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Season 8, Episode 24: Something New

Well, that was a pretty good end to things.  On the whole, I’m….satisfied.  Not overjoyed, but satisfied.  Let’s dive in.

What Was Good

I thought the Ted story and the Robin/Barney story were each handled pretty well.  I liked watching Barney and Robin be awesome together. I liked seeing them be excited to get married, and to be honest, for the first time in a while I actually believed they were in love with each other.  That was a nice touch.

I also liked how Lily behaved this episode.  Not crazy, but fun again, and not over-the-top in an unbelievable way.  Also, I’ll be honest — I like that they’re torpedoing the Rome storyline.  I think they could’ve done it, but I think the show is better without it.  I don’t see that as much of a cliffhanger, which is good.  The cliffhanger is in the fallout, to me.  Oh, and Marshall’s brother was fun to see.  I like that they’ve been able to keep him around for the show.

And I loved that Ted’s house is just about done.  Particularly because I can relate, since I’ve been working on a fixer-upper of my own for a while.

Oh, yeah, and that whole Mother reveal.  That was pretty sweet, too.

What, you thought I wouldn’t get to that and would be all cynical about it?  Oh come on.  Critical does not mean cynical.  Anyway, more on her soon.

What was Not As Good

Oh for the love of…Not THIS shit again…

Yes, folks, it’s one more ride on the Ted’s Hangups Over Robin Merry-Go-Round.

Ugh.  ENOUGH.

Look, I know this has to be played out, but I really really REALLY hope that at some point, like, say, the Season 9 opener, Ted finally sacks up and says “Enough.  I’m done with this.  I don’t want Robin.”  Not “I wish I could have her, but I g uess I can’t,” but rather “I don’t WANT Robin.  I’m over that.”  And this time, actually mean it.  But seriously.  ENOUGH already.  It’s time to move on from this.  And I was NOT pleased with Robin’s revealed backslide.

Also, the Marshall part of the story was REALLY disruptive.  Like, annoyingly so.  You know it’s bad when the writers have the characters themselves say “Dude.  Really.  Your timing sucks.”  Because, yeah, his timing sucked.  This is sort of a running thing with the last two seasons.  Doing an A, B, AND C story just doesn’t really work in a 22 minute bloc of time, in my opinion.  Or, to the extent it does, it requires absolutely SEAMLESS interweaving.  And that is incredibly difficult to do.  Sometimes the show’s been able to do it.  Most times, it doesn’t, and the C story either feels like a “Why’d they bother?” afterthought, or an annoying distraction.  Marshall’s story this week was an annoying distraction.  It clearly was meaningful, but it just kept interrupting the flow of everything else to the point where I wanted to say “MARSHALL.  Stop pestering your wife.”  If he’d gotten the judge call early on and kept calling Lily to try to resolve that, it would’ve made more sense for him to constantly call.  But under the circumstances…yeah.  Just annoying.

Overall Thoughts

Alright, I’m gonna tackle this in ascending order of importance, in my opinion.

So.  Rome appears to be shot down.  The only question is how, and what the fallout is.  Do we get a quick resolution from this?  Say, with the Captain saying “Lily, this is wonderful for you and Marshall.  And besides, I have plenty of rich friends you can work for here”?  Or will it end with a multi-episode arc involving Lily furious at Marshall?

Meh.  I don’t really care that much, to be honest.  This one’s a mild curiosity to me, at best.

Now, with Robin and Barney, these two FINALLY seem genuinely happy together.  Which, of course, raises the spectre of what Ted’s reveal of the locket will do.  How will this occur?  Will he give the locket to Barney to give to her?  Effectively diving on the grenade once more, like a true bro would?  Will he hang on to it and tell himself he’s giving her the best wedding gift ever, when in truth it’s the WORST wedding gift ever?  I find that latter one harder to believe, if only because I can’t see how you’d come back from that to have a friendship with these folks once you do that.  “That’s ok, Ted.  You tried to sabotage our wedding, but whatever.  I slept with your mom.  It’s all balanced out now.”  Yeah, I don’t think so.

In a sense, that locket is the physical manifestation of the final choice for Ted.  He can choose to give it away, or he can choose to use it for his own purposes.  I expect him to give it away.  The only DECENT thing to do is to give it away.  There are many who, I think, would argue that Ted is a “Nice Guy(tm)”, or a guy who acts nice but towards self-serving ends (that’s actually not the whole story, but you can dig further into the term via Google if you want).  I don’t think that’s who Ted is.  I think Ted, at his core, is a good man.  He does stupid things, but he is, at the core, a good man.  And a good man would do the right thing.  And the right thing here is that he hands it over to Barney or Robin, Sr., or Lily, and says “You give it to her.  This isn’t mine to give.”  I find it highly uncharacteristic of Ted for him to say “Look!  I found your locket!”

On the issue of Ted and Robin each appearing to backslide on their feelings at different points, though…I’ll admit.  It fits.  The way they’ve been written…..it fits.  Much as it annoys the hell out of me.  And it does.  Boy does it ever.  First, Ted.  Actually, not a lot to say here.  You guys know my thoughts on this already.  Ted, move the hell on already.  It’s time.  But Robin…ugh…Jesus…if there is one aspect of her character that I LOATHE it has been her indecisiveness and her tendency to only want what she can’t have (while simultaneously failing to recognize this fact and/or do sod all about it).  At least this was a flashback, though, rather than a current moment.  I still think she was looking for a metaphorical port in a storm with Ted, in her moment of freaking out last episode.  I don’t think she wants Ted.  She knows what she wants.  It’s Barney.

And now, the main event.

The Mother.

FINALLY.

I was starting to get annoyed as they showed her boots and the umbrella, but refused to pan up.  And then we FINALLY got a look at her and…

…..Wait for it…..

