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How I Met Your Mother S09E03: "Last Time in New York"


If last week's super-sized premiere was a reminder of how good How I Met Your Mother can be, this week's outing was a reminder that jokes about old people aren't that funny and can really bring down an otherwise heartfelt episode.

Tonight, Robin and Barney's relatives began to arrive for their wedding, and while Robin and Barney's relationship can be one of the stronger things about the series, everything about this particular storyline felt, well, really terrible. I'm sure jokes about the elderly can be funny, but that wasn't the case in "Last Time in New York." The oft-repeated "they're family, gotta love 'em" line never once landed because the remarks made prior to its delivery were flat. The Mandy Patinkin gag didn't work because Patinkin is a boss and I will fight anyone who dare says otherwise. And even though Neil Patrick Harris can often pull off a bad joke simply by being NPH and going all in, not even Harris can handle a broken yo-yo/drooping testicles quip. But it was nice to see him try.

The most frustrating aspect of Robin and Barney's storyline wasn't that the humor wasn't funny, but that the entire plot was driven by their mutual fear that once they're married, the magic and spark will cease to exist in their relationship. It's not an uncommon concern for sitcom characters to have, but since HIMYM turned it into a "one last bang before the wedding" story, it didn't have the emotionally manipulative ending option either. Yes, they're nervous about whether or not they'll still be this in love 60 years down the line, and why shouldn't they be? Their relationship hasn't exactly been smooth sailing, and their engagement came after an extended period of not being together. I'd be more worried if Robin and Barney weren't worried about their future as a couple. But there are better ways to address the issue than by making a bunch of jokes at the expense of buffets, 60 Minutes, and Mandy Patinkin.


While Robin and Barney were stuck in elderly hell, Ted and Lily spent some quality time together, which is always nice because their friendship goes back just as far as Ted and Marshall's, and because it's one we haven't gotten to see much of over the course of the last eight years. Alyson Hannigan and Josh Radnor have always worked well together, and tonight was no different.

Mistaking Ted's New York Bucket List for his wedding toast, Lily read it with the hope that she could get some ideas for her own speech. Instead, she found an itemized list of things that Ted wanted to do before he left Manhattan for Chicago. It included several Ted-like things, like saying goodbye to the Empire State Building, having drinks with his favorite students, buying a round for everyone at MacLaren's, coming clean about what happened on April 26 (which happened to be that he and Marshall were responsible for what happened to Lily's wedding rehearsal dress and not the drunk dry cleaners), and fixing the "Your a penis" graffiti on 96th and Amsterdam (totally reasonable). As Lily eventually pointed out at the end of the episode, Ted's list was not written by someone who was ready to move on from New York; it was written by someone who loves New York. 

Ignoring the fact that Lily probably should've been stumbling around and slurring her speech after all the drinks she'd consumed in the previous few hours, Lily was still able to give one last patented life lecture to Ted. She finally understood his reasons for leaving New York and was able to put aside her own feelings on the matter, but she also made him realize that his bucket list shouldn't be about saying goodbye to the things he loves, but about leaving the bad things behind, like his failed relationship with Stella. She told him, "The good things will always be here waiting for you." Even when she's supposed to be drunk, Lily still knows how to stick a landing.


NOTES

– Marshall is still marooned in his own personal hell, and seeing him so disconnected from everyone else is mine. I did appreciate his dislike for Wisconsin, and I also took comfort in Lily's bond with Daphne even though she'd never met the woman and Marshall had technically only known her a few hours. Typical Aldrin, but it also helped make Sherri Shepherd's character less of an outsider.

– Ted's been avoiding Barney because of his residual feelings for Robin. Once he'd worked up the courage to finally have that drink with Barney (and after Lily stole a new, untainted bottle of scotch), Barney dropped the bomb that he'd seen Robin and Ted at the carousel when they were searching for her locket. Which of course is where the episode ended. Hmmm.

– The callback to the sword fight of 2005 was nice, and I look forward to more of that sort of thing as the end of the series draws near. In that vein, seeing the montage of all the bad things in Ted's life over the course of the last eight seasons also worked on an emotional level. 

– Lily not knowing the proper words to Inigo Montoya's famous declaration in The Princess Bride must make Marshall so sad. 

– Ted in that old bathing suit was the best sight gag in awhile, and Robin's "Oh my, I found Waldo," line was successful because for the most part, Ted just sat there like a man and you almost forgot he was even wearing it.

