Tuesday, October 1, 2013
How I Met Your Mother: "Last time in New York"
Episode Synopsis: Lily finds a to-do list of things Ted hopes to accomplish before moving from New York to Chicago, while soon-to-be-married Robin and Barney steel themselves for the arrival of their relatives. - tvguide
Spoilers ahead, so be warned. The last thing you want to do is spoil yourself before getting into this fine episode. Who lives, who dies, you will be shocked when you find out? Ok, no one dies this episode. That could be considered a spoiler, though, which is why I recommend you stop reading right now. Otherwise you'll feel terrible, like a Vikings fan forced to wear a cheese hat.
Full Review: Ted and Lily have always been great together, and this episode is no exception. With nearly real-time wedding, the show can afford to have an entire half-hour devoted to a conversation between these two old and dear friends. While this would have bothered me in a previous season, here it works. I like how these two old friends play off each other.
This might be the reason Marshall is separated from the gang. It gives Lily time to interact with everyone else, and she's always been a good foil for every other character. In fact, the only character we haven't seen her with is Sandy Rivers, who I'm certain will show up at the wedding. Since Sandy is played by her real-life husband, Alexis Denisof, I can understand why the show has kept them apart. However, we need at least one Lily/Sandy scene.
Right now Marshall's plot like is still the weakest, but having him be forced to don the cheese was a stroke of genius. I just want to see a bigger payoff for Marshall's trip, be it emotional, relational, or comical.
Of course, what sealed the deal for me was all the references to The Princess Bride. Given that it's my favorite movie of all time, I always appreciate anyone references the movie and does it well.
But that wasn't the only reference. The Zombie Movie plot really worked for me, as it added a layer of silliness to the more serious struggle Barney and Robin have about married life. Their fear that their love life will dry up after being married was a good issue for the two to deal with, especially given Barney's many observations over the course of the series about what happens to a married couple's sex life. The discovery that one's sex life doesn't have to disappear with age was both heartwarming and horrifying.
Any time with Barney's brother James is also appreciated. James proved valuable in two ways, being both the devoted brother and horror movie cliche. Why does the black guy always die first?
In what I hope to see continue, I liked how it all ended, with Barney launching a cliff-hanger of a statement at Ted: he saw Ted and Robin at the Carousel. I would like to see every episode end like that, giving this season that final burst of momentum it needs to finish well. If each episode ends with me unable to wait for the next, then I'm satisfied.
Next week will probably be a full episode of Ted and Barney having it out, and that's fine with me. While I always enjoy watching Ted and Barney bro out, they do just as well together with more serious moments, and I can't wait to see where this conversation goes. I'm also glad that they are addressing this issue sooner, rather than later.
My only complaint is that this week was Mother-free. I get that we still need to focus on our main cast of characters, and I know we'll be seeing a lot more of her. In fact, it's probably a smart move to limit her to one appearance per episode - it makes those scenes extra special and something to look forward to.
I must admit I had my doubts about their final season format, but it looks like they just might pull it off. Some shows rally for their final season, and it's starting to look like How I Met Your Mother is one of them.
Best Word of Summoning: "Mandy Patinkin"
Best Callback: The Duel
Best Garbled Line: My name is Rodrigo DeGoya. You killed someone I love. Prepare to Dance!
Best Sagat Narration: "Yes kids, that's what your aunt Lily thought the line was."