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How I Met Your Mother S09E08: "The Lighthouse"


The episode description CBS released for "The Lighthouse" left a lot to be desired. I audibly groaned when I read that Robin and Loretta's (Frances Conroy) argument, which was boring when it began in "The Poker Game," would escalate this week. And I felt almost nothing at the mention of Ted taking Cassie (Anna Camp) up to some lighthouse. Neither story was all that appealing. But the beauty of How I Met Your Mother is that it's built its legacy on being able to pull surprisingly emotional moments out of cheap, silly setups, and that's exactly what happened this week.

What began as one of the show's silliest arguments to date—whether Loretta's scrambled eggs we're better than Robin's mother's scrambled eggs—ended with a rather emotional moment in which Robin revealed to Loretta (and a room full of extras), that not only does she not know how to make scrambled eggs, but she cannot have children either. (I'm going to leave that awkward metaphor right here for the souls brave enough to touch it.) Barney, of course, already knew this about Robin as It was revealed in a flashback that Robin confessed her inability to have children to him last fall. His immediate reaction was to emotionally embrace her until a sudden downpour made the moment a little awkward for each of them. But both reveals—Robin to Loretta and Robin to Barney—acted as a swift one-two punch that abruptly shifted the A-plot from really, really silly to really, really poignant in a matter of minutes. But it also served as a reminder that Barney and Robin are, in fact, capable of carrying a storyline that doesn't induce vomiting. 


It's a relief to be reminded of this fact after so many otherwise funny episodes were brought down by their rather unfunny, poorly written storylines. I've always thought that their relationship was better suited to the emotional moments anyway, and that the ending of "The Poker Game" would have stuck the landing better if the show had allowed for that. It was refreshing to see that theory reaffirmed this week as Barney had a good old fashioned sit down with his mother and explained to her that he didn't care about not having children, because he's marrying the girl, not the idea of a future of possibly having children. Neil Patrick Harris once again knocked the emotional stuff of the park (as did Cobie Smulders) while simultaneously making silly jokes like the one about a Lambercuzzi work. But perhaps the best moment to come out of this entire storyline had nothing to do with Harris and his range, but rather Loretta setting aside her differences with Robin and accepting her into her life both literally and figuratively.

After Robin confessed to Lily that her own mother wasn't going to attend the wedding, she told Loretta, who embraced Robin and told her to call her mom from that point forward. We know Robin isn't exactly close with her mom from the very limited amount of knowledge she has shared with the gang over the years, so this moment was poignant for everything that wasn't said. I'm sure someone with a psychology degree could analyze the hell out of Robin Scherbatksy, and both her mommy and daddy issues, but that's not me, and that would be hella boring, so let's just be happy that Robin's inability to have children was addressed, her ongoing argument with Loretta has been resolved, and that she's gotten a mother, who maybe wasn't always the picture of perfect parental responsibility, but who will care about Robin more than her own mother ever has. 


In Ted's B-story, we were forced to sit through what appeared to be another one of Ted's bad dates that angry, drunk Lily suggested he go on ("Take this normal size chick up to the lighthouse and fall in love with her and quit bothering us with your dumb love life stuff"). After having to carry Cassie up the flight of stairs to the top of the lighthouse (because she'd tripped on a toy car before they'd even left the inn), Ted was disappointed that he'd wasted the lighthouse on a girl he didn't care about. Typical Ted, am I right? But just when it felt like all was lost with Ted "CoinCon" Mosby, the episode pulled another emotional punch and fast-forwarded a couple of years in to the future. We saw that he eventually returned to the lighthouse with the Mother—who appreciated the view as much, if not more, than Ted—and he proposed to her at that same spot. 

I know Ted's proposal is what most people are talking about about after having watched "The Lighthouse," and I know that's the important storyline we're all supposed to focus on right now, but just for a moment I'd like to point out that this was tucked away in what was technically a B-storyline. A proposal! To the Mother! That we've been waiting eight years for! Only How I Met Your Mother would almost bury something as monumental or important as Ted proposing to the Mother in a non-A story. You so crazy, HIMYM.


I'd also like to focus on the fact that How I Met Your Mother turned in an all around solid episode this week. Even Marshall's storyline with Daphne was saved by the road trip callbacks to when Ted and Marshall played zitch dog, and by incorporating the Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)." Yes, Ted's proposal to the Mother was sweet, and her impatience was even sweeter as she refused to wait for him to finish even asking her to marry him before shouting yes, but even if Ted hadn't proposed, I still would give this episode an A. And it's because "The Lighthouse" was unafraid to embrace its best strength—its ability to tell emotionally compelling stories as well as humorous ones—that made it work.  .

As the half-hour progressed, I found myself thinking that no matter how many times How I Met Your Mother drops the ball from week-to-week, there's a reason why I still tune in every week (other than the fact that it's literally my job). And it's because I know the series has the ability to turn out episodes like this. The ones that make you laugh as much as they make you maybe-sort-of-mist-up-but-the-room-was-actually-just-really-dusty. This was arguably one of the best episodes of Season 9. And dare I say that only a percentage of that was due to the Mother's return. Well done, gang, well done.



NOTES


– Series co-creator Carter Bays was the basis for Ted's character, and he grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio just like Ted did. Josh Radnor is from Ohio, too. Naturally, as I am also an Ohioan, I love any moment HIMYM spends on Ted's life in Ohio. This week, as Marshall and Daphne stopped in Cleveland to wait out a storm at Ted's mom's house, the series made several Ohio references that pretty much ensured that I'd come out the other side of "The Lighthouse" happy no matter what. The ones I counted (and I might be forgetting some because I'm too lazy right now to rewind): Tri-C, Wendy's, Van Aken, Geauga Lake, Coventry, and being the coach of the Browns. Did you catch any others?