Yeah, she’s perfectly cast.  She’s nobody I ever would’ve imagined with Ted, and she’s also perfect with Ted, based on the look and general vibe I got from the VERY brief snippet, combined with her backstory.

Now.  This will get a little…I dunno…odd?  Possibly prejudicial in a weird way?  But I’m gonna go with it, since I think what I’ll be saying is what most people will be thinking.

There are, in this world, certain “types” of “looks.”  Some people look a certain way, and it influences and fits their personality.

I think the Mother (played by Cristin Milioti, if you want another look) has the right look for what we know about the Mother.  She looks like she could legitimately be quirky enough that she’d paint robots playing volleyball, and make breakfast foods sing show tunes.  And yet, she’s also beautiful, in a quirky kind of way, rather than in a classic way, or in a “too hot” way.

I suspect folks get what I’m talking about.  She could be too “Hollywood Hot” to believably be the kind of person who’d be as devoted to Ted as Ted needs his wife to be and to be as quirky as the Mother’s character sounds.  With this girl, it’s totally believable that she’d make breakfast foods sing show tunes, and paint pictures of robots playing sports, all while still being exactly what Ted needs and didn’t know he wanted exactly.

Mary the Paralegal, BlahBlah, and yes, even Bump Girl, would not have been as convincing in such a position.  They probably are all talented enough actresses to pull it off, and the writers are (when they’re writing well) good enough to give them effective material, and lord knows Josh is talented enough that he could sell his sense of amazement and devotion….but there’s sort of an unconscious “water finds its level” element to this that comes into play, too.  And the casting here seems, so far, spot on.

I look forward to seeing more.

At this point, I’m going to wrap it up here.  I’ll be posting a season recap in the next few days, which I’ll again revisit when we have the DVDs and I binge watch them over the summer.  I’d like to note, also, that Ross and I will be trying to keep things going over the summer, so please continue to check back.  We’ll have some speculative threads probably, I expect to try to revitalize the music threads, and hell, I dunno, maybe we’ll have “threads on threads” as we discuss the costuming of HIMYM.  Regardless, the conversation won’t die just because it’s the summer.  Or at least not because we stop posting…  So stay tuned for more, and chime in when you can to this one.

65 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. OH…MY…GOD!

    Didn’t see that coming! *screams of joy*

    All I can say for now. All I can really PROCESS for now. I have no idea how I’m gonna keep this from my mom until tomorrow morning.

  2. I don’t think many people expected that! Season 9 should be really good.

  3. Looking forward to the recap. All I’ll say is that i’m ok with whatever they decide to do with season 9 now.

  4. Alright, I was at my daughters softball game tonight. Solo was kind enough to let me know the episode was good. But I have to wait until morning to Watch. So I am sneaking onto the blog because my phone is alerting me that people are posting.

    I expect the review to come out sooner rather than later. But even if it comes out in the morning I still have to post it online without reading it.

    I am so excited if the mother was on the show tonight and I missed it. I want to wait and watch later. If she was not on the show I really would be dissapointed.

    Hope you all enjoyed Season 8. We will be posting a Season Recap Within the next week.

    I did watch this earlier Today.

    http://www.spoilertv.com/2013/05/how-i-met-your-mother-season-8-cast.html

    So I am guessing we do see the mother.

  5. Maybe I need to go into all episodes expecting to be disappointed, because that’s what I expected tonight, but I really, really liked this episode, even before the big reveal. This was the first episode ever where I liked Barney and Robin together. This was the first time I believed they were in love and might actually be right for each other. The Lily/Marshall subplot was well done, and the phone call about the judgeship really made me laugh. I also like when Ted and Lily are alone together – that always seems to lead to good stuff, and Ted seemed so darn real tonight. The whole ending montage was really good. I think I would have been satisfied if we had just seen her from behind, but getting to see the Mother’s face was a really nice surprise.

  6. Thanks so much for putting that picture up! Nice to get another good look at her without having to wait until I download the ep tomorrow.

    I agree with you that I’m glad she’s not an over-the-top Hollywood knock out. If she was overly hawt, it wouldn’t fit. I know we don’t know a great deal about her personality yet, and looks can be deceiving, but I do also get that hunch that…she’s just RIGHT for Ted.

    I can truly picture it. I can truly picture him happy with her, and also of course, her happy with him. I’m not just fascinated by how Ted will be around her, but also how she will be around Ted.

    After all, she loves him very much, too, right? He didn’t just meet and fall in love with her and she marries him out of pity and desperation, lol. We focus so much on Ted’s feelings because its essentially TED’S story. He’s the one we’ve known for years and have come to love and care about, but I’m fascinated by someone else truly falling in love with and marrying him. I want to see how they fit together and what she sees in him, and how he’s the great ending to her love story, as well.

    I’m VERY excited.

    • Wow you’re comment made me tear up! You’re so right- I’m so excited to see Ted be the mother’s ending to her love story. Next season is going to be exciting as we get to see how their paths have crossed all those times and see the mother integrated into the story.

    • Okay I will admit it…. I had to take a peak last night at the Mother before I watched the episode this morning. So when I did (Thanks Solo4114 for making me look) I went ahead and found the photos.

      While my daughter drove home I was texting with Corina. Then I held off until after I posted the review…. shut down the laptop. Then I said got to update the photo with the Mother for… um you guys, right. That’s how it happened and I am sticking to that story.

      Glad it made a difference for you to see the photo last night.

  7. omggg i have a problem!!! my hands were cold and shaking, my heart was beating super fast and my feet were sweaty as they were about to show the mother…WAYY too hung up on this show but i liked it!!

    episode as a whole was GREAT…they’d everything, including Marvin (and Ranjit) and the great Ted-Lily Moments and just EVERYTHING

    i SOO wanted it to be longer. Loved it all.

    And agree…i need to watch more episodes w/o expectations. Though i’d still say…i didn’t love it as much as last season’s finale.

