Last week’s How I Met Your Mother was different, fresh and Mother-heavy. This week saw the show going back to its usual sarcastic self. You can complain that we’ve had enough Ted-Robin episodes, especially ones where Ted finally realizes he’s moving on, so there’s really not much that’s all too special here.
Robin and Ted leave the Farhaptom Inn after midnight to look for Barney and what do you know – they end up talking about their relationship! Weird, right? This time though, it was pretty entertaining because we got to see a lot of Ted’s ex-girlfriends (Stella, Victoria and Janet the crazy girlfriend). I would’ve loved to see Zoey somehow incorporated into this whole mess but unfortunately she wasn’t.
So Ted tells Robin the story of how he had to chase all his ex-girlfriends in order to get her that locket. In a way, it was fun seeing Victoria and Stella again because they were the only two girls that could’ve been Ted’s future wife (so it’s perfectly natural to feel like their presence has an effect on Ted, and on us). Was it realistic though? Absolutely not. The last time Ted and Victoria saw each other was when Ted chose his friendship with Robin over marrying Victoria, so their conversation on the phone seemed tedious and made Victoria come off as slightly one-dimensional. This is no surprise though; the show is famous for its attempts to move the story forward, even if it means compromising some of its minor characters’ personalities. Remember how Kevin suddenly disappeared when Robin broke up with him?
Then there’s the fact that Ted confesses to Robin that he broke up with Victoria because of her (solving yet another “we’ll come back to that later” mystery from season 8). Is it logical that he would tell a bride-to-be (and a friend) that stuff, just hours before she walks down the aisle?
But let’s let all those things slide. Because the moment we’d expected had arrived: Robin and Ted looked into each other’s eyes, slowly touched hands and got closer. I would’ve screamed at the show had they kissed at that moment, even though for so long I used to be a Ted-Robin fan. But at this point, to have them kiss would’ve been a major jump-the-shark moment. Thankfully, they didn’t kiss. Instead, Robin’s body floated above Ted’s head and into the sky. WTF.
It was a ridiculous thing to see. But was it necessary? Absolutely. See, Ted had discussed earlier in the episode that when he was a little kid, he lost his balloon because he let it go and it slipped from his hands and floated in the sky. So that’s what he was doing now, finally, after 201 episodes… he was finally letting Robin go. It was a beautiful moment, even while being absurd at the same time, but now we can at last let the Robin/Ted romance die peacefully.
Marshall had an even more absurd storyline. He talked to Ghost Lily from 2006 in the middle of the night. The real Lily had just stormed out into God-knows-where with God-knows-who, so Marshall spent the night arguing with two different Ghost Lilys. It was as silly as How I Met Your Mother can get, but it was entertaining for the most part. The thing that surprised me was the real Lily actually coming back and resolving the fight. She says she wants to stay in New York, without really explaining where she had gone or with who (I’m not letting this one go, Lily).
Barney, on the other hand, spent the night with two complete strangers and told them he was going to teach them how to.. *puke first* .. live! He took them to his tailor, got the two gentlemen suits and spent the night with them at a strip-club. This was the perfect way for Barney to leave his legacy (The PlayBook) before he finally committing forever.
We had a pretty silly episode this week, folks. Nothing quite stood out, but how could we possibly top a Mother-centric episode? Surprisingly, the one scene that actually had more heart than any other was Ted and Janet arguing over the bridge. Janet, out of all people, called Ted crazy for still trying to chase Robin after all those years. Ted’s response was truly heart-breaking and emotional, and I think for once it’s time to praise Josh Radnor for his stunning performance. If anyone can pull off being so crazy in-love-and-hurt-over-another-person for eight whole years, it’s him. However, this felt like the kind of episode that could’ve easily been done earlier in the series. There was no point meeting the Mother, getting to know her really well, and falling in love with her before all of this happened.
Slaps & Bits
− 2006 Lily asking Present Lily how many MySpace friends she has now is pretty funny. Ironically, this episode aired one day before Facebook’s 10th anniversary.
− Ted: When we went out on our first date… At the end of the night, did you want me to kiss you?
Robin: Yeah, I did.
Ted: Damn it!
− There were a lot of callbacks to earlier seasons in this episode. The funniest is Ted still being upset that Stella had not seen Star Wars until she was 30.
− I wish strip clubs would appear out of nowhere like they did here.
− Marshall tells Ghost Lily that when she left him for San Francisco, that was the saddest he’d ever gotten. Then his father’s ghost appears and says, “I mean, I’m sitting right here!”
Focusing on Ted and Robin’s dangling and complicated relationship, this was a slightly disappointing episode.