TV: Don’t say Patinkin! ‘How I Met Your Mother’ promises for an excellent final season

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS
Rating: 4.5/5

Last Time in New York

I may have still been recovering from last week’s flawless, absolutely beautiful and hilarious season premiere when I sat down to watch tonight’s episode. That being said, tonight’s episode, “Last Time in New York,” was very good, however, coming off the ultimate high fans were on from the premiere, it was inevitably a step lower. But don’t get me wrong. I still loved it.

It’s 2 p.m. on Friday. 52 hours before the wedding. Anyone getting a 24 vibe? Are we really only moving an hour each episode?

Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin’s (Cobie Smulders) elderly relatives arrive, prompting the couple to worry about whether or not their fire will die once they say “I do.” Thus, the two set out to have one last bang before their big moment, but this proves to be a more difficult task than anticipated.

Barney and Robin race around the hotel, constantly trying to find somewhere to hook up. While the couple may have had the lighter plot of the night, they certainly played it well. A very Barney-esque gag consists of him interpreting something Robin says into meaning they could — to be frank for a moment — “do it in the butt.”  His little gasps of delight were hilarious each time, and I just love their chemistry.

gag1

gag2

Marshall (Jason Segel) is now driving through Wisconsin with Daphne (Sherri Shepherd). Marshall is decked out with Vikings gear while he’s in Cheesehead territory. The road trip storyline simply gets better — and funnier — as it continues.  Shepherd’s quick, sassy comedy translates wonderfully and is masterfully paired with Segel’s wit and hilarious expressions. I love these two. They were only on-screen for possibly three minutes total, yet their presence was just as prominent.

Back at the hotel, Lily (Alyson Hannigan) finds a list Ted (Josh Radnor) compiled of things he wants to do one last time before leaving N.Y. And thus we enjoy a delightful montage…

Ted wants to buy everyone in the bar a round of drinks — turns out it’s at 10 a.m. and there aren’t many people there. He has always wanted to tell his beautiful upstairs neighbor how he always felt… that she’s a terrible neighbor and that her shoes must be made of lead. He has to say goodbye to the Empire State Building, which he calls “Empie,” but he is NOT an objectophiliac! And the best part of the montage deals with Ted fixing graffiti that has always bothered him. I felt showing you, rather than telling you, would really get the point across…

graffitti 1

   graffitti 2

I feel you, Ted. Nothing is more frustrating than a grammatical inaccuracy.

I have to mention how much I hope the “Thank you, Linus” gag will run throughout the season. I often feel Hannigan’s comedy is very much underappreciated. But no one can deliver a truly Lily line like her. If there’s anyone who can pull off this joke multiple times per episode through multiple episodes, it’s Hannigan.

Another item on Ted’s list was to “come clean about April 26th.” What happened? Remember in 2005 when Ted and Marshall were in a sword fight and ended up stabbing Lily? Well, the swords are back!! This is what I’m hoping continues throughout the season. As a long-time fan of the show, I want the inside jokes to be re-called, and I want the obscure references to be made. I want to remember the good ol’ days!!

The duo have another sword fight — after making the necessary Princess Bride references, of course — and end up ruining Lily’s rehearsal dinner dress. It wasn’t the drunken drycleaner after all!

In retaliation, Lily makes Ted dress up in a ‘20s-style swimsuit that makes him look like Waldo, as in  Where’s. Worst of all, she makes Marshall dress in Packers gear and even wear a Cheesehead. Ouch.

outfit 1

outfit 2

However, we soon learn that Robin and Lily had their own fun with the swords. After Lily botches the Inigo Montoya reference, the two end up breaking the $600 bottle of scotch Ted had purchased to have “one last” drink with Barney and Marshall. In an attempt to fix it, the girls add chocolate syrup, ketchup and hand sanitizer to a different bottle to make sure the color matched the original liquid.

In the end, Robin and Barney walk in on Robin’s grandparents and realize they will still be just as interested in each other in 60 years as they are now. *cue the collective “awwwhhhhh”*

And so they utter the magic words to finally welcome all of their relatives: “Mandy Patinkin.” I’m not sure if the writers had just watched The Princess Bride or were maybe marathoning Homeland, but I have to say that the references worked well.

In the end, we get a truly wonderful, well-written life lesson from Lily. She insists Ted instead make a list of all the bad things he truly wants to say goodbye to instead. He shouldn’t be saying goodbye to the good things. With that, he crosses off “one last life lesson from Lily” on his list.

Don’t ever forget that under the gut-busting comedy, the HIMYM writers truly know how to speak to the heart.

Ted goes to find Barney to have their drink. Just as he finds him, Barney tells him that he saw him and Robin at the carousel.

DUN DUN DUN…

While I do appreciate the top-notch comedy writing, I have to say I’m most impressed with how I have no reservations about the setting of the final season. Many were shocked and concerned when they heard the entire season would take place during the wedding weekend. I knew the writers would have no issues with storylines because this show can play with time; it’s one of its most interesting qualities. However, I was concerned with possibly getting tired of the wedding storyline. I mean, how many TV weddings have we all seen? I’ll give you a hint: it’s a lot. Yet, HIMYM is putting its own spin on the TV wedding, and I’m excited to be along for the ride.

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