  8. I think she is perfect- quirky, beautiful, the girl next door all wrapped up into one package, and perfectly unknown but famous. Also, this: (I adore her) http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/04/17/theater/theaterspecial/100000001579794/cristin-milioti-in-once.html

    I feel similarly to Solo- I am satisfied and overall happy with the episode outside of the 2987386876th backslide- we get it. You dated. You broke up. Do I love her? Do I love him? I want her. I want him. We are just friends. She’s my dream girl. We are not right for each other. Do I love him? Do I love her? We are just friends…now with benefits. THE EMPTY MILK CARTON!!! ok, just friends. Oh no, Don! I want her. Heartache-time to backslide. Almost kiss- blonde hair. and on and on and on. Ted- I love you, Robin. Robin- no you don’t. Ok, we actually discuss that we not right for each other.. that’s the end of this right? yeahhh, no. Three is a crowd- more to that later. I pick our friendship over Victoria. I want Barney- well, I give my blessing. Yay Robin and Barney are engaged! so I guess now it is time to want her again? Ding ding….. My god- please stop!!! ENOUGH OF THE BACKSLIDING. I trust CT and CB but they are the reason why everyone can’t just accept that she IS the mother, why people come up with crazy storylines like plotting her [character’s] eventual death, why people lie to themselves that Robin will end up as the step-mother, and overall, why people, even tonight I may add, are trying to find crazy loopholes to how she is a red herring such as “maybe, all the band members have yellow umbrellas and she is just the mother’s bandmate” or “Well, we’ve seen her ankles and legs and in no way are they hers”. People can’t just accept her and love her because even though from episode 1, Robin was NEVER the mother- helllo? Aunt Robin anyone?- they showed 8 seasons of the “will they, won’t they”relationship and now people don’t want to give another person the chance. Well, I for one think these people are silly and cannot wait to really meet this character. Also, these people are delusional if they think she is not the mother or that Robin is. PEOPLE- GET OVER IT! Robin is AUNT Robin and always has been. No she is not a bandmate. She is the mother. and for God’s sake, clearly they has stand-ins for when they showed her legs as they did not want her identity to be spoiled (on IMDB or elsewhere.) Sheesh! =)

    Also, in trying to find more out about her/get a recap of details we know about the mother, I came across one of future Ted’s excerpts about the woman from Love Solutions (his perfect match who he ditched for Robin) which strengthens my hypothesis that she is the mother: “So I read the file, and by God this woman was perfect. She liked dogs, she spent her summers in North Carolina, she played bass guitar, she did the Times crossword, she played tennis, she liked old movies, her favorite food was lasagna, and her favorite book was Love in the Time of Cholera. Her favorite singer was Otis Redding and she wanted two kids, a boy and a girl.” Look at the book title. It is the book Ted had at the train stop. This cannot be a coincidence!!

    Lastly, in searching for a summary of all things mother, I also came across this 5 minute video with was a DVD extra in season 6. Its called “what we know about your mother”. I’ve heard of it but never saw it myself, so wanted to share in case others want to see it. . I love that he talks about giving her lilac flowers when he first meets her and these are the flowers at RoBarn’s wedding. It must mean he already liked her from seeing her play at the wedding or that they already established some kind of connection- hehehe super cute!

    Ok, I may come back with more later but quickly wanted to mention a few more things: Love Ted and Lily’s friendship, THANK YOU FOR FINALLY SHOWING ROBIN AND BARNEY TOGETHER AND HAPPY (now don’t you dare backslide again aka why was it necessary to have Robin freak out last week), loved Barney getting hit with the door repeatedly (great acting NPH), great call Solo on the locket symbolism, and yay for Season 9!

    • Ted and Lily’s friendship is one of my favorite things in the f*cking world! I’m not kidding! I’m OBSESSED with it! ANYTIME we get something special between them, I squee my heart out. “The Stamp Tramp”, “Lobster Crawl”, “Band or DJ”, these made the season even more special for me. Yes, I’m a huge Barney/Robin supporter, and just a huge fan of the show in general, but somehow the great Ted and Lily-ness we got so often this year was my favorite thing. It just is! Always has been! “The Front Porch” is my favorite episode. “Say Cheese” is also in my top 5. It sounds pathetic, it sounds so random, my mom doesn’t get it, but they are my favorite friendship, or even just relationship, in this series. Its always fascinated me, and the fact that they were together so often during the finale and during so many important, sentimental moments made last night even more amazing.

      The reveal of the Mother was the best part, among other things, but yeah…that made my week. ^_^

      • After watching this episode, I googled the actress and found the NY Times clip. It was wonderful, it makes me hopeful that she is the right actress to play the mother. But what struck me was how much she favored Lily. I think it was foreshadowed for me by Lily, who said the mom would look like Lily and wear cute boots she could borrow.” I guess I always assumed that the mother would be more like Robin, but it really makes more sense for the mother to be like Lily. Who is his really best friend. Loved the episode but wish I could see Ted and the mother interact. I guess next year we’ll actually have a name and we’ll stop calling her the mother, yay! Maybe we could spend the summer trying to name the mother. I vote Jocelyn, just like it.

  9. PS. Forgot to click the box so I can get updated when people comment, so did it now.

    PPS. WE MET THE MOTHER! wooot!

    PPS. She looks like a cross between Lily and Robin- anyone else think that?

  10. Wow, I am so torn. There were things I loved about the episode and things I couldn’t stand.

    Am I glad that we saw closure on things but I agree that they tried to do too much in this episode.

    We haven’t seen anything about the house or judgeship in a very long time, so I didn’t expect anything about those two. Happy the story moved forward that way, but I wish that things took more time to develop.

    The reveal was great though.

