HIMYM 9.7: No Questions Asked

S9-CASTThere has been this awkward chemistry since the season started between the main characters. In this week’s episode it becomes clear what it is. Marshall has been missing. Sure, he’s been in the episodes, on that long road trip with Daphne (Sheri Shepherd). But he hasn’t been with the rest of the characters. It could be because the writers weren’t sure if Jason Segal was coming back for another season.

This week’s episode focuses on Marshall not telling Lily about him taking the judgeship in New York. At the end of last week’s episode we learned that Daphne had texted Lily from Marshall’s phone with the information. Lily calls, and Marshall is worried.

Lily: I can’t believe you did this. Thanks to you, our room for the weekend is haunted.

It’s the week-of-Halloween connection. Supposedly there is a Captain Hook-esque person who died in that room and now haunts the room. Its kinda weak storyline, but offers some interesting moments of laughter.

a6c2103f72a74178c1f9fcbe43742e5fMarshall calls Ted, Robin, and Barney to ask them to delete the text on Lily’s phone. He uses the “no questions asked” rule to do so. This rule is a favor asked to help a friend when they have done something silly or stupid. A good chunk of the episode are flashbacks to when the trio of friends had called Marshall to activate the “no questions asked” rule. One of the best is Ted inside a street-side mail box. At the end of the episode, we learn how Ted got in there. The letter he writes to a girl he saw at a drug store is worth the laughs in the closing seconds.

Ted, Robin, and Barney go through various things to get to Lily’s phone. When Lily finally has had enough with the room, she goes down to the front desk. While she does that, the other three look around her room for her phone. But they can’t find it, because, surprise, she has it with her!

Robin and Barney come up with a crazy Robin-and-Barney plan. In the meantime, Ted has gone downstairs, and ask Lily is about to first call Marshall, and then read Marshall’s text, Ted activates the “no questions asked” rule on Lily. He asks her to crush her phone. And she does.

Afterwards, Marshall is on the phone with Ted and asks him how he did it. Ted tells him that he used the “no questions asked” rule and then wondered why Marshall never used it on Lily. Marshall thinks for a moment, recalling all the times he did something stupid and Lily always responded with grace.

Marshall: She’s the love of my life. I never keep anything from here.

And it is in that moment that Marshall knows what he has to do. He asks Ted to give the phone to Lily, and Marshall gracefully tells Lily what he did. Lily’s response, though, is not as grace-filled as at other times. What will happen in the episodes to follow?

HIMYM 8.24

“Something New” is the season finale of the eighth season, and it delivers. Fans who were wondering if we would ever meet the Mother, finally got an affirmative.

In “Something Old” Ted was starting to feel like he was the something old to his friends. In “Something New,” Ted relieves to Lily that he has new plans. He is going to move to Chicago. At first Lily doesn’t understand, Ted has been working on a house he bought and it looks amazing. But as the episode unfolds, Lily realizes that Ted still has feelings for Robin.

Meanwhile, Marshall has taken Marvin to visit his mother, who is not real happy that they are moving to Rome. Upset on the one hand because they will be even farther away, but also upset because Marshall had not told her. He was waiting for the appropriate time. By the end of the episode, Marshall is offered a judgeship in New York, but doesn’t tell Lily. He is waiting for an appropriate time.

Robin, who never found her locket, joins Barney for dinner at the restaurant they had their first date. But another couple is there, in their spot. So, Robin and Barney make the best of it by attempting to ruin the other couple’s evening. It doesn’t work. Turns out it brings the couple closer.

As Lily is trying to figure out what is going on with Ted, she remembers that before Robin left for Japan, in a drunken stupor she took Lily to the park where she dug up her locket and gave it to Lily for safe keeping. The locket ended up in the race car pencil box that was in the apartment Lily and Marshall shared with Ted.

