Joshradnor_cobiesmulders_howimetyou Well that was just a matter of time, right How I Met Your Mother fans?

[The following post contains spoilers for Monday (May 14) night’s season finale of HIMYM and probably shouldn’t be read if you want major plot points to remain surprising.]

HIMYM dug itself into a bit of a hole from the very first episode with the revelation that Cobie Smulders’ Robin wasn’t the mother of Ted’s future kids. Then, the writers promptly spent two seasons getting viewers emotionally invested in Ted and Robin as a couple, a couple that we already knew wasn’t meant to be.

Are we ready to move forward now?

Cobiesmulders_howimetyourmother_240Monday’s second season finale for one of TV’s most reliable comedies was built around the revelation of the Ted-Robin break-up and that break-up’s unexpected connection to the unrevealed tomato sauce story elided from the "Showdown" episode. In classic HIMYM style, the standard linear narrative — Ted and Robin tell Barney a secret they don’t want newlyweds Marshall and Lily to know — was chops to bits, as the storytellers toyed with the impatient Barney and as the bride and groom dealt with the classic frustration of being unable to enjoy the food they’d selected for their wedding party.

After going Barney-lite for last week’s "Something Borrowed" episode (which followed the Barney-tastic "Showdown"), HIMYM made good use out of the popular sidekick and his impatient demands ("Tell people what?") to learn the big secret, as well as his increased frustration with every interruption ("Say the story’s not over!").

The actual story of the Ted-Robin break-up was both mundane ("We have an expiration date, don’t we?") and fittingly ridiculous ("Why is this the first I’ve heard of Argentina?" "Because American schools suck at geography?") and it, like much of the rest of the episode, was built around call-backs to the show’s pilot, particularly the Italian restaurant where Ted stole the blue french horn.

Ashleywilliams_howimetyourmother_24Mostly, it’s time for Ted to get back to the business of actually meeting the mother of his future children, something that was never going to happen as long as he was with Robin. Since we’re fans of Cobie Smulders here, we hope that Aunt Robin can play a big role in facilitating that inevitable procreative union. Is it too late to bring back Ashley Williams’ Victoria? I liked her.

A couple other very quick thoughts on this week’s finale:

  • While obviously pushed to the B story, the Marshall and Lily plot had some very good moments, including the recounting of wedding cliches (First Corinthians, conga lines, slideshows that end in side-by-side baby pictures) and the discussion of taking a new joint last name ("Lily and Marshall Skywalker," "Lily and Marshall Hasselhoff" and, best of all, "Lily and Marshall Awesome," as in "Have you met the Awesomes? Marshall, Lily, their son Totally and their daughter Frickin’"). I also liked the neologism "cocktail-wiener-blocking," to describe the phenomenon of actively preventing a bride and groom from eating at their wedding. But how can you have a wedding party sequence without taking advantage of the inherent comic gold of Jason Segel dancing?
  • Glad to see the return of Marshall Manesh, as everybody’s favorite cabbie/limo driver Ranjit.
  • If a wedding isn’t the perfect time for a little more Slap Bet payback, I don’t know what is and yet? No slap. Wassup with that?
  • Not much of a cliffhanger, really, but I’m guessing it will resolve with "…dary."

    Were you satisfied with the finale? Were you still rooting for Robin to somehow turn out to be Ted’s mate-for-life?

  • Posted by:Daniel Fienberg