Tag Archives: How I Met Your Mother Recap

HIMYM – How Your Mother Met Me (S9, Ep 16)

Now, no amount of greatness is going to magically give me back the time I spent luging through the first half of this season, but boy was this one good.

It both makes me angry and happy that this is what we got this week.  On one hand, this how-your-mother-met-me-yellow-umbrellawas the best episode in years, as the writers used their strengths to make it work.  They used their knowledge of the show, their solid emotional core, and the excitement of the new character to engage every inch of of viewing experience. SO WHY DID IT TAKE THEM THIS LONG TO DO IT RIGHT? I mean, come on.

But let’s just take this as a single episode. We got a break from the Inn, our no so favorite characters, and the whole wedding overall. In addition to this, we got to relieve all of the “gasp” moments from the last few years.  Obviously, we are drawn to the mystery of how they eventually meet and what the mother has been up to in the meantime, which makes this ‘shake up’ 200th episode all the more exciting. What makes it great is how good Cristin Milioti is throughout.

How-Your-Mother-Met-Me_FULLThey’ve written her character to be this perfect fit for Ted. No, like literally she is the perfect woman for him and a saint. It could be pretty off putting, even if it’s told from Ted’s point of view, but Milioti makes it all work. She even made Ted look great again. She easily uses the backstory given to her (the death of her love Max) and integrated it seamlessly into her entire performance. It was heartfelt and real. It makes me believe that these characters, as terrible as they’ve become lately, deserve all the happiness in the world.

We’ll have to see what comes next and how it plays out, but this got me excited, once again, for the end. If only the first half was told from the mother’s point of view. I want more time with her.

Keep On Watchin’!

-Bryan

How I Met Your Mother – Last Time In New York (S9, Ep3)

ted 2
I’m always a sucker for a good grammar joke. 

Well, that was an improvement.

This week I actually laughed and felt rays of early season sentiment poking through the cloudy storytelling mechanism.

While trying to escape the zombie hoard of old people, Barney and Robin look for a place to prove they aren’t going to be a boring old couple.  As Marshall, the die-hard Vikings fan, drives through Packer country, Lily discovers Ted’s New York City bucket list.

Let me just start by saying that I forgot that Ted decided to move to Chicago because I don’t really care.  We know he’s most likely going to stay, so it’s literally a waiting game until he meets ‘the mother’.   If they’re going to engage an audience, the writers will have to reassess these characters’ stakes versus what we know about the ending. What saved that story line was Lily’s genuine, although very scripted, response.  Ted’s douche level was still evident (the scotch tasting jokes), but not nearly as high as current episodes.  Regardless of my feelings towards individual characters, it’s still nice to see how much this group of friends cares about each other.

As you know, I wasn’t a fan of Marshall’s road trip scenario, but this week they spiced it up enough.  They cut down on the shenanigans of his driver and focused on his relationships to the people in Farhamption.  By using pre-existing information about Marshall’s football tendencies (obsessions really), the NFC North rivalry jokes really landed for me.  Though, the longer they keep Marshall away, the staler his storyline will inevitably become.

The flashbacks to April 26th and its two destructive sword fights also really worked, as the childish best friend camaraderie of Ted and Marshall paired well Lily and Robin’s attempt to color correct the bottle of scotch.  The juxtaposition of their sword fights in relation to their friendships is an example of how this show used to work.  The jokes used to be more grounded in characters and their interactions, not broad humor.  This week it was evident when it was working.

You know what else is funny? Old people jokes.  Mandy Patinkin was very popular over the course of the episode, but the pull power of his name made me smile more than I thought I would.  All of the elderly likes and dislikes were well written, but James giving himself up to save his brother was a highlight.  A rare bit that worked on all levels

The ending, however, felt very abrupt.  It doesn’t seem as though Ted has been ignoring Barney, even if they haven’t shared much screen time together.  I also don’t buy that Barney would be sitting on the carousel information, all of the sudden confronting Ted about it in that moment.  It seemed too convenient for plot purposes, regardless of it being a TV show that needs those ongoing obstacles.

This late in the game, I probably want more ‘mother’ in the mix, but this episode was a nice departure.

Other thoughts:

  • Marshall in the Packer’s swag and Ted in the 1920s swimwear were a nice visual gag combo.
  • Ted’s vignettes of list flashbacks were a bit lackluster.  Has Josh Radnor’s comic skills gotten worse or was he never that funny to begin with?
  • I appreciate the ongoing ring bear and Lily drinking jokes, as it is all the same day.  While not that funny, the consistency keeps up the smiles.
  • As good as this episode seemed to be, I’m afraid that we won’t see a better one than this.  I hope this “season in a weekend” can stay fresh.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan