himym exploding meatball sub 'How I Met Your Mother': Even graduation goggles can't help Zoey's case

When it’s time to say goodbye to the current season of “How I Met Your Mother,” there will be nothing insincere about our sorrow to see it go. But one aspect we won’t be looking back at with sepia tones and a Sarah McLachlan soundtrack is Zoey (Jennifer Morrison).

What started as a charming romantic possibility (remember “Natural History?”) for Ted (Josh Radnor) has soured into a combative, needy distraction who’s taking attention away from the big picture.

Had this season had a traditional 22-episode order, she probably would have run her course without making us turn on her. But since CBS graced the series with an extra two episodes for Season 6, we imagine that her role in “The Exploding Meatball Sub” is the closest thing we’ll ever get to filler on “HIMYM.”

Another reason we cry filler? Even by this show’s frequently ludicrous standards, Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) true reason for being sad at Marshall’s (Jason Segel) departure from GNB was eye-roll-worthy. We could stomach his dwelling on a plan of prank vengeance against his friend for calling out his marinara stain. That, after all, is very Barney. But the flash-forward 10 years to him faking a terminal illness just to find a situation where he could demand Marshall eat an exploding sandwich? Probably a little too far.

This is one of only a few flash-forwards where the entire group has been pictured together since the start of the series, and it seems funny they’d make that leap for something so silly. (We were paying close attention to Robin’s (Cobie Smulders) reaction during the scene, since we’re hoping they’re coupled off by then, but she wasn’t exceptionally telling.)

But through all the unnecessary Zoey and nonsensical lunch-related vendettas, “Meatball Sub” gave us one of our favorite things about “HIMYM” — Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Ted. Despite seasons of cohabitation and sharing a best friend, truly good episodes of Lily and Ted playing off of each other are too few and far between. It’s always been one of the show’s greatest dynamics. And last night it gave us many gems, including the following (abridged) exchange:

Ted: “The downside to having giant Japanese anime eyes is that they’re easy to read.”

Lily: “The downside to having a woman’s mouth is that your feminine pout gives away your true feelings.”

We hope they never change.

Finally, a pat on the back is in order for whoever coined the term “graduation goggles.” Every nostalgic, sepia-toned, Sarah McLachlan-y moment was snort-inducing — particularly Robin’s, who looked back fondly on her recent boyfriend Scooby.

He was a good boy.

Posted by:Mikey O'Connell