– Robin and Lily's bastardization of that Glen McKenna scotch (which has been featured throughout the series and sadly does not exist in real life) made me die a little inside. I'm willing to ignore the fact that Robin would never do that to a bottle of scotch considering her own love for the drink, but I cannot get past the cheap whiskey, chocolate syrup, ketchup, and hand sanitizer. FOR SHAME. 

– The one part of Robin and Barney's storyline that I liked: Barney's girlish scream, and his insistence that whoever was behind him take Robin instead of him when James grabbed his shoulder at the ice machine. Girlish screams from dudes are always funny.

thekaitling:list:himym-howd-you-like-the-last-time-in-new-york/

 

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I'm digging the heartfelt parts at the end of the episodes, hope they keep it up, & more Mother & Douchebag-Ted please! VESUVIUS! BOOYAH!
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So many of these comments baffle and disgust me. If many of you hate the show and live only to complain about it then save us all your misery and simply stop watching. No one's holding a gun to your head making you watch the show week in and week out, and certainly nothing is compelling you to go online and rage against it. When there's something I don't like I just tune out rather than complain and hate on it and try to ruin it for everyone else. It's like some people live to be Debbie Downer!

And the comments that Barney and Robin are "a terrible couple" and "don't even want to marry each other" really make me shake my head. You can dislike them together certainly. You can even want Robin with Ted (though if you do you've been wasting your time for the past eight seasons, as the writers were clear from the Pilot that was never going to happen). But there is no way based on the actual writing of the show that anyone should be thinking Barney and Robin are a terrible couple who don't love or want to marry each other. The show has spent the last 16 episodes (and really the entire series if you look at it collectively like you're meant to) demonstrating just the opposite. The writers have done nothing but show them as happily in love and an endgame couple on par with Marshall and Lily. I wish for once that people would stop pushing their own agenda and simply respect the writers' vision. This is Craig and Carter's show, not yours, and if you don't like their vision just stop watching.
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I think what Ted has feelings for is the best interests for Robin. I believe his issue is more to do with Barney and will HE make HER happy? He doesnt have the best track record with women and Ted wants to be make it his 'job to make her happy'.
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I really enjoyed this episode. I'm from WI and all the comments about it were great. Plus I loved the sword fighting and Princess Bride stuff. Also I love Ted and Lily interactions and that they spent the whole episode together was great. Yeah Barney and Robin's part wasn't my favorite, but watcha gonna do?
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the thing about jokes of old people is that its...old. And boring and quite demeaning
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Old people jokes in this episode were boooriiing.
Iwas thinking the same... shouldn't Lily be really drunk rigth now? like singing on top of tables wasted. But yeah she delivered some nice lines and were truly heartfelt, and Iwas like I missed how insigthful Lily can be.
Loved the list it was really Ted like, specially the part of Ted parting ways with Empy.
And I really looking forward to Ted and Barney's conversation.
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Sorry but I think this was a really good episode. I think the relationship between lily and Ted is beautiful and it was such a heartfelt moment. I'm curious to see what will happen in the next episode between Barney and Ted. I think this show is amazing
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This episode was boring. Robin and Barney are now so boring that I can't stand even looking at them in a scene, and it seems like the whole season is just going to be characters paired off so as to give the other actors more time to work within their schedules - whoopie.

The old people jokes missed every mark because they were toothless. HA! That's an old people joke. Anyway, they were lame and felt hollow mainly because the old folks were such a manufactured story element and manufactured jokes to go with. That's why the Mandy Patinkin jokes didn't work, they weren't germane to the context. And as you said, the context itself wasn't organic.

Marshall's storyline needs to die a quick death, it's stale and repetitive and adds nothing. It also makes NO sense, why have him stop in Wisconsin if it's so important that he get to wedding in a timely fashion? But it's also just grating.

I bet Barney will thank Ted for being a good friend or something equally cheap come the next episode.
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Also grating just like cheese? HA! Wisconsin joke.
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Just three episodes in and I'm already tired of Barney and Robin and their wedding.
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I have to say that I have seen MANY negative complaints and whining lil brats not liking the direction the show is taking. Well, for one the show is not build on YOUR desires. And though we know the conclusion for the most part why not wonder and be curious of the adventure getting there? Its not what it was in earlier seasons but keep this in mind..ALL shows go through this.

