How I Met Your Mother "Knight Vision" Review: Ted Mosby Is Not a Jerk

By Kaitlin Thomas

Oct 22, 2013

How I Met Your Mother S09E06: "Knight Vision"


Much like last week's "The Poker Game," tonight's How I Met Your Mother felt a bit like HIMYM of days past, and it was due in large part to the nature of the episode, which was for all intents and purposes a formulaic Ted Has a Bad Date storyline. Add in the series' trademark gimmicks, like Barney's constant need to insert himself into history or popular culture, and an okay B-storyline about Robin and Barney and their "mean old tool" of a minister (Edward Herrmann) and you've got another successful episode in "Knight Vision."

As much as I love the Mother and anxiously await her return like most viewers, and as often as this formula failed in later seasons, sometimes it's still fun to see Ted gloriously make bad decision after bad decision on a date. That is, after all, what the series has essentially been about for the last eight seasons, and his date with Cassie (Anna Camp) was a funny last hurrah heading in to the final stretch. But it was also more than that. On the surface it was Ted being Ted and making bad decisions, but underneath it was one of Future Ted's life lessons. It was Ted telling his children about how every wrong decision he made eventually led to the right one where he met their mother on the platform at the train station. So in a way, being paired up with Cassie and not Robin's former college roommate or her coworker turned out to be the right decision after all.


Despite the storyline being a familiar one, it still felt fresh because of the wedding setting (I never thought I'd ever write those words), and it was still entertaining to watch Ted make those wrong decisions—like asking about Cassie's recent breakup because he's Ted and he's a nice guy and that's what a nice guy would do, or choosing the dining room instead of the bar so that he's forced to spend an entire meal with Cassie and her parents—because the pay off at the end was worth it. And for Ted to make all of those mistakes with the HIMYM version of the Knight Templar from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade telling him that he chose poorly after each one was actually really funny. 

Meanwhile, while Ted was off in his own storyline, Robin and Barney were in a moderately better storyline about their own meet cute. It was better than last week's horrible poker game, but it still wasn't great (though it was definitely shorter than Ted's eight-year ramble). This week, Richard Gilmore himself guest-starred as their mean minister who only agreed to marry them after the couple shared their cute story about how they met. But that's all it was: a story. They stole their first meeting from Lily and Marshall because asking Robin in a bar if she's ever met Ted was not sufficient for the minister, whose church was apparently the cutest thing in the world. 


I'm going to stop before I have to deconstruct how this storyline was actually very silly because neither Robin or Barney have ever been the type of people who care about the cuteness of a church, and just point out that this storyline led to both of them admitting that they love how they met, and they love how messy their relationship has been over the course of the last eight years because it led to them being together at that exact moment. And although I think the scene would have been better punctuated with an emotional Barney speech that we know Neil Patrick Harris would have delivered with A+ honesty instead of the jokes the writers chose, the storyline was far better than anything they've been given in a long while, so let's call it a success and move on.

It's probably too much to hope that the series will be able to continue to build upon the momentum built by "The Poker Game" and "Knight Vision" for too long, but I'm going to play the Ted card and remain the eternal optimist for once. We've been dealt two pretty solid episodes in a row, and both of them were successful because they were throwbacks to the days when the series was at its best, playing with formulas that the writers know work well. Knowing that we've got a final slap coming up, and that the series still has plenty callbacks to earlier seasons planned, I think it's possible this final season might still come out with a winning average after all.


NOTES

— Unlike most viewers, I'm completely content with the writers using Cristin Milioti's Mother sparingly. She was definitely awesome in the premiere, but it would be difficult to fit her in to the earliest episodes of the season. Yes, they could have introduced her to Robin a few week's back in the Robin Has No Female Friends storyline, but her appearance that early probably would have meant that it'd have been harder for her to remain unseen by Ted before the train station. And flash-forwards only work in very rare cases like the premiere. Most of the time, the flash-forwards on HIMYM are short unexplained glimpses of something truly ridiculous, like post-honeymoon Barney. Truthfully, there hasn't been a storyline since the train with Lily in which her sudden appearance would work, and I trust that Carter Bays and Craig Thomas will bring her back when the moment is right. She's a special character, and using her too much would inevitable dull her shine. Sorry, but it's true.

— Last week Marshall was integrated into the story because it was flashback heavy, but this week Marshall's storyline once again found him on the road. Daphne as Lily was funny at first, but it eventually grew to be a tired gimmick and I found myself wishing Marshall actually was talking to Lily about the fact he took a job as a judge. And since Daphne angry-texted Lily and told her as such, I'm looking forward to Marshall and Lily interaction next week. Yay progress!

— Wedding at Bernie's and a prayer-five—yeah, sometimes Barney and Robin are still great.

