First things first, I miss Lily like I'd miss an arm. Who's with me? Okay now, let's get to "Right Place, Right Time." This episode -- which is not the finale despite what I said last week -- is one of those foundational episodes. It doesn't really take us anywhere. It just books our flight, plans our itinerary and packs our bags. All necessary and worthwhile things, but? It is homework, nonetheless. It feels weird to get homework this late in the year, but the show has earned it, and it was fun homework, like drawing a picture of your favorite scene in your free-choice book report book -- not mean homework like memorizing the Periodic Table of Elements. While setting up the future, "Right Place, Right Time" also reinforces the theme that has run all through the series -- that all these little steps we take seem like nothing when we take them, but are all part of this journey that is life.
Ted's struggling with an uninspired design for his first clients at his own firm. He's tired and stressed, so Robin sends him out to get a bagel and a new attitude, but he avoids his favorite joint -- Schlagel's Bagels -- because Robin got food poisoning there. Since the weather clown (no, really) on Robin's show predicted rain, Ted grabs an umbrella on the way out the door. A YELLOW UMBRELLA! Wait. Are you kidding me, Show? The yellow umbrella is Ted's?! After he hits the newsstand, he detours to give a street person a buck because of a prior arrangement I'll cover in the weecap. [Gah! Really?! Can I at least tell them it involves an intervention? - Zach] After, while he waits at the traffic light, he meets... someone. We don't see her face, because it's obscured by an umbrella. A blue one. But Saget!Ted tells his children (and us) that if everything hadn't happened as it did, he wouldn't have been in the right place at the right time, and they might never have been born.
Meanwhile, in the B-Plot, Barney is ready to celebrate... you know, there's no sense pussyfooting around when he's well into triple digits, is there? Barney's about to bang his 200th woman, and holds a (black tie optional) pre-party at MacLaren's, because "lucky" 200 is Petra, the Czech "Supermodel" currently featured in Bro's Life. Robin realizes one of the girls appears on his list twice (yeah, there's a list) and so Barney is back down to having "only" slept with 198 girls and trying to bed another in the two hours before his date with Petra, because he wants her to be #200. There's backstory there, too -- the way back to Junior High backstory (again, see tomorrow's weecap). [Gah! Really?! The source of his entire sex fixation? You're killing me here! - Zach] Barney finally scores with a female weight-lifter at his gym. She doesn't tickle his fancy, but does damage his delicates. Barney returns to MacLaren's sore and skeeved, if jubilant, only to have Robin point out that he also assigned the same number twice on his list. That is, he had already and actually slept with 199 women, before having sex with the Hulk. Pretty Petra never can be number 200.
Back to the A-Plot -- Ted has now given detailed exposition behind all the steps to that led him to that particular traffic light at that particular time. The woman beneath the blue umbrella taps Ted's shoulder. Saget!Ted narrates: "Somehow, I ended up in the right place at the right time, and as a result, my life would never be the same." The camera plans back to reveal... wait for it...
Yeah, we're going to have a lot to talk about in the weecap, aren't we? Because there's this end tag, see. But just you wait. Catch you on the flip side.
Okay, straight off I need to thank Kate, Kehley, Bobbie-Jo, Renee, Xara, Rachel, Carolyn, Betsy and Lyssa for clue-sticking me in e-mail. I'd forgotten that Ted ended up with the yellow umbrella at the end of "No Tomorrow." Thanks, y'all. And thanks to everyone on the boards, too. I've watched the entire series, but I wasn't recapping it until this season and don't have as firm a grasp on the details of seasons past. Back then it was just a... TV show (to me, obviously). A sitcom, even. Nobody told me there'd be a quiz.
Weirdly enough, I also got a lot of e-mail in which people took great pains to explain to me that Stella isn't the mother. Thank you?, but I did already know that. Well, okay, I don't know any more than anyone else knows. I'm not spoiled or anything, but I didn't say Stella was the mother in the recaplet (and wasn't thinking that when I wrote it). Maybe people just needed to vent in my direction, which is fine if it keeps them off the streets. A whole lot of other people are absolutely freaking out all over the rest of the Internet, posting things OMG STELLA CAN'T BE THE MOTHER and i thot teds kidz were brunet r they blond now or wut? (those people don't post on TWoP, at least not for long) and If Stella's the mother I'm burning my TV and scattering the ashes over Schlegel's Bagels. I really don't think Stella is going to be the mother and will get into my reasons at the end of the recap, which I can't do until I get to the beginning and through the middle, so... shall we?
What I like about this episode is that, while setting up the future, "Right Place, Right Time" also reinforces the theme that has run all through the series -- all these little steps we take seem like nothing when we take them, but are all part of this journey that is life. So when Ted meets his first potential clients as an independent architect, they don't have to be the ones who will fulfill his dream of leaving a landmark in the Manhattan skyline. Just pitching to clients (even for a job that leaves him uninspired) is a necessary step in Ted's journey.
Fortunately for us, it's an amusing step, because the potential clients want Ted to build their restaurant, "Rib Town" in the shape of a Stetson. I wonder if they ever ate at The Pie Hole. Don't look at me like that. They live in my TV. It's just inches from HIMYM to Pushing Daisies, because I refuse to delete it from my TiVo until those troglodytes at ABC show us the rest of the season. I mean shoot, they haven't canned Cupid yet, for heaven's sake, so it's not like they have anything better to put on the air. Sorry. I'll get back to it. I do wish I had some pie, though. Pie would help my concentration. Mmmmm, pie.