Yes, its lost most of its magic like every show that runs 7-8 seasons. It wont matter how good the show is it still runs it course.
Yes, even Big Bang Theory (which has garnered over 20 million viewers this season already, will lose its magic!)
The thing is that it is common, so (at least for me) it doesnt bother me since we all know the end is near. We were forewarned this was the LAST season so it lessens the blow.
I watch because I enjoy it and not dwell on the fact that its been on the air for 8 (soon-to-be) nine years. Just enjoy the ride and allow the show do its thing. Its NOT that bad! Geez! There is much worse on tv and their longevity doesnt even come CLOSE to this show. It still deserves the respect and fans that its garnered, whether they are gone or still hanging on.
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Jeez calm down

...Also, the big bang theory is shite
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Yep, this episode turned out as I feared... hopefully the majority of the season won't move so slowly. It had a few good laugh-out loud moments - mostly between Lily and Ted, and some with Marshall - but mostly nothing much happened.
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I actually really like this episode, probably becuase for some reason I couldn't stop laughing at Barney and Robin's "from behind" miscommunications
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they should definitely cut this season short... the jokes are old, nothing's been happening and it won't since it's now about the hours before the wedding. i'm afraid they'll ruin everything now, leaving most of to remember it not as 'how i met your mother' but 'that sitcom that stayed on air for too long' that. oh, and that attempt of a 'cliffhanger' in the last scene? wasn't enough for me. another thing, is it just me or the actors too seem less enthusiastic since their acting is waaaay worse than it was in the first 3 seasons?

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Yes, please, more flash backs! & flash forwards. Those are the thing about this show. Having the sword fights intertwined with the dress & the scotch was... like the old good HIMYM ( that wasn'tabout to end.)
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& the mom! There should be a "meanwhile your mom was..." plot line.
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I liked pretty much everything except the Robin and Barney scenes. My love for this couple has slowly gone downhill over last season and the start of this one. I want that Stinson-Scherbatsky magic back.

Also, I actually missed the Mother in this episode. After her awesome bonding with Lily and sweet flashforward scene with Ted, I'm firmly falling for the Mother and want to see Ted (and the rest of the gang) fall too!
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I thought their plot made sense considering the will they/won't they magic was gone since the engagement: Robin and Barney may be a steady couple for only one season from our perspective, but it will be the rest of their lives for them.
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I disagree, Barney and Robin weren't really written as a will they/won't they couple. The crux of their relationship wasn't the coupling tension so much as their compatibility. Right now their chemistry is reduced to making mostly bad jokes and cliched relationship tropes. Though i don't think they should be together, Robin and Ted's chemistry has been more believable lately than Robin and Barney.
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I'd say compatibility was Lily and Marshal (we always knew Ted was going to be compatible with The Mother), but Barney and Robin are a classic will they/won't scenario.

Even now, its all about the obstacles in their way: Ted, the cousin's divorce, the locket, etc.
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So agree with everything you wrote:

Kind of getting tired of Barney and Robin's relationship, which I loathe, being only about them fearing of not having sex when they get old or other rubbish because by this point in the series end, it should be about deeper stuff than that, like Ted's feelings for Robin.

Marshall being so far away from the group - minus 100

Jokes about old people - minus a 1000

No mother - minus 8 seasons of getting this point!

Barney's scream in the room when James touched him - plus 1000

Lily's scream upon seeing the dress - plus 1 000

Ted talking to buildings - OMG, this is so Ted Shmosby! Plus all seasons of HIMYM

Finally, the bringing back of the 2005 sword fight - I almost cried of happiness....could this mean that we finally get to the pineapple incident?

P.S.. Loved Ted's speech to the upstairs neighbor girl!
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Yes! Pineapple! Almost forgot! Memory times.
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Again, it made me laugh. So I can't ask for much more.

Also, I absolutely loved Lilly's speech to Ted.

Keep it up HIMYM
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I remember rooting for Barney and Robin when they first started dating, but now, the two characters have been kinda ruined in the last series or so, and whenever there are scenes of the two of them being together it just seems like they're a terrible couple. Also this meeting the mother thing is already a huge anti-climax, because how can voice-over Ted have spent the last 9 seasons trying to convince us that the mother was "The One" and that meeting her was some kind of magical moment when in actuality, when he meets the mother, he's still in love with someone else and has been for the last eight yrs. Now it just seems like the mother is quite clearly second choice for him.
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But Ted ISN'T in love with Robin, he only THINKS he is. Robin is his default love interest. Whenever things are going bad for Ted in the relationship area or whenever he is lonely his feelings always default back to Robin. He's not in love with her, he's in love with the idea of being in love with her. When he meets the Mother, any feeling that he "thinks" he has for Robin, will disappear because he will realize that THIS woman (the Mother) is the ONE.

