Season 8, Episode 1: Farhampton
Here we are with the season premiere of what will maybe, possibly, might be the final season of How I Met Your Mother. Regardless of whether or not there will be a season nine, I hope the creators of the show treat this season as if it really is the end and close all of the arcs as well as finally introducing the mother in the season/series finale. After that, a very experimental season 9 can still exist, but this needs to be treated as the final season, in my opinion. Since it may be the final season of my favorite series of all-time, I will review each and every episode after it airs. The beginning of the end is here…now let’s just hope it goes out with a bang instead of just slowly fading out.
So, a quick recap: Marshall and Lily have just had their baby, Barney is now engaged to Quinn, and Ted has gotten Victoria to leave her fiancé at the altar and ride off into the sunset with him. Oh yeah, we have also flash-forwarded to Barney and Robin’s wedding day, which has also been revealed to be the day that Ted finally meets his future wife. I’m not going to necessarily go into a play-by-play summary of what happened on the show, but rather I’ll assume you watched it and just touch on what I liked, disliked and whatever else comes to mind.
What did I find annoying and a bit cliché? Marshall and Lily’s sleep deprivation and being unable to hear or remember personal things that their friends told them was something that pretty much got on my nerves right off the bat. I’m not saying that new parents do not suffer from sleep deprivation as shown here, but this being HIMYM, everything was exaggerated as much as possible. Of course, the charm of this show and future Ted being such an unreliable narrator is that certain things can be exaggerated, but as I said, this one just wasn’t one that I was feeling. I hope both Marshall and Lily quickly overcome their deprivation and can once again be the funny and charming characters we know and love.
I like the way they just snuck in Robin’s new boyfriend in there without as much theatricality as they have some of her ex-boyfriends. We were told how both Don and Kevin were so awesome instead of ever actually seeing it. Here, with Robin’s new boyfriend we can actually see those things without really having to be hit over the head with it. Despite not liking any of Robin’s ex-boyfriends with the exception of Mr. Mosby and Mr. Stinson, here her new boyfriend comes off very likeable, even if we know that it’s not really going work. After all, we do know we are sprinting to the finish line and have to get to that Robin and Barney wedding that has been teased to take place at the end of the season.
Speaking of weddings, Barney and Quinn have begun planning theirs. There is however, one small problem: Quinn doesn’t know that Barney and Robin used to be a couple. Much like any normal person would react, Quinn couldn’t really deal with this, knowing that she would always be wondering if Barney still thinks about Robin in that way. So Quinn walks off, and supposedly the engagement is off. We got a sweet Barney and Robin moment when Robin found out that Barney didn’t throw everything away from their relationship. So now, what happens with Quinn and how does Barney get to that altar? One thing is for sure: it’ll be great to see unfold.
Now, let’s get to the main attraction of Ted and Victoria. Ted has gotten Victoria to leave her fiancé Klaus and to instead drive away with him. Ted, of course, has also been left at the altar, way back in season 4, so he more than anyone knows how much it hurts. Instead of seeing and realizing how much that hurt, all he thinks about is how much the note that Stella left comforted him so he convinces Victoria to go back and leave a note. Here, we are reminded a lot of the Shelter Island episode where Ted invited Stella’s ex and she ended up getting back together with him. We start believing that Victoria will return and see what a huge mistake she is making and then still end up marrying Klaus. In a great twist that I loved, that doesn’t happen and instead Klaus also leaves the wedding, with both Victoria and Klaus leaving notes.
Let me just say that Victoria in that wedding dress…wow! She looked amazingly beautiful and all I could think about is how tough it’s going to be for the eventual mother to top Victoria. For so long, we hoped it could be Victoria, even if the math didn’t really add up, and even here I just wish it could somehow still happen. So Ted runs into Klaus as of course Ted being Ted, he must know why he was leaving her. To sum it up, Klaus pretty much tells Ted that he felt Victoria was close to being his perfect woman, but close should never be good enough, and in fact, there is a perfect girl for everyone. Being a hopeless romantic like Ted (and Klaus I suppose), one can only hope that is the case. So without showing it, we are led to believe Ted will reject Victoria. I wonder if we’re actually going to see that happen or if it will instead be left to our imagination. Frankly, I don’t really know if I actually want to see that. We then flash forward back to the Robin-Barney wedding, where we see a woman getting out of a car, we see her (strong) legs as the camera slowly rises and just when it seems that Ted’s future wife’s face is actually going to be revealed, we see the yellow umbrella covering it. So close…yet so far.
So that’s where we leave off and head into the (maybe) final season of one of the greatest sitcoms of all-time. A lot is riding on how this season finishes and if it can successfully connect the dots and pay off all of these major story arcs. I have faith that Bay and Thomas can pull off the magic trick. They have after all given us seven great seasons, and after all of that, a lot of ups and some downs, they have 23 episodes remaining. Let’s hope Ted’s long journey was worth it, after all we’ve been guaranteed a happy ending from the beginning, right?