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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How I Met Your Mother 9x15: Unpause


Moreso than any other except maybe the season premiere, this felt very much like a "final season" episode, harkening back as it did to Barney's origin and the season one/two break-up of Lily & Marshall even while it presented a flashforward look at the birth of Ted's second child. "What Barney does for a living" isn't one of those questions that I've been dying to have answered, but I nevertheless appreciate the effort, particularly since it amounted to more than just the "please" acronym gag and tied in with Barney's overall character arc (both in terms of his growth and his propensity for con games). Meanwhile, the pseudo-cliffhangery "Lily leaving in the middle of the night" plot is a bit of a false-starter (given that we know she comes back), but it's an effective way to use the show's history to move the characters forward even while it adds to the retrospective feel of the final season.

Other Thoughts
Hey, Ted's kids have names! His daughter is Penny (presumably named after the lucky penny that kept him from leaving New York and ultimately allowed him to meet the Mother) and his son is Luke (after Skywalker, presumably).

As pleased as I was to see more of Ted and the Mother together, I'm not quite sure how the birth of their second child ties in thematically with the present day events of this episode. I get the idea that Luke is the rare exception to Ted's mom's "nothing good happens after 2 AM" rule, and that the bulk of the episode in the present took place after 2 AM, but otherwise I'm not sure why that exception needed to be attached to this particular story.

Robin finally got an honest answer to her ring bearer question after several comical interruptions, but in between the last interruption and her actually getting an answer, there were a ton of other questions asked, so her early exasperation seemed a little put-on.

Also, it should be noted that the way she phrased the question when she finally got an answer only confirmed there would be a ring-bearer. It didn't speak at all to whether or not there would also be a ring bear.

It would be nice if Barney's honest answer to Ted's question about getting married would put an end to Ted's feelings for Robin, but I have a feeling we've got a few more turns on that merry-go-round left. 

Of all the things said during Marshall and Lily's fight, I think the certain and almost offhanded way Marshall referred to Lily's art career as a hobby stung the most - you could tell that was something he's long thought and just never said before. 

And, for the record, Marshall is being a complete ass about the situation, but he's being a realistic ass, and I appreciate that. He was wrong to bring up San Fransisco, but Lily backed him into a corner, would barely let him speak, so he went nuclear. Not the best tactic, but one I can see an actual person in that situation doing. As uncomfortable as it was to watch at times, it was one of the most realistic TV couple fights I've ever seen. 

I assume that was Ranjit that picked up Lily at the end? I'm not sure if we're supposed to be questioning it or just assume as much, but I can't think of who else it would be. He's also in Farhampton, so he'd be close enough to get her that quickly. 

Dr. Bitz is probably right that the fight in this episode should have happened before all the slapbet shenanigans in the previous one, though I suppose it'll depend on how this "Lily leaving" story plays out - it may just be that the ramifications of the fight would have pushed the slapbet story out too far and the writers decided to wedge it in, however awkwardly, beforehand. 

Marvin being with a sitter is pretty sitcom-y (what sitter? Did they hire one just to have on hand for the wedding weekend?) but I kudos to the show for making an effort to establish where he is, something a lot of shows wouldn't bother to do.

Also, that elevator joke is fantastic. I couldn't totally see myself adapting it when I have kids.

Learning that Robin comes from wealth (six thousand Canadian craploads) wasn't exactly a revelation, but it fits with what we've seen of her lifestyle and upbringing. It's the kind of thing that, if never established, I would have just chalked up her big family home and whatnot to her being a character in a sitcom (where money doesn't mean what it does in the real world), but having been established, it makes sense. 

Man, these people are going to be exhausted at the wedding - it's a wonder Barney won't just sleep through it, especially given how drunk he got (though this is hardly the first TV show to have its character out partying to an unrealistic hour the night before a wedding).      

6 comments:


  1. So now both the proposal and the birth of his son are by-the-way moments as 2030 Ted wraps up the epic story of the literal moment he met his children's mother.

