Spoilers for recent episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” ahead. You’ve been warned.
Way back when the first episode of “How I Met Your Mother” premiered in 2005, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) fell in love with Robin Sherbatsky (Cobie Smulders). It was love at first sight. Radnor and Smulders had that intense chemistry that you come across only once in a while on television, that one in a million chance that mimicks real relationships.
But Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, the creators of the show, quickly threw a pail of ice-cold water on that relationship.
In the final moments of the pilot episode, it was revealed that Robin was the kid’s aunt (whether by blood or as a friend, we are still unsure), and most definitely not the mother.
In spite of this revelation we spent the majority of the first two seasons of the show following Ted as he fought for Robin’s love. And we kept watching once he had won her over. And kept watching until things fell apart. It was great.
The first three seasons of the show had energy and humor. We didn’t care about finding the mother so much, because our characters were happy and they were growing.
But then, seven seasons later, we get the episode “The Drunk Train” which aired Feb. 13.
The episode as a whole was actually one of the better ones of the season.Ted joins Barney on the last train to Long Island looking for lonely and depressed girls to hit up while Lily and Marshall go away for the weekend with Robin and her current boyfriend Kevin. It was the final moments that put a controversial spin on the typically un-offending show.
Robin reveals to her friends that she is unable to bear children and expresses confusion over possible having wanted kids.
This turns out to be the honest and a bit heartbreaking moment that Kevin and Robin’s relationship comes to end, even after he proposes multiple times.
In a moment of weakness, and perhaps friendship, Robin confesses everything to Ted, who has just spent the majority of his time hitting on women he has no interest in. And that’s when it happens. Ted boldly tells Robin he is still in love with her.
That’s where they lost me. I fully support character development, which I think has been very strong this season. I am just not sure how going backwards to a story that has already been dealt with can help the show to move forward.
I do not need to know who the mother is right now. I don’t think that is what this show is about, despite the title. It’s about friends and about love. “How I Met Your Mother” is about getting through the independent years of your life when nothing is a sure thing. The show is strongest when it just tells stories about the strong characters they have built and their relationships with one another.
We have already seen Ted and Robin’s relationship play out. And yes, their chemistry was strong. But that’s just it, it was strong. Past tense. So much has happened, and so much has changed, that I find it hard to believe these two characters could fall back in to something.
I hope that the purpose of this story turns out to be something unexpected. Or maybe it will be that tipping point we were warned of early on the season by Victoria, the unexpected visitor. Maybe this is where the triangle of Ted, Robin, and Barney cracks and breaks.
But no matter what happens, I hope Ted and Robin do not get back together. Nostalgia is ok, but I don’t want to see the characters living in the past. I want to see them making the way for their future.
How I Met Your Mother airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
Rosenberg is a member of the class of 2012.