The race car pencil box currently sits on Ted’s desk at his place. Ted decides that he is going to give Robin the locket as a wedding gift. Lily begs him not to. And I imagine that moment, every HIMYM viewer yelled, “No, Ted, no!”

I don’t know why any of us are surprised that as Robin and Barney get closer to getting married, Ted starts acting out. His emotions are getting the best of him again. But good for Ted that he has friends like Lily to help him see what he is doing. If only he will listen.

But, there was a real surprise for viewers at the end of the episode. A woman in boots with a yellow umbrella asking for one ticket to Farhampton. And we all together screamed, “what the.  . . .?!?!”  Yes, we finally met the Mother. She is no longer faceless.

HIMYM 8.23

In “Something Old,” Robin takes her father to a spot in Central Park where as a teen, she buried a locket. One day, she planned, when she lived in New York and meant her future husband, she would dig it up and it would be her something old. Her father, however, is more interested in planning laser tag with Barney.

Robin tells him to go. “It’s okay,” she basically says.

While Robin is digging holes in Central Park, Lily and Marshall are trying to pack for Italy. They know that they can’t take everything with them, but they can’t seem to agree what they should take. So, they call in Ted, Master Packer, to help them out. At first his system seems to work. Until it comes to the red bean bag chair. The chair is being held together with duct tape, with the hopes of not losing all of its beans. Lily and Marshall are in agreement that it should go to the Triangle. But Ted insists that it goes with them to Italy.

Turns out Ted has equated the red bean bag chair with himself. If Lily and Marshall, he reasons, he can get rid of the chair, than they can “get rid of” or forget him.

Robin, meanwhile, is hoping that Barney or her dad will come help here in the park, if only for moral support. They both tell her they would rather spend time with each other and she lets it go, saying “It’s okay. It’s stupid anyway.” She finally calls Ted, who is about to walk into a major job interview. Robin gives him the same answer, “It’s okay. It’s stupid anyway.”

Ted shows up at the park. He bails on his interview to help Robin. This is classic Ted. He goes from feeling not wanted to being there for a friend. Together, they find the locket box, but there is no locket inside. Robin begins wondering if this is a sign that she shouldn’t marry Barney. Ted tries to assure her that it is not. It starts to rain, and Robin becomes any more convinced that it’s a sign that she is making a mistake.

And Ted says, “Maybe we don’t need to give meaning to every little thing. . . . Maybe we already know what we want deep down.”

Change is in the air for our friends. Barney and Robin are getting closer to the wedding. Lily and Marshall are getting closer to moving to Italy. And poor Ted is left behind. This isn’t the first time we have seen them struggle with change.

I’ve said it before with other episodes, but this is the kind of stuff that makes this show so good. The fear within this group of friends is that they will be the “something old” to the others. At times the hardest change in life is when a friendship changes. And it happens. The gang, especially Ted, are preparing themselves for this change.

Friendships are delicate. And distance can make them even more so. Distance can present itself in miles, as Lily and Marshall moving to Rome, or emotionally, or as with Robin, what seems like everyone else. Either way, its a scary place to be. Like Ted, none of us want to be the forgotten, duck-taped red chair. And a hard journey to navigate through.

It will be interesting to see how the show handles these emotions and situations among the group.

HIMYM 8.21

The previous episode was the emotional cliff-hanger that HIMYM has become known for. It gripped us to the point that we were anxious to know what was going to happen in those extra 45 days before Ted met Mother, and for the moment when we could stop referring to her as “Mother.”

This episode, while it may have been a necessary evil, really did not do much to move the story along. It did not fulfill the emotional cliffhanger we were left with. If anything, it has left us with more questions, especially knowing there are only about three episodes left to this season and the show has been renewed for a 9th season.

