Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Ring Up': Cuff enough
Ted dates a much younger woman, Robin turns invisible and Lily loves Marshall's new accessory
A review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as a flash mob breaks out in front of a group of Korean American food trucks in Williamsburg...
First of all, I want to commend "Ring Up" for definitively putting to rest(*) a Mother theory I've been hearing about for several years. No, Barney's half-sister (mentioned in a throwaway line in one of the Lithgow episodes) is not The Mother, even if making her that would have made all the "Aunt Robin" references literal. (Which wouldn't explain why the kids also had Aunt Lily and Uncle Marshall.)
(*) Or maybe it won't, given the number of people who are still insisting that Ted might be married to Robin in 2030, or that the Mother is someone he met long before Robin and Barney's wedding. Pet theories are hard to let go of.
As for "Ring Up" as a whole, it felt, like much of season 8, only partially baked.
The idea of Ted struggling to relate to a much younger girlfriend had promise, for instance, which the Mad Libs scene briefly delivered on, evoking past "HIMYM" devices like the nightclub subtitles from "Okay Awesome" or Robin bringing Orson Bean to Slapsgiving. But the story very quickly shifted into one about Barney trying to get a contact high from Ted, and then led to the over-the-top wedding sequence.
(Also, while Ted and Barney's conflict referenced Barney hooking up with Ted's mom, it for some reason did not mention Barney explicitly choosing not to hook up with Ted's sister, which would be the better parallel — even though Barney knew at the time who she was.)
Similarly, Robin discovering the downside to an engagement ring — in a device "Scrubs" used back with Sarah Lancaster as Gift Shop Girl — needed a little more time, whether to expand on the musical number or to give us more variations of the problems Robin never had to deal with(**) before she turned invisible.
(**) The line about her not paying rent is a kind of late-stage "HIMYM" case of pushing too far for the joke. Once upon a time, Barney was the only character on the show who lived by cartoon rules. Now, they all do.
On the other hand, the wrist cuff turning into an aphrodisiac for Lily was probably the exact right length. We got the joke, got the larger point about the difficulty of keeping the sexual pilot light lit once a baby arrives, and got out just as things were starting to get too absurd. (And Marshall's reaction to Lily in the mom jeans fit sadly, amusingly well with what we know about him.)
There have been episodes this season that outright irritated me, and there have been a few that reminded me of what the show used to be. But a lot of them have been like "Ring Up," where you can still see the components of vintage "HIMYM," even if the end result was mostly forgettable.
What did everybody else think?
News From Our Partners
- Sony Teases PlayStation 4 E3 Console Reveal in New Video George Takei as Every Character in 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Nintendo Promises Details on New 3D Mario, Smash Bros Before E3
- 'Star Wars Rebels': New Animated Series Will Take Place Between 'Episode III and 'Episode IV' James Badge Dale, 'Iron Man 3' Star, Is Also in 'World War Z' and 'The Lone Ranger' 'Blue Jasmine' Poster Debut: Cate Blanchett Is Strikingly Stoic (PHOTO)
- Why Do I Own This?: A pint glass nicked from Forks, Washington, a.k.a. “Twilight, U.S.A.” Scenic Routes: A quiet scene from The Matrix demonstrates how to make exposition compelling Nerd Curious: Why the essential collection Bradbury Stories explains how to live forever
- The Women TV Is Still Missing Jason Isaacs Reveals The One Co-Star He Won't Work With Again WATCH: La Toya's Tearful Break-Up Phone Call
- 'Star Trek Into Darkness': What's Next For J.J. Abrams And The Cast? 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Spoiler Special: Burning Questions Answered 'Anchorman 2' Trailer Had Us At 'Hello': Watch Now!
- What to Watch Tonight: The Season Finales of Rectify and Hawaii Five-0 and the Series Premieres of The Goodwin Games and Motive Mad Men "The Crash" Review: Uppers Give You Wings! Hey TV.com, Should I Watch The Goodwin Games?
- Box Office Guru Wrapup: Star Trek Softer Than Expected at #1 Weekly Ketchup: Will Smith to Star in Wild Bunch Remake? Critics Consensus: Star Trek Into Darkness is Certified Fresh
- The Telefile - Veep: The Episode's Best Insults The Telefile - Saturday Night Live: Straight Outta 8H The Telefile - Game of Thrones: Our Weekly Westeros Scorecard
A police procedural that doesn't bother with whodunnit, but doesn't replace it with anything interestingMonday, May 20, 2013
The paperback is being re-released tomorrowMonday, May 20, 2013
Don and Stan get a special shot, the agency loses a leader and Sally meets her 'Grandma Ida'Monday, May 20, 2013
The Lannisters throw a wedding, Daenerys faces a new army, and Stannis meets GendrySunday, May 19, 2013