“Where’s the Poop, Indeed?”- How I Met Your Mother Season 8 Episode 24 Finale Review- ‘Something New’
This review contains major super double spoilers!
Well there she is! Jeezum crow, after all this time sometimes you forget what we were working towards here. We’ve seen the mother, and she’s kinda cute. Of course, Ted still hasn’t, but this nice piece of dramatic irony ought to satisfy fans who have long-since dismissed the show for keeping us away from The Mother for so long.
It’s a well-documented fact that those that watch this show for the express intent of meeting The Mother are going to have a terrible go of it.
Considering how middling and sup-bar I found the beginning of Season 8 to be (the first five or so episodes never got above a C+) and how ready I was for the show to be over and the pain I felt when it was renewed for a ninth (?!) season, I’m actually rather happy with how we wrapped up this season and found the final stretch after Christmas to be a wonderful ride.
The first few episodes was weighed down and smothered by that dreaded wretch of sitcom narratives: The baby. Babies slow sitcoms to a stop and then everything becomes about their chubby faces. Having a child can be a great step forward for a character developmentally, and I have nothing against baby Marvin, but I’m glad he’s been largely marginalized in the last few months. Babies in real life are adorable and wonderful creatures. Babies in storytelling are dreadful, awful, ugly cretins.
There was also that terrible bit with Victoria from the capper at the end of Season 7 that the show had to back away from very quickly at the top of the year. We’ve seen a lot of improvements since “The Autumn of Breakups.”
Just when I thought it was time for How I Met Your Mother to hang up its captain’s hat and for Galactic President Superstar McAwesomeville to retire, it produced its hour-long pair of Christmas episodes, “The Final Page,” one of the finest pieces the show has ever produced. That hour marked better things to come (and also explained a lot of the narrative dysfunction in the episodes preceding it), ushering in a few more all-time gems like “The Time Travelers” and leading us into the beautiful moment when The Mother showed her pretty, smiling face.
I’ll admit that even I, who try to downplay The Mother’s importance in the show’s narrative, was really done with Ted dating anybody who wasn’t her. Abby Elliot’s Jeannette was fine and funny, but it was about time Ted got around to dating the one we all wanted to see, and, assumedly, he won’t start dating anyone in the time it takes him to get to Barney and Robin’s wedding.
There were also other, sadly less mind-blowing plots tonight that were also of quality, Robin and Barney’s storyline in particular. I enjoyed seeing guest stars Keegan Michael Key and Casey Wilson playing the instantly rival couple tonight, as they are on two of television’s best comedies (Key from the glorious Key & Peele, Wilson from the tragically cancelled Happy Endings, which I wrote a piece on recently). What I loved about their plot, rival couple aside, was that it made Ted chasing after Robin mostly a non-issue at this point. I haven’t been a big fan of the show’s constant retreading of the “Ted still has feelings for Robin” plotline, mostly because it’s a plotline they’ve been constantly retreading for the last six seasons since the couple broke up. The mine that is that storyline has had all the dramatic coal removed from it and I truly feel there is nothing left to patrol in that area. Robin and Barney have rediscovered why it is they work as a couple, the similarities they share that have gotten them through all of their flaws and disagreements. The locket is nice, but Robin realizes she doesn’t need it now. She doesn’t need the universe to tell her who to be with, because she knows.
I’m also glad that the show seems to be trying to retire the Marshall-and-Lily-are-going-to-Rome plot that was totally not going to happen. It’s the kind of red herring plot that a show only ever really throws out in these later seasons after the characters have settled in and aren’t having to fight as hard to succeed anymore. You have to periodically have your characters win and advance in the world or it’s going to get really tiring seeing them fail over and over again, but that growth shortens the narrative options available to the staff. I get that. I understand that fully. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.
I look forward to seeing Judge Marshall bring the gavel down next season, provided that Season 9 isn’t just one long piece showing the in-real-time events of the Stinson-Scherbatsky wedding.
Season 8 hasn’t been perfect, and the cracks are certainly starting to show, but it was wrapped up nicely here and makes me content and happy for what we’re going to get for the next (and final) year. As someone who has followed the show since the first episode came on television (something I can only say for this show and Community), I’m a very happy man right now.
And this, kids, will be how Ted met The Mother.
Episode Grade: B+
Season Grade: B
Chekhov’s Gunman is a film and television blog moderated by Kevin Lanigan, a future writer of movies and TV and current writer of Robin Sparkles fan fiction. Subscribe above or keep checking back for reviews of television, movies, and Game of Thrones, our weekly Mexican Standoff, and the Good Stuff.
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