Perhaps I should start this review with a simple warning: if you haven’t yet seen this episode, don’t read on. There are some major spoilers in this review, about a show that’s been everyone’s favorite comedy for the past nine years, and some of these spoilers are things we’ve been waiting for since forever. So just to be clear, you were warned.
What a remarkable episode from How I Met Your Mother and the gang, one that is definitely one of my favorites of the entire series. After a seemingly disappointing and dull episode last week, it was a relief to see things turn around. We had major developments in storytelling, some beautiful flash-forwards and flashbacks, awesome callbacks to earlier seasons, and a drunk Barney.
We begin at the Farhampton Inn in 2017. Ted and the Mother are in their room at 2:01am on their last weekend getaway before their “new baby” comes. That’s right, the Mother is all pregnant and awesome as TV’s most adorable couple talk about Ted’s mom’s infamous rule, one that you’ve probably heard before: “Nothing good ever comes after 2am.” Just then, the Mother gets a contraction and the two of them rush to the hospital.
Then we flash back to the Farhampton Inn, present day. The gang is having a few drinks, just 16 hours before the wedding (I sigh every time I see those large numbers across the screen), and while Robin wants everyone to go to bed, Marshall is trying as hard as he can to keep them all together there because he knows that going to bed means Unpause for him and Lily’s fight.
Typically, Barney gets drunk. Then we flashback to some hilarious scenes at McLaren’s where Barney’s levels of drunkenness are displayed. There’s “Richard-Dawson Drunk” where Barney is dressed like the British game host and goes around kissing random girls. Then there’s “Big-Plans-With-Strangers Drunk”, which is pretty much self-explanatory, and finally “Marcel-Marceau Drunk”. But what the gang never witnessed before is “Truth-Serum Drunk” where Barney is incapable of lying. And so begins a totally satisfying, funny and utterly entertaining storyline.
Ted and Robin realize that this is their chance to find out everything they ever wondered about Barney. This becomes so wildly entertaining that Robin utters the phrase we all probably said: “This is so hard—I don’t even know where to begin!” This goes to show us just how “awesome” Barney’s character has been for the past nine years. Even though “Truth-Serum Drunk” Barney meant having weird-eyed Neil Patrick Harris, there was still nothing more entertaining than those scenes with Ted, Robin and him. They ask him a range of questions, from Ted’s famous “What did you do to my mom?!” to Robin’s “When that Bryan Adam’s song came on the radio, did two mosquitos really fly into your eyes at the same time?” The first question Ted refused to hear the answer to while the second, “Truth-Serum Drunk” Barney admitted that he actually choked up at “Everything I do, I do it for you…”
This was a truly fun storyline that I sincerely didn’t want to end. We didn’t just find out stuff about Barney, we found out stuff about everyone (like the fact that Robin’s family is filthy rich). So Ted and Robin played and asked all sorts of random questions until Ted realized there was one mystery he never knew about his friend. And guess what, folks? We finally found out what Barney Stinson’s job is.
It’s clever, really. We already know that back in Barney’s hippie days, a business man (remember Greg?) approached his coffee-shop, told him money was all that mattered and stole his girlfriend (this is back when Barney had long, long hair and was extremely sensitive). So then, Barney became “awesome” and in 1998 took a job where that businessman was his boss. Since then, every time Barney was asked about what he does for a living, he would laugh and says “Oh, please.” But apparently, that’s exactly what he did. He was in charge of PLEASE. In other words, Providing Legal Exculpation and Sign Everything. Meaning, anything that the company wanted to do illegally, Barney was the one in charge of signing the papers for it. But it doesn’t end here. We flash-forward to two months after the wedding where Barney returns to his boss Greg (aka business-man aka girlfriend-stealer) and gets the cops to arrest him and probably shut down the entire division. Barney’s reasons? He stole his girlfriend once. Awesome!
Then Ted continued with more serious questions when Robin left the room. He asked Barney how he felt about getting married the next day. Thank God the writers didn’t pull another twist, as they instead showed us how much Barney really loves Robin. He ends it by saying: “Robin—alongside the idea that vengeance will soon be mine—has made me 100% awesome.”
Elsewhere, Marshall and Lily finally Unpaused their fight. And man, it was as brutal and ugly as we all expected. Lily cried and Marshall screamed. Honestly, they both made some valid points at the beginning of their fight but then things seemed a bit far-fetched. Lily purposely trying to shut him up was so unfair; she literally didn’t give him a chance to talk. And Marshall? Oh Marshall. When Lily said that she had never done anything as selfish as Marshall taking the judge fellowship, I feared that he was going to bring up the whole San Francisco art program that she left for back at the end of season one.
It wasn’t fair for him to bring that up suddenly. As Lily mentioned, there was no sign that Marshall was still carrying around any feelings of hurt or betrayal over the past seven years, but instead it felt like he was just using the issue to win a fight. However, if I were in Marshall’s shoes at that moment, I definitely would’ve used it. Maybe not to win that fight, but simply because Lily was selfish back then and now it was Marshall’s turn to do what he wanted for so long. Then he backed up his case and asked her if she would’ve returned to him had she found success in San Francisco.
This led Lily to leave. Then just as she makes a phone call to a mysterious person, Future Ted narrates: “Kids, it’s your grandmother’s favorite rule – nothing good ever happens after 2am.” And then Lily leaves the Inn and gets into a black car. My guess is this is just Ranjit, especially since Lily gets in the back, but my obsessive research tells me the actor playing Ranjit isn’t one of the guest stars coming back in the next few episodes. Let’s hope Lily doesn’t do anything stupid.
While Lily leaves the Inn, we immediately flash-forward to the exact same spot, back to where we started the episode with Ted and the Mother leaving to the hospital. Ted is carrying a beautiful little girl and we finally find out the names of the future kids: Luke and Penny. Some fans over the Internet said this was a callback to earlier seasons with the phrase “Luke-y Penny” but I can’t seem to remember that one.
Future Ted ends the episode by saying that the “2am” rule has an exception, “and that exception is you, Luke.” Then present-day Ted drives off screaming, “We’re having a baby!”
Slaps & Bits
– Marshall and Lily’s elevator joke was actually kinda funny. Funnier: Future Ted and Mother saying it in 2017.
– Robin repeatedly trying to get “Truth-Serum Drunk” Barney to admit whether or not there would be a bear at the wedding was hilarious!
– Lily and Marshall’s fight was so realistic and emotional, it actually hurt.
– Still can’t get over how much Ted and Mother are adorable together. That scene with Ted holding their daughter and the Mother close to labor was fantastic.
– Barney spends 1 CrapLoad of money on suits.
– Those final 10 seconds: is that really a bear?
A remarkable episode that was satisfying in every way possible. Hopefully, the show maintains this quality in its final few episodes.