How I Met Your Mother- Episodes 9.18/9.19 "Rally/Vesuvius" Review- The gang prepares for the farewell, but so does the mother?
Posted by Pablozky at Wednesday, March 05, 2014 16 Comments
Let’s start with “Rally”: it’s an episode that uses HIMYM chaotic timeline at its best; it jumps back and forth to future and present exploring the state of our characters in the future. By dealing with Barney’s huge hangover, eventually the entire gang vows not to get that drunk ever again, a vow which all of them end up breaking seemingly at the worst possible times, with Marshall getting drunk when he assumed he lost an election that he ended up winning, Lily drinking when Marvin’s off to college (and being caught on the spot by him) and Robin and Barney waking up on Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the wrong room with a baby that isn’t theirs (the show plays a rather surprising trick by letting us think at first that the baby is Barney and Robin’s, but then clarifies that it’s actually someone else’s baby). During the whole episode it becomes predictable that this shift in the narrative is going to occur, but the outcome is always surprisingly well executed and worth quite a few chuckles.
Coming back to present time, our characters try to find out a way to wake Barney up before the wedding pictures are taken, and Ted remembers that Barney used to cure their hangovers with some kind of “fixer elixir” (presented to us by Barney’s elegant rip off of the Manhattan project), so all they have to do is recreate; however, there is a missing secret ingredient that Barney never told them. And so the episode branches out in two plots; the girls will try to wake up Barney long enough to tell them the secret ingredient, while the guys would gather the ones they already know of.
The guys’ storyline is pretty good too (loved the bit when Marshall throws a Tantrum bottle to Ted, “Dude! Why are you throwing a Tantrum? You’re a grown man!”), but the whole bacon grease thing, while amusing, never felt like it was good altogether (maybe it has to do with the fact that I don’t like bacon… you have my permission to glare at me). It is fun to see Ted going obsessed over the bacon, but at times it felt like the show was trying too hard.
And then we have The Mother, who after dealing with a new year’s hangover is given the very same fixer elixir by Ted, a lie made to make it all better, but things look pretty bright anyway; she published a book that is supposed to end poverty in our times, she is married to the guy of her dreams and have two seemingly great and loving children. All of it looks so fine… and that makes next episode a little bit confusing, but we’ll get to that right away. This episode alone was a great installment in the comedic size and in the everlasting affection that the gang holds for each other.
“Vesuvius” features a shift on the narrative like the show has never done before; Bob Saget doesn’t narrate, the show shifts between 2024, with a slightly younger future Ted and the Mother spending a weekend in Farhampton’s Inn where they both discover they have told each other every single one of their stories, and 2012, with the story Ted seemingly hasn’t told The Mother yet; the story behind the lamp Robin broke on her wedding day.
When Lily tells Marshall this, trying to get him to help her get Robin real about her wedding, he gets excited about the movie instead and they all end up seeing it. I loved how the movie ended up parodying Marshall as well (or should I say Narshall?) and how it also ripped off their story of being trapped on a snow storm with a gorilla in the car (even if it makes no sense whatsoever to the original plot of The Wedding Bride, but hey! It was pretty great watch!).
Wedding Bride aside, the Ted and Barney subplot deals with choosing a suit for Barney; there is one that is made for the wedding, but Barney doesn’t think it is the right fit, so he goes through a lot of suits with Ted (Ted: “SAY YES TO THE SUIT!!!!” Barney: “I can’t…” *sobbing*) and while it is mostly an excuse to remember how old Barney used to bang all kinds of women, by the end Ted convinces him that the best suit is the newest one, the one he can fill in with new memories that are to come, and it becomes a perfect fit. It’s a nice little moment.
And that’s the story, a story that The Mother already knew. I left her out of the rest because I need a whole section to talk about her. Midway through the episode, when she realized she knew the story, she told Ted that she doesn’t want him to just live on his stories; she also told him that life only moves forwards. And then, by the end of the story, when Ted remarks Robin’s mother showing up as a surprise ending, The Mother asks what kind of mother would miss her daughter’s wedding. And then there are the watery eyes, the sad expression on Josh Radnor’s face tells us that something bad has happened or is about to. On my first watch, I assumed that Ted’s mother passed away and missed his wedding day, a moment I deemed so emotional that it got me to tears. But as I read the theories about The Mother being the one who is going to bite the dust I couldn’t help but notice that it makes sense; during the whole episode Ted looks at her as if he was afraid to lose her, and the fact that she tells Ted that life moves on only reinforces the idea that she is not going to be with him forever.
Wherever the theory is correct or not, the episode raised the stakes of the show just as it is about to end; last week it seemed as Ted was promised the best ending possible, the happiest one, and now it seems that ending is at risk. Even if the mother doesn’t die, and it ends up being Ted’s mom, it is still quite an injury to the guy, and if The Mother actually dies, then my appreciation on the show may change drastically, as I hanged on during Ted’s hardest moments by knowing that at some point he was going to meet The Mother and they would be happy together; should you take her out of the equation there is no consolation, only more damage done to Ted, and I don’t think I could handle such thing. I admit it would be very brave if the show went through with it, but I don’t think it is the right choice, it would fundamentally change everything we know about the show, and it would leave Ted (and the audience) with a hole on their heart. For a show like HIMYM, that’s not the way to go.
But I can’t judge the episode only on that theory alone; it is a fun, adorable episode that is also willing to raise the emotional stakes just when it is about to end. It is pretty great, but I can’t deny how worried I am about what’s going to happen next, and it’s not that I’m excited, it is that I’m deeply afraid. Should the show take the wrong step I could be on the verge of hating its finale, and that’s something I don’t want to happen.
-After the opening sequence on “Rally” when Ted says “this is what Barney remember of those two hours” and they show us the cube with the ice, the stairs, the bear and Lily and Robin about to make out, I was screaming “WTF?!”. I consider that clip the most beautiful chaotic short bit on television history.
-I love how Barney screamed “BOOOM!” just to mess up with hangover Ted.
-Barney thinks that after pulling “Weekend at Barney’s” everything is going downhill from there. Schebatsky is not amused.
-Ted: “Maybe my friend Lincoln… can emancipate that information”
-Curtis again: “I’m sorry, I heard you guys say ‘The Wedding Bride’, were you talking about the movie or the smash Broadway musical”
The Wedding Bride will always hunt Ted.
-How cold is Robin for driving her grandmother out of the room when she was telling that poignant story about her wedding day? Very, although in her defense, she tells that story every holiday (Lily: “on the very same church!” *sobs*).
-The whole bit with the cake in The Wedding Bride is based on an interview Jason Segel had on 2010, where he practically bashed the show; I was really surprised.
-Is it me or this is the first time we see Katie since season 2?
-So, what do you think about the whole Mother dying controversy? Will she die? Will she survive? Was she never in any danger to begin with? Does Ted’s mother die? Does The Mother’s mother die? Leave your thoughts on the comments!
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