As the episode opens, Ted’s voiceover is describing how Marshall and Lily’s life. He says, “Life was a well oiled machine.” Which is the first clue that something is about to change. The Captain calls Lily to inform her that he is going to Rome for a year and wants Lily to come with him. Lily freaks out a little bit. She can’t even imagine that he would ask her to make such a move when she has a baby and a husband with a great job. Without talking with Marshall first, she declines the offer. When she goes to surprise Marshall at work, she quickly learns that Marshall’s great job isn’t all that great.

Marshall convinces the Captain to offer the job to Lily again, which he does. But Lily declines the offer once more. While Lily says no a second time, Marshall is in Little Italy preparing himself for his new home. After some urging from her friends, Lily finally talks to Marshall and they decide that they will in fact move to Rome.

What does this mean for season 9? Is it possible to have Marshall and Lily in Rome while the others are in New York, especially when Ted meets Mother? Or will Ted meet Mother before the end of the season 8?

In the meantime, Ted and Barney are at MacLaren’s when a woman Ted recognizes from his yoga class walks in. According to Ted, her body is “redonkulous.” But she is wearing a huge winter coat. Barney becomes almost obsessed with finding a way to get her to take her coat off to see how “redonkulous” she is. Turns out, she is Robin and Barney’s wedding planner. Barney eventually asks her if she wants to take her coat off, showing confidence in his love for and relationship with Robin.

Is this woman in the oversize coat the Mother? Or she is just a distraction? And for those fans who are longing for Ted and Robin to get back together, there was this small exchange between Ted and Barney:

Ted warns Barney that he should be careful how he acts around Robin. Barney very boldly and sternly replies, “You’re not getting married in three weeks, Ted. I am. Robin’s marrying me, not you.” And that put an end to Ted offering Barney advice.

Is this some strange foreshadowing on the writers part? We have been promised a wedding, but will we get a marriage?

We never know for certain what life will throw our way. But each of us has a vocation, a calling, a purpose in life. It is challenging, as Lily experienced in this episode, to discern that vocation. And if we’re lucky, we have a spouse or a friend who will sit with us on the sidewalk as we ponder our way through what God is calling us to. Thank God for those sidewalk sitters in our lives.

 

HIMYM 8.20

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CBS

“The Time Travelers” has to be one of the better episodes of HIMYM. It combines the creative, funny storytelling with the deeply moving storytelling. Two reasons that make the show what it is. It starts off with Ted and Barney sitting at their booth discussing going to see robots verses wrestlers. Then, 20 years from now Barney and Ted show up to convince Ted he should go to robots verses wrestlers.

Not to be out done, 20 hours from now Ted shows up with a hangover to convince Ted not to go to robots verses wrestlers. Then, 20 minutes from now Barney shows up to try and stop Barney from making a mess with his food, but also to get Ted to pay attention to who walks through the door. It is coat check girl from seven years ago, played by Jayma Mays (from Glee). Ted questions if he should go talk to her, and all of the Teds and Barneys yell, “Yes!”

On his way to talk to Coat Check Girl, Ted is distracted by 20 months from now Coat Check Girls. Yep, girls. Neither she will be so desperate to keep Ted she becomes some what obsessive or she will become so disgusted with Ted she will break it off. When Ted goes back to his booth, he learns from Barney that the whole thing has been a memory. It didn’t actually happen. “Ted, you’re all alone,” Memory Barney tells him.

And that’s the reality that pulls us in. Ted is alone. We have all been there. Everyone else around us is with someone, has found their partner in life, and we are still sitting in the booth alone. Wondering if we will ever find that joy.

Ted tells his kids that if could have done this or he could have done that. But if he could travel through time, what it would do would be to run through the streets of New York, into an apartment building, and knock on the door of 7A, which we can only assume is the apartment of Coat Check Girl. But, we don’t know. Whoever opens the door, is not made known to us. Ted, though, gives one of his best Ted speeches yet, making it one of the best show endings.

Hi. I’m Ted Mosby, and exactly 45 days from now, you and I are going to meet… and we’re going to fall in love. And we’re going to get married. . . .I want those extra 45 days. I love you. I’m always going to love you. To the end of my days and beyond.

