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!