How I Met Your Mother Recap – The Lighthouse

Season 9, Episode 8
The Lighthouse

Saturday, 9 AM, 33 hours until the wedding…

Eight episodes into this final season and it is finally the next morning! But more importantly, eight years into Ted Mosby’s journey, it is finally the Mother of all proposals!

Let’s start with the least significant story, per the usual: Marshall and Daphne’s never-ending road trip. On the plus side, we get to see Virginia and Clint, in addition to some other fun little road trip call-backs. The angry duo crash at the Mosby home in Ohio [birthplace of Ted Mosby] while the bad storm passes. But, as Clint points out with the help of his guitar and conflict resolution training, there is still a storm brewing among the traveling companions. Marshall and Daphne are determined to get back on the road—after assembling some embarrassing paraphernalia from Ted’s childhood—but Clint is just as determined to help his young friends. He reveals himself as a stowaway in the hummer, but the only thing he can get them to agree on is that his attempts at music make little Marvin take a poop. It is not until Daphne lights a rage fire within Marshall that he really takes the wheel: no more Mr. Nice Marshall. He ditches Clint, cranks up the infamous car ride music, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” and drives forward with a fury.

Over at the Farhampton Inn, things take a rather eggciting emotional turn. What starts as a continuation of the Loretta-Robin feud, and quickly evolves into a cooking showdown, ends with a rather poignant moment. When Robin struts into breakfast in Loretta’s favorite sparkly top (that she won in their poker war), the trash-talking is on. Barney’s attempts to diffuse the situation bomb, while drunk Lily is pretty useless, given that she smashes a glass in rage at any mention of a law word: judge, court, gavel…anything that reminds her of Marshall’s recent confession.

The Robin-Loretta trash-talking spirals into who makes the best scrambled eggs. Loretta is supposedly the Queen of Scrambled Eggs, a title she won back in her easy days as a groupie. Now, we all know that Robin is no domestic goddess, but she claims that her mother’s eggs are the bestest—even in Canadian form with syrup. What makes Robin’s claim even more difficult to swallow is that she mentions her mother. Up until this point, we the audience have never even heard mention of the woman. Even Future Ted explains the very little the gang knows of her: she is terrified of flying; she was once stung by a jelly fish…and uhhh, that’s it. It ultimately turns out that Loretta really is the Queen of Scrambled Eggs. But it also turns out that Robin’s mom really is afraid of flying, and now she also will not attend her daughter’s wedding. When Loretta then learns from Barney that Robin can never have kids, that is all she needs to hear to bury the hatchet with her daughter-in-law. In a bittersweet moment, Robin is comforted by her soon-to-be mom.

And finally, our ever-lonesome Ted has his own adventure on Saturday morning at the inn. Remember the super-romantic lighthouse near the inn, the one that the judging receptionist Curtis refuses to allow singles to visit? Ted is determined to check it out on this beautiful morning, but Lily insists that he is being too picky with women. She encourages him to take crazy Cassie from the rehearsal dinner fiasco, despite the fact that Ted has zero interest in her. Drunk Lily later admits that this was a bad idea. Since down-on-her-luck Cassie sprains her ankle, Ted must carry her up the lighthouse, which leads to a feeling he has only felt once before. Not love, but vomit. You may recall that Ted claimed to be “Vomit Free Since ‘93” before admitting that he once puked on Robin’s doorstep. While this particular trip to the romantic lighthouse is a total bust, not even two years later Ted returns to the lighthouse with Mother. They are truly perfect for one another, and it is a perfect day, which Ted makes more perfect with a sweet and simple proposal that he can barely get out because she is too busy saying “Yes!” And so we have the proposal moment!

Once again, HIMYM succeeds in turning on a dime from silly to sweet. The various stories tonight were pretty disconnected, and I long for the day when the gang is all back together, but the moments between Robin and Loretta and then Ted and Mother really exemplify why we love these characters.