    The whole thing is just clouded majorly by Ted Still Going After Robin. How many times has this been done? Jeanette was totally useless. Now more than ever I need to see Ted reject Robin.

    I am looking forward to the next season though, for many reasons.

    • I think the Jeanette thing isn’t necessarily contradictory with the Robin thing. The two can dovetail nicely, depending on how you look at it.

      For example, if Ted says “I’m done with dating. I’m ready to get serious” what’s his next move? Right. Focus on Robin because she’s the only face he can easily envision as someone he could get serious about. He hasn’t met anyone else about whom he’d get serious, so, right back to Robin he goes (ugh).

      What I think undermined the Jeanette thing was when he scammed the one woman at Barney’s apartment the very next episode. But I suppose they’d dodge that by saying “He said he’d give up dating, not that he’d give up getting laid if the opportunity presented,” which I guess I can SORT of understand, but I still think undermined Ted’s statement. On the other hand, he can still have the occasional lapse, but be genuinely focused on finding something more.

  11. I think the penultimate episode’s and this episode’s titles are pretty perfect, “something old” and “something new” respectively. They represent finality on the Ted and Robin front and the start to his life with the mother. So simple yet poetic.

  12. I LOVE this show.

    Yesterday’s episode was good, but the Mother unveiling at the end was something I was waiting for a long time. Can’t wait to see season 9!

  13. As much as I’ve hated the never-ending Ted/Robin loop, last night didn’t bother me at all. Ted can be over Robin, and can know they aren’t right together, but still have that little feeling in the back of his mind that “you never know.” I think a lot of us have probably had a close friend that maybe nothing ever happened, or maybe there was one drunken kiss that you never talked about, but in the back of your mind you thought “maybe?”.

    But now Robin is getting married. Ted’s not just pining over her for no reason. This is it. This is the moment that “you never know” and “maybe” become “I do know” and “no.” Plus, she’s marrying one of his best friends (I won’t say his best friend, because that’s Marshall, people!). It’s about to be over for him and the circumstances will have put him in a front row seat for her happiness with another guy. Another guy who for 6ish seasons seemed like the worst possible guy for any woman. And he just has to take it. So Ted wanting to get away to Chicago to get away from Robin so he could finally move on for real didn’t bother me. As I said in my shorter post, it seemed real.

    As for the locket, I expect Ted to do the right thing. Either he already knows that it will be the best wedding gift ever … for Barney, or he’s going to make that realization in time. Remember, Robin told him that if she could find the locket it meant that she and BARNEY were right for each other. So I do think that’s what Ted is thinking. I think he legitimately and sincerely thinks it will be a great gift, not that he thinks it will win him Robin. I won’t be surprised if Ted either gives it to Barney directly, or takes it to Robin, and when she says “What’s this?” before opening it he pauses and says, “I don’t know. Barney asked me to give it to you.” (With the reason being that Barney can’t see her before the wedding.)

    The Marshall storyline didn’t bother me much because it really just served to get him out of there so Lily and Ted could be Lily and Ted. So it was worth it. And at least those throwaway jokes showed Judy interacting with Marvin! The judge phone call came out of nowhere. That happens with jobs sometimes. You’re cruising along and all of a sudden a place you sent a resume to months earlier calls with an opening, or a friend calls to say there’s an opening at their company, and you have to decide what to do quickly. Also, that phone call was one of the funniest segments on the show this season. My favorite part was the guy saying that he did remember the Jor-El head scene before telling Marshall that he couldn’t do it.

    I think it’s worth repeating that this was the first time I liked Ro-Barn. Ever. I hated them from day one when they first hooked up years ago. I hated them this season. I missed Quinn. Last night, they made sense. They seemed right for each other and, again, they seemed real. I wish they could have been like that all season.

    Also, for the first time in a long time, Robin seemed like the same person from the first couple seasons. That’s not to say she was the same as she was back then, but she seemed like the same person, i.e., if the Robin from seasons 1 and 2 had gone through everything Robin’s been through, she very well could have been/would have been last night’s Robin.

    Does anyone else think the Rome storyline was written when Jason said he might not come back for season 9, and that the judge job (hopefully) means him and Alyson will be back full time?

    • I agree Mike. In theory, Ted pining/ feeling sad over Robin’s upcoming nuptials to Barney does not bother me. In real life, yes this happens. When your ex who you thought was the one gets married or even when you yourself do, you reflect on your past relationship and feel nostalgia. You think about the “what ifs” and the “could have beens.” Yes, sometimes, you even forget why it didn’t work and hold on to a fantasy about why it should (even though history would tell that ultimately, it won’t). Its human nature to review your past in order to figure out what you truly want for your future. Ted even speaks to this point in last week’s episode “something old.”

      My issue is that this is not real life. There is no way to show this normal human process without it being interpreted by many as the reason why Ted and Robin belong together. In the sitcom world in which this story exists, it undermines Ted’s upcoming seemingly perfect relationship with the mother (sadly due to many past sitcoms where the focus at the end of the series is the “will they, won’t they” hero and heroine finally getting together in the eleventh). I know and you know that CT and CB are smarter than that. They portray characters based on real life and real emotions (for the most part. I mean it is a sitcom). They wanted us to see the mother as an audience before she meets Ted or the gang because they wanted us to have the same sense of “wow. she’s the one.” They want us to really feel for Ted and understand where he is coming from as many of us have gone through similar situations. While we are able to see Ted’s journey as what Ted needed to experience- the back and forth with Robin especially- in order to become the man ready for the relationship with the mother, sadly many can’t. They take scenes from sitcom world at face value and it causes people to question why Robin isn’t the mother or even worse, to be completely delusional that she is. While CT and CB have said point blank that Robin is not the mother and that Cristin Milioti’s character is, people still question it because of the time and effort spent showing Ted and Robin’s history. That is why it frustrates me.

