I'm on a light schedule this week, but I'll have a few thoughts on tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I'm with Germans...
If not as emotionally rich or romantic as last week's "The Window," "Last Cigarette Ever" was a fine example of a different type of "HIMYM": one that puts the whole gang together in the same plot, that takes advantage of Future Ted's role as unreliable narrator, that deal with life as a (relatively) young, (relatively) unencumbered person in the city. And it's one that drops a lot of hints about future stories, both Mother and non-Mother-related.
The idea that the gang had been smoking all these years without us seeing it nicely played into the idea that so much of what we see in the series is either shaped by Future Ted's perception of events, or of how he's framing the story for the sake of his kids. (And speaking of the kids, does anyone remember the "WHAT?!?!?!" clip from an earlier season, or do you reckon that's one of those things that Bays and Thomas have been sitting on all these years, like the pieces of footage they allegedly shot of the kids reacting to the news of the Mother's identity?)
Bob Odenkirk's appearance wasn't as memorable as in season three's "The Chain of Screaming" (the episode which gave us Lily's crotch grab, pictured on the left). But the episode had plenty of nice, distinctly "HIMYM" touches, like Marshall traveling through time to beat up 13-Year-Old Marshall (not to be confused with 15-Year-Old Marshall), Lily's voice turning into Harvey Fierstein's under the influence of too much smoking, and Don's love of his jockey shorts becoming infectious for the staff.
And speaking of Don, the episode told us that he and Robin will be dating within three months (around February sweeps?), and that Lily and Marshall will have a son at a date to be determined (which gives the writers some wiggle room on if/when they want the characters to have a kid during the run of the series), and that Barney will still be alive in 2017. (This is noteworthy only because I believe we still haven't seen a glimpse of Future Barney, so you never know.)
But the continuity hints were only one small part of a funny episode, and a nice note for the series to end 2009 on.
What did everybody else think?