How I Met Your Mother Review: “Coming Back” (Season 9, Episode 2)

How I Met Your Mother

In the second episode of Monday’s How I Met Your Mother season 9 premiere night, the cast is settled into where we’ll likely see them for much of the season, and everyone plays a fairly big role… except the Mother. Those who thought the Mother was going to be a vital part of every episode going forward are quickly proven wrong, though she does appear for the moment many fans have been waiting years for: The first interaction Ted has with her.

But it isn’t right. I mean, I had to call it an interaction. That’s a horrible word, but really it’s all that works. Because we don’t get to see him meet the Mother, rather he’s already met her. And that just isn’t what this show has built toward for so many years.

As I said in my review of season 8’s finale, I wanted the first glimpse I had of the Mother to be at the same time as when Ted first set eyes on her, to share Ted’s rush of emotion as he sees the woman that ultimately he will marry. To watch in wonder as he realizes that the yellow umbrella she held is the same one that was in his possession so many years ago. To then see her face, after we realize with Ted she is the one. Rather, we get to see her long before he has any idea who she is or really, that she even exists at all.

Season 8 cheated us out of our first moment seeing the Mother, and now, episode 2 of season 9 cheats us out of Ted’s first moment seeing the mother. Yes, I’m sure it’ll still be a great scene when the two finally do meet for the first time, but to see them already together before we see them meet diminishes that eventual meeting. It also goes against the report that everyone else will meet the Mother before Ted does. I get that chronologically that may, and likely will, still be true, but we’ve seen Ted with the Mother, so that first moment is now gone.

The biggest focus in this one is the divorce of Barney’s brother. It’s said throughout the episode that the only reason Barney believes in marriage is because of his brother’s loving marriage. Robin is afraid if Barney finds out about the divorce, he’ll reconsider their upcoming vows, thinking that marriage won’t work. Well Barney does find out, but he handles it with an unexpected maturity, which was a pleasant surprise. I highly doubt that’s the last time James’ failed marriage comes up this season, but so far Barney has taken it quite well.