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How I Met Your Mother- Episodes 9.01/9.02 "The Locket/Coming Back"- Review

Kids, I don’t know how long you have been watching this show, but I started just when season 6 ended. It was summer and I had nothing to do, and my sister heavily recommended this show to me. I watched the 6 season in just a couple of days; I was amazed by how innovative it turned out to be. Many people dislike multi-camera sitcoms, but How I Met Your Mother has never been an ordinary sitcom: it flashes back and forth in time, bringing a completely new narrative to comedy, and said narrative often becomes surreal; I’ve only seen a similar narrative style in NBC’s Community, and yet both shows are completely different from each other, which mean we get to see a show that has a completely unique narrative, and that’s quite hard to find.

I thought last season was the weakest of all, even though it had some all-time great episodes like “The Final Page”, “Band or DJ” and “Weekend at Barney’s”, but most of the episodes on said season weren’t on par with the awesomeness of the glory years, mostly because the writers had a hard time integrating new storylines (including Marshall and Lily’s baby Marvin) and some others became tired and old (Ted chasing after Robin). Still, even if last season wasn’t as strong as the previous seasons, we could still say “hey, this is still How I Met Your Mother!” it hadn’t lost its essence. And by the premiere alone, which even experiments on a whole new narrative format, I can say the show still has it, and its most likely to keep things this good the whole season. Which is great, as this is our goodbye season.

We start off with Ted and Lily travelling in the car, in a road trip to Farhampton that Ted makes sure to make as boring as it can possibly be, so Lily storms off and takes the train instead. Surprisingly enough (for those who have been sneak peeks and promo free, which isn’t my case) Lily meets The Mother in said train. It’s interesting to see The Mother and Lily interact; the writers are letting us know her even before she meets Ted and that’s great; she’s been a really shadowy figure the whole show, and her integration in this episode feels quite organic. She feels like she belongs already, and that’s possibly got to do a bit with Cristin Milioti’s acting skills, but most of it by how the writers nicely crafted her interaction with Lily. We get to know some of The Mother’s quirks, which happen to be the same as Ted’s and we can already tell that they will hit off. Should the writers and Milioti keep this good work, we will have no troubles thinking of her as part of the group. Just how long until we know her name?

Marshall has some rough time on this episode with some really good comedic results; as you may remember, Marshall got his judge job, and as he told his mom, she couldn’t help but to upload a photo on facebook to congratulate him, which means that Lily would probably end up seeing it. As such, Marshall tries to guide his mom through his cell phone on how to take down the picture, but sadly he is on a plain ready to take off, and as he refuses to hang up, he is forced to get down of the plane; and he’s not alone, the woman sitting next to him tried to hurry Marshall into hanging up the phone and it got violent, and so she was kicked off the flight too.

The whole interaction between this woman named Daphne and Marshall had some really good comedic results; both Jason Segel and Sherri Shepherd make a great job showing of an almost immediate rivalry and as this is How I Met Your Mother, rivalry and competition can only end up in laughs; I enjoyed and laughed quite hard when Daphne kept saying “just click on options” while Marshall tried to take down the picture himself. Marvin ends up saving him by clicking some random button and deleting the photo, but the feud is far from over between those two, as there are no more flights to New York, and the only way getting there is by car- in mid of holiday season, which is next to impossible- so they race to rent a car, Marshall gets the car, but it’s an environmental monstrosity and long story short Marshall decides to trust the woman when she offers to get a baby seat and drive together to New York. In the end, the woman keeps her word, but for an instance it seemed as if she wouldn’t. This storyline was full of the good craziness that usually involves Marshall, quite funny, dynamic and fast, while also a bit heartwarming at the end.

If something didn’t quite work out as funny as the rest was some of the Robin and Barney’s bits, but that’s not because the pair is boring or something like that, but mostly because the whole scare they share when they think they might be even slightly blood related was way too over the top, more than what I can usually can take; but it’s hard not to enjoy their telepathic conversations, seeing them ending their own murderous thoughts and such things. Also, I’m glad we’re getting to see Barney really committing to Robin; the second half of the 8th season struggled in its way to make Barney a suitable boyfriend/fiancée for Robin, but now we see that he’s ready for it, he is able to show his love for her without too many cheesy lines nor over the top actions, he just needs to look into Robin’s eyes as he did in this episode. Neil Patrick Harris is a wonderful actor and he makes Barney look like he is really in love with Robin, ready to spend his life with her, and Cobbie Smulders doesn’t fall short either; while usually concerned over Barney, we can see that Robin shares Barney’s feeling, and that’s quite sweet.

