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'How I Met Your Mother' Review: 'Knight Vision'

Christopher Monigle Christopher Monigle
October 21st, 2013 10:14pm EDT

How I Met Your Mother

Ah, so HIMYM’s reached Friday night drinks—the fateful night when Ted needs to ‘lock down’ a hot babe for the weekend. Friday evening in the narrative should lead to a jump, soon, to Saturday morning. I mean, the characters will sleep, right? “Knight Vision” is like an inverse vision quest. The writers’ frame of reference is Indiana Jones. Ted’s looking for the holy grail, but he chose wrong Friday night; however, he actually chose wisely, but he doesn’t know that yet. Vision quests are a rite of passage in Native American cultures that lead one to his or her purpose through spiritual guidance. For Barney, hooking up with someone during a wedding weekend is the most important rite of passage. Choosing poorly will determine the course of the rest of his life, since this is the longest wedding weekend in the world and, you know, the show’s ending, and he’s going to end up with the mother.

Now, I didn’t like the episode at all. None of the jokes made me laugh. The stories sucked. The characters continue to suck. Ted meets a pretty blonde named Cassie. Cassie promises Ted a fun weekend full of flirtation and meaningless sex. Ted chooses Cassie for such reasons, which dooms him. An imaginary medieval night is overseeing Ted’s decisions. Pre-marital sex is still a no-no in the church, so of course Ted will strike out with the medieval priest judging each decision. The Cassie character continues a long line of horribly written female characters that aren’t Lily, Robin, and Victoria. Cassie’s wildly emotional to the point that her own father calls her a ‘drag.’ She’s needy, clingy, willing to do things she’ll regret because she can’t bear the thought of her ex hooking up with a different woman in the same inn. Cassie’s dependent on the males around her. Ted takes on the chivalrous role of the white knight, and his abstinence and chastity will be rewarded at the gosh darn Farhampton train station.

While Ted’s off begrudgingly helping a terribly written and thought-out character, Robin and Barney continue to suck as individual characters and as a pairing. The promos showed off the crazy reveal about Robin and Barney stealing Lily and Marshall’s story about how they met, as if that’s what people wanted to see. It probably is what people want to see. I’m incredibly out of touch with what HIMYM fans like versus what I like. What I like is not watching the show; what they like is watching it. The second act of silliness reimagines the origin stories for the couples. Cobie Smulders dresses like Lily’s college goth and re-creates the scene with Neil Patrick Harris. Jason Segel and Alyson Hanigan play Barney and Robin. Segel plays a more likable Barney than NPH. Hanigan’s dark wig brought back memories of Dark Willow for season six of Buffy.

The Robin/Barney story addresses the issues of the coupling. Barney’s a sociopath. Robin couldn’t commit. They went behind Ted’s back to have sex. They lie to a pastor for the use of his church. Of course, the couple’s issue is played for laughs and charm. The pastor’s written like a pre-Vatican II pastor. (I went to Catholic school for 12 years. Catholicism is what I know.) He is the villain for opposing officiating the wedding; thus, he dies. The pastor’s death opens up a door for someone to marry Robin and Barney. That someone will be Ted Mosby in a selfless act that’ll put the button on his nine year crush on Robin, send him to the train station with that sad expression on his face where he’ll meet the mother. For Ted, all the pain and sadness and disappointment of the previous nine years will have been worth it the moment he sees the cute girl with the yellow umbrella.

The Robin/Barney story makes it known the writers know what they’ve wrought; however, the third act is devoted to celebrating how awesome they are together. Barney and Robin own their ‘how they got together’ story instead of feel embarrassment for it. Robin likes Barney’s depravity, and Barney likes how much he has sex with her. The coupling shouldn’t be celebrated, but whatever.

The C story with Marshall on the never-ending road trip deals with his anxiety over telling Lily about his opportunity to work as a judge. Sherri Shepherd’s character is another poorly thought out character. Like many HIMYM characters, it’s actually a plot device. Marshall interacts with the plot device because he needs to interact with Lily about their future. Sherri’s character also works as a lobbyist for a major oil company, which is the antithesis of Marshall’s character. I think I already hate the story’s resolution. I don’t know what’ll happen, but the writing on HIMYM is lazy so Marshall will save the world through this character somehow. It’ll be convenient writing that’ll chip away at my creative spirit.

How I Met Your Mother has been horrible since the premiere. Absolutely horrible.

Photo Credits: CBS