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How I Met Your Mother Review: "The Locket/Coming Back/Last Time in New York" (Episodes 9.01-9.03)

October 1, 2013  |  3:16pm
<i>How I Met Your Mother</i> Review: "The Locket/Coming Back/Last Time in New York" (Episodes 9.01-9.03)

If one thing was made clear after the first three episodes of the final season of How I Met Your Mother, it’s that this season is going to be different. And that’s a good thing.

We caught a brief glimpse of the Mother in last season’s finale, and the internet blew up with their opinions of the highly anticipated character even though she merely muttered a simple sentence. Now we actually get to meet her.

This final season takes place all over the course of one weekend, which means there are going to be a lot of flashbacks and flashforwards, which will give us a lot of unusually terrific insight into Ted and the Mother’s relationship.

It had been made known by the creators that the Mother will meet all of the other characters before finally meeting Ted. In the premiere she meets Lily. Her personality is tailored to make us fall in love with her. Ted’s voiceover aids this as he makes us aware that she basically loves all of the annoying traits he has. In all honesty, she’s pretty amazing. The Mother isn’t over-the-top, but she is funny enough and is put into the episodes sparingly.

Throughout the first 90 minutes, she is only in a handful of scenes, and that’s exactly how she should be used. It is the other subplots that really carry the humor throughout the episodes. Barney finds out James’ (Wayne Brady) marriage has crumbled, which puts a damper on his weekend. However it allows Wayne Brady to be a recurring character throughout the season, adding another hilarious character to an already hilarious cast.

Not all subplots are as welcoming. Marshall is stuck trying to get back to New York from Minnesota and is forced into a road trip with Daphne (Sherri Shepard), who is less than enthused to be sharing a rental car with the Minnesotan. Well, none of us are enthused about this storyline, and I’m begging for it to be finished with as soon as possible. It’s disruptive to the flow of the rest of the plots. One funny, subtle recurring joke is Lily being given a fresh drink every time she finishes one because of her lack of Marshmallow (or would White Thunder been a funnier nickname to have put here?).

Perhaps the best part about the opening episodes comes when Ted was sitting alone at the hotel’s bar and the Mother walked in—only in true HIMYM fashion, she’s not really there, but is there one year from the current timeline. While current moping Ted sits there, the Mother and one-year-from-now Ted sit down and have a short conversation about how that he knew the moment he met her he’d take her back to the romantic hotel on their first anniversary.

Nothing was over-the-top funny, but it was a perfect combination of laughter and sweet moments that really do make up for all of the lackluster episodes in the past few seasons. Because this season is structured so differently, these episodes also did a great job of setting the pace and building anticipation for the final episodes.

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