– Barney peed himself in front of the 300 Weebelos at the Pinewood Derby finals in Wheeling, West Virginia. 

– Ted's best friend when he was a child was a balloon. Because of course it was.

– Welcome to Cleveland, Birthplace of Ted Mosby.

thekaitling:list:himym-what-did-you-think-of-the-lighthouse/

 

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Still trying to figure out this episode..is that a proposal i just saw!!It was kind of dissappointing considering this is wat the whole show is based on!!i expected something more exciting i hope the final wedding is!!
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While this wasn't my favorite episode it certainly made up for the last few duds.

FIrst off thank you for the review, I come her to gauge if I am indeed going to spend a half hour of my day watching this show... or at least going in knowing what I will want to fastforward.

Your review was spot on. This felt like HIMYM. Please continue to let your wonderful cast ACT, they can do it.

ALSO PLEASE HAVE MORE OF THE MOTHER IN IT. (ALSO whats her name? - is this a "Big" like stunt)?
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Disappointing. I wonder if we would be less annoyed with this final season if it was Season 6 and not Season 9 though? Interesting to think about. Also, please kill How I Met Your Father. Nobody wants it. More thoughts on that.
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Too early to show us the proposal.
but I guess without it, the episode would have had no highlights.
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Am I the only one who didn't like the proposal? Not how he did it, but just the fact that they show that right now, just to pretend to show the mother? We haven't seen her in like 6-7 episode, she has only met Lily, and suddenly, at the very end of an episode, they show her 40 seconds getting proposed.
Show me the present before showing me the future. I'm tired of the "2 years later", "1 year later" when we seem stuck in the present with nothing moving on.
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That's the constraints the writers put on themselves when they decided to have the whole season be about Barney and Robin's wedding. Now we're stuck with flashforwards with Ted and the mother and there can't be a whole lot of moving forward in a few days worth of time.
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Talk about disappointed! The whole argument between Loretta and Robin was stupid. Robin was acting like a class A jerk and I couldn't figure out why. Why would anymore deliberately want to antagonize their future mother-in-law? Robin was acting so out of character by having this much animosity towards Loretta. But it was all just a cheap set-up and manipulation so that you can have the big make-up scene and tug at people's heart strings. I am all for a sappy feel good fest, but in this case I could she the puppet master pulling the strings and it just felt like a cheap manipulation.

The proposal of Ted to the mother was an insult. Barney's proposal was made out to be epic and surprising and then Ted's proposal is barely a footnote. Knowing how romantic Ted is, I expected him to go into romance overload with his proposal. I mean doves, carriages, flowers. champagne, violins, the whole nine yards. On top a of a lighthouse was so MEH!

I am not in love with the mother and I don't see the chemistry there. In fact when they are on screen together, Ted looks so much older then her. It feels like he is more of a father figure to her than the love of her life.
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Somebody said last week (I think) that Robin and Barney became just pure jerks. And that last episode makes him 100% right.
Robin used to be a nice girl. Now she acts weird.
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Pretty sure the animosity towards Loretta was due to Robin's own anger about the fact that neither of her parents seem able to show up to their own daughter's wedding. In that light, Robin's ill-conceived fury makes perfect sense to me.

As for the bare bones proposal--that also made sense to me. The Mother is the love of Ted's life, not some random woman he's trying to pretend means more to him than she does--he doesn't need flowers and chocolates and blue french horns anymore; he just wants to turn to her and say, hey, stick with me.
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Interesting thoughts but Robin's anger was never shown to be because her parents aren't at the wedding. She was angry before she knew her mother wasn't coming. Did I miss something, when did they say her father wasn't coming?