      They have the creative power to present any story they want and are very blessed to have a cast with an amazing ability to show such depth and truly portray these characters. Sadly, they put too much faith in a large number of their audience members to reflect on a deep level and come to an understanding of the purpose of Ted and Robin’s back and forth relationship. As the actors play their characters so well, some people unfortunately take these backslides at face value and cannot see any reason to why Robin won’t be end game. As I said, it just takes away from all of us (as in the audience at large, not this group specifically) routing for and being exciting to see Ted’s relationship with the mother.

      • I get what you are saying and I do love that HIMYM can tackle real life issues and the characters/acting can make it relate-able for people.

        My problem is with the writing in specific spots. Ted not being over Robin is great, it makes sense, but there have been specific points where we’ve been told that Ted is done with it, only to see it return.

        I understand for many that can add to the realism of it. For me, it takes away the power of the moments as they are aired. Is anything they say final ever really final if they just come back to it in two months, in 2 years, etc.?

        Not to mention that Ted and Stella took over her sister’s wedding with a week’s notice and Robin was already in Japan. How can she be crying in the bar?

        • Maybe she was back for an evening before meeting everyone at the wedding.

          That said, I agree that constant backsliding undercuts the power of the moments that they seem to suggest are powerful. When Ted says “You’re right. We’re better as friends” and sees a sea of yellow umbrellas, you think “This is it. He’s finally moved on.”

          But has he? Ultimately, I think that, yes, he has.

          I still see a difference between how Ted felt about Robin then, and how Ted feels about her before the wedding. But it’s a more subtle difference rather than “Nope. I’m good with it. I’m over this.” That moment in Season 7 was a turning point. It wasn’t THE turning point, but it was A turning point. I think what ended at that moment was Ted’s romantic love for Robin. What DIDN’T end is the level of devotion he’s willing to show her.

          What makes that confusing is that you can’t help but think that his level of devotion to her doesn’t at least partially stem from romantic interest….but I don’t think it’s quite the same thing. Last night, I think Ted said it best — he still has a part of him that’ll drop anything and everything just to try to make Robin happy. He’d open a vein if it’d bleed out the missing locket. That’s devotion…but it doesn’t necessarily spring from ROMANTIC love.

          Mostly, I think this is because there is a part of Ted that lives to do that sort of thing. He is at his best, when he’s devoted to someone. He said so right from the start of the series: what he’s good at is being a boyfriend (or a husband), but he sucks at BECOMING a boyfriend. I think Ted genuinely loves and cares about Robin, but not in the sense of wanting to marry her. Even when he said “She should be with me,” I think that was more about how life isn’t fair, rather than about really wanting to be with her.

          But the truth is this: Ted may be “over” her, but he’s not “over” her in the sense that IF she turned to him and said “Ted….let’s run away and marry each other,” he wouldn’t at least say “Let me think about it” (if not simply blurt out “Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!”). I don’t think he’s reached the stage where he chooses to walk away from Robin BECAUSE HE KNOWS SHE ISN’T RIGHT FOR HIM.

          Now, here’s where things get…tricky.

          I am actually starting to question whether Ted will EVER have that moment. I honestly don’t think that Ted will have a moment where he says “I do not want Robin, not because she’s out of reach, but because she’s WRONG for me.”

          I think, instead, what we’ll get is something…sort of close to that, but not exactly the same. It’ll be kind of a repeat of what happened in The Final Page, Part 2. Ted will put Robin’s happiness ahead of his own. Ted will put Barney’s happiness ahead of his own. I think he could even give Robin the locket directly, if only to say “Look! Do you see? I found it. I found the locket. This proves it. THIS is the sign. You should be with Barney. It didn’t happen exactly the way you expected or wanted it to, but it happened, so go with it. Marry Barney.”

          The bit about “This will be the best wedding present ever” is a great bit of acting by Josh, because it has just the manic quality that Ted can sometimes get, except it’s all about a selfless act on his part.

          But all of that is different from saying “Wait. you know what? I don’t WANT Robin.” Saying that someone else’s happiness is more important than your own is noble and nice, but it’s not the same thing as saying you want different things and you’re totally ok with your ex marrying someone else.

          Personally, I’d prefer a moment of realization where Ted says “You know what? Robin wants Barney and I’m nothing like that. A woman who’d want a guy like that….is the wrong woman for me. And anyway, I’m happy for my friends.” But I doubt we’ll get that. I think we’ll get Ted being resigned to his fate and sort of at peace about his decision to put their happiness ahead of his own, but I don’t think we’ll ever get a clear sense that Ted learned Robin wasn’t just happier with someone else, but that her being happier with someone else proved she was NEVER the right girl for him. No what-ifs, no qualifications, no “if only”.

          • You are right Solo. I’d need to go back and really dig into the timeline. Thinking back off the top of my head, Ted and Stella got engaged at the beginning of season 4. Robin quits her job after that and moves away. I think knowing what we do about Robin now, we can interpret that as her having feelings and running away. There is plenty of time for her and Lily to have that moment before she leaves for Japan.

            I fear you may be right about Ted just letting Robin go to make her happy, but I hope you are wrong. Otherwise it could seem Ted is settling for the mother, and that’s hardly the greatest love story ever.

            • I’m not sure it’d undermine the story, as much as just tell a different version of it.

              Let’s not forget that part of why Ted’s been so fixated on Robin is because nobody better has come along….yet. Some of that’s been because Ted wasn’t ready yet, sure, but some of that’s also because nobody else who came along was REALLY right for Ted.

              I would think that once the Mother arrives on the scene, she’ll be much of what Robin is…while also being much of what Robin ISN’T that Ted really needs.

              Let’s be honest here. If Ted is to be happy in a relationship, he needs a woman who is into many of the same things as him, is whip smart, funny, and who gets him. Robin is all of those things. But one thing Robin is NOT is warm. Ted needs someone who is warm and loving and, let’s be honest, that’s just never been Robin. Or to the extent it is, it’s not the KIND of warmth and love that Ted needs.

