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'How I Met Your Mother' Season 9 Episode 19 Recap: 'Vesuvius'

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We've entered "How I Met Your Mother's" final stretch. With three episodes to go before the finale, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are beginning to tie up every loose end and it has some fans prematurely heartbroken by the idea that we might be leading up to the mother's death.

Now, this isn't a theory I believe in, nor is it one I want to promote. But, Buzzfeed outlined why "Vesuvius" might give that theory some support. I, for one, don't want to believe that Bays and Thomas have been teasing Ted's ultimate heartbreak with a series of other mini-heartbreaks here and there. Perhaps, if this theory is true, it's the creators' way of saying that life goes on even when you think it can't, and that we all just keep going and pushing through the tough stuff. Life lessons are "How I Met Your Mother's" bread and butter and I wouldn't put it past them to hit us over the head with a huge one in the finale.

But, back to this week's "Vesuvius." The episode starts with Ted and the Mother 10 years in the future at the Farhampton Inn, where they realize they've heard every single one of each other's stories. Enter: solid flashback scenes to when Barney and Ted turned MacLaren's into Puzzles and the road trip that turned Marshall and Ted into BFFs. They high five over finally becoming an "old married couple." Classic Ted. Until they realize the Mother has yet to hear the story about how Robin broke a lamp on her wedding day.

robin wedding

Robin is not a Bridezilla type of gal, clearly, and spent the morning of her wedding trying to rouse Barney from his hangover, as we saw last week. After that, she played hockey with her little sister (hey, Lucy Hale!). Lily, being Lily, had other plans that involved a scrapbook and some tears. Robin just wanted to watch "Wedding Bride Too." (!)

Wedding day jitters were reserved for Barney and his suit selection. He had rented two extra rooms for his suits (under the name "Susan Top" ... like "Suit Up." Get it?) and had a few "Say Yes To The Dress" -- err-we mean suit -- moments.

Flash forward to the future, and the Mother has already heard this one too. "I don't want you to be the guy who lives in his stories," she tells Ted, further hinting at the tragic theory. "Life only moves forward." Back on Robin and Barney's wedding day, the whole gang ended up in Robin's room. Lily broke down and admitted why she'd been pushing wedding sentimentality all day: They didn't know the last time they'd all be together again since Ted would move to Chicago the next day.

"In a moment that when what's happening is too intense to deal with, sometimes its best to leave it unspoken and just enjoy each other's company instead," Ted and the Mother said, finishing each other's sentences in the future. And so it goes in both 2014 and 2024. Both conversations just melted.

Robin's mother finally showed up in the last few minutes of the episode, giving "Vesuvius" a swift kick in the heart. The Mother said that this story didn't have a surprise ending. "What kind of mother would miss her daughter's wedding?" A graying Ted cried, clasping the Mother's hand. Does this mean she won't make it to their daughter's wedding? Oof.

If that's really what happens, if the Mother's fate in death is already sealed, there's nothing we can do but wait and shout at our television sets. I'm still holding out that this is a conspiracy theory, that Bays and Thomas couldn't do something like that to us after all these seasons. The next four weeks might be brutal.

Why do you think the Mother won't make her daughter's wedding? What do you think "Vesuvius" meant?

"How I Met Your Mother" airs Mondays, 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

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