— "What the damn hell?"

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  • tamaracassill Oct 27, 2013

    I dont mind that we didnt see much of the mother yet... there are like 23 episodes or something like that.. relax ;)

    But Barney and Robin are horrible.. They should have more group scenes. They annoy me. So Robin you love the fact that Barney slept with 250 girls? really? Look Im happy they are happy that they found each other but since when does Robin think everything is awesome? And come on we got it, u 2 like Sex. ok. So can u define your love with something else? Im annoyed with their ,,yeah we had sex in every room bla bla" stories

  • glenguti Oct 23, 2013

    I don't know how much more of the wedding weekend I can take. Its starting to get old to me already. And they're going to milk this out for the entire season?! It better start paying off soon.

  • panagiotistr Oct 24, 2013

    im afraid that the half season at least will be the wedding weekend

  • heatherke Oct 23, 2013

    Is it just me or is this season gone down hill ?

  • heatherke Oct 23, 2013

    The milking of this Wedding Weekend has just gone to far. I want the gang back together again at Maclarens!

  • milakunisx Oct 23, 2013

    how-imet-your-mother.blogspot.com

  • fzlmcq Oct 23, 2013

    Why was The Mother on the train with Lily in the first place? Where has she been all this time? Wouldn't she have arrived with her band the day of the wedding a few hours before the reception instead of the day or so before? I did enjoy her interactions with Lily and I understand not using her yet, but I was surprised they used her at all so far this season.

  • vampman87 Oct 22, 2013

    Can it be? I must be dreaming... an ENTIRE episode that was funny? That DIDN'T have the Mother in it? I'm shocked! SHOCKED!

    First off, I loved the interaction between Marshall and Daphne this episode, and their rehearsal on what Marshall would say to Lily. It gave Marshall something to do, and it was a step in the right direction for my second least-favorite plotline. (Seriously, when is he gonna get to Farhampton?)

    Robin and Barney's story actually DIDN'T suck this episode, and I like Lily's reaction when she learned that they stole her "How I Met My Husband" story. Although Barney's slept with 250 women, I honestly didn't think his and Robin's love story deserved a priest literally dying of shock. I hope that doesn't have serious repercussions, since now Barney and Robin are technically murderers.. their words literally killed a priest. (Loved the "Wedding at Bernies" fantasy, too.)

    And then there was Ted and the main story for the episode. I thought it was hilarious, especially with the knight who kept calling Ted out on the bad decisions he was making. I burst out laughing at the "You tip... poorly" joke, too. However, despite the hilarity, we can see that Ted has grown as a person. Do you really think Season 1 or 2 Ted would pass up sex with an emotionally vulnerable girl? My only complaint is that the brief flash forward to Ted sitting on the platform at the end of the wedding had the mother's face still completely obscured. We know what she looks like, now! Some new footage of the Mother standing on the platform, face completely shown, slowly looking toward Ted's general direction and Ted maybe looking up from his book, locking eyes on her and having the scene end there would have been wonderful and not spoilerrific because we know they meet on the platform but we don't know what conversation they had,

    I give this episode a 9.6 out of 10. They filmed it... wisely.

  • ionee24 Oct 22, 2013

    Aww, I love Barney's story too, its deviously twisted and slightly homicidal rather than messed up, but it got them there and that's what matters!

  • FilmFanatic Oct 22, 2013

    I really like this season so far and I agree both this and last week's episode were great! My only problem is how long are they going to stretch the wedding weekend? They've been in that B&B; since May for heaven's sake.

  • stanthekaddy Oct 22, 2013

    I liked this episode in that Ted finally stopped moping around and actually started trying to get with somebody. I mean he hasn't met the mother yet and if they're not even going to show her then I would expect Ted to still be trying to meet other women like he always has. And I thought the Last Crusade thing was actually pretty funny. As for Daphne, she can drive that Hummer off a cliff and Marshall can finally get there. Now Marshall and Lily finally have a plot line to deal with, but honestly I don't even care. Whether they go to Italy or more likely stay in NY just does not even matter anymore. Barney and Robin were kinda funny but why do the writers seem like they're still convincing us that there a good couple? They are at the wedding they should just BE a good couple instead of acting totally immature. So once again, this episode was average and seriously I want to see Maclarens again and the rest of New York not the inside of that stupid wedding house.

  • amelie88 Oct 22, 2013

    Call me silly, but I still have faith on HIMYM. Maybe it is because I have invested a whole decade of my life in it (and the decade of my transition fom teenager to young adult, so it has been important), but I believe in the show, and I know that after Christmas it will take off and become more awesome than ever. I won´t lose faith.

    corleonesandlannisters.com

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