These closing minutes of the episode offer us hope that the show will be able to deliver on the emotional goods. But how long will be the 45 days be? How will we have to wait to finally meet The Mother. And Ted’s poor kids, this has been a loooong story.

If you could go back into time to do something differently in a relationship, what would you do? Sometimes we think if we could just see 20 minutes from now, 20 months from now, 20 years from now, it will change everything. But how much will it change? If Ted teaches us anything, this looong story was worth it. Look at all the experiences Ted has gleaned, all the stupid things he will never do again. Ted has a story worth telling. If he skipped it all, we wouldn’t have this story.

HIMYM 8.19

CBS

CBS

Last week’s episode had references to the film Weekend at Bernie’s. This week’s is loaded with references to Superman. “The Fortress” refers to Barney’s apartment. Weeks away from the wedding, Robin and Barney must make some tough decisions. Where to live is one of them. They agree to look for a new place to live, and put Barney’s place up for sale. Barney is uncomfortable with all of this. He has invested so much into his apartment with all of its gadgets (patent pending). Barney loves Robin and wants to look for a new place to support her, but he really likes his place.

Meanwhile, Marshall is lamenting that Lily is working so much. Since we took this new job as an art consultant (and buyer) for the Captain, she is hardly at home anymore. Marshall feels like a single dad. Lily has left behind being a kindergarten teacher to live in the art world. Lily has always struggled with this artsy side of herself, and while I’m glad Lily has found herself, I’m concerned that it was either this or be a teacher. Is being a teacher really the alternative we want to communicate?

Anyway. Marshall and Ted start watching “Woodworthy Manor” (ahem “Downton Abby”) and decide when they go to an open house at Barney’s place, to prepare to be a gay, British couple. Marshall does it to make a point with Lily that she has not been around. She has been late to everything, and whenever they do get some time together, the Captain calls and Lily runs off. Ted is doing it, because .. . he’s Ted. He meets a young woman who thinks he is so cute, and that it is a shame that he is gay. But they still end up in the closet making out. Ted quickly falls back into the routine he was in, pretending to be someone he is not. What happened to, “I’m ready to settle down”?

Barney comes to terms with the apartment, and tells Robin that it was his fortress of solitude, but he doesn’t need solitude anymore. He wants to be with Robin. Robin, in the meantime, has taken the apartment off the market. “If I ask you to change too many things about you,” she tells him, “you won’t be the man I fell in love with.” Lily and Marshall are spending time together after the open house, and the Captain calls. She tells him no, that she needs to spend time with her husband.

Robin and Lily show us the importance of comprise and saying no. Relationships are hard, and they need boundaries. Relationships require external forces to be told “no.” And relationships require comprise. It’s not about me or you, it’s about us. And if it’s about us, comprise is needed.

HIMYM 8.18

In “Weekend at Barney’s”, Ted plans to bring Jeannette to Barney and Robin’s wedding. In an effort to help him, Barney plans to walk Ted through a number of plays from the infamous Playbook. Yes, the Playbook we all thought Barney burned. Turns out, he kept it the original. When Robin finds out about the Playbook still in existence, she is, to say the least, upset. Barney runs after her and explains that of course he lied. That is all he has known for the last eight years. But the one truth that trumps all lies is that he loves Robin.

Jeannette, on the other name, is less reasonable than Robin. She finds out about the Playbook, and simply goes nuts. A few episodes back we got a hint that Jeannette would go crazy enough for Ted to finally say, “That’s enough.” Well, this is it. It’s all because of the Playbook.  The Playbook is officially burned. Jeannette sets it on fire using Barney’s fireworks. With everything going boom as it falls out of Ted’s apartment, he says words that we have been waiting to hear, “No more dating. I’m ready to settle down.”