              To my way of thinking, this is the single biggest reason why Robin is just wrong for Ted. They’ve highlighted it in the show, too. It connects to the kids thing, as well (or at least it did before Robin had any connection to her friends’ kids). Robin has always lacked a certain degree of warmth. Even if she loves someone, she’s just not…I dunno… warm…welcoming…soft. She’s always gotta be a bit hard. Barney loves that about her, because he’s very much the same way.

              The WAY they love each other is what each of them needs in a relationship, and is poison for someone like Ted. Picture the following. The guy makes a big romantic gesture of some kind. Or even just a small one. Let’s say he…I don’t know…shows up to an early date with flowers, or even one flower, based on a passing conversation he had with the girl where she mentioned her favorite kind of flower.

              If that girl is Robin, she’d probably scoff and say “Why’d you do that? I don’t need that kind of gushy romantic crap to impress me. Just sit down and have a drink with me.”

              Barney would probably be relieved at this and say “Thank GOD, because, really, flowers are just so lame. I mean, you bring them and they’re ALREADY DYING. Right? Plus, that stuff’s lame anyway.” Meanwhile, he’d be dreaming up an elaborate scheme to get Robin out to a firing range with a Class III FFL so she could finally realize her dream of wanting to shoot a Browning .50 cal belt-fed machinegun. And he’d do it just because it would look AWESOME.

              Ted, on the other hand, would feel a little hurt, and little insecure (and rightly so, because he’d be sensing the truth: “We aren’t right for each other.”).

              To my way of thinking, it’s not enough to have a bunch of common interests and a physical attraction. That’s enough to get started dating and such, but if you’re going to make it the long haul, you need to have shared communication styles across the board, in most aspects of how you interact. How you express affection. How you express desire. How you express frustration. All of that needs to be at least MOSTLY on the same page. And that’s the single biggest area — next to the kids thing — where Ted and Robin differ.

              • Amen to that. I’d even say things like shared interests doesn’t matter the slightest. The single most important thing is that you’re fit sparring partners to each other. I.e. you need to be balanced communication wise, have similar underlying attitudes in how you view things and be on a par in intelligence and education. With these things in place you’ll be able to have an inspiring interchange between you and you’ll be able o tolerate each other quirks.
                I mean, what do I care if my (hopefully) future wife likes or dislikes the movies, the music and the books I love?
                I’d rather say that the similarities in attitude and communication is what builds the bridge between us, but the differences in interests and likes are what drives the inter-exchange across that bridge..

          • While I agree that’d it’d be really nice to see an official “I don’t WANT Robin anymore” moment before he meets the mother…it doesn’t HAVE to be before he meets her. He could say (hopefully not aloud, since Barney and Robin will already be married and he’ll be dating another woman, for crying out loud), but to himself or the audience, that now that he’s met the real love lof his life he’s realized he doesn’t truly want Robin. That Robin simply was a great friend who he fell for on their first date and ever since then represented everything he hoped to have in a soul mate. Whereas this woman is his REAL soul mate, and that’s what he wants. Not Robin (a symbol of his true love) this woman (his real true love.) It’d be nice to see him officially move on in this way before the wedding, but I’m still hopeful he’ll come to that realization at some point, even if its while he’s in a new relationship.

            Besides, I agree with what you said. I think “No Pressure” was the end of his romantic love for her, but since he sitll cares for her so much, and because…well, because he’s TED, and such a hopeless romantic, he gets confused and mixes feelings of devotion and friendship with feelings of romance. He probably thinks he’s still in love with her when really its not the same feeling anymore at all.

          • What I was saying below in my experience is that the right girl will make you foget the rest. That is true love for me. You do not lust after the right person.

            Lust in an of itself is like a fleeting moment chasing another one, HA HA. Ted and Victoria or something like that. When you date for pure physical attraction it is briefly enjoyable. But a lasting relationship has to be more.

            When Ted meets his future wife I want to see them fall in true devotional love The Princess Bride (1987). Does Ted think of Robin in that way. More so than Victoria obviously.

            It has been said before. This Mother has to be more than the next avaliable female for Ted after Robin is Married and off the market.

            Ted in the rain basically turned Robin Down in Something Old out of respect for them both. Regardless of the Barney Robin relationship Ted had to do that.

            Now Ted needs to prove his love for the new girl. That is The Princess Bride (1987). By the way I still have that movie on DVD. Sorry Solo4114 never purchased it on VHS.

            http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/05/14/how-i-met-your-mother-casting-cristin-milioti/

        • They were already engaged before she left. It doesn’t mean it was right before the wedding, right? Just a thought.

      • Kate, I uderstand your point. I had girlfriends before I met my wife. I dated casually a lot. A couple of girls more seriously than most.

        She had boyfriends that she thought may work out but did not. Our first date was on the Fourth of July.

        Yep, that really happened. We worked together for 6 months and hardly talked to each other. I had just a couple of brief conversations with her during that time.

        But in the back of my mind, since the day I first talked with her, I said one day I am going to ask her out. Like Ted I took my time. Eventually I asked her out and she accepted right away.

        It seems we both had interest in the other. That is all it really takes. I saw her and new I wanted to date her. She felt the same. But I let things get in the way.

        When I took her out on our first date, I realized I never wanted to let this one go. At the time, She had one other guy interested in her (reminds me of the girl Ted always wanted to date but was too late). After our second date she knew I was someone she wanted to get to know better. We never stopped dating after that.

        So even 21 years later I see her the same way. I am so glad I did not stay with two of the other girls I dated seriously. I would have missed out on the relationship I have with my wife now.

        She is right for me and she puts up with me. Robin was never the one for Ted. So I am very excited about how they are going to write for this brand new actress. Just can not wait for Ted to finally meet her.