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How I Met Your Mother Recap – No Questions Asked

Season 9, Episode 7
No Questions Asked

Friday, 11:30 PM, 42.5 hours before the wedding…

Tonight’s episode, “No Questions Asked” was some good ole’ fashioned HIMYM fun! Sure, it was mostly filler (once again) but it was the kind of filler episode that HIMYM does best. It brings all the characters together with a unifying theme, and as you enjoy the fun-and-games of their competitive spirit, a strong and meaningful ending sneaks up on you. It was also a nice little nod to Halloween (i.e. ghost stories) without being an actual holiday episode—given that we are living in the wedding weekend.

The entire episode revolves around the fall-out of Daphne sending Lily a text about Marshall accepting a judgeship. According to Daphne, she was just breaking the ice for him. But that leaves Marshall on some pretty thin ice. At the start of the episode, Lily has not yet seen the text, as she is too busy fretting over their haunted room 13.  Yes, Marshall had seen the Farhampton Inn on a cheesy ghost TV show (complete with horrendous reenactments and dubbing) and purposely booked them in the room where Captain Deardruff died with his hook stuck in the wall—either that or he was a hooker who died from syphyllis. Let’s just say that Lily is not pleased.

Lily is even less pleased to have her friends break into her room that night—one by one—scaring her half to death. What she doesn’t know is that Marshall individually called Ted, Barney and Robin (plus six nameless people) to do a “no questions asked” emergency favor: delete the text that Lily received. Over the years, we learned via amusing flashbacks that Marshall had performed numerous odd “no questions asked” favors for his pals, ranging from getting Ted out of a mailbox, picking Barney up from a “lucky charm” hospital visit (not the deuced pants incident) and catching the Night Falcon (i.e. Robin in a spandex unitard) in the night’s most intriguing side note. I also really appreciated that, despite Marshall telling his friends that the lock on Lily’s door is broken, each of them felt compelled to break into Lily’s room in an elaborate spy-like fashion.

When Lily heads downstairs to complain about her room’s many problems, including the room service she didn’t order (which Robin did to sneak in), Ted, Barney and Robin frantically search for the phone. They quickly realize that Lily has the phone on her and rush off to intercept. This brings up the B-story of the night: this week’s Barney-Robin doubts about their impending marriage. At this point, Robin is worried that she and Barney don’t communicate about their plans, but act like lone wolves…like planning for both doves and a gun salute at a wedding. They may be lone wolves, but they vow to be lone wolves who can learn to do things together and, uhhh, kill prey together. Their intricate plotting to get the phone is pretty fool-proof, except Ted already handled it.

Yes, Ted realizes that Lily owes him a “no questions asked” favor from the time he saved her from her kindergartners who went all Lord of the Flies on her. Ted makes Lily smash her phone and reports the done deal to Marshall. It is only then that Marshall decides to step up and just tell his wife about his new job commitment—because he has always told Lily everything and never kept a “no questions asked” secret from her. Lily takes the news about as well as you would expect: a quiet rage starting to simmer. A ghost may not have died in their room, but a murder might still take place there when Marshall arrives.

And so we wait for Marshall to arrive, which MAY be soon. Did it look like he was at the hotel in the next episode? It will finally be morning—the next day—so we get ever closer to the wedding and Marshall and Daphne can certainly cover a lot of territory overnight. Plus, sounds like we get another Mother sighting!

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How I Met Your Mother Recap – Knight Vision

Season 9, Episode 6
Knight Vision

45 hours until the wedding…

Tonight’s new episode, “Knight Vision,” was an improvement over last week’s foray into poker, but it would be hard not to be. We got some amusing moments, but basically we are just biding our time the same way the gang is filling the hours of wedding weekend. Even though we knew going into this season that it was going to be completely different and span the course of one weekend, I was hoping for some more extended flash backs and flash forwards that would take us out of the Farhampton Inn. It is kind of sad having a final season that has so little apartment and MacLaren’s. It would be like Friends never going to Central Perk for their last season. But I digress…

At the Farhampton Inn, it is Friday night drinks for the wedding guests. That means it is time for Ted to target and acquire his wedding weekend hookup. Because Robin and Barney are Robin and Barney, they spent time pre-selecting three potential lady candidates rather than work on their lame vows. According to Barney, the decision of which female to choose equates to choosing the holy grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: “It’s like the holy grail of cups!” While they all agree that Robin’s college roommate Sophia should be top pick—despite having sex noises that sound an awful lot like a 1990s car alarm—Ted is immediately captivated by an outgoing Cassidy. But, as Ted quickly learns from the knight, he “chose poorly.”