Ted is a romantic at his core, which is fundamental to his character. He even devised the most romantic date a few seasons ago. He lives for the romance, he does everything over the top. His wanting and yearning for the "right" one all these years had been the very core of the show. But when he meets the "one" and proposes he doesn't go overboard? How can Ted NOT help himself from going overboard, that is like asking him not to breath. He lives for the romance, he reveals in it and bathes in it.
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Jewel, I am all over this board because of the reply box only being in certain areas. I am telling you, you need to go watch the pilot and the first few episodes again and watch the kids when he wants to talk to the kids about the mother. The are like obnoxious and laughing at the same time. You would absolutely NOT act that way if your mother was dead and your dad was telling you a story. I am SURE of this. As for Ted being dead, future Ted in the first few episodes talks to the kids and they talk back. So that blows that theory right out of the water. The first few episodes tells a lot about the mother and Ted in the future. Maybe you need to get Netflix and watch them again. You will tell me I am right. If the writers wanted to change the story after 9 years, then people like myself have found the holes in the story. As for your Robin theory, I don't want to be mean because I like you but here is my answer to that. GET OVER IT.....IT AIN'T GOING TO HAPPEN. THAT IS WHY HE CONTINUES TO TELL THE KIDS THAT SHE GETS TO DO THE THINGS IN HER LIFE THAT SHE WANTED TO DO LIKE GO TO ARGENTINA, JAPAN AND ALL THE OTHER PLACES SHE WANTED TO GO. He also would NOT have made that speech to the mother in The Time Travelers That he wants those extra 45 days etc... He is so in love with this woman you can plainly see by that speech that he is over Robin finally and I think we will find out why in the next few episodes. I would LOVE to talk to you about this. I live in Florida in the USA obviously. I would be more than happy to give you my Facebook page or my email somehow in private so we can talk (I would give you my phone number). Let me know. You are way intelligent and I enjoy discussing this with you and I do know many other topics obviously. My real name is Mitch so that is a start, let me know. I hope I straightened you out on your theories on Robin being the mother and the mother still dying. We will find out pretty soon. Something tells me Marshall will make his return this or next week for sure as well. Mark my words.
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Hi Jewel,
I read what you had to say and you brought up 2 outstanding episodes and some very good questions, but I think I have the answers to your questions on whether the mother is really dead and he is telling the kids the story so they can know about their mother or not. Let's go to The Time Travelers episode where Ted is debating whether to go to Robots vs Wrestlers legends in April of 2013. First of. I have to say it is Teds (Josh Radnors) finest performance in 9 seasons. Every single time I have watched him in the last 5 minutes of that episode when he tells his kids what he would do first by sitting in the old apartment smelling the indian food 3 floors down, going to Lilly and Marshall's house to life up his cousin Marvin, who his kids would find hard to picture because he is 6'7" tall and then he would go have a drink with Barney and Robin to watch them fight over the caterer or whatever it was they were fighting about that night. But none of those things is the thing he would do first. You know the thing he would do first (as he is dashing on the West Side of NY) and then he knocks on the door and gives the most touching and beautiful thing he could possibly say to her (thus really starting the controversy if the mother is alive or dead). He says with tears in his eyes (gets me every time I have seen it). "Hi, I'm Ted Mosby, and in exactly 45 days from now you and I are going to meet and we are going to fall in love and we are going to get married and were going to have two kids and were going to love them and each other so much. All that is 45 days away. But I am here now, I guess because I want those extra 45 days, with you I want each one of them and if I can have them I'll take the 45 seconds before your boyfriend shows up and punches me in the face. Because I love you, I'm always going to love you till the end of my days and beyond....see". Then the boyfriend show up (who is Lou Ferigno's son in real life) and says "Can I help you?" Where Ted goes, "hey, it's Louis right?" and then goes "it's OK, I am in love with your girlfriend and we're going to get married". Where Louis goes what? and punches Ted in the face. The next scene you see Ted getting up with a partial smile on his face and then they pan back to McClarens where Ted is just walking away. That is really what sparked the dead mother controversy. You also brought up another episode, The Final Page (part 2). I thought that was so well done because it was the first time Ted finally let go of Robin and knew deep in his own heart that she was in love with Barney. When they were sitting in the limo, he told her 3 times to go (the old Ted would have maybe gave her one chance and made the driver Rashish), but this is the mature and realistic Ted, who let go. It was even part of the Robin playbook page, which I think was step 12, that said that if your best bro tells her, he finally let her go, giving him his blessing. Who in a million years would have ever thought that last weeks episode would have shown the mother be such a big influence on Barney in writing that and finding that ONE woman for him? And the scene where they panned away and you could see the GNB building with Ted looking out and them panning out where you could then see the Chysler building and the the WWN building was heartbreaking but brilliant at the same time. It was a new beginning for Ted. He just didn't know it quite yet. As for the mother dying, here are the clues that they are throwing. If you go and watch the first season, in fact the Pilot, when he says, I want to tell you how I met your mother, the kids react like, "oh please", and, "Are we getting punished or something?" Does that sound like a father that is about to tell his kids about their dead mother? They act like that the whole first season almost so right there, it makes it hard for me to believe that the mother would be dead if the kids are acting like that, both sarcastic and joking. If their mom was dead, I think they would have taken it very serious. Now they also toss hints the other way as well. Like the episode The Time Travelers we discussed (which that speech could also just mean that he loves her so much that he wants to spend every moment he has with her and not miss any time). There is a line similar to that in When Harry Met Sally. It goes something like, when you love someone so much, you want to spend every minute together that you can from the moment you meet them because when you meet the one you love, you van't get enough time with them. Now I did catch a line in The Lockett which was Episode 1 Season 9 that could be a very tricky line if you are wondering if the mother is dead. When she is on the train with Lilly, Lilly mentions about the driving gloves to the mother. Future Ted chimes in as they freeze the frame and he says "your mother HAD a pair of driving gloves just like that". That line really caught me off guard like a punch to the gut. Why would future Ted say she HAD and not HAS a pair of driving glove like that? Now like I said, the children in the Pilot year joke and even make like ughh, I don't want to hear it. I got better things to do. I put myself in that spot and I would be very serious and would want to know it all if the reason my dad was going to tell me about me about my mom was because she passed and he wanted go tell me what a great woman she was and how he met her. I hope I nailed this and it was Legend WAIT FOR IT....DON'T DRINK THE MILK IF YOU ARE LACTOSE INTOLLERANT...dairy......Legendary!!!!!