Right now Ted is doing what Ted always does. He keeps making the same mistake over and over again - falling for and trying to sustain a relationship with a woman that he knows is completely wrong for him. When he met Robin she told him what she wanted in life (focus on career, no kids, she wanted to travel), but he still continued to pursue her. He does the same thing in every relationship - Zoey and the Arcadian (she wants to save it, he wants to knock it down), Stella (she wants to live in New Jersey, he hates it, she has unresolved issues with her ex whom she doesn't invite to the wedding, Ted invites him anyway and gets left at the altar). He is a guy who said he was ready to get married and settle down 8 years ago, yet he has been unable to sustain a healthy relationship longer than a few months, except for Robin whom he dated for a year. Robin was wrong for him then, and she is wrong for him now. Ted knows it, he is just unwilling to accept it because he feels so alone.
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Okay, I pretty much agree with you there but at the same time, from what I've seen from the mother, I LOVE her, but from what I've seen from Ted, he LOVES Robin! And Even though he might not love her like he thinks he does, he definitely has feelings for her, and I'm worried the show wont sell the instant "Love at first sight" thing they've hyped up the last 8 yrs the way they've managed to sell the obvious connection that Ted and Robin have. And I'm worried It's going to be a bit of an anti-climax in the finale (or whenever it is he meets the mother) in that the chemistry between him and Robin is always going to be greater than the match between him and "the mother."
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I have to agree all those old people jokes did not work at all, after a while I was close to rolling my eyes at them in all honesty. Loved the parts with Lily and Ted because, although she can be crazy or go a bit too far, Lily always has the best intentions when it comes to helping her friends especially Ted. Reading the notes section makes me wonder why Robin acted like that in regards to the scotch as she has shown to know a lot about drinks in the past. The flashback to the sword fight was awesome, hope they do more of those. I really don't like Marshal in all honesty and him being away from the rest of the group really isn't helping.
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http://www.popculturology.com/2013/09/how-i-met-your-mother-last-time-in-new.html
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I agree with everything you said. I also felt that the fear that both Barney and Robin should had been treated from another point of view, yes jokes about old people are funny but I felt like in this case they weren't.
I really enjoy Lily's life leassons to Ted. The ending was just unffair, I really don't want to wait 'til next week.
I like Daphne, but I miss Marshall with the gang.
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This episode was hilarious. I do agree about the old people jokes... they were a bit worn out, but I totaly forgot about them due to the rest of the episodes awesomeness, and didn't even think about it till I read this review.

I read the review hoping I could get some insight about what happened at the carousel because I didn't remember anything "intimate" happening. I guess that was the point? Something happened off screen or something?

I loved the Wisconsin scenes.

Ted and Lily scenes were definitely the highlight of the episode. Ted is so fucked up in the head right now, and it was good to see Lily giving him some good advice.
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It's unclear about what truly went down at the carousel. From what I recall, there was just some comforting hand holding. I think we'll find out next week nothing too serious happened and Barney's not upset about anything.
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Precap sez "While Barney works through his anger at Ted after finding out he still has feelings for Robin, Marshall Skypes in to act as a judge and help settle their dispute. Meanwhile, Lily realizes she is Robin's only girlfriend. Source: CBS"
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It was an eh episode. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.

I didn't hate Marshall's storyline this week but that probably has a lot to do with my football obsession. And I think I would probably consider doing something like that as well.
The old people jokes were ok for a couple minutes but then they got old. I do like seeing that Barney and Robin have some doubts. It would be completely out of character for them to not have any doubts just because of who they are and their history.
As for Lily and Ted they had some of the best scenes of the episode. Yeah Ted can be annoying but I like that Lily forces him to admit things and she was finally able to sit back and realize how miserable her friend actually is.

I loved all the callbacks to the sword fight of 2005. I fully expect to see a lot more of these as we progress through the season.

Like a lot of other people, I was actually missing the mother. I guess I expected that we would see a lot more of her in flash-forwards or flashbacks as the season progresses.
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This scene at the end will probably lead to some kind of confrontation. However, we all know that Ted will wear that bandage on his hand when he meets The Mother, which he doesn't wear in the scene when Barney is indecisive abut his tie. So, whatever happens to his hand will occur after this...
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But that's all on the wedding day. The tie-indecisiveness & Robin sending for Ted. Also, did he have the bandage at the dance, when he 1st sees... wait, they still haven't named her, have they?
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Total dud. I love the gags but this ep was painful to watch. Also, Princess Bride is the most overrated movie of all time.

My love for Mandy Pantinkin is from Dead Like Me. Great Showtime series.