This episode showed the quality acting by Josh Radnor (Ted) and Jason Segel (Marshall). Radnor does some pretty crazy things following Barney’s Plays. In one scene he is standing in the bar wearing a hospital gown attempting to pick a girl. Barney wants him to say, “penis,” and Ted refuses. While standing in front of the girl, Ted carries on a conversation with Barney that only he can hear. Radnor does a brilliant performance.

Segel as Marshall is trying to make friends and help Lily out at her first art gallery working for her new boss. Convinced there will be no food there, he brings Skittles with him. In a moment when the artists is dedicating his work to his dead grandmother, he asks for a moment of silence. Marshall stands in the back of the room, determined to be supportive of Lily, when suddenly his Skittles start falling onto the floor out of his coat. Marshall does not move. Segel’s humor is often communicated through his body and facial expressions. Here, he makes us laugh by being still, committed to his effort to support Lily.

The episode ends with the whole gang sitting on the side of the street watching Ted’s belongings fall from the window above. This is just another great example and visual of what this show is about. Community. This image of these four friends sitting on the side of the street supporting their fifth friend is what the church should look like. This is the image of small group ministry, supporting one another in times of struggle and pain and grief. If you wonder why young people struggle with the church today, it may be because the church is missing this element of being community.

HIMYM 8.17

CBS

CBS

“The Ashtray” centers around the appearance of the Captain, a character we haven’t seen in a while since Ted brought it off with the Captain’s ex-wife Zoe. The Captain wants Ted to call him back and Ted thinks it has something to do with Zoe. When he finally talks to the Captain, he just wants Robin’s number. So, Ted gives him Robin’s number. When Robin finally talks to the Captain, the Captain is actually looking for Lily. So, Robin gives him Lily’s number.

The way Lily retells the story about when they last saw the Captain is completely different than the way that Ted and Robin tell the story. Turns out that Lily really liked an elephant painting that everyone else, including the Captain, thought was crazy. “You’re just a kindergarten teacher,” he tells Lily. Lily, upset beyond measure over the jerkiness of the Captain, takes his expensive ashtray that Robin and Ted almost broke.  Lily thinks that the Captain is calling because she has his ashtray.

This is followed by a beautiful moment between Marshall and Lily. Lily is struggling with her vocation. She is a great kindergarten teacher. But she has always wanted to do more with her art history degree. She feels like she is wasting it away. “I am just a kindergarten teacher,” she tells Marshall. Marshall assures her that she is not just anything. She is Lily.

Turns out that the Captain went back and bought the elephant painting that Lily liked so much. And in the year and a half since he bought it, the artists has exploded. The Captain was able to sell the elephant painting for thousands of dollars. He was trying to get a hold of Lily to ask her to be his new art consultant. She was the only one who saw the potential in the elephant artists.

So many of us have been, or will be, where Lily is. Is this what God had in plan for us? Is this my vocation? Is this my purpose? It reminds me of Abraham in Genesis 12, when God calls him to “go.” Go where? “Go to the land I will show you.” Abraham isn’t given a road map or a GPS. He just has to go until God tells him, “You’ve made it.”

Too often that’s how it feels when we are fulfilling our calling or vocation in life. We go through life until we feel like we’ve heard, “You’ve made it.”  Lily hears it when she is offered a consultant job, which she accepts.

HIMYM 8.16

“Bad Crazy” just confirms that Ted is his own worse enemy. The only thing holding him back from a committed relationship and finally finding “your mother” is himself. Saturday Night Live‘s Abby Elliot guest stars as Jeanette, who turns out is a police officer and slightly crazy. And it doesn’t look like this is the last time we’ll see her either. The guys tell Ted he should break up with her. Lily finally tells him to stay with her. Because Ted’s in a crazy stage right now. “And when it all comes down in flames,” Lily tells him, “and it will, we’ll be here for you.”

