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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How I Met Your Mother 9x17: Sunrise


Pro: Barney's story was not about him getting cold feet and running out on the wedding.

Con: I still didn't care all that much about the actual story of Barney passing on all that he knows to a pair of random losers.

Pro: The Lily/Marshall fight is over.

Con: It concluded in a ridiculously abrupt and simple manner, and even though Marshall sort of learned a lesson, it still feels like he "won" and Lily just caved. Her coming back and then the two of them continuing their discussion, allowing Lily to make some of the points Ghost Lily made, would have given Actual Lily more agency in the decision.

Pro: It was nice to see Marshall's dad one last time, especially since he called Marshall on his BS, and 2006 Lily's interactions with Ghost Lily were genuinely entertaining.

Con: I guess both the identity of whomever picked up Lily and the entire idea of her running out on Marshall was ultimately no big deal?

Pro: Ted's storyline was a nice excuse to bring back some old characters one last time (sans Zoey, of course, who is busy fighting Peter Pan), and was an effective device to illustrate the journey Ted took to realize the importance of letting go.

Con: Said storyline involved yet another ride on the Ted/Robin merry-go-round

Pro: On the bridge in Central Park, Ted sounded like a lunatic raving about how love means never letting go, presumably the final step towards his realization that he does, in fact, need to let go.

Con: I'm not sure "raving lunatic" was really the effect the writers were going for, and instead Ted's rant was supposed to explain and validate to people why we keep riding this dumb ride when, in fact, it just made Ted sound like a crazy person.

Pro: Nevertheless, SagetTed's narration, and the overly-literal visual of Ted letting go of Robin, allowing her to float into the air, just like his balloon friend, suggests Ted has finally, once and for all, let go of Robin, putting an end to this ride for good. 

Con: I'd like this episode a lot more if I believed for a second this actually was the end of Ted pining for Robin.

Other Thoughts
What the hell kind of party lasts until sunrise, yet everyone is still as relatively put together and with it (as opposed to exhausted or really drunk) as the people at that party Barney and his proteges attended?

And seriously, Ted wants Robin to get at least a little sleep on her wedding day? She's been literally up all night; I'll be amazed if she doesn't doze off during the ceremony.

Man, the green screening in this episode was horrible. Like, "Once Upon a Time at its worst" bad. They really couldn't find an exterior on which to shoot Barney walking down a nondescript street with two random guys?
 
I have no strong opinions on the lists of Ted's best and worst girlfriends, but I did love that Zoey made both lists. 

So are we meant to assume that Ted left the locket in the water at Central Park? I sure hope so.

I do appreciate that Ted came clean to Robin about all this (his feelings, moving to Chicago, etc.) so there won't be any secrets at the wedding and Ted can meet the Mother with a clean slate. 

The internet tells me that Robin's confirmation to Ted in the epilogue that she did want him to kiss her on their first date pays off a line in the pilot in which SagetTed said Robin eventually told him as much. Not the kind of thing that single-handedly makes this episode awesome or anything, but it's one of those little details I appreciate the show tying up, once again the kind of thing Lost should have done but didn't. 

While I swear I read that the show would be airing new episodes right up until its finale, it turns out that HIMYM, like nearly everything else, is taking the Olympics off and will return with new episodes in a few weeks (at which point it will then run uninterrupted until the finale on March 31st). 

2006 Lily: How many MySpace friends do I have by now? Has James Blunt put out the steady stream of number 1 hits we all expect from him?

Robin: Bro Hell sounds bad.
Ted: I’m sure Barney has a whole thing about Bro Hell. 

6 comments:

  1. Agreed on the awful green screen work and Ted the lunatic. Was anyone clamoring for Ted to still be in love with Robin? The show had me firmly convinced he had moved past her years ago. This eleventh hour twist is completely out of nowhere and makes me feel very uncomfortable every time it comes up.

    " I guess both the identity of whomever picked up Lily and the entire idea of her running out on Marshall was ultimately no big deal?"

    The way this season has been structured, I wouldn't be surprised to see a parallel episode following Lily as she makes her decision. Maybe involving The Mother again. But who knows at this point?

    "I have no strong opinions on the lists of Ted's best and worst girlfriends, but I did love that Zoey made both lists."