Meanwhile in wedding-land, Lily is shocked and pissed off to learn that Robin and Barney had “stole” the story of how Lily and Marshall first met. But we were treated to nice scenes in which Robin and Barney impersonate young Lily and Marshall, and vice versa. Why would “Barn-mallow” and “Robin-pad” have done such a thing? Well, the minister at their selected church [I shall call him Mr. Gilmore] is a scary and traditional man who doesn’t care for wild n’crazy city folk who just want to use his church for the cute factor. I will pause here for a moment to say that I never bought into the reason why Robin and Barney—of all people—would choose to get married at any religious institution, regardless of cuteness. In fact, all those seasons ago (before we knew whose wedding it was) I purposely hypothesized that it wouldn’t be Barney or Robin’s wedding because neither is a church-marriage type of person. I also don’t understand the ugly pink dress we have seen Lily wear on the wedding day—and how Robin could have possibly picked that for her friend—but I will move along now.

In a running gag throughout the night, Ted continues to learn over and over how he did choose poorly in the hook-up department. Cassidy is basically suffering from every female cliché, from recent heartbreak to being fired. Even her parents try to flee, sticking her with Ted. While it certainly seems that Ted has made a mistake, being trapped with a crappy “date” for the weekend ultimately freed him to meet Mother at the end of the weekend. Can we see more of her please? I guess before there can be a wedding, though, Robin and Barney need to find a new officiant. Mr. Gilmore died in a state of shock as Barney and Robin came clean on their messed up history. But it is a history that they love.

Lastly, Marshall is still somewhere in the Midwest with the world’s quietest baby. I do give HIMYM major creativity points for figuring out a way to keep tabs on a baby in a sitcom without having to actually deal with the baby. Even though we can’t (unfortunately) speed up the travel time of this very long road trip, I am hopeful that some action surrounding Marshall and Lily’s job decisions may pick up soon. As Daphne tries to prep Marshall for breaking the news to Lily, they get into a spat over the fact that Daphne is a lobbyist for the oil industry. In a moment of anger, Daphne texts Lily the news that Marshall accepted a judgeship. The episode ends with Marshall’s phone ringing.

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How I Met Your Mother Recap – The Poker Game

Season 9, Episode 5
The Poker Game

As feared, tonight’s episode, “The Poker Game,” was very light on plot. This will likely continue as the trend given the hour-by-hour movement of this final season. However, I am happy to report that we at least got a few Ted-Marshall ‘in the flesh’ scenes thanks to some expertly played flashbacks. I need more of that, a LOT more.

You’re Bluffing
At the Farhampton Inn, Barney’s final bachelor poker game kicks off with its weird assortment of participants. Since Lilly and Robin have always been down to hang with the guys, they play as well. Unfortunately, Robin has grown increasingly irritated with James and his “marriage sucks” jokes, given that he is getting divorced. Barney tells her to speak up and tell him, but because our gang doesn’t always do the mature thing, Robin instead wins James’ wedding band in a round of poker. James claims not to care, but he runs off and tells his mommy. The slinky Mrs. Stinson is none to pleased with her future daughter-in-law and declares war.

