This was probably one of the better episodes of this ‘more miss than hit’ season, and we’re glad they saved that magic for the finale. For once, we felt like we were finishing an episode with a positive attitude to the show, and that’s the exact feeling we want to carry forward through the summer hiatus and into the start of HIMYM’s ninth and final season.
Overall, it was just your standard episode. There were a few jokes here and there, many of which have recurred throughout the series – Marshall’s mother’s inability to let her kids go, Barney and Robin’s similarities – and some romance and plot twists, but none of that is what made the episode so enjoyable for us. That honor rests with Ted and Lily. We love when these two get scenes alone. They’re always incredibly honest and soul-bearing, and make us see the show more as what it is trying to be – a comedy with occasionally serious interludes about growing up and the importance of friendships. The connection between Ted and Lily, that innate trust, makes the rest of the nonsense bearable.
Not that there was much nonsense this week. The most HIMYM-esque scenes were Barney and Robin’s attempts to sabotage the worst couple of all time, but these were offset by the Ted and Lily stuff, as well as by (the vague cliffhanger of) Marshall being offered a judgeship and accepting it without telling Lily. That should make things interesting when the series comes back in the Fall. Will we see Lily and Marshall separated by oceans and continents or will Lily sacrifice her own happiness to stay with Marshall?
The most important take away from the episode, however, is the long awaited reveal of the Mother. It’s a final moments glimpse and we are yet to learn anything significant about her. But here’s what we do know: she is played by Cristin Milioti, a consistent bit-player with only a handful of roles listed on her IMdB profile (The Sopranos, The Good Wife, 30 Rock). She is seen in the train station purchasing a ticket to Farhampton, which is where she and Ted will meet for the first time, likely in the first or second episode back in the Fall. Not a whole lot to go on, but we can at least say that, so far, we’re not disappointed. A lot remains to be seen, however, and when we start to get to know her in more depth next season we may yet grow to dislike her. A lot rides on this. At least if the writers screw it up, they won’t have to live long with their mistakes. The countdown is now on to the end of HIMYM. We’re looking forward to seeing what they do with the time they have left. Until September, then… – K
“This is such a big decision. I’m not good at big decisions.”
“… Are you sure you want to be a judge?”
– Marshall, guy from the New York State Judiciary Committee