Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why How I Met Your Mother Might Just Be a Delusion

In less than a week, the world will begin watching the ninth and final season of How I Met Your Mother. We finally saw the title character in the closing scene of last season's finale. This year, we've been promised much more of this woman. After eight years of wondering, we'll finally know the mother.

A final season is bittersweet. Part of me is excited and thinks, "It's about time!" Another part of me is sad that it's coming to an end. Sometimes it's hard to let go of something you've come to enjoy week after week for so many years.

But that's one of the beautiful things about Netflix. Even after the end of a show, you can still go back and relive it over and over. I've kind of been doing that with How I Met Your Mother. there are so many movies and TV shows available at the touch of a button, but I find myself continually drawn back to reruns I've seen a dozen times.

So I've seen the stories a lot. Before we met the mother, I developed my own theories about who this legen... wait for it... dary woman would be. I still say she'll end up being the woman that Ted stood up near the end of the first season.

But I have another theory. What if the whole thing is an hallucination? Hear me out...

We've been privy to Ted's delusions before. Way back in the first season, when Ted was suffering through a long distance relationship with Victoria, he imagined not only seeing her but having real conversations with her while dealing with the guilt of trying to hook up with Robin. Sure, we could chalk that up to Ted's exhaustion. After all, nothing good ever happens after 2am.

More recently, Ted spent an entire episode in conversation with two future versions of himself and two future versions of Barney. Then he ran to his future wife's apartment and had an imaginary conversation with her.

So I can't help but wonder, what if the entire series is a delusion? What if the kids that are listening to the story don't really exist? What if all of Ted's friends are just figments of his imagination? What if they're just his way of making sense of his scarred psyche?

Think about it psychologically. Marshall and Lily represent the ideal picture of love that Ted so desperately desires. Barney is the id, that primal urge to just seek pleasure. Robin just might be the best of both of those worlds for him. That may not make sense. It's been a long time since I studied Freud.

I don't know. I just don't think we should be too surprised if the series finale reveals old Ted in a psychiatric hospital talking to two therapists instead of two kids.

Is it, Barney? Is it?

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