This feud leaves Barney in a tough spot [as Chandler Bing would say: Rock, Hard Place, ME] over whether to side with his family (mother & brother) or his bride. Lily says “wife, always wife” but of course Barney tries to avoid the situation. It is not until Barney tries talking with James that he realizes that his brother is getting divorced from acting selfish and not being there for his partner. It is then that Barney decides that he will always have Robin’s back…aaand then goes overboard extreme by thinking this means he also needs to shun his mother and brother. Now Mrs. Stinson blames Robin and the two main ladies in Barney’s life are out for blood.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Ted loves wedding presents. He even has three wedding gifts lined up for Barney and Robin; well, the photo of the gang was one. So why is Lily mad? Because she is still bitter that years ago when she and Marshall got married, they did not receive a gift from their best bud.

This storyline was purely for fun—it didn’t move any of our characters forward—but I loved that it gave us some great detailed callbacks and a chance for Ted and Marshall to share the screen a bit. For years, Marshall had tried dropping hints to Ted that he never gave them a wedding gift—some subtle and some (dressing up like a present at Halloween) not so subtle. Did you appreciate that in the flashbacks to just after Marshall and Lily’s wedding, Marshall’s hair was still partially shaved off from the wedding day hair mishap? Did you also notice the brief shot of Katie Holmes as the Slutty Pumpkin at the Halloween party? Nice touches, HIMYM.

Meanwhile, Ted had been dropping hints of his own all those years. Apparently he DID buy them a gift—a really nice coffeemaker—and he never received a thank you note. Ted and Marshall are the perfect best bros because the year Marshall dressed as a present, Ted dressed as a thank you note. What a perfect package! Too bad neither ‘got the hint.’ On a related note, a gift wrapping station sounds awesome.

It turned out that Lily had been under the impression that their pals Stuart and Claudia (nice to see this dysfunctional couple again) had bought them the coffeemaker, a lie that Stuart let her believe. But cheapskate Stuart is at the inn for the wedding weekend—and it doesn’t look like he is with Claudia anymore—and admits that it was Ted’s gift after all. Somehow, even though it is really Marshall and Lily who owe Ted an apology, Ted decides to make amends with his friends by giving Marshall the greatest gift of all: special delivery of their favorite Chicago pizza from the world’s best non-sanitary pizzeria. And Marshall continues to have a way with words when it comes to describing his favorite foods.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am ready for the gift of more Mother appearances.

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How I Met Your Mother Recap – The Broken Code

Season 9, Episode 4
The Broken Code

51 Hours Before the Wedding…

Tonight’s new HIMYM, “The Broken Code,” felt a little BROken. Definitely the weakest of the episodes we have had so far this season. While I will give props (literally) to the writers for trying to find new and innovative ways to bring an absent Marshall into the fold, it is just not the same as having him in person…and given that we are moving hour by hour, I feel like I may have to start drinking like Lily and making Marshpillows soon.

The episode did address two main character issues with Robin and Barney. First, the fact that Robin (and Lily for that matter) doesn’t really have any other female friends. Granted, it is sometimes alluded that Lily has other gal pals [see Lily’s teacher friends in the classic episode: Woo Girls] but as we all know, Robin fell out of touch with her bestie Jessica Glitter and ever since has not been a girlie girl. She loves her sports and her cigars, and has such a funky metabolism that she can eat and eat while still losing weight (bitch). Hence, her only girlfriend is Lily, who was not able to throw Robin a proper bachelorette…because inviting Patrice doesn’t exactly make Robin happy.

Lily decides to get serious about helping Robin make a girlfriend before she moves to Rome; and before Robin’s Sunday gossip brunches become her watching Canadian hockey with beer-cereal. I did enjoy Robin’s weak attempts at trying to be a girl, and then her sudden hilarious success with another tough sports-girl. But was I the only one who thought that Lily would spot her “train friend” (i.e. Mother) in the bar and have Robin try to be her friend? That would have been a great “How Robin Met the Mother” story!  Ultimately, Lily scared off Robin’s one new friend out of jealousy, and Robin was happy to have her one psycho bestie.

