A review of tonight’s “How I Met Your Mother” coming up just as soon as we keep the gorilla suit and the wig…
“Something Old” is an episode where it’s really not worth talking about anything but the last scene between Ted and Robin. It was meant to provoke the kind of romantic tingles the show did so well in its earlier years – even putting the two of them in the middle of another sudden rainstorm like the one Ted summoned in the season 1 finale – but instead accomplished something much more impressive: it somehow made me even less interested in Barney and Robin’s wedding than I was before.
I had already groaned when we the season premiere gave us the flash-forward of Robin having cold feet on the wedding day. And over the course of the season, I went from no longer caring about Robin and Barney as a couple to actively disliking them together. The only way to make me even less enthused for the finale was to bring Ted and Robin’s feelings for each other back into play again, after the show has repeatedly tried to put that issue to bed, including in one of this season’s few genuinely great scenes, when Ted talks Robin into going up to see Barney in “The Final Page.” Do people in real life still hold onto feelings they insist they’ve let go of? Sure. But dramatically speaking, it’s the show running in circles, and retroactively sucking the joy out of a recent highlight.
I don’t even care if they do anything or not at this point, because this stuff has not only dragged the impending nuptials down another level, but perhaps messed with the meeting with the Mother in the process. If Ted meets the woman of his dreams at this wedding, and if only a short while before that wedding was he still having serious feelings for the former woman of his dreams, then how special is the Mother, or that relationship?
And by looping back over the same ground again and again and again, the show has me dreading the final season more than I was previously. I thought there was no way they could plausibly drag out the wedding – and, therefore, the meeting with the Mother – more than an episode or two into season 9. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the final season takes place in real time, and that Robin and Barney have a very long ceremony planned before that reception.
It’s not even that “Something Old” was that terrible by season 8 standards – though the episode lived up to its title with another story where Ted acts like an unbearable baby before we find out the deeper emotional meaning of the object behind his tantrum – but that the final scene was such a bad, bad miscalculation, and cast a pall on what came before, and my expectations for what comes next?
What did everybody else think? Did “Something Old” make you more or less interested in next week’s season finale?