    I not only wasn't expecting the show to reveal what Barney actually does but thought it would be better left a mystery — until we got what we got, which was probably worth capping the running joke in a final-season, it-really-is-ending-folks way.

    Marshall and Lily's fight is just stupid the night before the ceremony. Not on the part of the characters, but that of the writers. The fight itself was as you say painfully real.

    At first I suspected that it was the Mother picking up Lily, since they'd bonded. Not seeing the driver as a dramatic last-second reveal then made me wonder if it was less a surprise than, since the Mother was in the episode, someone whom we haven't seen yet or whom it simply might not make sense to pay for that screen time vs. showing up in the next episode. I now realize that we've seen the Mother's van, too, and I don't recall what kind of ride Lily stepped into at the end.

    You're 100% right about the "ring-bear" thing, which I saw coming from a mile away. Honestly, as Robin spoke the question that way the last time I nearly lunged at the screen in a slow-motion "nnnnnooooooo".

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  2. @Blam: So now both the proposal and the birth of his son are by-the-way moments as 2030 Ted wraps up the epic story of the literal moment he met his children's mother.

    Good point. What really bothers me the most is that it's just another reminder of how much inflated importance the creators have put on the literal titular moment, thus denying us the pleasure of seeing Ted and the Mother together more than we are.

    I now realize that we've seen the Mother's van, too, and I don't recall what kind of ride Lily stepped into at the end.

    It was a dark sedan-ish car, if memory serves, and it seems like Lily gets in the back rather than the front (which is what made me think it was Ranjit). The Mother's van was actually the lead singer of her band's van (the guy who was the "villain" in the last episode before the break); she took the train to Farhampton.

    Like I said, my biggest question isn't "who's driving the car?" but rather "am I even supposed to be wondering/worrying about who's driving?"

    Honestly, as Robin spoke the question that way the last time I nearly lunged at the screen in a slow-motion "nnnnnooooooo".

    Right? Get your head in the game, Robin!

    Though I did appreciate that while Ted asked a "how are you doing with this wedding thing?" question, Robin didn't. We've all griped plenty about the depiction (and relative believability) of their relationship, but I appreciate the writers avoiding some kind of "I need to know if he really loves me!" kind of question for Robin.

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  3. @Blam: "Marshall and Lily's fight is just stupid the night before the ceremony. Not on the part of the characters, but that of the writers."

    You're right on this. For such an epic fight to place and then, presumably, be resolved in a matter of hours (for the characters) seems a bit silly. I suppose they could resolve the fight in a flash forward or something but that would leave the show in an odd place for the final episode.

    "At first I suspected that it was the Mother picking up Lily, since they'd bonded."

    I had never considered that it was the mother who picked up Lily. Now I feel shame...

    "You're 100% right about the "ring-bear" thing, which I saw coming from a mile away. Honestly, as Robin spoke the question that way the last time I nearly lunged at the screen in a slow-motion "nnnnnooooooo"."

    Let's no bury the lead, here. How does Robin not know if and who the ring bearer is? I'm not saying Barney couldn't sneak a bear into the ceremony without Robin's approval. But shouldn't Robin have planned with Barney about the ring bearer and who the ring bearer would be? Has there ever been a ceremony where the wedding party is a secret to the other person?

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  4. @Dr. Bitz: But shouldn't Robin have planned with Barney about the ring bearer and who the ring bearer would be?

    Maybe somewhere early in the planning Barney said "I'll take care of the ring bearer, it's a surprise"?

    But if so, why in her right mind would Robin entrust Barney of all people with that power?

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  5. Did you miss the closing scene where a dude was pulling a chain with something growing off screen? He said something along the lines of "Time to eat [name]", and the name was the same name that Barney gave for the ring bearer. I think that pretty much seals it, but I suppose the could pull a fast one.

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  6. @Mr. Shabadoo: Did you miss the closing scene where a dude was pulling a chain with something growing off screen?

    Huh. Yes, yes I did. How odd. My recording of the episode didn't even cut off early or anything; I just didn't get a closing tag scene at all. Weird.

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