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You are right about the kids acting like it was a chore to listen to the story, so that contradicts the theory of the mother being dead. But then again, Ted is telling a story about how he met their mother and then proceeds to talk endlessly about the other women in his life, lol. The way the kids act could have been in-line with how the story was planned at that time. But 9 years have passed and the writers could have since decided that they want to go in a different direction and have the mother or Ted dying. There have been a few times that HIMYM has ripped at my heart strings but the last few minutes of the Time Travellers was so moving. Other emotional episodes was the death of Marshall's dad and the episode when Robin found out she couldn't have kids. But I digress, I didn't pick up on the glove comment. I assumed the mother had the gloves but eventually got rid of them. Ok, I am going to throw out a totally off the wall thought. So I am admitting first that this is a crazy theory, lol. They have spent so much time talking about Robin and Ted's feelings for her, what if he married the mom and she passes and Ted ends up with Robin? His rambling story and obsession about Robin could be him telling his kids that I loved your mother and she was my perfect match but now that she is gone, I have gone back to an old love, namely Robin. I am not one that ships Ted and Robin but I have to wonder why they have spent so much time on Ted's love for Robin especially since we know that she is not the mother.
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You're right on the dad--they haven't indicated if he's coming or not, just knowing his track record, I jumped to conclusions. I do, however, hope he comes, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE Ray Wise. Under-appreciated, underutilized genius of an actor.
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As for Teds proposal, If you listened to him talk to Lily right before the proposal, he said that the lighthouse was a one time thing and he had his amount of lighthouses in his life where Lily said to just bring the next one up there. Ted LOVED it up there and thought it was the MOST romantic place in the world (explains why he keeps going back to Farhampton with the mother) so proposing on top of the lighthouse where he had one of the worst times of his life just a couple of years earlier was now the greatest place in the world to bring the love of his life and to propose to her. I don't see why that is not super romantic without all the flowers, blue french horns, etc... (and by the way, he proposed to Stella in a arcade game. How romantic was that?).
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TW, you have watched every episode at least 3 times!!! I bow to your HIMYM greatness. Remind me to never to take you on in a trivia challenge. The 2 minutes date was great! This past season has been about making Ted super miserable so you can finally see him happy when he meets the mother. But all the Ted sadness is heartbreaking. I am ready for Ted to have some serious happiness. The most heartbreaking episode was the night that Ted was at the dedication of his new building and Barney proposed to Robin that night. Oh, and the night he sat in the bar having an imaginary conversation with himself was sooo sad. I want to know what you think about that episode. Did you get the feeling that Ted or the mother was dead in the future? I got the feeling that one of them was dead. I think we are owed a season of Ted being happy! This season of the wedding is rubbing more salt in the wound, I was hoping of a season of Ted and the mother together.
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Hello again Jewel...I am enjoying the banter with you as much as you are, and of course you can call me TW. You hit it on the head and when you said Ted may just have been on a whirlwind tour of lighthouses in his life. One thing we both agree ion is that Ted is a true romantic and he does go way overboard ALL THE TIME. I mean, when him and Marshall are in the mood for Pizza, they drive all the way to Chicago from NY for some. That is one long a$$ haul. Not what 99% of the real world would do. I can see flying, but Chicago almost as far as Minnesota. Now I have to admit, I have seen every single episode 3 times at least, so if I think long and hard enough, I bet I can think of some real wild and crazy Ted Mosby masterpieces. His most romantic moment in the 9 years was the two minute date that he wasted on Stella. In all of reality, that would be nearly impossible to even come close to pull off on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He sat there with Victoria with some of the most corny lines in the history of broadcast television when Marshall and Lilly were in the bathroom and he was consummating their relationship. Hey, who knows. Maybe even the pinapple had some romantic meaning to it. Ted's character was created to show one mans (sluts) journey in a city of millions of single women (well, a total of 8) if you believed the dating services woman's breakdown of NYC after you takeout the married women, the lesbians, the ones not in his age group and so on. I will tell you what. I hope they show how they meet and their first date. I bet Teddy Westside will show some serious romance on that. He may even not totally do something extremely stupid with the mother. There is a chair for every butt and Teddy found his. And he looked way romantic in the two part season opening when they came back for a year. I mean, I actually remember hanging out with many a woman when I was a bit younger and in love, and both wanting to kiss each other badly and both going "come here, no you come here" and planting a nice wet one on her. That's what true love is all about!
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Hey TW, hope I can call you that. I am absolutely loving this conversation. So thank you, thank you! I agree with you that every time goes all nuclear on romance it backfires. But isn't that appeal and charm of Ted? Here is this ultra romantic guy that has spent the last 9 years looking for "The One". He is special because he revels in romance. With the lighthouse comment he was saying he has been to many lighthouses, meaning romantic and beautiful places. Not that he has been on a worldwide tour of lighthouses, lol. Although with Ted, you can see him doing that! As far as what places are gorgeous on the East Coast, I leave that up to you. I wouldn't have a clue. The show has focused so much on Barney and Robin that Ted has become a minor character and to top it off they focusing this whole season around the wedding. It has been a pleasure chatting about Ted with you.