Go Vikings!
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@patsully
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Dead Like Me! Dead Like Me! Showtime was stupid for canceling that series.
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Agreed. Also whomever made that gawd awful Dead Like Me movie should perish.
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I didn't even bother seeing it.
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Barney's reveal at the end was interesting. Up until now we've been noticing (as has Lilly) that Ted is avoiding Barney.

But it works BOTH ways... Barney hasn't been making many efforts to chill with Ted. So apparently he's avoiding Ted as well. I guess he is quite ticked off at Ted.
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As far as Ted knows, Barney "won the girl", no matter how okay he may be with it, it will take time before he could get used to it.

The Mother is not going to magically fix this for them they have to work this out together.
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I guess they make up at some point because the old flash-forward has them laughing and talking while Barney is getting dressed and trying to choose a tie. Still... I can't wait to see what Barney does next week.
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I liked (but only liked) it. I know that with a 22-24 episode season, we are often subjected to filler episodes on most shows. Unfortunately, this one didn't have as much of the greatness.

1, More flashforwards of the mother and Ted together, or the flashbacks of where the mother was when Ted was somewhere (like the bar with barney on St. Patty's) because even though she is not established, I feel like we all want to know her so we can see her with Ted.

2, Less Marshall. Or Less Sherri Shepherd. Or less of Marshall away from the group. Have them drive to Chicago and fly to NY, but seriously, it is already old. I want no more.

3, More resolution. I don't know how Ted is supposed to "get over" Robin in 55 hours, but it needs to effing stop. I did LOVE Barney's confrontation of Ted (though I'm not sure why it was so tense, when WE didn't see anything happen) but we have to wait until next week for more!!!

4 Less Ted's feelings for Robin, because they are tired, boring and make Ted annoying.

5 Can Barney already have the locket please please please? Can he have been so thoughtful and excited to spend his life with Robin that he already knew about it whether or not she told him. I don't want Ted to be the hero there. I want it to be Barney, so that they are "meant to be" or that it is just not TED!
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Agreed. It's rediculous that they dragged the Ted+Robin thing this long. For a while a couple of seasons ago it looked more-or-less like he'd moved on... UNTIL the death-bet episode where Marshall ended it with "We'll see"

It's lame. I guess their reason is to make the Mother meeting more powerful... sad and lonely Ted finding the girl of his dreams at a wedding is no big deal. Finding someone that "breaks the spell" Robin has over him is stronger. BUT IT'S PAINFUL to watch all of this.
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I still cannot side with Barney when Ted and him confront each other concerning Robin, not that I want anything like ted&robin but I just don't see barnman and robin as a genuine, honest couple as they once were. They seem fake to me, it seems like they are not getting married because they want to, but because ted has to meet the mother. And Barney's been nothing but a douche towards Ted for about a season and a half.
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I can see your point there... I just wish there was someone else (like Don) to do the love triangle with besides Ted.
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Exactly. It just makes Ted a sad sack, instead of the hopeful, fun guy who knew she was out there.
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I won't deny some of the old people jokes fell flat, but I still really enjoyed this episode. I said last week that I really enjoy Lily and Ted together, so I was happy to get more of them together. And I loved the sacrifice scene by James as he took one for the team to give Barney and Robin some time together.

As for Marshall, I think the best way to do this would be to have him arrive already, but since this is all taking place along one weekend, we can frequently go back to witness his adventure, and so we can get more Lily and Ted together. I find it hard to believe that a 24 episode season that is taking place all in the course of one weekend won't contain flashbacks, and that seems to be the easiest way to tell the story they want with Marshall, and still not have him be totally isolated.
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Oh also, I've forgotten this twice now, but the "Ring Bear" running joke has made me laugh every single time.
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it was not a garbage. was an okayish 6/10 episode. I am looking forward to the next episode after the last scene.
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The faux-scotch gag is a nod to the classic "Mister Roberts", where naval officers try to duplicate expensive scotch by taking grain alcohol and adding ingredients like Coke and hair tonic. Kudos to the writers for introducing a little-known classic!
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I think it's at the point with HIMYM for me that I don't tend to rate it against past episodes or seasons and just enjoy it for what it is. After 8 seasons of getting attached to the characters I've stopped rating or judging and just enjoy it no matter what. In a lot of ways I enjoy it more for the heart felt stuff than the comedy nowadays. This episode was far from the best but as I do every week I still really enjoyed it.
It's a shame we don't get to see Radnor and Hannigan have more scenes together like that more often because they do work really well together.
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I'd give it 6/10. Some good moments but overall it felt like they wasted an episode so they could keep in line with the "entire season is a weekend" plan.

