By Meryl Gottlieb| firstname.lastname@example.org| @buzzlightmeryl
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS
I’m sensing a tradition in the works for this season of How I Met Your Mother: It is either a 100 percent completely perfect episode or an episode that seems quite pointless until the end. Last week’s storylines were forgettable until the end when we saw Robin (Cobie Smulders) be embraced into the Stinson family and when Ted (Josh Radnor) proposed to The Mother (Cristin Milioti). This week followed a somewhat similar pattern; however, the storylines were better this week with “Platonish.”
It’s 31 hours until the wedding (11 a.m. Saturday) and Robin cannot stop crying from the news of her mother’s absence, so Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) accepts the challenge to cheer her up. Then, we hear about the time when he didn’t finish a challenge…
This was all seven months ago.
Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Robin realize Barney really only accepts his own challenges, so they create ridiculous challenges of their own. He must get a girl’s number by only speaking as a dolphin; wearing a garbage bag and not using the letter “e,” and winning over the girl who’s waiting for “Ryan Gosling.”
Of course these skits were funny. It’s Neil Patrick Harris. It’s the old Barney we’ve enjoyed for so many years. It was fun to catch our favorite player in the game once again.
At the same time, Ted rethinks his relationship with Robin after essentially everyone says they are not platonic, especially since they’ve started the saluting joke again. For one, I absolutely LOVED that they brought back the saluting joke for one shining, glorious moment. That’s one of my favorite jokes from HIMYM.
Ted realizes pursuing Robin again is simply going to be the same thing again: she’ll say no because she doesn’t change her mind.
This episode seemed a little misplaced. We’re 10 episodes into the wedding weekend and we got over the issue of Ted and Robin at the carousel. It just seems like we’re really backtracking, even though these flashbacks are extremely important.
Lily and Robin have one challenge left for Barney: pick up diapers and samosas — which is simply a chore until they add “while picking up a chick.” At the convenience store, Barney spots his target: THE MOTHER. Yup, here’s the story of how Barney met the Mother, and buckle up kids, it’s great.
The Mother automatically is above Barney’s cheap lines and tells him what he needs, “It’s going to be OK. You’re a good guy. You’ll get through this,” she says as she holds him, knowing that his games are simply an attempt to cover up the sadness he is feeling right now.
This obviously strikes Barney, prompting a longer conversation. She tells him exactly what’s going on. He was in love and he messed it up and now he’s just trying to stay busy to forget that fact. Wow. Two minutes with him and she’s analyzed him perfectly. I like her.
“Do you want to keep playing the game or do you want to win?” — this is the final piece of advice Barney receives that pushes him from being a player to wanting to get Robin back. That night is when he wrote “The Robin” in the Playbook.
The Mother is essentially the reason Barney and Robin are together, and I love that. I think it’s an adorable way to tie her into the entire gang’s story. You may think the advice was too spot-on and accurate, but can you expect anything else from the woman whom Ted marries? She has to be an expert in love. So, The Mother is the reason Barney and Robin are together and their wedding is the reason Ted and the Mother meet. Perfect. Just perfect.
Also shout-out to Milioti for blasting into season nine and just being perfect in every way. I cannot think of anyone better to play the matriarch we’ve all been waiting to meet.
From then on, Barney had one challenge and one challenge only: win back Robin. Then we go back to the present in which Robin says “Challenge completed,” referencing both the challenge to cheer her up and the challenge to win her. The amount of adorableness is overwhelming.
While Ted ponders the situation with Robin, he receives a call from Hammond Druthers (Bryan Cranston) to come work for him in Chicago. Druthers is as ridiculously hilarious as usual and I’m glad to see Cranston back for the final season. But is anyone else thinking that this is why Ted was thinking about moving to Chicago?!?!
Ted declines the offer for now because he now thinks he has another shot with Robin after seeing her change her mind about liking olives, which she previously hated. Obviously, this means she has also changed her mind about her love life, right?
It’s a long storyline but I am excited that we are seeing the complete conclusion of the Ted-Robin dynamic. Eventually, we know Ted is probably going to say yes to Druthers’ offer and I bet it is because of the moments we saw last season when Ted takes Robin to the proposal site and shows he’s over her — part of Barney’s plan, of course.
Man, you think an episode is going to be somewhat useless and then the writers manage to tie everything in and make it amazing. I cannot wait to see how this season continues to play out. Keep watching with me, won’t you?