mrs. Susan Tup: This is the reason why a show like this has to come to a close. Suits have been the bread and butter of the series since its inception. For gosh sakes, the suit song from season five is practically an institution. However, all those amazing jokes and gags left a chasm for last night’s episode. Combing through Barney’s racks of suits to find one without the stain of a woman of the night on it is the kind of fruitless task we’ve lived before. So it’s not exactly like the many other suit fueled stories we’ve been through, but it feels way to familiar to be funny.
  • Where’s the Poo: So what’s up with Ted and The Mother?  Something very ominous was alluded to throughout the night, but it’s not exactly clear what it was.  When Ted first began his tale at the Farhampton Inn, The Mother thanked him for bringing them there. That seemed a little odd considering all this season’s flash forwards make it clear that the Mosby’s frequently visit the place of their first meeting.  Shortly after, the two traded nostalgic stories and celebrated making it to old married couple status even though they are obviously still young. Next, The Mother worried that Ted would remain a man trapped in his stories right before Ted got chocked up at the thought of a mother missing her daughter’s wedding. The final nail in the coffin was their warm embrace over the idea to let certain things go unspoken and enjoy time together. We’ve got a number of theories, but it all points to The Mother dying young.

Overall:

“Vesuvius” was less of a volcano and more of a minefield. There were a few humorless duds buried in the ground, and a slightly surprising belated arrival. The real explosion was the new theory burrowing in our brains: Is the Mother dying? Sure Ted could be getting chocked up because his mother passes away, but it’s more likely that the love of his life is ill. That would explain why Ted takes so much time and care in telling his kids the story of how he met their mom—because she’s not around to help tell it. For once we’re hoping we’re wrong. Some things are just too heartbreaking to be true.

Rating: 6/10

How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

What did you think of the episode?