I really enjoyed the parts with Marshall, the sword fighting and Ted and Lilly. The rest the jokes didn't land. I know they are going to have a strong season (last week was a good example) but I am afraid that they are still in the funk they've been since season 4.
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I laughed quite a bit at the Barney and Robin plot. But I also like silly humour. I agree that Marshalls plot isn't the greatest, but it didn't take much time from this episode.
This episode was not garbage! lol..
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I've reached the point where there are more annoying characters on this show than likable characters. Ted who's basically the main character as it's his story of meeting the mother of his children has reached the point of being the most annoying character of the entire show and has been for a couple of seasons now. Lily and Marshall have been off their game ever since they had a kid, but in all fairness Marshall has always been a character I disliked and if I'm really honest I don't like any of the work Jason Segel does.

So.... Why stick around? After so many seasons I'm just sticking around for Barney and Robin. Even though the old people jokes didn't really work, they at their worst still have the least annoying screen time of the show and at their best they are the reason HIMYM reached this many episodes in the first place.

And let's be honest. Are we exited to finally meet the mother or are we feeling sorry for her? She is after all going to meet, marry and have children with Ted which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
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When I watch those road trip scenes, I keep thinking that Jason Segal maybe only accepted to renew his contract with a limited number of shooting days. So they seperated him from the rest of the cast not because this was a story they needed to tell; they seperated him because this was the only way they could shoot most of his scenes en bloc in just a few days. That would at least explain his lackluster storyline.
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He didn't want to shoot a new season to begin with so that's probably a big reason.
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I thought about that too. It's not just that his storyline is lackluster, it's also that he doesn't really even have a story. It could have been shot over a few days and then the HIMYM people stretch it out over maybe a quarter of the season! Brilliant and lame.

Parts of me wishes he hadn't agreed to this last season (could they have done it without him?), but it makes me sure that he definitely won't go along with a 10th season.
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You can't have Lily without Marshall in my opinion, she doesn't have a lot going on without him. They should have included them both for one episode and written them off somewhere it makes sense instead of this disconnected mess.
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Yeah it could be the reason. I can somehow see that at some point their car will break down or something just to make an excuse for some more interesting stories, instead of showing the two traveling across America
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The episode was okay but not as great as the first two. This season should be about character development and tying up loose ends. This was one of the weaker episodes but with that cliffhanger I'm sure the show knows what it's doing. With a 20+ episode season, a few filler episodes are always to be expected.
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I just don't see how they're going to pull out another 21 episodes of this. Same setting and no creativity left. They've sunk to anal sex jokes (really?) and recycled sword jokes. Daphne is annoying and Marshal had better be there next episode
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I loved it, as I tend to love most of the episodes. Otherwise I would just be watching a show I like to complain about. I don't know that there should be so many complaints about Barney and robin spending the episode avoiding old relatives, it's not How Barney Married Robin. Their story is SUPPOSE to lead up to how Ted meets the mother. So if they have a few silly escapades on the way, so be it. And it was a nice resolution to their worries that they would be the perverted 80 year olds who used a walker in(during) sex. And James wasn't ignored, so that was a nice touch, because family is a big part of a wedding, and Barney adores James so of course he would be a part of the wedding weekend, not just a cameo in the ceremony.
The Marshall story is okay. Not great, though I loved the Vikings/Packers jokes.
The main story was Lily and Ted. Not just Ted making plans to go to Chicago but also Lily being one of his closest friends. He spends a lot of time with marshall and Barney. And has spent seasons pining for Robin. But he and Lily are friends seperate from that too, so this was a nice reminder, and the jokes were plentiful.
loved the swordplay and Princess Bride jokes.
And as I have said previously, I think this episode shows why it was important that they showed Lily getting along with the Mother so well and so easily.
I know not everyone wants to see the season "last" the whole wedding, but to them I can only point out how often this show uses flashbacks and forawards. It may end at the train station in Farhaven, but time is relative.
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"Otherwise I would just be watching a show I like to complain about."
Amen to that!
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To be honest I liked it.... Don't know why everyone hated so much....
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Me too, Ted may not know this the way Barney & Robin do, but everyone in that group of friends is about to jump into the "for the rest of their lives" part of their existance.

They need to embrace fear and enjoy the last moment of silly before they do. In two days it will be too late for it.
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This episode to me is... Meh. It was better than episode 2, I'll give it that, and Alyson Hannigan was pretty much the episode's saving grace. As always, I love her relationship with Ted and how insiteful she is, even though she should've been passed out drunk by this point (two hours passed between episode 2 and 3, and she was wasted at the end of episode 2. How can she still be standing?) Her swordfight with Robin was also funny, though in my opinion any episode with a swordfight in it brings any bad show up to a C level of tolerability.

