Season 8, Episode 11: The Final Page–Part 1
I won’t get too much into the reasons that I went on such a long of hiatus, but I will just say how shocked I was when I heard that the show was coming back for one more season. I really thought this would be the final year and you can definitely tell by reading the first ten reviews of this season. I’ve come to the conclusion that more How I Met Your Mother is a good thing, and with that said, I have a lot of catching up to do.
I felt that they were trying to do some real emotional stuff with the whole idea of the pit and how one becomes trapped in there and needs help getting out. It didn’t really succeed though from my point of view as far as the emotional beats. Let’s start with a character at a time. Ted is in the pit because of his old architecture professor. No matter how much Ted would try to impress him, it wouldn’t work.
So, now that Ted has designed his own building, he believes that will have to be the thing that impresses his old professor. It doesn’t and then Ted realizes how much his approval doesn’t really matter anymore. Overall, this storyline felt a bit off for reasons that I can’t really put my finger on. At this point you kind of want Ted to just be comfortable with himself, career and personal life, so whenever he takes drastic steps back, well let’s just say it’s not a good thing.
The old college professor was played by Peter Gallagher, otherwise known as Sandy Cowen from The O.C. But it wasn’t the only case of stunt casting as Lily and Marshall’s old buddy from college was played by Seth Green. The story should have been funnier but something also felt off about it. Basically, the trio played a game of hackey-sack once and Green has been obsessed with them ever since. Lily and Marshall for some reason feel like they are going to get murdered by him, and it turns out he just wanted to compensate them for the hackey-sack idea and the huge successful business it spawned. Moving on.
Getting back to that pit, Robin has recently been struggling with the idea of Barney and Patrice together, which I never bought, so it turns out she is also in a pit. She plans on dealing with the situation by firing Patrice. It’s a bit of a rough place to go for Robin as a character. She doesn’t actually go through with it so I guess it’s no harm, no foul, but for a second there, it was a bit tough to watch. Patrice sees this as a cry for help and lets Robin know that she is there, in case she needs anything or anyone to talk to.
Now let’s get to Barney and what turns out to be the storyline that shifts the entire season into a new direction. It’s kind of weird that it happens on such a trivial thing as the jinx placed on him by Marshall. It turns out the gang takes jinxes very seriously ever since Barney broke a jinx and later that day ended up getting hit by a bus, which happened way back in the season 3 episode, Miracles. It’s an interesting idea to tie the jinx to the accident and make the jinx in this episode seem that much bigger or more important.
So back to this episode. Marshall jinxes Barney and now Barney can’t speak until someone says his name. We see the gang with some of their over-reactions and having some fun with Barney’s misery. I feel like sometimes, especially when they all gang up on Barney, it comes out too mean. The episodes Swarley and I Heart NJ come to mind. Some of it felt too exaggerated but as I mentioned before, this is How I Met Mother so it’s not really a surprise.
Barney finally finds a way to get Ted to break the jinx: he shows Ted the engagement ring he has just purchased. Ted screams Barney’s name, Barney then jinxes Ted and lets him know that he is planning on proposing to Patrice. Again, I have to state this very clearly, at no point did I believe that Barney was going to propose to Patrice. Patrice is nice enough and Barney has evolved over the series…but, he hasn’t evolved that much. It’s a little obvious as to where they were going, but in cases like this, the predictability was a good thing. Swerves and twists just for the sakes of swerves and twists are never a good thing.
We won’t get into the next episode until the next review, I wanted to give each half an hour of How I Met Your Mother its own review so even though part 1 and 2 aired in a one-hour block, each half-hour will still get its own review. I seemed to start enjoying the episodes more once I stopped writing about the episodes immediately after. I really hope that is just a coincidence and the rise in quality has more to do with the actual production instead of seeing things differently, knowing that you are going to write the review right after. Having said that, I am a bit behind so I probably won’t get to the new episodes for a while anyways.