Monday, February 12, 2007

HIMYM: Legs aren't broke, but they're broke

Spoilers for "How I Met Your Mother" just as soon as I get that damn Flaming Lips song about Vaseline out of my head...

Let's start with the last scene first. Why the flash-forward glimpse of Ted marrying The Mother? My guess, and it's only that, is that they made this episode while "Monday Night Football" was still in contention to air after the Super Bowl, meaning this would have been the first episode to air after that exposure to a potentially huge new audience, meaning they would have to throw that audience a little bone about what the show's really about. Either that, or we've now entered the beginning of the end of Ted and Robin's happy l'il relationship, and we needed the reminder that Ted's destined to end up with somebody else.

Liked that the episode played both as an anthology and as the show's own backwards equivalent of Pinter's "The Betrayal" (or Seinfeld's "The Betrayal"), and my preference for the four stories was directly chronological, with Mr. Barney's Wild Ride as my favorite and Ted's boring penny my least favorite (though it was also the briefest). I was impressed by how much food all the brides-to-be had to throw at Car Alarm Guy, by the way.

Very solid episode. What did everybody else think?

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree. Really good ep and this season is coming along nicely. I just wonder, if the series keeps getting renewed, are htey going to shitcan Cobie for the MOther when she appears? Just a wondering.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Cobie's not going anywhere. Future Ted refers to her as "Aunt Robin," which means she's a part of his kids' lives in some way.

Plus, I expect the show to revisit the "we want different things" argument as the reason for Ted and Robin's breakup, which will make it easier for them to remain amicable.

Heather K said...

I loved this episode, and Barney was the best part--even only tracksuited up.

Marshall was pretty great too. I was howling with laughter at their two parts in a way I haven't howled at HIMYM since the fall heyday of Swarley and Slap Bet.

Dan Coyle said...

First time I'd seen it in a while.

I worry that Robin is becoming too likable for any "Mother" to compare- they've got to create a really wonderful character to compete with her.

That said, the episode did a good job of showing the slow fraying of Ted and Robin's relationship. Growing apart.

And the car alarm thing- ever take a biology final with that in the background? I sure did. Multiple times!

Mac said...

Wait, this is now three straight episodes of nonsuited Barney, isn't it?

the2scoops said...

Crackpot Mother theory #324:

Robin does marry Ted, they can't have kids, and he gets a surrogate who, technically, is the kid's mother.

I love how this show doesn't take the expected route. Everyone expected Barney to cheat, but he just got the Jimmy Legs. My roommate ran a half-marathon and had the same result.

Barney and Marshall were my favourite segments in a good solid episode:

You are Marshall You are Marshall! You are Marshall!!

Devin McCullen said...

You know, when I saw the "You are Marshall!" scene, I figured that they probably started with that and built the show outward from there. Lord knows I saw that damn trailer enough times.

Am I the only person disappointed that they didn't show who dropped the penny? Not that there was really a solution that would have paid it off, though.

Heather K said...

I disagree with what Dan says about Robyn being made too likable.

I like her a great deal more then I used to (and she is a likable character in this company of people who I want to find inhabiting my favorite bar), but no matter how much I like her, she will always be the wrong girl for Ted.

The writers are doing a really good job of making that clear. She's great and he's great, but they aren't great together. Although I love that they are making it kind of work in the way real relationships do, even when they aren't 'the one.'

Plus if he meets mother in the series finale, we may not have to even know a single thing about her, just a reveal in a way that we know that 'she' is the mother. They wouldn't even have to show us her face.

Dan Coyle said...

Maybe Robin IS their mother, but had to go into the witness protection program because of her investigation of a crime, and faked her own death, and in the interim Ted married someone else, and she reentered their lives years later as "Aunt Robin".

Wow, I need to get to sleep.

Dennis Wilson said...

Cobie's not going anywhere. Future Ted refers to her as "Aunt Robin," which means she's a part of his kids' lives in some way.

I expect that Future Ted is married to Future Robin, years after the death of his first wife, the kids' mother.

Or maybe Ted and the first wife's relationship simply dissipates the same way it happened to Teds' own parents.

But either way I bet he ends up with "Aunt" Robin. TV do love dem twists.

Anonymous said...

Nice little detail: The same 1939 penny was mentioned in episode 2 of this season. Ted and Robin wear the same clothes in both episodes, so ist really the same penny. It´s the episode where Lily´s coming back to NY.

the2scoops said...

It's probably that Robin just doesn't end up marrying Ted, no matter how much the audience might want it. I was reminded of a similar thing the last episode of the Wonder Years: Kevin reveals that he and Winnie did part, but stayed in touch and she was there to greet him and his wife when they visited. Kevin and Winnie always seemed like they'd eventually marry, but it doesn't always work out like that in life.

Manuel said...

Well, thankfully we're not talking abot life but a TV show. The fact that they had Saget declaring so early that Robin is not the "mother" somehow made me suspicious. There has to be some sort of twist to the whole premise.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Every time I've spoken with Bays and/or Thomas about the twist at the end of the pilot, they've confirmed that Ted and Robin will not end up with each other in the end. No twin sister, no semantic twist, none of that. They could change their minds later, but that's not the present plan.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about anyone else out there, but I think Robin and Barney would be hilarious together! Remember when she suited up with him last season... priceless.

Manuel said...

Hm, I can't help but feel that they have already spent a little too much time establishing Ted- Robin if she's not the "one".

Lindy said...

My theory is that Robin somehow figures into the story of how Ted and Mom meet; that's why both the show and Future Ted need to establish the Ted-Robin relationship first.

I'd be really disappointed if they ended up putting Ted and Robin together at the end. Not that I don't like them as a couple, but I love that the show defies the TV fantasy of "The Couple That's Destined To Be Together" (e.g. Ross and Rachel).

DonBoy said...

A few months after the show premiered I was looking at an Entertainment Weekly with an ad for the show from before it was on; the copy read "A Love Story In Reverse". Bittersweet, once you know what it means.

I found this week's ep only OK. The gimmick seemed to be showing itself too strongly or something.