The episode's biggest flaw is Barney and Robin. They just aren't funny. Which is a shame because Barney was literally the only reason I started watching the show in the first place. All the humor he had in the early seasons is gone, and what we're left is a guy who TRIES to be funny, but his "straight man" (Robin) completely fumbles the ball, leading to scenes which are almost painful to watch. At least Wayne Brady was there, but that's the equivalent of being punched in the face with a boxing glove rather than a bare fist.

I also take points away for no flash forwards of, or even HINTS of, shots with the Mother. I said last time, the Mother is now the SOLE reason why I'm still watching the show. Episode 1 of season 9 worked because of how The Mother and Lily interacted, and episode 2 was only made watchable due to the end scene where we see the Mother and Ted just talk. The Mother is supposed to be an integral part of this season, SO WHERE IS SHE? I don't want to spend 7 more episodes of unfunny shannanigans while the characters wait for a rehearsal dinner if the Mother isn't at least in 2 minutes of each episode or just happens to barely miss meeting Ted.

Overall, this episode gets a 7.5 out of 10... oh wait, they dissed Wisconsin, my home state... 6.5 out of 10. For gods sakes, GIVE THE MOTHER SOME SCREENTIME!
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THIS! So much. And I may or may not have LOLed at your Wayne Brady comment here in the library. Ahem.

I am also only in it for The Mother at this point, so any filler episode without her will likely be bad. I don't think we're alone in this attitude though, lots of fans of this show has waited loyally way longer than they should have for the The Mother and now she is here, cast, signed and what ever else, and they still don't use her at all. Who cares about Ted's internal drama. Are we supposed to believe that within the course of 52 hours he went from being so in love with Robin he couldn't stand living in NY anymore to meeting Mother to believing she is the love of his life? Well if so, they're going to have to show her more and convince use (and Ted) that she really is that wonder woman! Because as of now, she's just a very pretty lady who Lily met on the train (and there have been LOTS of those in Ted's past).
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I was so excited with last weeks premiere. It almost felt like the Good Ol' days of HIMYM.
Tonight was such a let down...
Like why? We only have a season left and this is wasting good actors with bad plots.

I hate that Marshall isn't at the wedding. We know he gets there because the end of season 6 reminds us that Barney and Robin do get in their wedding attire and Marshall is there... Why do Robin and Barney need these awful story subplots, or they have okay concepts but just the gags are NOT FUNNY! It make me again loose interest. I don't know what it is, the gags just are gags not congruent with the characters.

My saving grace this season has been Ted, the only chuckles tonight were the only I really had. Him talking to Empy, him in the red and white. And his ability to go from goofy to serious all at once.

The entire episode was bad, until Lily's speech. it was a speech that made everything fall into place and made it HIMYM again even though it was only for a minute. when her and ted have these chats it seems like something you could have with your best friend.

Quit with the filler story lines HIMYM, use your actors. Make us want to know the stories again.
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great reminder that Marshall has already been established as being there before the ceremony.
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Definitely didn't stick the landing. Only way to recover is a graceful entrance and exit next week. C'mon, HIMYM, you can do it! And give us more mother while you're at it (though I guess too much could be detrimental...). I really just want more.
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Actually, I felt that the routine was forced, but the end was stuck!
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Ending kind of sucked. I hate cliffhangers; a good show doesn't need to force its viewers to come back for closure, people should choose to watch the next episode because the show is funny / good. This is probably one of the worst HIMYM's in a long time, nothing happened, and I felt like it just dragged.
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Does this mean that Sherri Shepherd will be on until the end of the season then?

I know it's not exactly HIMYM's MO (rather the opposite...) to go fast with their plots, but honestly what is so important that has to happen to Ted's "development" for the next 52 hours? He will be confronted by Barney, maybe tell others he is leaving, watch Robin and Barney marry each other and then meet the mother.

I guess I'm just impatient since I've grown extremely tired of this show's lame shtick, but I am uncool enough that I keep watching. The show has its moments still though, and I credit them for finally having introduced the mother. However, now that they have, the episodes without her feels void somehow.
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I would say half of the season. The drive is only about 20 hours.
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Still too long!