This is what the show has always been about. It is the essence of what community is. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:16, that when one suffers, we all suffer. When one cries, we all cry. When one rejoices, we all rejoice. This is Paul’s image of the Body of Christ – the faith community. This is what the HIMYM gang not only tell us, about show us. When it all comes down in flames – and we all know that it will one day – we have a community who is there for us. Who is your community?

The other story line in this episode was about Robin’s discomfort in holding little Marvin. It has been eight months and Robin has successfully avoided holding the baby. When she and Lily are out one day, Lily leaves Marvin with Robin alone. Marvin starts to cry and Robin isn’t sure what to do. She relies on the kindness of a stranger to help her. It takes Robin seventeen years to tell Lily the whole story, including that the kind “old woman” was really Mike Tyson. The episode ends with Lily handing Marvin off to Robin while Robin is talking, and it takes a few seconds before Robin realizes that she is holding the baby. A first for her. And one that was not as scary as she thought it would be.

Robin is like so many of us, the less we focus on the scary, the less scary it is.

HIMYM 8.14

In “Ring Up,” Ted’s new girlfriend is 20 1/2. The gang can already tell that the relationship is doomed. Ted is trying to be someone he is not. Barney encourages Ted to go for it with the 20 year old. Until he finds out that the 20 year old is his half-sister. When Barney finds out that it is his sister, he calls a stop to it! We have been watching Barney transform for awhile now, and it seems that the transformation is complete. He no longer sees a need to pretend to be someone he is not just get with the girl or to get what he wants.

Robin has gotten her engagement ring back after getting it re-sized  But after her first day of wearing it, she realizes that things are different. People are treating her different. Marshall and Lily point out to her that it is the ring. The ring has power. Now that she has an engagement ring on her finger, men are not buying her drinks, her coffee is not free, and so forth. At first, this is difficult for Robin, her daily lifestyle is changing. But Robin comes to realize the true power of the ring.

Ted continues to be someone he is not to be with a girl – any girl. Which leaves us wondering how on earth he ever did meet the mother. Who will be the woman who will make it okay for Ted to be Ted? When will the need for the charades end?

In 1 Samuel 16:7, God sends Samuel to Jesse’s house to anoint the new king of Israel who will know will be David. God’s instructions to Samuel is to not look on his countenance or height or stature, but God looks on the heart.  This reminds us that what is on the outside is not nearly as important as to what is on the inside. It’s the whole, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” thing.

By trying so hard to be someone he is not, just to simply meet girls, Ted is not giving anyone, including himself, a chance to see the real Ted. Of course, we’ve seen this from Ted before. The pattern is that Ted loses the girl because he can’t keep up the charade, or he has to come clean and be honest with her. Week after week we wonder if Ted will ever get it.  Will he ever just be himself? Will he ever stop looking in all the wrong places and see the girl with the yellow umbrella?

But, honestly, when we will ever get it? When we will just be ourselves? When we will stop judging ourselves and others by our covers? When we will start seeing ourselves and each other for our hearts?

 

HIMYM 8.13

cbs.com

cbs.com

This is it! Maybe because the writers were not sure if the show would get renewed for a 9th season, they delivered a great follow-up to “The Robin.” In this episode, “Band or DJ?”, Robin – as she often does – with her relationship with her father. She discovers that Barney did not talk to her dad before he proposed, and Robin is a bit of traditionalist in this way. This sends Robin, Barney, and Robin’s dad into a series of interesting moments at a local pizza place. Robin learns a lot about her dad that she did not know before, mostly all the ways that he has changed. Yet, despite the changes, he refuses to give Barney his permission.

In the meantime, Lily and Marshall are struggling as new parents because little Marvin has been crying almost non-stop. And, in addition, the poor thing has not gone to the bathroom. lily’s code word is confetti. Ted, meanwhile, has a binder full of wedding plans for Robin. Ted and Lily debate over which Robin should have for the wedding, a band or a dj. Lily is all for a live band, while Ted is advocating for a DJ. Ted will even go so far as to book the band Lily wants so she can’t.