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Jewel, I could not reply to you so I replied here. I see your whole point about all the wonderful places Ted has been that are so romantic, but also look at some of the things that backfired. When he got the blue string quartet for Robin with all the flowers, she was NOT impressed one bit even though she was absolutely ready to get with him. She felt it was not spontaneous. Anybody can spend some money and have 10 dozen roses and some music waiting for you. That does not make for TRUE romance. What won Robin over? When he came running over to her house screaming in the rain for her telling her to come down. When she was saying no, he kept saying yes. She finally decided to come down and that's when good old Teddy Westside was upstairs waiting for her and he grabbed her and kissed her. NOW THAT'S ROMANCE. And what did he tell her when he was downstairs before he went up. He said that he made it rain for her. Almost every time Ted tried to do things that were overboard romantic, it always backfired. That's why he was alone. I am from NY originally so I know most places very well. I can NOT think of a very romantic spot to propose in Manhattan. As for the Stella thing, you can't blame Ted for that. She said yes and they had a date. He kissed he feet and did everything for her. He was even going to move to NJ (Yikes). When you go out to Long Island, the Hamptons are absolutely beautiful. That's where everyone wants to be in the Summer if you can afford it. I still believe Ted loved that whole area and when he said he had been to too many "lighthouses", it was not a literal statement. It just meant you don't find beautiful romantic spots like that too many times in your life. It's like the lighthouse in Montauk Point. As for the Teddy Westchester, that's the name he used on the final episode of season 8 when he told Lily he was going to the house when she didn't have Marvin. It stuck with me. And after all, he does live in Westchester now that he is married!
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I can see your point and I think Ted thinks the lighthouse is wonderful. He said it was breathtaking. It wasn't inferred that he thought it was the MOST romantic. In fact, if you listen to him talking to Lily he said the opposite. He said that he has been to many "lighthouses". Meaning he has been to many romantic and wonderful places, just with the wrong person. As far as Ted having beyond believable bad dates, there were many places that he could taken the Mother to propose. Heck he has had bad dates in half of New York! He proposed to Stella in an arcade and look at how that turned out. I don't see Ted proposing at the lighthouse as super romantic given how he planned the ultimate romantic date. I would have thought his proposal with have overdosed in romance. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, it great to have these discussions!!! When I read your name, I immediately thought of Teddy West Side, thanks for the laugh! :)
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Having lived most of my live in Cleveland, I knew one of the people behind the show had to be from Ohio when I caught those references;. I didn't know Ted was based on Carter Bays
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Thanks HIMYM I was starting to lose hope. Let me be clear I haven't really hated any episode this season but I haven't really loved any, so there I was prepared to meh episodes... and then it came "The Lighthouse"
Loved Robins and Barney's storyline, Marshall with that awful song and Ted's. Yeah I have hope again so please HIMYM don't crush it. Let me once again laugh and almost cry with the HIMYM guys, pretty please?
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I kinda liked the episode, but i just wish marshall would meet up with the gang already. Plus, the mother was great and her chemistry with Ted was sweet but the proposal wasn't that special comparing to other proposal we saw on the show it could have been better, still im glad we saw her this week
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What a beautiful episode ! It would have been perfect whithout Ted's dad. I think there couldn't be better actress for Ted's wife, the chemistry was great and we just saw a them together a couple of minutes !
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I absolutely loved 3/4 of the episode and was extremely touched in this episode more than any in a long time. There were 4 moments that I have to admit got my tear ducts flowing. First was when Robin told Barney that she could not have children. What does the playboy do. He looks at her and gives her a hug and asks her if it feels weird to her. Barney showed right there he has grown up so much since season 1. Meeting his dad really changed him. Second was when Barney told Loretta that He is marrying Robin because she is the woman for him and that he likes kids but that was not why he was marrying her. Third was when Loretta went to Robin and hugged her and told her to call her "mom". I have no parents so this really hit me hard. Especially when Loretta stopped hugging Robin and Robin then grabbed Loretta and started hugging her. Fourth was the proposal with the mother. I actually cheered for Ted. Even though it seems like they screwed up the timeline if you go back to Trilogy Time and it's 2015 and they have a baby girl, and this was nearly 2 years after (which would make it 2015), unless she was pregnant or had the baby already, it was such a tender moment. Did the episode have it's bad points. Sure it did, especially the whole Marshall plot which if they are in Cleveland now (after 8 episodes), it will take another 6-8 more before Marshall gets to Farhampton. Lilly will have alcohol poisoning by then. They work so well together, but apart are not very good. LET'S GET RID OF THE LINUS BIT PLEASE!! I hope that I see little more tidbits of flash forwards with Ted and the mother. Unlike what I am reading, I don't just want to meet the mother. After 9 years, I want to know a bit about the mother and why after all these women was she so perfect for Ted.
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That was a terrible episode. The Robin/Barney's mother conflict could have been done humorously, but instead it was as cringe-worthy as it comes, with neither looking very likeable. The conflict itself was pretty stupid and the resolution seemed a bit unbelievable. Ted was being typical Ted, so nothing to see there, minus any kind of humor. I've seen Big Bang without a laugh track, but I think we need to see an episode of HIMYM without a laugh track, and I wouldn't even think it is a comedy; I'd think it was a third-rate soap opera without hardly a likeable character.
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That shocked me thinking about it later, that Robin/Barney's mom conflict. It was not funny! They chose a serious and dramatic approach to this, and that's weird.
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Horrible horrible horrible. Am I talking about this latest HIMYM episode? Yes I am. Or am I talking about this whole season in general? Sure, that too. And maybe, I'm also talking about this IDIOTIC idea to stretch out this damn wedding over the course of an entire season. If I hear Lily say "Thank you Linus" one more time, I'm gonna punch the TV, I swear. Of course I could just not watch the show anymore. But HIMYM is like that girl you were so incredibly in love with back in high school (= season 1 to 3), and now she's old and ridiculous and wears far too much make-up and she's loud and annoying and basically a train wreck... and you just have to watch with a morbid fascination.
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That story of Lily and Linus was funny for 1 episode, but after 6 it's getting rreeaallllyy old. That's the story of that season. Using jokes way too more, having crappy story to fill up the show until the wedding,...
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I don't see what can make you think that this episode was so great. I thought it was terrible ... the emotional parts were unrealistic and over-acted, the fight between the robin and barney's mother was just ridiculous (really, you're going to fight over eggs and a blouse the day before the wedding?), lily is suddenly an alcoholic, and worst of all, the funny parts were .... just not there. Even the mother's overreaction to the proposal pissed me off ... and I liked her a lot in the previous episodes. I give this episode a D.
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ROUGH WATERS. One of its best episodes this season. Though this season has been mostly craptastic.