But the 200th episode should include him in a bigger way, right? And that's just 10 episodes or so away. Hmm. OK, hopefully he will be back before then. And personally I also hope the wedding is completed long before then as well. I'd rather see the wedding itself than this "build up".
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I could NOT agree with you more. After the premiere, it was too much. And I agree, we will need more of the wedding stuff!
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I actually agree. I am a DVD person ONLY if the show is already close to over. (I too, finished Dexter, sigh, so sad!)

I also really care about this one too, because even though it isn't quite as great as it was at the beginning, it is still GOOD. There are still episodes and moments that move me and make me glad that I watch the show. SO, I'm in it. Last episode, well, I did laugh at the Green Bay thing, because as a football fan, I can totally see how that would be horrible for Marshall. That being said, I'm so so tired of the Sherri Shepherd crap, and some of the other filler. I really really hope that there are flashbacks and forwards so we have more of the mother.
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I am not one for "I'll wait for the DVDs to come out and watch the show once it's done", mostly because I'm very habitual, so I tend to watch the same stuff at the same time every week, but also because I don't think I really have the self-restraint to wait until something is finished. This applies even when I no longer enjoy the show (Dexter this summer was an example of that!).... I do however think doing that with HIMYM would be a good idea for me - of course it's not gonna happen I already started watching it! etc. - because I genuinely only care about this show concluding now and Sherri Shepherd or Robin and Barney's lame Mandy Patinkin jokes are completely immaterial to the end game. It would be one thing if it was at least complicit in driving the story forward, but this was actually just 100% filler. I think I could have tolerated it more if it had come with a flash foward or a teaser about The Mother or the wedding, but there wasn't even that :(

Hahah, so sorry for my rant! I want the show to be good, truly. And it still has its moments, but not enough of them lately......
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"the episodes without her feels void somehow" - You just nailed why this episode was so disappointing. It felt like everyone was killing time the whole half hour. The contrast in quality between this and the opening episode couldn't be more glaring.

But that very last scene. Barney looking at Ted like he's something he stepped in, and Ted's absolute sheer terror.... what the hell happened in the park?
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Haha I know! I was like 'caousel? was I supposed to remember some big event between Ted and Robin? Cuz I don't'
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I think it was just that he was there. I hope that Barney found the locket when he proposed and he has it, and all of Ted's bull crap (like flying to LA) was for naught!
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I never thought about that! That would be amazing! Fingers crossed.
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There is a problem with the message system on this site.
Funny thing is, any messages i have sent to the technical staff about this problem do not show up in my outbox, so i dont know whether they have been sent or received.
I am not the only person with this problem
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I wasn't aware of this (probably for obvious reasons), I'll pass it along to the right people!
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Thanks
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I'm so not interested in the road trip. Can they just not drive to another airport?
I like me a funny Waldo (or Wally to us Australian's) joke and some inspirational Lily talks but I just want to know more and see more of the mother. Miloti made last weeks episode, tonight's was just meh...
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I did miss the mother, but How can people be saying this (or last weeks) episode was garbage? They've actually even redeemed Lilly's character a little bit in just two episodes. This final season is so far so good and is only looking to get better, Sorry but There was nothing wrong with this episode.
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you can drive past a storm in terms of airpots that are open, but A: it costs a helluva lot for a same day trip, and Marshall is on a budget, remember his and Lily's purchase of the slanted apartment set them back a buttload.and B: Marshall could have driven to an airport in Wisconsin, and for fun let's say Green Bay Airport and spent an hour finding out the next flight to the Farhaven New York area was in 2-4 hours and it still placed you the same 5 hour drive Ted seemed to take. and that may be a best case scenario. So do we want to see a whole episode were Marshall gets that flight??? Because that doesn't seem like much of a story.
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Way too much of a rollercoaster to be a great episode. Went from typical HIMYM comedy to tear-jerker to cliff-hanger. Egads.
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As I felt last week, this is going to be a tedious season, if they keep going like this. Episodes thus far seem mostly filler to take up the time and it's not all working, for me anyway.

The best parts this time was the Waldo line and Hannigan telling Ted the bad he should say goodbye to.

They need to change course quick. We know he meets her and who she is since they spoiled it for us. Get the wedding done, meet the mother, then spend the rest of season having Ted and the gang (and we the viewers) getting to know her and her them - good and bad. Maybe end the season with Ted's proposal, or planning the wedding, or end as she starts to walk down the aisle. Anything, but what they seem to be doing now.
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I had trouble keeping the TV on during this episode. I feel like there was very little effort put forth by the cast.
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Not as good as last week, But Ok, would have been improved with the Mother
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Definitely agreed. I am tired of Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall and Lily. The mother was something new, this week was back to the usual dragged out.......stuff.
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