Meanwhile, Barney went through a little cycle of best men, but what he really struggled with was Ted still having feelings for Robin. Barney seemed to take his confrontation with Ted over the Central Park incident very well…too well, in fact. The boys cried over the wasted Scotch, but all was not actually resolved for the Barnacle and his Best Bro. Barney made Ted jump through wedding planning hoops until Ted finally realized Barney was mad, but not before re-doing the table cards with his travel quill calligraphy set. Barney even made Billy Zabka the temporary Best Man. I will pause here for a moment to comment on the awesomeness of Barney’s groomsmen party: Ted and Marshall (duh), the aforementioned Billy Zabka (Barney’s hero), Tim Gunn (Barney’s tailor), and the always awesome Ranjit.

Marshall—via iPad FaceTime—is needed to lawyer the argument between Ted and Barney: was Ted holding Robin’s hand in the park weird? And more importantly, did it violate the Bro Code? Marshall mediates a therapy session on the beach in which Ted and Barney hold hands to see if it is weird for “just friends” to hold hands. And as a rain shower passes overhead, Ted admits he still sometimes does have feelings for Robin, and Barney admits that he is angry at himself for not being there for Robin that day. Ted swears on the Bro Code itself (now a book avaikable in certain hotels and on most Lufthansa flights) that he will do his best to move on from his feelings, plus he would never do anything to hurt his friends. Barney reinstates his best man just in time for an intense poker game and some Weekend at Bernie’s relaxation.

So, Ted didn’t take the opportunity on the beach to reveal his plans to move to Chicago. And neither bro acknowledged the fact that Barney broke the bro code in hooking up with Robin all those years ago, but oh well. I wish that the scenes for the next episode made me feel like something big will happen, but next week mainly seems like more poker.

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How I Met Your Mother Recap – Last Time in New York

Season 9, Episode 3
Last Time in New York

52 hours before the wedding…

Way back in season two, there was an episode of How I Met Your Mother called “First Time in New York” when Robin’s little sister visited and the gang took her to the Empire State Building. In tonight’s season nine episode, “Last Time in New York,” we did get a glimpse of “Empi” (as our favorite “Fun Fact” architect likes to call the iconic building) but there was no glimpse of a certain little sister (probably because she is busy playing a Pretty Little Liar). Regardless, we got a slew of other funny episode callbacks and a dash of heart courtesy of a Ted-Lily life lecture moment. However, the emotional power of meeting Mother last week was missing and I am anxious for our entire gang to be back together under one roof. My bucket list for this final season includes seeing the fab five all together as much as possible, which sadly may not happen for quite some time.

The episode opens with Barney and Robin still not seeing eye-to-eye over the ring bear(er). I must say, I am definitely becoming more and more intrigued with the notion of a wild animal joining the wedding party. Other than this little disagreement, Barney and Robin are still holding up pretty well. That is, until the shuttle arrives full of zombies, errr old relatives. This sets up an amusing gag for the entire episode, as Barney and Robin attempt to hide (and get it on) while not drawing the attention of their elders by uttering words like “buffet” and names like “Patinkin.” Side note: between Homeland’s season three premiere last night and HIMYM’s Princess Bride references, Mandy got lots of love this week. The best moment of this zombie-pocalypse came courtesy of James, who heroically sacrificed himself to the hordes of relatives so that Barney and Robin could be alone. He is black, gay and getting divorced…so yeah, he is going to “die” first like every brother in a zombie movie.

Meanwhile, downstairs in the bar—where Lily is still getting hooked up with endless drinks thanks to Linus and the Kennedy Package—she discovers Ted’s list of things he wants to do before he moves in order to say goodbye to NYC. There are many gems on this list, but I have to say that Ted wanting to fix graffiti was the best for me, because this totally drives me crazy as well (and by fix, I mean changing “Your a penis” to the grammatically correct “You’re a penis”).

It is through this list that Lily also discovers a little secret that Ted and Marshall have been hiding: they accidentally destroyed her classy-yet-slutty rehearsal dinner dress, not the dry-cleaner. Remember those dueling swords that hung in the old apartment all those years, the same ones that Ted and Marshall used to ‘duel’ for the apartment back in 2005 and ended in a Lily stabbing? Well, Ted and Marshall were inspired by a recent watching of The Princess Bride to play a little Mandy Patinkin and chopped her dress in half. You sonofabeeetch!