    I couldn't remember who half those names were! Some quickie headshots or two-second flashbacks would've been helpful. My one major complaint about this series is that, in its own way, it's sometimes as insular as the worst comics. It seems to assume every viewer has watched every episode multiple times and that they understand all the little continuity touches without providing adquate "footnotes". I get a lot of their references, but I miss plenty, too.

    Sometimes I think they need a "Previously on..." segment like most of the serialized dramatic series have these days.

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  2. What also bothered my about this episode is that we got zero insight into how Robin feels about the fact that Ted still has feelings for her.

    "Con: It concluded in a ridiculously abrupt and simple manner, and even though Marshall sort of learned a lesson, it still feels like he "won" and Lily just caved."

    Right? It's like Lily just assumed Marshall would talk with himself while she was gone and come to the right conclusion. They really needed her to come back and then have them discuss things. They could've montaged it to give the viewer the sense the same things being said were what Marshall already discussed with Ghost Lily.

    "Nevertheless, SagetTed's narration, and the overly-literal visual of Ted letting go of Robin"

    I think Robin floating away at the end looked cheap and cheesy. If they had better special affects? It'd just be cheesy.

    "instead Ted's rant was supposed to explain and validate to people why we keep riding this dumb ride when, in fact, it just made Ted sound like a crazy person."

    Yeah, and it feels like we're headed for an abrupt ending. Basically, Ted is all "Once you love someone you can never let her go; Robin is the love of my life" straight to the end of the series where he meets the Mother. Will they add a footnote that says "And then they fell in love with her, Ted forgot about his feelings for Robin and they lived happily ever after."

    Also, what would you think if you were the children listening to your dad talk about how he and your mother met and it was just one long story about a different woman, the one who "got away?" That's a giant red flag in my book!

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  3. @Matt: Was anyone clamoring for Ted to still be in love with Robin?

    Bays and Thomas?

    Certainly not anyone I've talked to about the show.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see a parallel episode following Lily as she makes her decision. Maybe involving The Mother again.

    Ah, yeah, I could totally see that as well.

    My one major complaint about this series is that, in its own way, it's sometimes as insular as the worst comics. It seems to assume every viewer has watched every episode multiple times and that they understand all the little continuity touches without providing adquate "footnotes".

    The girlfriends I all recalled, but I know there's definitely little continuity nods I miss along the way.

    For the most part, I figure anything important enough to know I'll see on the internet (or anything I'm curious about I can look up there), which I guess makes me as bad as the people who say comics don't need footnotes because of Wikipedia...

    Sometimes I think they need a "Previously on..." segment like most of the serialized dramatic series have these days.

    That would not hurt.

    @Dr. Bitz: What also bothered my about this episode is that we got zero insight into how Robin feels about the fact that Ted still has feelings for her.

    Or really how she feels about him moving to get away from those feelings. This is all a lot of big stuff for Robin, and she never really gets a chance to react to it at all.

    Hopefully a future episode will delve into her side of things a bit more.

    They could've montaged it to give the viewer the sense the same things being said were what Marshall already discussed with Ghost Lily.

    That would have been perfect.

    Basically, Ted is all "Once you love someone you can never let her go; Robin is the love of my life" straight to the end of the series where he meets the Mother.

    And even if this is the actual, honest-to-god, for serious this time end of Ted pining after Robin, his realization about the importance of letting go still only happens hours before he meets the Mother.

    And while he clearly won't fall in love with the Mother immediately, putting some distance between the time when lets go of Robin and realizes the Mother is the one, as the show is structured, WE won't get to see that (nor will his kids), so it'll SEEM abrupt even if it actually isn't.



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  4. Ditto much of what you said, Teebore.

    I half-expected (or more) for Marshall to realize at some point that "Ghost Lily" was Actual Present-Day Lily. We've seen the gang share psychic conversations and stuff, so having Lily show up and join the debate complete with reference to 2006 Lily and Ghost Dad Marvin Eriksen would've made sense. Just another example of me writing the show in my head that little bit enough better than they are to be satisfying...