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The most anti-climactic episode. EVER.

They so wasted a potentially great scene of bonding between Robin and Loretta AND they wasted the moment of Ted proposal.

Plus, it wasn't even funny! I'm really disappointed.
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@Kaitlin, of the five pictures in your review, three are of the mother, that does say something about how important you think she is.
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It says that those are literally the only images CBS released for the episode.
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Ok, I was reading something into it that wasn't there :-).

On the other hand, it makes clear how important CBS thinks the mother is for the promotion of the show. It conflicts a little bit with the airtime they give her.
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This was definitely a better episode than what we've seen.

I may have teared up a little when Loretta told Robin to call her mom from then on. For a character that has been cartoon-ized in the past episodes, it was nice to see Robin act like a real person.

I also loved the proposal. I wasn't too crazy that they started including the Mother before the first meetup with Ted, but it's starting to grow on me. The impact of the whole moment wasn't exactly lost because we skipped things. And it probably helped that "Try a Little Tenderness" was playing in the background.

And of course Ted's best friend as a kid was a balloon...
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The proposal was pretty cool with Otis Redding, although why on Earth does Ted wait 2 years after meeting her to propose? And not like within 6 months
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Maybe he learned from the whole Stella thing. I can buy that he would wait two years.
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Right? Ted has been looking for this woman for years. I don't think he would wait that long to propose.
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"Thank you Linus" is so irritating. Stop it! Also, what kind of hours does poor Linus work?
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6 episodes straight or so with that joke, that's really annoying. But the writers have nothing more apparently.
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Also ... Lily has been drinking non-stop for what now? 19 hours? Shouldn't she be completely wasted?
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Nah. She hasn't actually had the chance to DRINK most of the drinks handed to her. And also, she slept in between. If she's anything, she might be a little hungover, but that's about it.
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I quite enjoyed the episode. And I am enjoying the season thus far.

I do however have a small gripe, issue, problem (I don't really know what to call it, cuz its not that big a deal) with the season...

The point was never to show the mother until the end of the series, but as the series went on (and on and on) just revealing the mother at the end of it all was going to be extremely anti-climatic. So instead they decided to incorporate the mother throughout the season, which to be honest I had no problem with and actually thought was a pretty good idea. However, I don't know how I feel about these flash forwards. In my opinion the series was never about that. It seams like some pretty heavy handed fan service. Like I said tho, not a big deal, its just something about it is rubbing me the wrong way. It might be that based on how they are doing the flash forwards, they could have introduced the mother seasons ago and the fact that they hadn't, but now are seams kind of arbitrary.

Anyway, I would love to get people's opinion about that.

ps. I heard a podcast where they were poo-pooing Ted's proposal, saying he would have been more romantic. I completely disagree with that. The proposal was very Ted (the place had significance to them both) and it was simple, yet extremely romantic. Plus, wen he proposed to Stella there was nothing romantic about that at all, yet again I still found it very Ted.
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My opinion is that while I enjoy seeing the Mother in the flash-forwards, I'd rather they didn't happen at all. It's definitely fan service and while it's nice to see things like the proposal, etc. I am not bothered one bit when she's not in episodes. I am, however, in the minority on that.
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Ehh maybe not the minority. I mean I never expected to really see her until the end. It does seem established though that the episodes with her are generally the best but they need to make up for her absence with better plots in the episodes she's not

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Pretty anti-climatic proposal.. but an otherwise okay episode. "One of the best this season" doesn't really mean much since this seasons been pretty garbage.

Kinda surprised how none of the writers realized how far off the mark they were when they mapped out how they wanted to do Season 9.
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I'm getting the feeling we're not only getting Robin and Barney's wedding this season.

Has it ever been mentioned where Ted gets married?
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Huh, good point. I wonder if we'll see Ted's wedding, probably seems more likely since we saw Ted's proposal. It's 2062 and we see them old together, dying hand in hand... too much? At least I always thought they'd end the show with seeing Ted in old makeup actually talking to his kids.
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I was definitely a little bored with this episode up until the last few minutes when everything came to a head. Then it put the whole episode in a new light because it all built up to those moments. And they were great ones.
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For some reason I did not find all the stuff leading up to some of the emotional stuff worth it, I mean the whole Robin/Loretta argument was so stupid and did not seem funny. I was rolling my eyes at the Ted bits especially how he acted like he could never go back and have a special moment at the lighthouse coz you know he can without the flash forward. They really need to stop the Lily gets her drinks replaced whenever something happens to the old because that is getting so old its practically ancient by now. Marshal irritated me a little coz he was mad at Daphne even though in the end he told Lily about getting the job as a judge, which he would've had to tell her about eventually anyway no matter when he decided to man up and tell her so it felt like such a moot point. I'll admit when Barney told his mother about how Robin couldn't have kids and he was fine with it coz he was marrying her not the idea of wife and kids as well as Robin admitting her mother wasn't coming to her wedding to Loretta were such amazing scenes thanks to both Neil Patrick Harris and Colbie Smulders, those 2 were so good.
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You got your Ohio references, and I got off all things A Wheeling WV. Grew up about twenty miles east of Wheeling. Those are the ones that get me, I understand the Pittsburgh references, major city and all which still seems to get more than its share of attention in pop culture, but when HIMYM mentions Wheeling, or Homeland goes to Waynesburg, PA or Supernatural sets an episode in Canonsburg PA that is when I wonder where that comes from.
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for me the moment i've been expecting isn't really the proposal (not saying i didn't love it) but the moment where they actually meet cuz we all knew the proposal did happen at some point.
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Terrible.. really.. sorry but the way Robin acted? And why on earth should be funny that she poured ketchup on her?
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The joke was supposed to be that it was a big SCR*W YOU to her soon to be mother-in-law because she was ruining the mother-in-law's favorite blouse; something she's cherished for years (decades?). That even if Robin decided to give it back, it's stained and ruined.

But, it didn't really hit any marks. It wasn't that funny and was just weird.
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And why would Robin antagonise Barney's mom so much? How did all this angst start? What did I miss?
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The previous episode: the Poker episode.

Barney's brother James (Wayne Brady) was acting like a total jerk to Robin during the poker game: pooping over marriage constantly and suggesting how She and Barney will be miserable and are making a mistake. Robin asked Barney to stand up for her and to tell James to shut up but Barney wouldn't... so Robin kicked James' butt at poker. Then she got him to bet his wedding band (he's divorced) and he lost the ring, and stormed off.

James then got Barney's mom to come over angrily to demand the ring back. Robin didn't want to (to teach James a lesson) so Barney's mom tried to win it back at poker. And she lost her favorite blouse in her final hand. She and that blouse had history.. She stormed off. Robin revealed she couldn't help but win, since whenever a Stinson is bluffing at poker, he/she says "bluff" by mistake.

THEN, Barney made a critical mistake. He misunderstood Robin's request of "stand up for me" to mean "I'm the only family you will ever need" So Barney told off his mom and James saying he doesn't want to ever see them again because he has Robin now.

When Robin found out he said THAT she freaked out and ran to his Mom to apologize and clear up the misunderstanding but it didn't matter. Barney's mom was PISSED and presumably they had an argument.

