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'How I Met Your Mother' recap: 'How Your Mother Met Me' shows The Mother's story

Cristin Milioti as The Mother, Rachel Bilson as Cindy in 'How I Met Your Mother' "How Your Mother Met Me"
Cristin Milioti as The Mother, Rachel Bilson as Cindy in 'How I Met Your Mother' "How Your Mother Met Me"
Ron P. Jaffe/Fox

"How I Met Your Mother" celebrated its 200th episode Monday, Jan. 27, with "How Your Mother Met Me," which offered a look at what The Mother had been up to all these years, and it was everything it should have been and more. It was well worth the wait, and it even made up for some of the weaker episodes this season.

Yes, this "HIMYM" episode was all about The Mother, complete with new opening credits all about her and her friends. It began with a woman running past Ted and Barney in MacLaren's in September 2005 to catch a cab to another MacLaren's to meet The Mother for her 21st birthday. Max was late, but The Mother thought he had just waited to find her gift. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. He died, and when she returned home upset, his gift was waiting for her: a ukulele.

Flash to April 2008. Her roommate dragged her out to the club for Saint Patrick's Day, and The Mother jumped at the chance to leave when she bumped into Mitch, her instructor at orchestra camp, and offered him her cello for his underfunded school. She left her umbrella at the club, and by the time she returned for it, it was gone. While she was getting that cello, Mitch pulled his move, the Naked Man. However, Mitch wasn't just a nice guy who became a bit creepy after he moved to New York. He also offered her some advice: every decision she made should be in service of what she wanted to do with her life.

At that point, it was ending poverty, and so in fall 2009, she was working towards a degree in economics and had just invited Cindy to move in with her when Ted walked into the wrong classroom. The Mother laughed at his lame jokes, and after she mistakenly thought she was in the wrong room, Ted ran by her to get to his class.

Flash to January 2010. Ted and Cindy broke up because he liked everything in her room that was The Mother's, and after she walked out of her room after he left and noticed the yellow umbrella, she was distracted by the breakup story. The Mother suggested Cindy should've shown him everything in her room and he would've run screaming. (Or, you know, fallen more in love with her.) Then Cindy kissed her and realized that she had some stuff to figure out.

Flash to The Mother meeting Darren, who was not a potential roommate but a fan of her band, which he called the best economic-themed band in the city. She invited him to join them on stage at their next gig, and with that, flame-y-eyed Darren was introduced.

Flash to April 2012. While Darren sucked up the attention from groupies, a man helped The Mother with her equipment and asked to buy her a drink. They went to MacLaren's, which Louis had known as Puzzles (!!), and it went well enough that he asked her to dinner. However, she thought she had met her One in Max, that he was like winning the jackpot with her first lottery ticket, and didn't bother trying anymore. He gave her his card in case she changed her mind, and she walked out between Lily and Barney, just before Ted walked in in the green dress. She did end up dating Louis for a couple of years, but it wasn't love.

Then fate intervened, and Ted bumped into Cindy on the subway. Since Louis had a beach house nearby, she was staying with him, and it was there that she saw the ad looking for a new bass player. So then came the conversation with Lily, picking up Marshall and Marvin on the side of the road, and buying the best man a drink for punching Darren. When she returned to the beach house, Louis proposed, and she took a moment to step outside to talk to Max and ask for a sign it was okay for her to move on. She took a gust of wind as a yes, but when she went back inside, she said no and checked into room 6 at the inn.

And so The Mother took the ukulele out of the case and sat on the balcony playing and singing (because they couldn't cast Cristin Milioti in the role and not have her sing) "La Vie En Rose" as Marshall sat alone in his room, Lily sat in the back of the car, Robin was in bed alone, Barney was drinking on a mattress on the floor of a room, and Ted was sitting on the other side of the wall dividing his balcony from The Mother's. As Future Ted narrated, he had heard her sing that every night when she tucked the kids in, but this first time would always be his favorite.

But wait! Before Ted could tell Barney all about what he heard, he discovered that Barney wasn't in the room like he should have been…

"How I Met Your Mother" season 9 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS. What did you think of "How Your Mother Met Me"?

Read more about How I Met Your Mother.

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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