The final countdown begins. T-Minus 55 hours till the legen-you-no-longer-need-to-wait-for it-dary wedding of Barney Stinson and Robin Scherbatsky. T-Minus what I am guessing is 58 hours (or so) till Ted Mosby finally meets the woman he’s going to marry. Here we go…
When it was first announced that the ninth and final season of How I Met Your Mother would take place over the course of Barney and Robin’s wedding, I groaned. Really?? How can you tell a GOOD story with a strong dramatic impetus, yet drag it out over 22 episodes? And if we really are covering the 58 (or so) hours until Ted meets the mother, each episode will cover about 2.6 hours of a day…and THAT’S if they never sleep. While the premiere put some of my fears about this structure to rest, it’s going to be a fine line for the show to tread between creating drama out of NOTHING and having episodes with real stakes. Craig Thomas and Carter Bays have certainly thrown down the gauntlet for themselves in this final season, and I, for one, can’t wait to see them try to navigate it.
But you’re not here to read about my fears about the upcoming season, are you? You want to discuss the episode! So…let’s get to it.
As the premiere starts, our gang is all making their way to the Farhampton Inn for the wedding weekend: Marshall and Marvin from Minnesota, Robin and Barney in a limo with our favorite Driver Ranjiit, and Lily and Ted roadtripping. Let’s break down each individual journey, shall we?
Lil and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
I’m all about a fun and leisurely road trip, but I’m with Lily on this one. A drive out to a friend’s wedding is NOT the time to stop at every cheesy landmark you want to see. I would have demanded to be dropped off at a train station too. Lily and Ted’s road trip DID however give me my new favorite insult: “You’re a 21st Century toilet!!”
As we discover, Lily boarding the LIRR is incredibly fortuitous. She is the first of the gang to have a meaningful interaction with Ted’s future bride (as I would assume Robin and Barney HAVE met her because she’s in their wedding band, but I doubt they sat down and had a meaningful conversation with her).
Let’s get this out-of-the-way: Cristin Milioti is PERFECT as The Mother. After 8 seasons of build-up, casting the Mother was a tall order, but from the moment Cristin turned around to console a distraught Lily, I was sold. Of COURSE this is her. She’s perfect for Ted in every way. She’s instantly relatable. But what REALLY works about the mother is that while she clearly has a quirky sense of humor, she manages to not be the manic pixie dream girl stereotype that is so often shoved down our throats these days. Plus anyone who makes cookies that sound as delicious as sumbitch cookies do, is pretty fantastic in my book.
The Mother didn’t just unknowingly pass Lily’s “Front Porch” test, she aced it with flying colors. Cristin and Alyson had an instant rapport that was believable and you just KNOW that Lily and the Mother will be the best of friends. I can’t wait for Lily to see her again at the wedding. Also I find it incredibly fitting that Lily meets the mother first, because as we all know, if Lily doesn’t think the girl is good enough for Ted, the relationship is ultimately doomed.
Also Lily’s reaction when the sumbitches ran out? #GPOY
The Barney and Robin “Are we cousins?” freak out is exactly the kind of creating drama out of nothing moment I referred to in the intro. It was just silly and false drama. I’m sure there will be many freak outs and cold feet moments as we get closer and closer to the wedding (and I fear more of them are going to come from Robin, but we’ll get to that later) but this one didn’t feel genuine at all. Though it did provide a hilarious shout out to Game of Thrones because of COURSE Barney, the guy who thinks Johnny is the real Karate Kid, would find that twit Joffrey to be a fair and wise ruler.