Friday, May 24, 2013

HIMYM 8.24: "Something New"

“A week from today we are going to be legend…wait for it…”
-Robin and Barney

So I’ve been waiting for over a week to talk about this episode (since yeah, I’m kind of behind on blogging around here) and I was super excited about it when I first saw it. Then, of course, Thomas and Bays had to ruin it the next day with an interview saying that Season 9 is going to be the longest wedding weekend ever. Sigh. Can we use a little creativity and see why the Mother is as awesome as Ted says she is? Granted, we now have seen the Mother, and because of the actress who will be portraying her, I’m pretty excited about that. But if they’re going to spend all of the next season on just one weekend, I think that’s a sign that the show probably should have ended with season 8. The end of the episode, in addition to finally showing us the Mother, also set up some interesting dilemmas for next season, and I hope that pays off.

Barney and Robin’s wedding weekend is approaching, and this episode takes us right up to everyone traveling out to Farhampton for the event. Barney and Robin go out to dinner at their favorite restaurant to celebrate the impending nuptuals. Barney tells Robin that he has their favorite table by the window reserved and everything. As they’re enjoying some pre-dinner drinks at the restaurant’s bar, however, they run into a couple who will become their nemeses (is that even a word?). Barney breaks out some celebratory cigars, and this other couple is really not amused. Barney and Robin obviously don’t intend to smoke inside, but this couple can’t even stand the sight of the bag holding the cigars. To make matters worse, the guy in this couple says he has “self-diagnosed claustrophobia” and takes Barney and Robin’s window table.

Taking the window table is the final straw, and Barney and Robin engage in all-out war as only they with their combined powers can. They figure out that the couple has been dating for many years with no engagement on the horizon, so they slip a fake engagement ring in the girl’s champagne. This seems to have the desired effect of provoking a huge argument when the guy swears up one way and down the other that the ring isn’t his, and he did not, actually, intend to propose. Barney and Robin congratulate themselves on a job well done. Later, they’re sitting on a park bench near the restaurant, still congratulating themselves (although Robin does briefly wonder if what they did will bring them bad luck at their own wedding, but she doesn’t worry about it seriously), when the nemesis couple from the restaurant approaches them. Apparently the incident led to them calling their therapist, and now they’re getting married after all. Even though the scenario didn’t work out as they planned, Barney and Robin think this still makes them pretty cool.

Meanwhile, back at the apartment, Lily is on the phone with Marshall’s mom Judy, and she accidentally lets slip about the move to Rome. She didn’t realize that Marshall hadn’t told Judy yet. Predictably, Judy is very unhappy about this news. Marshall and Lily decide that the best way to pacify her is for Marshall and Marvin to go take a short visit out to Minnesota before the family heads to Rome. The visit doesn’t seem to be really helping, though. Judy keeps texting pictures of Marvin in front of blocks that spell out things like “USA.” Judy’s displeasure doesn’t seem to be changing Marshall’s mind about the move, though, which is what Lily was worried about. Instead, it’s something else that changes his mind. He gets a phone call from the judicial search committee guy that he interviewed with earlier in the season. Apparently they want to appoint Marshall to a judgeship. There’s a funny sequence that’s sure to be a series classic where Marshall asks the committee guy if he can star work “a year from next Tuesday” or be the “crazy speakerphone judge.” The committee guy gives Marshall a very definitive “no” to that. We learn at the very end of the episode that Marshall decided to take the job, but he hasn’t yet told Lily.

The other plot going on in this episode centers around Ted and Lily, a combo we don’t really see all that often, so it provided a different little twist. Ted is taking Lily out to Westchester to see the renovations he has done on his house. While they’re there, Lily finds a for sale sign, and Ted reveals that after Barney and Robin’s wedding, he’s planning to move to Chicago. The incident with the locket in the last episode made him realize that he’s still the guy who will drop everything when Robin calls, and if she’s getting married, he needs to get away from that. Instead of dealing with that issue, Lily has a revelation about the locket. When Ted was about to marry Stella, Robin was drunkenly talking to Lily about the locket, and Lily helped her dig it up. The locket ended up in a pencil box that Ted still has. Ted thinks it’s a super great idea to give the locket to Robin as a wedding gift. Because that couldn’t contain all sorts of mixed messages at all. All Lily does about this is warn Ted to “be careful.”

We end the episode with a montage of everybody heading to the wedding (including Ted with the locket as his gift). Most importantly, we see a woman wearing cowboy boots and carrying a bass guitar and a yellow umbrella approach the train station ticket counter and ask for a ticket to Farhampton. It’s the Mother, and we actually see her face. The Mother will be played (drum roll, please) by none other than Cristin Milioti, Tony-nominated for her role as Girl in the Broadway musical version of “Once.” I saw “Once” about a week after it opened on Broadway last year, and Cristin proved to be a fabulous comedic actress, so I am quite happy about this turn of events. In fact, the overall reaction among the HIMYM fandom seems to be that if you’ve seen “Once,” you’re super excited, if you haven’t, you’re skeptical. I’m a bit skeptical about where Thomas and Bays intend to go with the story, but casting Cristin Milioti as the Mother was pure genius. She has comedic chops, but not enough notoriety to give the audience any pre-conceived hype about who the Mother will be. I’m definitely excited for her that she has this opportunity, even though it could be considered a step down from her previous gig.

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