Which brings us to last night. Robin was wearing that blouse in front Barney's mom and purposely ruining it to ticker her off.
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Don't get me wrong .. I watched that episode. It's just that to me, Robin is totally the villain here - she has no right to be so antagonizing. Her behaviour only makes sense if they had another argument, but off-camera ... which is just lazy writing, for me.
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I just realised that in the early seasons, what I enjoyed the most about HIMYM, was the comedy parts, and now I found my self living the emotional stuff more than the comedy. That's why I loved this episode.


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To me, the episode was just ok, but the end was phenomenal. I say this because I care so much for Ted, and I know that this season has Barney and Robin's marriage as a background, but to me what reeeeaaaally matter in the end is seing Ted's life, his path. It was amazing to see Ted finally really happy. I'm in love with the scene between him and the mother. Simply perfect! I'm so happy because of this episode, and I also dare to "say that only a percentage of that was due to the Mother's return", like 99 percent.

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This episode surprised me. I started out thinking that it was going to be dull, and most of Marshall's non-funny C-plot was. However, even the C-plot turned out ok, with Marshall taking Daphne's advice and finally growing a backbone, kicking Ted's dad out of the car and demanding that he pick the music from now on. It's clear now that Daphne has made a positive and negative impact on Marshall, making his life a living Hell but at the same time giving his the assertiveness to face Lily and probably stand up for his decision of pursuing a judgeship while sacrificing his trip to Italy.

Speaking of Lily... It's understandable that she'd be pissed at Marshall, but it was stretching it a bit that she would crush any glass if there was a mention of any judge-related word. It was nice seeing Linus again. This time the "Thank You Linus" gag was actually a bit funny.

Robin and Barney's storyline was touching, but it also made no sense. Yeah, I'm happy that Robin and Barney's mother finally resolved their issues, but it the episode made it look like Barney's actions in "the Poker Game" never happened. Barney flat out told his mom and brother that he is disowning them the second he marries Robin. It was the cruelest speech he ever gave on the show. And barely 10 hours later (by HIMYM time) his mom is making eggs for him, and he's complimenting her like nothing ever happened. You can't forget something that cruel in 10 hours! What the hell!

Finally, there's Ted and his lighthouse adventure. It was dull and unfunny, but the flash forward made up for it so, so much. It solidified that the Mother is Ted's soul mate, and it wiped away any traces in my mind that he should be with Robin. Though, as much as I love these flash forwards, I just wish that they could put the Mother in present time. She's really funny, and I'd love to see her interact with Robin, Barney, and Marshall (if he ever GETS THERE!)

Overall the Mother gives a flat episode an additional +1.5, bringing this episode up to 8.1. Not bad. But PLEASE GIVE US MORE MOTHER!
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For an episode that started out so-so, it really ended with a bang and I loved it. First off let me say, Otis Redding, "Try a Little Tenderness" - AWESOME! Ted didn't have much going on at the beginning of the episode, with the front desk guy thwarting his attempt to go to the lighthouse. Yes we get it Ted is alone and the lighthouse is romantic so any single person who goes to it will realize they have nothing to live for and jump off. I really wasn't interested in watching another episode of Ted's loneliness being shoved down our throats but suprisingly that didn't happen. He took Cassie to the lighthouse (even though he didn't want to) and proceeded to throw up and wonder if he brought the wrong girl and if he could ever come back with someone else and have it still be special. We then jump ahead and see him there with the MOTHER and he proposes! Absolutely did not see that coming and I absolutely LOVED IT. I loved how she said "Yes" before he could even get the words out. It was a simple moment, yet so tender and sweet. I love her and Ted together, and I can't wait to see more moments like this between them.

I was dreading the showdown between Robin and Barney's mom Loretta, and while I did get a few chuckles out of the back and forth between them, the argument itself was pretty weak - I mean did Robin really have to wear Loretta's shirt to breakfast and then put ketchup and syrup on it? - but the overall wrap up of their feud was done very well. It was sad to hear that Robin's mother didn't get on the plane due to her fear of flying, and you could tell that Robin was trying hard to hold back how hurt she was, but I loved how Loretta told her to always call her "Mom", and how Robin, who is far from emotional, finally let herself be vulnerable and let someone be there for her. I also liked how Loretta pulling her into a hug and holding her when she found out her mother wasn't coming, was exactly what Barney did when he found out Robin couldn't have kids. It was really sweet. I enjoyed the flashback to Barney and Robin at the underground club and how she told him that she wouldn't be able to have kids and I loved his speech to his mother that Robin is ALL he will ever need regardless building a family.

Marshall's story continues to trudge along. Daphne is REALLY annoying and I can't wait for him to get back to New York. Lily really doesn't have much to do without him - except get drinks from Linus. I did like seeing Virginia and Clint.


