TV: The Holy Grail: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ chooses wisely

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

Knight Vision

Just when you think last week’s episode was the beginning of a downward spiral for How I Met Your Mother, this week’s episode, “Knight Vision,” restored all of our hope for a perfect final season. While last week struggled with good comedy thrown into terrible storylines, this week matched solid storylines with fantastic comedy.

It’s Friday night at 9 p.m., 45 hours until the wedding.

Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) informs Ted (Josh Radnor) of the delicate decision he must make about which of the three potential women he will spend the wedding weekend with.

tumblr_mv1s94sa081qm2l53o3_250To clarify how important this decision is, we get an Indiana Jones parody that is used throughout the episode. Just like in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Ted must choose the right woman like Indiana had to choose the right grail; he must choose his “Holy Grail of women.” Thus, for every decision Ted makes throughout the night, a knight tells him whether or not he chose wisely. Knowing our boy Ted, the knight continually tells him he chose poorly.

All of Ted’s poor decisions revolve around Cassie (Anna Camp) — Camp replaced original guest star Ellie Kemp in this role. At first, Cassie is willing to have a casual relationship with Ted, but she is then fired from her job, finds her parents and runs into her ex. So instead of sex, Ted must comfort crying Cassie all night.

I am still waiting for the Mother (Cristin Milioti) to appear again, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed Ted’s storyline tonight. Hearing the knight make his decree after everything Ted decides was hilarious and had me cracking up every time. It was an ingenious idea.

It’s interesting to see how this storyline also plays very well with the element of time — one of the main reasons I’ve cited over and over again as to why HIMYM is so interesting. This entire show is simply a story being told to people in the future; everything is past tense so reflections can be made while the stories are being told. If future Ted didn’t know how the relationship with Cassie would turn out, then the knight would not have made any sense.

Not to mention that at the end of this bit, Ted is officially stuck with Cassie despite his attempts to break away and hook up with someone else. Then Bob Saget narrates that it was good he never met anyone else because he then may have never met the Mother. I love how the writers can tie this hilarious little storyline into the overall storyline. I’m increasingly impressed with how amazing this final season is turning out.

Barney and Robin (Cobie Smulders) are having issues with their own decisions. In order to win over their strict reverend (Edward Herrmann), the couple lied about the story of how they met and instead use Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily’s (Alyson Hannigan) story.

This prompts a flash to the scene we all know too well of Lily walking down the dorm hall to randomly knock on Marshall’s door. However, it’s not goth Lily and college Marshall we see. Instead, Robin is in Lily’s outfit and Barney in Marshall’s.

robin

lily

Lily retaliates and pokes fun at the true story of how Barney and Robin met. Flashing back to the first scene of the series, Ted is Ted but Lily is dressed to look like Robin and Marshall as Barney.

I cannot explain how much I adored this idea. We all know the stories so well, so it was incredibly fun to have them changed and shown in a different light. You can also tell that this scene only worked because the actors mimicked the way their counterpart acts, which you can only pick up on after working together and building chemistry for years.

tumblr_mv1oqnAMfY1qa0n48o2_r1_250In the end, Reverend Lowell discovers that Barney and Robin lied and tells them to get a new church and officiator. As he lectures them, Barney comes up with another new way to high-five: Prayer-five!

At first the couple argues to get him back but then they realize they love their story, even if it is messy, because it’s the story of how they got to be where they are today. Man, these little monologues are so powerful and so beautiful. I love how they just occasionally creep one in every now and then.

But telling the truth of their story literally killed the reverend so now they must find a new officiator. What a twist!

Tonight, we even got a great Marshall storyline. So I wasn’t kidding when I said tonight was perfect.

We are finally talking about the fact that Marshall still hasn’t told Lily about the offer to be a judge. Daphne (Sherri Shepherd) convinces him that he needs to prepare for the conversation he wants to have in person and helps him. He practices what he plans on saying while she pretends to be Lily. Cut to scenarios where it’s actually Marshall and Lily talking, but while Hannigan mouths the words, Shepherd provides the voice.

I can say nothing more than that was sheer perfection. It was so hilarious.

In one scenario Marshall admits that he’s already taken the job, prompting Daphne to shout “What the damn hell?!” — a phrase that pops up frequently in this episode.

I don’t understand why I love Daphne as much as I do. She has not been shown that much, but I absolutely love when she and Marshall interact. I forgot how great of a comedic actress Shepherd can be (see: 30 Rock). Shouting “Nope! Start over!” and “What the damn hell?” was her main part in tonight’s episode and I need nothing more. She made just as big a comedic impact as everyone else.

Daphne shares that her husband never supported her when she wanted a career of her own and tells Marshall that he should allow Lily the opportunity to follow her dreams. Marshall asks what Daphne does for a living and he doesn’t like the answer: she’s a lobbyist for a big oil company. In other words, she works for everything Marshall hates most in the world.

The two reconcile, but it wasn’t before Daphne angrily texted Lily the news that Marshall already took the job. Oh boy, guess we’ll have to wait to see how that turns out.

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