        What is it going to be like? Well those of us who have been there know how it was when you finally meet the right person.
        Now it is Ted’s turn.

        Hope the rest who have not found the one yet get the chance soon. That is why we watch this show correct?

        • That was very helpful Ross. As soon as I read this, I thought about my dating history. The last gal I was in a serious relationship was a long time ago. We met in college and dated off and on through my master’s program, but there was a part of me that even though I ended things I still did wonder, but that wonder was tied to conditional things. If she changed in this way it would work, or if I had gotten into such and such PhD program we would have been closer together.

          We still talked over the years and have spent time together on occasion, but last year, the last time we saw each other face to face, it was clear to me that the chemistry was completely gone. So in fact, I didn’t want to be with her, but I guess I wasn’t completely over the what ifs, and I really am now.

          I’ve always related to Ted so much so maybe my critique of always returning to the Ted and Robin story needs to be softened. I’ll leave it at that and not go into more personal stuff even though this thread has me thinking about lots of things.

  14. The closing song to “Something Old” reminds me of the closing song in “Lost in Translation” (I believe it’s called “Just Like Honey”. When those first notes play in that movie, just like in this episode, I feel immediately nostalgic, happy, sad, hopeful, and wistful all at once. What a terrible and wonderful feeling.

    Also, I’m convinced they searched for a Mother that looked like a perfect blend of Lily and Robin. Does she not look like a perfect blend of the two women he loves the most? :)

  15. Whoa- I just found out she grew up in the town next to where I grew up! How cool! Represent from south Jersey!

  16. I thought the episode did a great job of setting up next season. It reminded us of most of the major stories and decisions that we know happen. It seemed a little rushed, but I feel that will all slow down for next season. The show has reminded us of the major points and will take next season to resolve them all.

    I’m thinking season 9 will cover the wedding weekend plus the next day, the Monday Ted was going to move to Chicago. And that’s it. We’ll get some Ted/mother interaction throughout the weekend. The final episode will air on that Monday and show him deciding not to move to Chicago and instead stay in New York to be with the mom. Season nine won’t cover months and months the way most season do. Instead, it’ll cover 4 days. And that’s it.

    My rational is that the RoBarn wedding is actually 2014? May 25, 2014 is on a Sunday. At the end of this episode they said it was 56 Hours until the wedding and that was at 10am on a Friday making the wedding 6pm on the Sunday.

    Thoughts?

    • I think it’s in 2013. May 25, 2013, to be precise. I think that, to the extent the Bays statements are accurate and to be taken literally, then the wedding becomes the ‘framing device’ for the following season, and we flash back and forward throughout it.

      Personally, I hope they don’t do this and stick with a somewhat more traditional structure for the bulk of the season. Setting up the first, say, 4-5 episodes as revolving around the wedding would be fine, followed by various jumps in time, but let’s get the actual MEETING out of the way then and there, and finish the show with Ted and the Mother getting married, rather than just Ted saying “hello” to the Mother. Unless, of course, they show all that and then the kids say “DAD! You still haven’t told us how you MET.” “I didn’t? Sorry. I forgot. It went like this…” and then you get the scene that ties everything else together at the very end.

      But i think using the wedding as a framing device for the entire season — as like a running thing — is going to be a nightmare and will distract from the rest of the stories. This show isn’t Lost. They don’t have 45 min of screen time to work with per episode; they have 22. That’s it. 22 precious minutes per episode to show some wedding moment, then do some other stuff unrelated to the wedding. Trying to string the wedding story as the framing device for every episode this season won’t work. It’ll just distract.

      I find it hard to believe they’d actually do that, though. I think there’s a different, far more likely story. One that, I think, would mess with the audience, play in to some stuff that the show has done before, and still allow the creators to have the very last moment be the actual introduction itself. I’ll post that in a separate post, though. I’m thinking we’ll need to get a “Season 9 predictions” post going soon.

  17. I viewed the show at McGee’s last night in NYC. Cristin Milioti was there, we got a picture with her. It was amazing. No one actually knew who she was until the show was over!!! I met Mrs. Mosby!

  18. Also, the bar erupted when they finally showed the mother. It was like watching a championship game!

  19. I think people are misunderstanding Ted’s comments when he says that he would really like to make Robin happy. I think that is genuine, not in a ‘I still have to have her’ way, but more of a ‘I know I really really care about you, and that isn’t healthy for me, but I still can’t help caring’ way.

    As Solo rightly points out, I think he has this image of the perfect woman for him to be Robin and in all honesty he knows she isn’t. But that is the closest he has gotten. It is like trying to find a gold mine, and having once found a bit of gold in one location you go back there, just because all other digs have yielded nothing.

    His whole situation was compromised ever since the day they broke up, and didn’t really distance themselves. For me, when you are that close on all levels you need a total break for a while. Because, as we have seen from season to season, Robin is equally susceptible to back sliding every time she is in a lurch.

    In my head, Ted and Robin are dysfunctionally perfect for each other. ‘Dysfunctionally only’ because when they are both themselves esp. with Robin because she has grown to become a hard-at-heart types. As for the locket, I have a feeling that Ted will spring it on Robin and tell her “Hey, remember you said that this was the sign you needed to be with Barney. Then here you go.” This might probably happen after she gets to know that he left Victoria for her, and has that one final doubt.

    Great to see the Mother too.

  20. Am I the only one thinking that they’ve ruined it showing the mother on the train station? I’ve been waiting seven years for a big season finale when we get to meet her. This was sooo dissapointing. It was supposed to be the biggest of the big moments in the show, but they’ve made it so trivial.

    And I always pictured her blonde :)

  21. This is why thy picked her:

    nytimes.com/video/2013/04/17/theater/theaterspecial/100000001579794/cristin-milioti-in-once.html

    Wow.