Marshall and Lily push Ted to know why this is so important to him. As Ted begins to explain it starts to become clear that band is really Barney. Lily makes Ted go with her to the roof. She demands to know what Ted is feeling, even though we know she knows. Ted is Ted. He still has feelings for Robin.

It is Lily who steals the show in this episode and makes us all cry a little bit on the inside. I won’t ruin it for you, in case you haven’t seen it, but Lily reminds us in the midst of situation comedy, we are still human. We still experience pain and doubt. And we still need the love and understanding of a friend who is willing to go up on the roof with us to help us realize how silly we are being.

And Ted? Ted is grateful that there was a band at the wedding, because it was at the wedding that he met their mother.

HIMYM 8.11 & 8.12: The Final Page

This is the HIMYM episode I’ve been waiting for. This is the turning point in the series. The show (and Barney) is read to take its commitment seriously. We have been patiently waiting for the proposal since the beginning of season seven when we first saw Robin in her wedding gown. And what a wait. After weeks of thinking that Barney was losing his mind or over-correcting, we learn that it was all a part of the last Play in the Playbook. These two episodes, the last of 2012, has more to offer than just Barobin, or Ronery?

The Jinx

The episode starts with a jinx. Barney takes it seriously, and will not speak again until someone says his name. Remember, grade school? Barney didn’t do this a few seasons ago, and he got hit by a bus. The lesson here, my friends, take that jinx seriously. Barney spends the bulk of part one not speaking, which allows Neil Patrick Harris to deliver some great comedy moments. The whole jinx thing reminds us how childlike the gang is, and that in the midst of adulthood, we too can be like children.

And this is not always a bad thing. As adults, we tend to get too serious. Being childlike opens our eyes and hearts to other possibilities. The characters are always searching for that balance of being an adult in an adult world, while also being childlike.

The Pit

Ted’s GNB tower is finally going to be opened and revealed. A big gala has been planned for the big night. Ted sends an invitation to his architecture professor (Peter Gallagher) with hopes that he will approve. Ted’s memory of this professor is telling him that he will never be an architect. Clearly, he was wrong, and Ted wants him to know it. The gang tell him that this professor is his “Pit Guy.”

silence2

from Silence of the Lambs

Your “Pit Guy” is the person you would like to push into a pit, think Silence of the Lambs. Ted has an emotional need to prove to his professor, not only that he did become an architect, but that he’s a good one. Ted is not the only one with a “Pit Guy.” Robin tells them that this whole pit thing is silly and that she doesn’t have anyone like that. Lily tells her she does, “Patrice.”

Robin is given the opportunity by Sandy Rivers to do year-end reviews and fire someone. And who does Robin consider? Patrice. Her “Pit Guy.”  Marshall and Lily both say that if anything happens to them, look in Daryl’s basement. Daryl went to college with them. The three them of played a game of hacky sack. Now, Daryl comments on every picture Marshall posts of little Marvin, and then comments on his comments!

There was a small Buffy, the Vampire Slayer reunion on HIMYM. In addition to Alexis Denisof’s recurring role as Sandy Rivers, Seth Green popped in to play Daryl. Green was the werewolf boyfriend to Alyson Hannigan’s good witch Willow, while Denisof served as the Watcher Wesley Wyndam-Pryce upon Giles’ “retirement.”

cbs

cbs

Ted gets the RSVP back from his former professor and the answer is “will not be attending, will be out of town.” But, there is an additional comment, “I’m not sure you sent this to the right person.” Ted decides to go back to campus and talk to his professor. Lily and Marshall, along with a silent Barney, tag along. Marshall and Lily bump into Daryl on campus, selling hacky sacks. He calls his company “The Three Hackmigos,” complete with a log bearing the face of himself, Marshall, and Lily. Daryl invites them to his house so he can show them something, the moment, no doubt, he will Silence of the Lambs them into a pit.

