The theory that the titular mother has been dead all along is not exactly new for ‘How I Met Your Mother’ fans, but a touching moment from the March 3 episode ‘Vesuvius’ made that cruel theory seem more like a definite reality. Sigh.
Here’s some advice, How I Met Your Mother — if you’re going to kill off ‘The Mother’ after 9-ish years of buildup, don’t cast someone as inherently lovable as Cristin Milioti as the yin to Ted’s (Josh Radnor) long-winded yang.
‘How I Met Your Mother”s Dead Mother Problem — Can They Make It Work?
In case you missed it on March 3, here’s why we’re pretty damn sure that the mother is dead — or at least very depressingly ill.
Much of “Vesuvius” took place in 2024, with future-Ted telling future-Mother a story she somehow hadn’t heard before. It involved Robin’s (Cobie Smulders) mother showing up to her wedding, to which the Mother replied, “Of course she showed up… What mother is going to miss her daughter’s wedding?”
Cue Ted’s face crumbling in despair, essentially slapping us in the face with the hard reality that, by 2030, the Mother will very likely not be alive. (Get it? ‘Cause she won’t be making it to her own daughter’s wedding?)
Of course this isn’t the first time that the show has heavily hinted at a dark future for Ted. That dream sequence from Season 8 — you know, the one where he begged his future wife to spend 45 more crucial days with him — also made it apparent that something will be amiss by the time 2030 rolls around. Then there’s the fact that the show’s producers, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, have insisted since day one that they’ve known the show’s ending all along, and refuse to change it. (And having the Mother dead all along is a pretty easy endgame to stick to, if we’re being honest.)
But still… does all this necessarily mean what we think it means?
Silver Lining, Question Mark?
Here’s a glimmer of hope, HollywoodLifers — HIMYM has never shied away from major, game-changing moves, and everyone loves a good red herring. Yes, given the scene in “Vesuvius” it’s now impossible to deny that something sad will happen in 2024, but it could be a number of other things. The most likely option, methinks, is that the Mother will become sick — maybe she receives her diagnosis before that sad little scene we just saw, and is on the mend by 2030. (Hence the need for so much storytelling — maybe the kids have never had the chance to see their parents happy and in love, since she’s been so ill.)
It’s also possible that someone else — like a really good friend, or even Ted’s mom — just died, and they’re majorly sad that that person won’t make it to their daughter’s wedding. True, it’s kind of a lame explanation, but it’s preferable to the death option.
I mean… if the Mother has been dead this whole time, then why the heck would Ted spend eons explaining his romance with Robin to his children, instead of the one with, you know, their mom? The fact that Ted spent so much time telling tales of woe and romantic misadventure should heavily imply that there is a happy ending to all this, and I’m going to cling to that childlike hope until Carter and Craig give me a reason not to.
And if that reason includes the Mother being dead and Ted somehow ending up with future-Robin… well, let’s just say, you won’t like me when I’m angry.
What do you think, fellow HIMYM fans? Is she dead? Does she have some terrible, fatal disease? Is all of this really depressing to consider? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
— Shaunna Murphy