Vague-ish Recap: Ted makes a Hail Mary Pass at Robin (literally, if there was hail in that rainstorm.) Lily and Marshall reach an impasse regarding her speculative application to an art institute in San Francisco.
Comments: I’m starting to think that maybe the Shrub hates the superb HIMYM, otherwise, he wouldn’t have scheduled press conferences on both nights that the Eye broadcast the season finale of the show. The first time around, last May 15th, the scheduling havoc ultimately made me miss the finale, which aired after the Shrub’s nonsense. This time around, with no King of Queensto worry about until January, CBS just pushed HIMYM up a half-hour to the 8pm timeslot, where it belongs (but still won’t be airing there permanently). So I finally got to tape it while watching the new Prison Break. (Reminder: If I tape a given show, it’s likely moreimportant to me than what I watch live as I want to be able to rewind the taped show at a moment’s notice to write down lines of dialogue or rewatch an entire jaw-dropping scene.)
Amazingly enough for cynical/skeptical ol’ me, the first season finale of HIMYM was worth the wait. I’m not used to a first-year show not stumbling at some point, much less one so heavily influenced by Friends, much less one going for a Ross-and-Rachel moment by having its two romantic leads hook up as soon as the first season finale. Not even Friendsdid that — Ross and Rachel had their first rain-shower kiss in the middle of the secondseason. The chemistry between leads Josh Radnor and Cobie
SmoldersSmulders is so palpable that I’ve gotto believe that Future!Ted was lying to his kids in the pilot when he identified Ms. Sherbotsky as their “Aunt Robin.” At this point, it doesn’t matter how convoluted it gets to reconcile Future!Ted’s narration with the fate of Now!Ted and Robin’s relationship, the show has already pegged Future!Ted as one of the least concise, most digressive, most nonlinear narrators in modern television, so I think the writers can just go ahead and push him that last 10% into full-on Unreliable Narrator territory. Future!Ted has got to be lying about something regarding Now!Ted and Robin.
Other highlights besides Radnor and
Smolders’Smulders’ heartfelt performances: Amy Acker’s guest appearance as a former flame of Barney’s who teaches Ted how to rain-dance (she would sooooo fit into the cast as the third gal to complete the 3 guys/3 girls format perfected by Friends). Lily & Marshall’s VCR-like ability to “pause” their fights for hours or even days on end — compartmentalization was never weirder or funnier. The running joke of various cast members slapping Barney and saying it was the universe working through them (after he tries it on Ted first.) My Name Is Earlmay have gotten a lot of deserved compliments for being such a well-written and acted freshman show, but HIMYM deserves them even more.
Episode Grade: A+