In actuality, Daryl wants to show them the inventory he has and give them a check. He included them on the business because he says, it was their idea. Daryl, however comes to realize that he is someone, and he does not need to seek the approval of Marshall and Lily. He tears the check up, as a sign of his liberation.  Ted comes to terms that Daryl is more emotionally mature than he is. Why is still seeking the approval of one professor when he has accomplished so much? In the meantime, Robin has told Patrice that she is fired. As she walks Patrice to the door, Patrice asks, “Robin, is this really about me?” And Robin breaks down, “No, it’s not.” Robin realizes that she had Patrice in a pit and lets her keep her job. She shares with Patrice how hard it has been for her to see Patrice and Barney together.

In the words of Ted:

At some point, you’ll make a pit for someone in your mind. But ultimately the only person in that pit is yourself. Which means there’s only one person who can let you out of the pit.

The images that accompany these words is one of the reasons I love HIMYM so much. The images tell just as much of the story as the dialogue and voice overs do. Ted looks down into the pit and throws down a ladder. And then Ted climbs up the ladder, out of the pit. The image is repeated with Robin throwing the ladder down and Robin climbing up it. If we are putting anyone in a pit, we are putting ourselves in there. The negative thoughts of revenge and grudges are no good. They hold no purpose.

The Gala

Ted’s gala for the GNB building is finally upon us. At the end of part one, Barney shows Ted an engagement ring, which causes Ted to yell out, “Barney!” The jinx is broken and Barney can speak again. He tells Ted his plan to propose to Patrice at the top of the WWN building. He wears Ted to tell no one. Ted, of course, pulls a classic Mosby, and struggles with deciding if he should tell Robin or not. He attempts to, but instead invites her to the gala as his date. Another classic Mosby move.

In a moment of uncertainty, Ted calls Marshall. Ted convinces himself to tell Robin, Marshall convinces him to think about himself. If Ted really does still love Robin, then he shouldn’t help her get another man. Ted picks Robin up to go to the gala, and Ted blurts out that Barney is planning to propose the Patrice.

While Ted experiences the range of emotions from Robin, Marshall and Lily are trying to enjoy the gala. It is their first night with Marvin. Lily’s dad has agreed to babysit and has no difficulty at all. Lily begins to wonder if Marvin even misses her. Instead of spending the night at a hotel, as they had planned, they go back home. To be a family.

Robin agrees to just go to the gala with Ted, it’s his nigh after all. “Why would I throw myself back into the pit?” she asks Ted. “Because you love him.” But Ted drops Robin off at the WWN building. Ted goes on to the gala, where everyone is toasting him, but he is there alone.  He has yet to meet the girl with the yellow umbrella.

The Robin

Barney’s final page of the Playbook that he burned a episode or so ago, is his last play. He calls it “The Robin.” The sheet is what Robin finds when she makes it to the top of the building. This is what makes HIMYM so great. As Barney gives voice over as Robin reads the page, all the pieces from this season come together and we learn that all of those episodes that left us pulling our hair out, were actually all part of a great plan.

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At first Robin is upset with Barney, and the idea of getting back together with him seems impossible after the weeks of lies and trickery. And in some sense, we all should be this upset. Why did we go through all that we have gone through this season to finally reach this place. Why couldn’t we get here faster? But, like Robin, after she flips the page over and reads, “Hope she says yes,” and we find Barney on one knee asking Robin to marry him, we forget about all of that stuff. We are happy that we are here.

And Robin says yes.

Now What?

For awhile it wasn’t looking good that HIMYM would be returning for a ninth season. This meant, of course, that everything would have to be revived for a concluding season. However, within the last week, reports show that the gang will all be back for season nine. Will we get the Robin-Barney wedding before the end of season eight? Will be finally see the girl underneath the umbrella?  HIMYM fans, weigh in, what do you hope to see?

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