We later learned that Lily and Robin also were not immune to the power of Princess Bride, as they too reenacted some awesome dueling, thus breaking Ted’s expensive bottle of Glen McKenna scotch. While Ted may have been temporarily fooled by a nasty concoction of cheap scotch, Hershey’s syrup, ketchup and hand sanitizer, Lily makes it right by buying him a new bottle. But it comes for the price of one definitely-not-last life lecture from Lily to Ted: stop saying goodbye to the good things; instead say goodbye to the crap that happened to him in NYC and think of the celebratory scotch as a new beginning with his buddies. Ted decides to do just that and stop avoiding Barney after his recent Central Park moment with Robin. He heads out to the deck to toast with his bro, but Barney immediately drops the bomb that he saw Ted and Robin in Central Park.

I haven’t mentioned Marshall, and that is because he is unfortunately separate from the gang on his road trip and will be for considerable time, sigh. The show flashed to him and non-sports fan Daphne making their way through every Viking’s nemesis territory: Wisconsin. And of course we got to see him in flashbacks dueling with Ted. But I am going to need WAY more Marshall interaction, like that Princess Bride speech he gave to Ted.

What do you think of this very different final season so far?

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How I Met Your Mother Recap – The Locket and Coming Back

Season 9, Episodes 1 & 2
The Locket / Coming Back
Final Season Premiere

In May I am going to need a receptionist like Curtis telling me “It gets better” after my beloved HIMYM comes to its final ending. It was with this bittersweet feeling that I eagerly turned on the season premiere (for the last time, tear) and How I Met Your Mother did not disappoint. We were treated to two episodes—The Locket and Coming Back—and a whole lot of Mother.

Episode 1: The Locket
55 hours before the wedding

Planes, Trains and Automobiles
It’s little details (or should I say “Lil” details) that add to this show’s special blend of humor. We picked up exactly where we left off—everyone on their way to the wedding weekend. That means Ted in his leather driving gloves and a carefully planned guidebook of nerdy attractions entitled “Lil and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Obviously Lily grew frustrated quite quickly and demanded out of the car, opting for ‘modern’ transport and plumbing on a train.

As we all know, a certain Mother also boarded a train for Farhampton and she just so happens to be in the same car as a pissed off Lily. You see, Lily is not only irritated at her former traveling companion and worried he may try to spoil the wedding with Robin’s infamous locket, but she misses her son and is sick of grandma Judy posting anti-Italy photos online. Fortunately, Mother (as she shall be known until we get to learn her name) has some yummy cookies, or ‘somebitches,’ to offer a stressed out traveler. Here is where we get the first real Mother interaction…and I think we can all agree she is adorable. Her quick wit—like jokingly telling Lily she found the cookies on the train—and her nerdy likes that rival Ted’s are set up so nicely that we know they will make a perfect match. Not to mention, her future nickname to get her husband to drive faster sounds like a character from Downton Abbey: Lady Tedwina Slowsby. But perhaps most importantly, she even seems to understand Ted before having met him—she alerts Lily to the idea that her car companion may have purposely tried to make the drive to Farhampton alone. Now Lily is convinced that Ted has found the locket and plans to gift it to Robin as a final ploy to win her back.

Meanwhile, Marshall and baby Marvin have their own transportation mishaps when the father and son get kicked off their flight back to New York for being disruptive on his cell phone. Judy had posted a photo of Marshall acting like a judge with a banana, thus spilling the beans on Marshall’s new job over Fake-book. As Marshall frantically tries to get his mother to delete the photo before Lily sees, anyone with a mom who doesn’t quite grasp the latest technology can appreciate these scenes (cough* me *cough). But Marshall’s fight with his seat neighbor, Daphne, gets her kicked off the flight as well, and their battle has only just begun. As for the incriminating photo, baby Marvin saves the day by accidentally deleting it in the knick of time.

