'HIMYM' Rewind: How the Mother Met Everyone Else
On Monday night's penultimate How I Met Your Mother , Robin became the final member of the group besides Ted to meet the Mother. In May, CBS president Nina Tassler confirmed that Season 9 was dedicated to "how each character, before Ted, meets the mother." This allowed viewers to get to know the Mother's backstory though her interactions with Ted's friends. But in the wedding weekend that took 22 episodes, it can be hard to remember exactly who met her when and what their encounter was like, so as we prepare for the series finale, and Ted finally, finally getting to meet his wife, let's take a look back at her interactions with the other group members. Because it's through these that we got to see her true personality, and meet the Mother ourselves.
Lily met the mother first in the viewers' eyes (though Barney actually met her way back in Manhattan). In the show's season premiere, Lily ditched driving-glove Ted and his boring road trip to take the train, where she meets the Mother for the first time. She's very sad that Marshall and baby Marvin have been out of town for so long and is on the verge of tears when she's rescued by treats from a kind stranger: the Mother. She and Lily bond over the creative cookie name "sumbitches" and their mutual hatred for slow drivers. (The Mother later mocks Ted's careful driving by nicknaming "Lady Tedwina Slowsby.") The Mother's first encounter with one of the fabulous five reassured fans that Ted's dream girl isn't all sunshine and rainbows, but has some sass, which means she'll fit in perfect with the group, especially when they all mock Ted.
He meets the Mother by (how else?) hitting on her. In a flashback way before Barney proposes, we see him run into the Mother in a drugstore and attempt to get her number as a way to get over Robin. But she sees right through all that and realizes that the womanizer side of Barney is just a front for deeper sadness. "Do you want to keep playing, or do you want to win?" she asks him. Their meet-up was the catalyst for Barney realizing he wants to be with Robin no matter how hard it is, so really, the Mother is responsible for the entire wedding weekend. Her cheesy, but helpful romantic speech to Barney was further proof that she's perfect for Ted, who shares the similarly dorky, yet adorable, trait.
The Mother finds Marshall and Marvin walking alongside the road on their way to the inn so she picks them up. After a brief moment where Marshall thinks she's going to kill him, they end up bonding over totally dorky band names. (Marshall's college band was The Funk, the Whole Funk, and Nothing but the Funk while the Mother's was Superfreak-onomics) The scene also allows us to see that the Mother is not 100 percent perfect. She's unable to stand up for herself and assert herself in her own band. The HIMYM writers needed a scene like this to keep the Mother out of "manic pixie dream girl" territory and allow the fans to feel like she could be a real human being.
Which brings us to Robin, who finally meets the mother as she's fleeing her wedding and literally knocks her to the ground.
Once they stand up, Robin asks her for advice on whether or not she should go through with the marriage. Here's where the Mother really solidified herself as an excellent character and debuted her biggest dose of logic. Robin tells her she's running from the altar and then waits for the Mother to pull a Ted. "Aren't you supposed to talk me out of it? Tell me it's just cold feet, I'm being crazy?" she asks. But the Mother does exactly what I hoped she would do — no impassioned romantic speech, she just lays out the facts. "I don't really know you," she says. And I cheered because, yes, the Mother doesn't know her and shouldn't be advising her on this decision, and also it shows that she's the perfect match for Ted, because she's not Ted. She'll be able to be practical when he gets too over-the-top and that's why they're meant to be, because they balance each other out.
All four of the Mother meetings has given us a glimpse at her character and allowed us to fall in love with her and know that she and Ted will be great together. Now we just have to wait until next week to see if the writers actually let her live.