How I Met Your Mother Recap: ‘Trilogy Time’

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They say that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. And strangely, throughout the possibly best and funniest episode of the season, “Trilogy Time” reinforces that old chestnut. Do you think you’ll be happily married? Sorry, all the world has for you is being left at the altar by the ditsy woman from Scrubs. You think you’re going to be a rich environmental lawyer with five children? No dice — just take the one kid from the Buffy The Vampire Slayer girl and call it an existence. You planning on beding a woman with breasts in the front and in the back? Science has better things to do, chump.

A sort of depressing first act of “Trilogy Time” was severely tempered by the cold open, which was one of the funniest scenes the show had ever done. Instead of the usual beginning where Future Ted begins his narration of the story, we’re just launched right into an unfamiliar room. A deranged man — played by Kinsey from Mad Men — watched Barney from the apartment across the street through binoculars. He ignored his wife who pleaded with him that they have dinner plans and claimed that the “well dressed blonde man” always takes seven paces out the front door and smiles at exactly 8pm. Every. Single. Night. We didn’t know what the hell was going on until we’re transported to the familiar MacLaren’s where Robin asked Barney, “But aside from not being able to fart in the apartment, how’s living with Quinn?”

It turns out not so great: she politely asked if they can use her coffee mugs. Barney acted out because he’s afraid of commitment, but that’s all set aside when Ted announced to Marshall and Barney that it was time to watch all three Star Wars films, back to back to back, just like the boys did every three years since 2000. The majority of the remainder of the episode is seeing them talk up a ridiculously good game about the future three years from before every viewing, and then viewing the harsh reality.

2003, As Imagined By 2000 Ted and Marshall

Ted has long hair and is a successful architect. Marshall has an awesome mustache, is a lawyer and Lily is pregnant with their first child, insisting that the child bearing experience is so wonderful that she wouldn’t mind popping out four more. They have a band and Ted’s dream girlfriend, an English woman who looks just like Robin, is the bass player. Ted can wail on the guitar, because he’s been practicing since 2000.

Actual 2003

Marshall confused Ted’s guitar mangling of “Hot Cross Buns” with “Satisfaction.” Marshall was childless and mustacheless because his hair grows in patchy. He looked like Han Solo, but only because he was wearing a discounted vest that he scored from his job at Structure. They’ve since met the walking STD known as Barney, who escorted a woman he had sex with out Ted and Marshall’s door.

2006, As Imagined in 2003

The boys are rich and classy: Ted designs opera houses and his dream girl — who again looks like Robin — now speaks French and is super-rich. Marshall is an environmental lawyer but he still has a ton of cash thanks to a historic seven week run on Wheel of Fortune (weird that even in his biggest fantasy he wouldn’t aim to be a historic Jeopardy! or Millionaire champ.) Lily is knocked up and no longer hates Marshall’s mother. Barney is getting strange from a random skank.

Actual 2006

Marshall got into law school! But Lily left him and he’ll never have a mustache. Ted was content because he has Robin, who at this point in time wanted to do nasty things to him.

2009, As Imagined in 2006

Ted marries Robin, who becomes a 50s housewife. Lily is back and is preggers, but when Marshall took over the fantasy the baby’s father is some douchenozzle with a thick mustache and trucker hat. Barney continues to infect half the women of New York City.

Actual 2009

Lily came back, but Ted wasn’t with Robin anymore and had recently been ditched by Stella at their wedding. Barney was by then secretly hooking up with Robin. Ted joked that if he isn’t with a nice girl and married three years from then in 2012 — when he is thirty four years old — something is “seriously wrong” with him.

Actual 2012

Guess something is “seriously wrong” with Ted.

2015, As Imagined by Ted in 2012

Ted is bald and resorts to calling TV dinner hotlines for companionship. Lily is pregnant for the fifth time. Robin is married to the douchenozzle with the trucker hat and Barney is with another woman.

In the present, Barney interrupted Ted to admit that he wanted to still be with Quinn three years from now. He dramatically left to make amends with her, and then fart in her presence. So all is well.

Actual 2015

In the big reveal, we see that in 2015 Barney likes to awkwardly hide his left ring finger from the camera and that Ted is married and has a daughter. Well then.

By being funny, weird and a little touching, this was one of those “this is why I used to love this show” kind of episodes. It’s possible that three years from now that How I Met Your Mother will still be on the air long past its expiration date, a prisoner of its own good ratings, and waste away before our very eyes. But we wont feel stupid about reasonably hoping that that won’t be the case now.

Things to Say Instead of Admitting to Having a Sexual Stormtrooper Fantasy

“Good thing I spent the last three years learning to wail on guitar.”

“I’m an environmental lawyer now. Sure it’s not the most lucrative field, but luckily I have the cash and prizes from my historic seven week run….on Wheel of Fortune. For which I was knighted Majesty by the Queen.”

“I don’t know what I love more: his thick mustache or his trucker hat.”

“Barney said she’s taking some extension class on how to decoupage, and Barney is taking a different decoupage class in the same building, that’s why they shared that cab that one time.”

“So I’m the weird one?”

“I’ve been crop dusting the patio for weeks.”

“Where are you blonde man? SHOW YOURSELF!”

Things to Ponder While Making One Small Adjustment

Isn’t it convenient that in the timeline Ted will have an infant in 2015, when May 2013 in of the actors’ current contracts expire? If Mosby meets the Mother at the end of next season — which could be the final season — it’s conceivable they’d be married with a kid in two years, with it being a Ted in his mid thirties and all.

They were probably going long on time, but don’t you think they could have mined a little more hilarity out of the scene where Robin was secretly listening in on the boys’ conversation?

Can Jason Segel win an Emmy for his pronunciation of the word “mustache” alone?

Did you catch all of the newspaper headlines from the fantasy sequences? They were, in chronological order: “PRESIDENT GORE SIGNS HISTORIC BILL INTO LAW”; “PRESIDENT DEAN CALMLY ADDRESSES THE NATION”; “President Kucinich kicks ass, as expected”; “America Regrets Giving Bush Surprising 3rd Term.” Yes, when the boys matured the headlines ceased to be entirely in capital letters.

Is anyone else going to now always assume initially that someone is in Barney’s storm trooper?

Is it weird that I’ve seen all the Star Wars movies exactly once and I’m okay with that?

Roger Cormier would never try to make Paul Kinsey angry.