Ted doesn’t get much to do in the first episode, as he mostly drives to Farhampton, but by the end of the first episode we get a nice moment when he gives Robin a picture of the group together; most of us must have expected for him to give Robin the locket (as the title implied), just as Lily theorized, but I find this something Ted would likely do, because he is just naturally nice, he puts everybody’s well being before his. I think Ted really wanted to give her the locket, but he is trying so hard to let her and Barney be happy that in the end he puts his happiness aside, just as when he pushed Robin to go for Barney in “The Final Page”. Though not as poignant, it is really sweet and one is left waiting for The Mother to show up; I, for one, don’t want to see Ted this hurt anymore, so I can’t wait to see his meeting with The Mother. Through these many seasons we’ve seen Ted getting hurt too many times, and having this obnoxious receptionist shove his loneliness in Ted’s face is not only annoying, but also a bit hurtful. But Ted himself is an optimistic, and even when he is about to lose hope, a part of him still knows he will meet the mother of his children, and that’s all the fuel he needs to keep moving forward, but I’m getting worried that the fuel will ran out by some point of this season before we meet the mother.

Moving on, there’s a whole storyline with the gang being unable to check in and they hang in the lobby as they meet James who shortly arrives there. As Marshall is having troubles getting there, Lily decides the only way to make it through this couple’s inn is to drink as much as possible, and so she pays a random guy named Linus to give her a drink every time she empties one. This mean she’ll be drunk soon and blurt out something important. When Barney gets out of the lobby for a minute, James tells the gang he is getting a divorce; now, I’ve known about this for a while, but I still don’t like this kind of choice, as James relationship with Tom was portrayed as a really strong one and it really comes out of the blue, and it makes little sense. Sure, they state James cheated, but didn’t the show establish that he moved on from that a long time ago? And to make things worse, he states that he cheated on Tom repeatedly.

Robin, as she is still unsure about her relationship with Barney, doesn’t want him to find out as James marriage was the one that made him believe on marriage (making Lily quite offended) and she is scared that he would freak out. Barney has always been a bit cartoony and as such it’s a fair concern for Robin, but thankfully Lily blurts out about James divorces and Barney gets to prove Robin that their relationship is strong enough to make him believe in marriage, even if his brother’s one failed; this lead to nice moment, a kiss and yet another great interaction between NHP and Cobbie Smulders.

The second half hour ends with Ted and James sitting down on the lobby, pouring drinks. Ted tells James that none of them is giving up, and as James thanks him and leaves, we get a flash forward, in which we see Ted and the mother together there, reassuring us that everything will be ok; no matter how lonely Ted looks now, he is going to meet the mother and he is going to be happy. The thing is, can I keep looking at present Ted this miserable for as long as the season goes? We’ll have to see, but I can’t deny something: the show makes me feel some very strong emotions, and that’s just great TV right there, comedy or not. How I Met Your Mother creates a great environment when it blends comedy and drama; sometimes it leans too much to one side or the other, but the premiere mostly got it right, and I look forward to what there’s left to see in this final episodes.
This is How I Met Your Mother: you’re ensured to laugh and cry. And that’s why it’s so great.

Grade: A-

Stray observations:
-It isn’t a season of How I Met Your Mother if we don’t get to see Ranjit a little bit; the divider is still soundproof.

-The Mother: “I would give him humiliating a nickname until he stops driving like a little girl”.
Ted: “It was Lady Tedwina Slowsby. And it worked”.

-Lily shows The Mother her demon like eyes when she tries to get her phone. The fact that The Mother didn’t run away is yet another argument to be made for her to become a part of the gang.

-I love how Marvin seems to not care at all while his father struggles with the passenger next sit; he is just smiling around, waving his arms. That was utterly cute in midst of a pretty funny feud.

-Barney had a banner and an erotic cake in James room to congratulate him for his anniversary; weird to watch, but funny results when he moves all those things to Ted’s room and we get to see Ted’s reaction when he gets to his room.

-Crossing my fingers to see Robin yelling to Patrice in next episodes; she has to be invited!

-Next week: The Walking Old? Let’s see what the writers do with that.

I'm currently studying Psychology while also writing fantasy books (one already published in my home country, Chile, you can check it out on the facebook icon). I watch many different types of shows, including my favorites Revenge, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time and about 23 more. Currently writing articles and some reviews as well

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