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Loved reading this; very much agree with everything said! I am kinda getting over the stupid Robin & Barney story lines and the whole fight with Barney's mum seemed really un-Robin like. Wearing her blouse and pouring maple syrup all over it; I really cringed. And I cringed for the majority of the episode (except for the 500 miles song on the road trip - I've been waiting for that!!!) right until the final moments when we see Ted with the mother. My only disappointment is that I was sort of wanting to see him meet the mother first. I know the writers are probably making that the final moment of the show but I couldn't feel/see any chemistry between them on the lighthouse and I was really upset about that. The build up has been for 8 years and I was hoping for a feeling. But I really didn't feel anything for the two of them. And I definitely felt the feeling when I first saw the mother last season and again when she was chatting with Lily. So I know it's there!!!! Come at me feelings! I want to feel the chemistry between the mother and Ted. I've waited long enough!!! and side note thank god the angry Robin vs Barney's mother is over. and the validating of Robin and Barney's relationship. They're on their wedding weekend there should be no doubts at all! Please move the story on HIMYM!
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I am not feeling any chemistry between the mother and Ted. I just don't see her as being the love of his life. I am not loving the mother and Ted together. Such a big disappointment for me as I wanted to love this character because Ted NEEDS a happy ending.
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couldn't stop thinking, throughout the episode, that that hundred-dollar bill that Lily slipped Linus is not enough to deal with her crazy for the whole weekend :P
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one thing is clear by now, this season should have never happened or at least not like that with an endless wedding away from EVERYTHING we like with an incomplete cast.
The only valuable thing was the flash forward, everything else was complete garbage and by far the worst episode of the entire series.
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I think that I might be the only person that loves the flashforwards. Yes, I also want to root for Ted and the Mother as a couple. To see why they are so perfectly suited for each other, but I like it. If they focus a few episodes this season (as I have said multiple times) that show things from the mother's POV, it would help. Like say Rachel Bilson's character and her having a sit down about this guy that she was dating and how he loved everything of the mother's in the apartment. Or how she caught a glimpse of this guy acting like an ass at a St. Patrick's day party. Or a few other "near miss" moments could really solidify their relationship for me, without changing the show. I, for one, am looking forward to it.
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Otis Redding working his magic.
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I was dreading seeing more Robin/Loretta fighting. I'm so glad that's over.
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Not a great episode to me. Too many uninteresting things. It's like we go on soooo slowly. Too slowly for me.
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The end of last night's episode solidifies why I've been disappointed with this final season so far. I understand that the title of the show is How I MET Your Mother, but the idea of spreading out this entire season across a single weekend just so Ted only MEETS the mother (presumably) at the very end has, so far, been kind of a let down. In an effort to take the title of the show literally, it's kind of robbed us of being able to really get to know the mother and root for her and Ted as a great couple (as we did for Marshall & Lily and Barney & Robin).

The proposal was touching, and I definitely had a bit of the feels, but it didn't feel earned.
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I would have loved to get to know the mother and see why she is so perfect for Ted but we only get these snippets. Ted has been so unhappy for so long that I would love episodes of him being deliriously happy. In addition, I am not seeing the chemistry between Ted and the mother. I would have liked her to be a bit more manic like Ted.
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Great episode this week, and I honestly was surprised to hear that Robin had a mother at all, I thought she was dead. I mean, we barely know her father, and he was always prominent in her life growing up. I kind of wish we'd been able to meet her, but now I don't want to know anything about a woman who wouldn't do everything she could to go to her only daughter's wedding.
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I thought that she was dead too!!! I thought that because who would let their daughter be raised like a boy?! Well, that and I agree, I can't think of any mother who would n't do whatever it took to support her daughter.
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The episode started stupid (the whole eggs thing was ridiculous) but it ended with great character moments.
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So! Bad! At least it's only 10 or so episodes to go...
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I cried at the end and I am not ashamed to say it.
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Could it be that Daphne is Robin's mom? The episode makes it clear that we don't know a lot about her (although we do now she is terrified of flying!), so why not? At least then Marshall's storyline would make some kind of sense. I would still hate it, though.
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Daphne doesn't seem like a coward person. Moreover she was about to get into the plane. Last but not least, why would she lie about not coming? I would be surprised if she was Robin's mother.
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In the photo above, the Mother looks SO MUCH like Jennifer Love Hewitt.
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they are both beautiful.
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Yeah, ain't nothing wrong with it. Just caught me by surprise, because so far I've thought that the Mother looks exactly like Robin crossed with Lily.
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Oh MY WORD. I never thought about that, but you could not be more correct.
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I agree, HIMYM is best when it plays out its emotional strengh. And in this episode it was extremely clever to use all those references from past scenes, flashbacks and the proposal flash-forward. I really, really liked this episode and it proves that HIMYM can develop Ted and the Mother's relationship without it being part of the series' timeline.
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I think the first half of the episode was pretty weak. Lily's running joke of shattering the glass wasn't funny at all. The second half got a lot better and the proposal was very cute. I have mixed feelings.
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I didn't find this episode very funny, but I sort of loved it? A very good episode and probably my favourite of the season so far. Favourite joke: being the coach of the Browns.
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I'm starting to think every scene with Ted and the mother will be a flashforward, and the only "real time" scene of them interacting will simply be when they meet. I hope I am wrong though
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Well, of course it is. However, I have heard that there will be episodes featuring the mother seeing Ted, and all that kind of stuff. I think that based on the snippets we have had of the mother in flashbacks and forwards, I am okay with that. The show is How I Met Your Mother. That's it.
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Seems sort of cheap though. If they are taking the literal approach then they should just keep the mother out of it all together and the very last scene should be Ted meeting the mother and far to black.
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I think they would have, except that people are clamoring for the mother.
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I'm starting to think you're right as well :(

And probably Kaitlin is right, that this was the plan all along, but why did they even need to cast her at all for this entire season then? If last season had been the last, as was the plan, it would have just been "there she is kthxb".

I hope we are all wrong as well. We already know how they meet. After the wedding. In the rain. On the platform.

How much more interesting can they make that? NOT by giving us a "24"-style season of pre-wedding non-drama.
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Episode 16 or something is called "How Your Mother Met Me"...so pretty sure there are a few episodes with the mother knowing Ted as well^^
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But the last ones are the actual wedding right? Or according to the titles. I personally would love to see them actually together though, so let's hope I'm wrong! I wish Ep 16 could come sooner, maybe next week or something :p
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yeah i would have loved that too but they decided otherwise....idiots^^.....
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I think that's kind of always been the plan.
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All I could think when Daphshall visited Ted's parents was 'oh god they're still only in Ohio, they (and by extension their storyline) still has so long left to go to get to Long Island.'
And it was pretty immature of Robyn to wear the shirt she won off Barney's mum... I guess some of Barney's immaturity is rubbing off on her.
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