  22. I know this weeks late, but why didn’t Lily/Marshall bring up his possible judgeship BEFORE they decided to move to Rome??

  23. Long time reader, first time poster.

    So hi, guys. I pretty much agree with everyone else about the episode. I thought they cast Cristin perfectly and when I read about her encounter with NPH on set, before the audition, I couldn’t help but smile – those guys are one big family and I think that she will fit right in. The best part is we will get to know her character next season and see exactly why she is The One for Ted and (I hope) love her for it. I’m fairly optimistic about how it all plays out, as I would have been immensely disappointed if the show had ended with just a Mother reveal and a montage of how they lived happily ever after – that woulda have felt rushed, sloppy and unfinished. I mean, we have all learned so much about her during these 8 years and in my opinion we deserve to get a season with her character in it, see all those details that make her the love of Ted’s life, even if there is a risk it gets all bubbly, gooey and romantic.

    I’m bubbly, gooey and romantic and I’m adorable.

    Ahm…yeah, that’s about it from me for now.

    Also, slightly offtopic, if you haven’t checked out The Goodwin Games’ pilot (Bays&Tomas’ new show), I highly recommend it. I felt it was cleverly written and funny, with that sprinkle of realness we love about HIMYM.

  24. First I want to say I have watched the episode multiple times now. Each time I re-watch it gets better. Especially when I jump in here first and read your comments, then go back a watch.

    Now for a bit of Blog House keeping:
    Everyone Please Continue any Season 8 Discussion you want to, right here on this Page. You can speculate to your hearts content.

    But if you have specific season 9 News, that talks about future Episodes, please use the new spoiler section.

    So far, all the information we have about Season Nine is basically okay to discuss right here, if you choose.

    Last thing, if you have seen the new photo page great. If not go check it out.

  25. I thought the episode overall was great though I agree with that they tried to jam too much into it. Could have done without the judge sidetrack.
    But … YM was a total turn off for me. Am i really the only one that was disappointed by the casting?
    Now, I’ve only watched the episode once last night, and I might change my opinion next season. I guess the positive thing is I think the show as such ended with a great episode and I am looking forward to see the story develop next season, but I am no longer looking forward to seeing the mother or the relationship between Ted and YM develop. So, I guess my expectations on that point is lowered sufficiently that everything will just be great by default during season 9. There’s no romantic expectations to live up to on my part.
    Physically she’s too thin and skinny, she’s mousy, doesn’t at all project the bubbly warmth i expected, and she just doesn’t feel dynamic.
    The reveal came as a wet blanket.
    So well (@Kate) I hope she’s a red herring, turns out to be the sister of the mother or a decoy for the serial killer or what not, and that the real mother will come and pick up the umbrella from the stiff. But I do not hope Robin will be there to do the pick up.
    I liked almost all women (including Robin) that have interacted with Ted through the years, not only Amy. I loved Victoria, the pine apple chick and the one with kraw maga (or whatever it was called), i tripe loved Amy, I loved Abby (didn’t know it was Britney Spears, true story), Stella, Zoey or some in between. Anyone of them would have been fine as the mother at the points they occurred in the show.
    But the mother leaves me cold.
    I expected Bette Middler or Dolly Parton and got Nina Hagen.
    I expected vibrant technicolor but got a dull murky gray scale.
    But whatever, the mother might be a dud, it doesn’t detract from all the other little intellectual quirks and plays with formats and so on that first endeared me to the show.

    • ooo, yes possibly the serial killer

      but for realzz…at first i did not like her. like you said, i found her to be “mousy” looking. but she has grown on me. better pics of her elsewhere than how she looked in that episode

      • It might very well be that she grows on me too. In the long run it’s her personality and how it interacts with Ted’s that clinches the deal.
        Even in real life I have a couple of times fallen in love with girls that I actually outright disliked at first. Not just that I found there personality abrasive at first, but they were also physically a very far cry from my ideal.
        But I don’t get the instant WOW that I got when Ted spotted Victoria at the wedding in season 1.

  26. In case people want to see if she can do comedy:

    • Rey, you scored again. I am going to make the link active so we don’t have to copy and past the link.

      So yes she can do show tunes with food. She can sing and play guitar. She can be classy and silly.

      She has multiple looks. She can dress down and be herself.

      Sound like a Mrs. Mosby to me.

      Dolf, I think she will grow on you. Once you put the Amy/Victoria image out of your mind. That is if we get to see Ted Date Her this next year.

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  28. “IT’S A TRAP!!!”

    – Admiral Ackbar

  29. In going back over this episode, it is obvious that the flash forward to the Marshall interview before the Judge Panel is now something that happened in real time a few months ago. The producers got sneaky.

    The showed us a flash forward that I though was going to be at least a year down the road and it was actually almost in real time for the audience. (or did I confuse this with his supreme court judgeship interview)

    So Lily goes on that sneaky Art Interview and wrecked their first wedding plans and now Marshall is going to get into the same trouble with this one and ruin the Rome Art Move.

    So now that you all have had some time to digest this episode, any more revelations?

  30. Just a quick heads-up, folks. The Season 8 overall review has (finally) been posted, so head on over to check it out and comment, if you’re so inclined.

  31. And another heads-up. We have a new post about Season 9 and its overall structure. It’s a little bit spoiler-y, but not in a way that I think is really problematic (which is why it’s not in the Season 9 Spoilers post). This is more about the overall structure to the story for the upcoming season.

    As a side note, the news that broke about this initially was partially why it took a bit to get this and the Season 8 review posted — I was still digesting the news (which later was further clarified). Suffice to say I was NOT happy at first, but am feeling a bit better at this point.

    Anyway, hop on over to the new post and share your thoughts, if you’re so inclined. It’d be nice to have some good discussion going over the summer break.

  • The Mother