    The (attempted) poeticism of Robin floating away didn't inherently bother me, even in its obvious cheesiness, because Ted is cheesy. It didn't work in context, though, because I don't know how we were supposed to read that pivotal moment in reality. Robin was there on the beach that whole time with him, as supported by the pair of them talking again in the stinger/tag after the closing credits, which just made it weirder.

    At no point, even when she floated away, did I suspect that Ted was talking to Ghost Robin, but in retrospect it would've been better if he had so that Ted could've resolved this himself without burdening Robin (further) on the morning of her wedding; those moments when they maybe almost went for the kiss, especially, would've been more tolerable — still eye-rolling, yeah, but at least you'd know it was all happening in Ted's head.

    If they had to go back to this well and resolve this storyline (yet again), what I'd really have liked to see is for this to have happened a little earlier in the late, late night, with a sudden storm kicking up as a sign to Ted to let go of Robin, signifying to us that it was happening at the same time as the Mother was finally letting go of her late boyfriend.

    That scene of the party with everyone still just mingling was indeed questionable. We can buy the strip club appearing, because the show has a history of that kind of random or elaborate unlikelihood (or even impossibilities that are usually in more dramatic contexts known as magical realism), but as we've discussed before in the context of various shows things that we can compare to actual experiential reality have to be realistic.

    You're right that HIMYM is doing a better job of resolving certain threads than Lost did, even when I don't recognize them or didn't consider them to have needed resolution. On a related note, from a post on the show I'm fiddling with: I think I actually want the closing credits of the final episode to be followed by a slow pan across a shoreline with scattered bits of a downed plane's fuselage.

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  5. @Matt: // The way this season has been structured, I wouldn't be surprised to see a parallel episode following Lily as she makes her decision. //

    Nor would I. And it probably will involve the Mother.

    @Matt: // I couldn't remember who half those names were! ... My one major complaint about this series is that, in its own way, it's sometimes as insular as the worst comics. //

    @Teebore: // For the most part, I figure anything important enough to know I'll see on the internet (or anything I'm curious about I can look up there) //

    While I might not be as upset as you, Matt, I do wish that I remembered more or that the show jogged our memories a bit; really I wish I had gotten into the habit of visiting a HIMYM wiki after each episode aired just to read up on certain things, like the callback to the pilot that Teebore referenced, for my own satisfaction. Perhaps I will review entires on this season to date like that before the final stretch.

    @DrBitz: // What also bothered me about this episode is that we got zero insight into how Robin feels about the fact that Ted still has feelings for her. //

    Ayup. Your comment about how this whole thing really does revolve around Robin has been a constant headdesk, too — even though we've seen in flashbacks how Ted met Marshall and Lily in college, etc., the framework of the entire series within the flashback from 2030 is framed by Ted meeting Robin and meeting the Mother after he finally lets Robin go, which really is sort-of sick. It has me wondering not only if the speculation about him telling his kids this story after she's died is correct but if it turns out that he's telling them because the Mother has died, Barney has died, and he's going to marry Aunt Robin. Dramatic Hamster!

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  6. @Blam: At no point, even when she floated away, did I suspect that Ted was talking to Ghost Robin, but in retrospect it would've been better if he had so that Ted could've resolved this himself without burdening Robin (further) on the morning of her wedding

    Yeah, that would have worked A LOT better.

    I'd really have liked to see is for this to have happened a little earlier in the late, late night, with a sudden storm kicking up as a sign to Ted to let go of Robin, signifying to us that it was happening at the same time as the Mother was finally letting go of her late boyfriend.

    That also would have been neat.

    To further the Lost comparisons, we're now at that point where the stuff we come up with is better than what's on the show. :)

    I think I actually want the closing credits of the final episode to be followed by a slow pan across a shoreline with scattered bits of a downed plane's fuselage.

    What would be the over/under on the number of HIMYM fans who would then believe they were dead all along?

    I wish I had gotten into the habit of visiting a HIMYM wiki after each episode aired just to read up on certain things

    Yeah, I don't always specifically go to Wikipedia, but I do try to generally coast around the internet looking for stuff on the latest episode after I've written by review but before I post it, though that's more out of a desire to present the best possible information than because I'm worried about missing a callback.

    But of course, that gets back to Matt's general issue of such an action even being necessary and the show not helping much...

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