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December 18, 2014

How I Met Your Mother: Right Place Right Time

by Joel Keller, posted May 5th 2009 9:15AM
HIMYM: Right Place Right Time(S04E22) Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are a couple of clever guys, aren't they?

They're not only good at playing with time and space in their show -- something they did exceptionally well in this episode -- but they're also pretty good at tweaking the wording of an episode to make the audience feel like they're getting somewhere in the story when in fact things have only inched forward.

Just think about the words they used to describe the monumental outcome of Ted's day. Did they say everything you thought they said? Ruminate on it a second before you rejoin me after the jump.

Ok, so we see the yellow umbrella... big clue. We see all the little events that led up to Ted being on that corner at that time, where he runs into none other than his estranged wife-to-be Stella (more on that in a sec). And we have Old Ted telling his kids that without those moments "you might have never been born." Notice, though, Old Ted never came out and said that this was when he met "the mother," did he? He just said that's when his life changed, which led to the birth of his kids. So as far as we know, Stella's only a piece of the puzzle that leads Ted to the love of his life and mother of his chirldren. But what we're led to believe at first glance was that the person that tapped Teddy on the shoulder at that light was going to be "The One Who Would Be Mother."

Could it be Stella? I don't think so. During the "Shelter Island" episode, we already saw an alternate-reality Old Ted talk to two blond kids, saying "and that's how I met your mother," right as Stella walks in. But there's still always a chance. The fact that it was Stella on that corner was a bit disappointing; if an ex who isn't Robin needs to come back into Ted's life, it should be Victoria. Stella and Ted had zero chemistry, and Victoria was the only non-Robin-girlfriend anyone ever rooted for. But, hey, with Scrubs ending and/or morphing, more appearances of Sarah Chalke can't be a bad thing, right?

About the time-shifting... we really haven't seen the guys do this kind of intense playing with time in quite awhile, but it worked very well here. It was even well-played to make Barney's attempt at his 200th sexual conquest (my Best Barneyism of the week) just be one of the little events that led up to Ted being at that corner. In many episodes, that could have been the A-plot; here, it meshed nicely with Robin's bagel-induced food poisoning and Marshall's addiction to charts and graphs. Though it was funny to see Barney do some "Speed Flirting" when he found out that he may have screwed up The List and only had 198 conquests.

More fun stuff:
  • Having Ted go back and hug people in each event that led him back to Stella -- even the puking Robin -- was a nice dramatic touch. If anyone knows the song playing in the background in that scene, let us know.
  • Which Marshall chart did you like the best? I think the Ceclila Venn diagram (shown in the pic above) was mine, though the charts of graph interest and projected interest were funny because of the fairly steady (but not straight) line that represented Marshall on both graphs.
  • I liked the callback to the "Intervention" episode. Even though they vowed not to use interventions again, it was necessary in the case of Marshall.
  • 200 women did seem like a low number for Barney, didn't it? I thought it would be closer to Wilt Chamberlain proportions. Shows that love (and lust) is a numbers game, though... Barney may have been hitting worse than Jim Abbot, but he still got a lot of tail.
  • At this point, they might as well just show Cobie with full baby bump and just make jokes about her getting fat, a la Jane Leeves on Fraiser. They're not even trying to cover it at this point, even in a joking manner.
  • Barney offering to do all the work if Marshall lets him sleep with Lily was a good way to bring the absent Scooby gang member into the episode. "I will end your life," was Marshall's reply.
  • Does Galoshes the Weather Clown just go out after the show ends (at 5 AM) and just get completely shitfaced? I would if I had his job.
  • Barney actually wore a tux to his 200th celebration at MacLarens. Classy guy.
  • After the hollow victory of getting back at Matthew Panning, you knew Barney was going to turn his gaze at Robin. That's the couple I really want to see more of going forward, don't you folks?
  • Milt the nutty homeless guy was played by Dan Castellaneta from The Simpsons. Always good to see the voice of Homer Simpson doing live-action roles, even if they're small ones.

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sha

There will be a lot of confusing and minor possible "mothers", but in the end, the one mother is definitelly Robin.

May 16 2009 at 7:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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May 12 2009 at 5:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
greg

god i hope not. the only episode i even enjoyed stella in was 10 sessions.

May 07 2009 at 9:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kasertortea

When Marshall was talking with Ted on the phone, he said him ''Jack''. What does that mean? :S

May 06 2009 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Amy

I read on another board that Stella and her new fiance' try to make up for the hurt they cause Ted by getting him a job, which somehow leads to meeting the mother. Stella is NOT the mother.

May 06 2009 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
keypetery

Wow. What's with all the hating on Stella? I, for one, jumped out of my chair with joy when they showed who tapped Ted on the shoulder. C'mon, kids, it's Sarah Chalke! How can you NOT LOVE Sarah Chalke? She's the classic cool chick: cute and funny and doesn't take herself too seriously. And she can do comedy like nobody's business. I love Scrubs, but I was really kinda bummed when it got picked up again 'cause I thought that was the reason she got written off HIMYM. Am I the only one who WANTS her to be the Mother?

I am not so steeped in this show to know every little detail and all the reaons Stella just can't possibly be the mother, so I'm just gonna keep on hoping she is. So there was a sequence with blonde kids. There are ways to write around that. And dark hair is dominant, so there is every reason to believe that Ted's and Stella's kids would have dark hair.

I think there WERE sparks between Ted and Stella. Maybe not the cliche'd sitcom type, but of the real people type, which is one of the reasons I love this show.

May 05 2009 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to keypetery's comment
cindy_michel

You aren't the only one who loves Sarah Chalke. In fact, my screen name is usually SecondBecky!

I really loved their First Date - the "speed date"

however, their chemistry did fizzle out as episodes wore on, and now watching the first season on Lifetime, i vote for victoria too!

May 05 2009 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pix

I'm still hoping (like many other) that it will be Victoria. Should we start a petition or something? Bring back Victoria? :) The way they met is also amazing, not like with Chalke, pretty ordinary.
BTW Amazing episode, the best in the season.

May 05 2009 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew

The first set of charts and graphs were the best where he mocked Barney about his success rate.

May 05 2009 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Maggie

I've always thought it would be neat if the Mother were the Slutty Pumpkin from Season 1. She could have been at the St Patty's Day party, too, or be friends with Stella.

May 05 2009 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DIMeo

Brilliant epsiode, the ciclia venn diagram was the funniest part i love that reference, and the writers are brilliant for there to be several reasons why he ended up on that corner, and all very funny ones, brilliant writing. cracked up when robin said she was pregant thought that might be true

May 05 2009 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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