Hello, and welcome to the first installment of our continuing coverage of the final season of How I Met Your Mother. I will be taking you most of the way on this journey, but don’t be surprised if a few of my compatriots pop in with their opinions from time to time.
I’m excited to start with this episode. It’s hard to believe that with this show’s blatant love of Star Wars it took them this along to get around to Indiana Jones. The set up for tonight’s episode is a little Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and a little Empire Strikes Back, and while it initially left a bad taste in my mouth, this episode serves a very important purpose in the larger scope of the season.
As we roll into Friday evening of the wedding weekend (9 p.m., 45 hours to actual wedding to be precise) Ted is on a quest—to find the woman he is going to spend the weekend hooking up with. And it is here that the “Last Crusade” analogy comes into play. Its an apt analogy for the entire season actually. It’s not only Ted’s last crusade as he slowly works his way to meeting his wife, but it’s Barney’s last crusade before becoming a married man. Each struggles with this in different ways throughout the episode.
At first glance, it’s a hard plot to get onboard with knowing that this is the weekend that Ted meets the Mother. Do we really need to sit through another episode of Douche Ted being an ass? This isn’t a great episode for showcasing Ted as a “good guy,” but I think, on some level, that is what the writers are going for. There is a certain level of irony involved when Ted gets bored listening to someone tell a story about their love life. Knowing where this season is heading (the trainstop post-wedding) I have a feeling we are going to see Ted slowly breakdown. That point at the trainstation will be him at his lowest, and it is only then that he gets to meet the Mother.
That being said, it doesn’t entirely excuse the show reverting to treating women as objects (one of its weakest attributes), but it does stay true to Ted’s character. The audience (and future Ted) may know he is on his way to meet the Mother, but he doesn’t. So of course, sad, lonely Ted will be looking to hook up during the wedding weekend, and it makes sense Barney and Robin would be the ones looking to set him up (I hope the future episodes explore this a little more. There seems to be a certain amount of guilt/pity Barney and Robin are directing at Ted and I hope it gets addressed). Despite having three options to choose from, Ted picks the one that seems most readily available, and ends up “choosing poorly.”
Ted has never been the most patient man when it comes to love, and its a theme that crops again, hopefully for the last time. With him stuck comforting Cassie for the weekend in a platonic manner it removes the possibility for any other potential love interests before the Mother (outside of Robin, probably). Hopefully the time between then and the train station will be spent rehabbing Ted’s character into a more likable person who’s deserving of meeting the love of his life.
Let’s take a quick minute before the end to talk about Marshall’s continued roadtrip banishment. I’m not loving this plot, but it is interesting to see how this character functions away from the others, and leads to fun little scenes where Alison Hannigan is voiced by a black woman. I could be wrong, but I believe this is the first time we see Marshall driving. It’s a bit of not so subtle symbolism as Marshal has to take responsibility and make decisions for the choices that are in front of him. We’ll see how well his roleplaying prepares him for the main confrontation.
- The plot where Barney and Robin steal Lily and Marshal’s story about how they met, is the weakest of tonight’s three storylines. It’s one that has no real consequence and doesn’t do much to further develop Barney and Robin’s relationship outside of reinforcing the idea that they continue to grow more comfortable with who they are as a couple.
- I was pretty upset how underutilized Edward Herrmann (he of Gilmore Girls and Richie Rich fame) was in this episode. The man has some strong comedic talent that the writers just didn’t seem to know how to tap into. I was really hoping they would bring him back for later episodes, but then they killed him. Any bets on who the new priest is?
- When are we going to see the Mother again? She’s technically a series regular, but we haven’t really seen too much of her outside of the season opener. The producer’s promised interaction between her and the other characters before she meets Ted, but I’m curious as to when that is going to happen.
- I was wondering this past week how the show was going to handle holiday themed episodes since technically all of this is taking place at the beginning of last summer. However, the teaser for next week’s episode seems to be a good indicator of how the show is going to work around that issue.
- I rate on a scale of: Impressed, Unimpressed, or Satisfied. Immediately after this episode I was think “Unimpressed,” but after seeing how the show is setting up Ted’s story for the rest of the season, I’ll go with “Satisfied.”