Lastly, the happy bride and groom ride comfortably in the back of Ranjit’s car, until things get a little uncomfortable. As they each discuss the crazy deck of wild cards who are invited to the wedding—including the likelihood of a wild animal thanks to Barney’s understanding of a ‘ring bear’—the couple discovers the possibility that they could actually be related. Apparently both Robin and Barney have a kooky Canadian cousin named Mitch…and it is the same Mitch with only six fingers. After bouts of fright, awkwardness, and vomiting, they get confirmation that Mitch was adopted on Robin’s side. Phew, now they don’t need to dispose of Ranjit for knowing an incest secret. But at least we got to witness the world’s most awkward kiss between possible cousins and soon-to-be spouses.

Ultimately the episode concluded with Lily tackling Ted to the ground as he gave Robin a present, but the gift was a sweetly framed photo of the gang—the one we see every week in the opening credits (tear). But that locket still may turn up, as we also learned that Ted did fly to LA to look through Stella’s storage items in hopes of finding it. Every wedding does have a wild card, but maybe this wedding will simply be “legendary”…no need to wait for it.

Episode 2: Coming Back
54 hours before the wedding

Somehow all of that took place in just half an hour, and we still had another jam-packed half hour to go!

I really enjoyed the condescendingly sympathetic inn receptionist named Curtis who takes so much pitty on poor single Ted that it is insulting. From the romantic lighthouse brochure for couples only (versus the TV Guide Menu for singles) to the “It gets better” speech upon finally receiving his single room key, Ted does a nice job of keeping up strong spirits. And it’s a good thing because “she’s just around the corner”…both the housekeeper and the Mother.

But we are still hours from the wedding and weekend plans are starting to crumble. Marshall is stranded in Minnesota without a flight and with one very angry fellow passenger that he got kicked off the plane. When they learn that all flights into New York are now cancelled due to an incoming East Coast storm, they race to the rental car line. Marshall gets a miracle in the form of Herm—the world’s most efficient rental agent—and gets the very last car. Unfortunately, it is a “Monstrosity 2006.” Oh wait, just a “Monstrosity Sport.” But more unfortunately, Marshall doesn’t have a car seat with him (ok, sure). Marshall and Daphne tentatively strike a deal in which Marshall must place his faith in humanity: she will take the Monstrosity and buy a car seat and return to share the ride. The crazy twist is that…she actually does return for them.

Over at the Farhampton Inn, Barney, Robin, Lily, Ted and Barney’s brother James begin to settle in for the weekend festivities. But the gang soon learns that James’ husband Tom is not present because they are getting divorced. It seems that the old Russian Stinson curse has reared its ugly head because James has cheated, repeatedly. Robin doesn’t want James to tell Barney just before the wedding, fearing that if the one positive marriage example Barney holds dearly turns out to be void, it will turn turn Barney against marriage (never mind that super drunk Lily is sitting right there, one half of a quite happily married couple, loaded with drinks from her bartender, Linus). While James astutely points out that Robin should probably have more faith in her relationship with Barney if they are about to marry, it turns out that Barney takes the news very maturely. While he is saddened by his brother’s news, Barney does have faith in his relationship with Robin. And the happy couple enjoys the erotic treats Barney had placed in James’ room as a surprise anniversary gift.

Poor “it gets better” Ted also gets a peak at the erotic romantic gifts when they are accidentally moved into his room. But things really do get better for Ted, because we get to see a legendary flash forward of exactly one year from right now: Ted and Mother sitting at the table in the lounge where single Ted had done his crossword puzzle and promised himself he would return with “her.” Such a sweet scene and a great way to get some Ted-Mother interaction even before Ted actually meets her.

I think this is shaping up to be a great final season. Were you surprised at how much Mother we got? Are you also pretty sure that she will one day write that children’s book about a lonely unicorn? And, were you most surprised that for the very first time ever this show ended with a “Next time, on How I Met Your Mother…” because that certainly shocked me!

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