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'How I Met Your Mother' Review: Cristin Milioti’s Character Begins To Form In 'Platonish'

Christopher Monigle Christopher Monigle
November 12th, 2013 9:37am EST

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Cristin Milioti’s mother character’s personality is beginning to form now that the show’s near its final months. Fans and critics wanted to see why she’s the right girl for Ted Mosby. The easiest way to show why she’s right for him is to show how she’s helped his friends before they met at Farhampton station. The future Mrs. Ted Mosby shared scenes with Lily and Barney thus far. In both scenes she’s been incredibly empathetic and helpful, seeing into their souls much more than they see into their own. She helped Lily settle down on the train, and she helped Barney re-focus and re-direct his life into the most meaningful choice he ever made: to marry Robin.

The final act, which includes these scenes between the future Mrs. Mosby and Barney, is in a way commenting on the history of Ted, Robin and Barney and yet again reminding the audience that he won’t get heart-broken because of Ted and Robin. Ted looks shattered when he sees Robin eating a jar of olives, because she told him on a date she doesn’t like olives. She changed her mind about the olives. Why could she not change her mind about him? The real point of the scene isn’t about her mind-changing since it’s about Ted realizing he won’t have a platonic relationship with her. He just can’t. Ted lost Robin, sort of but not really, to Barney. Barney, a good friend of his who also serially used women for years and reduced them to objects, won the heart of the girl Ted dreams of settling down with him. All of those sad expressions on Ted’s face is not from the other women who disappointed him and left him. Ted’s future wife’s rejection of Barney establishes her as the anti-Robin solely because she rejects Barney’s horrible pick-up attempt and sees through it.

Ted’s future wife probably found the torch still burning on the first night they spent together. Ted longs for her the way Romeo longed for Juliet. Romeo was 13; Ted’s in his thirties. The B plot, which is also set within the same flashback story that Barney’s telling. I assume Barney’s telling the story of how he committed to “The Robin.” Ted didn’t join in with his memory of longing sadly for Robin, but denying it, at a Harlem Globetrotters game. Whatever. I’ll roll with it. Marshall’s pep talk to Ted about Robin’s vaguely familiar. Perhaps ‘vaguely’ is too nice a word to use. Their conversation’s very familiar. The show’s beaten the ‘Ted-loves-Robin’ story for the entire run, more so since he’s been single and sad. He’s sad because of the impending marriage, in case anyone missed that.

The Washington Generals represent the perfect team for Ted Mosby to root for, too. Bays and Thomas, and the other writers, shouldn’t have bothered writing the Generals jokes. The Simpsons made the best Washington Generals joke in the history of comedy writing. It took less than 30 seconds. Mosby can’t root for any of the other New York teams. Ted’s as unsuccessful as the Generals. The Generals won once because of a scoring error. One assumes Ted will meet the mother because of a train error. The Generals exist to lose. Marshall uses the Generals’ one win as a reason for Ted to try once more with Robin. I’ve been down the ‘one more time’ thing with women and it’s totally not worth it. Ted’s going to retrieve that damn box at some point this season. I suppose his chat with Marshall served as the impetus for his decision to go aboard, combined with what happened in the park last season when he sat and held hands with her after she failed to find the locket in that aforementioned box.

“Platonish” is another episode to warm the hearts of those in love with Barney and Robin together. I doubt the writers care to convince people the two are right together. Barney tells the story as a way to cheer up his upset fiancé. Robin cried and cried after learning her mother can’t make the wedding. She didn’t want cheering up. Barney had to explain why no challenge of his accepted can be unaccepted. Lily reminds him he forgot diapers and Robin’s drink, which is why he gets around to his meeting with the Ideal Girl From An Overwrought Indie Romantic Comedy (probably written by Josh Radnor).

How I Met Your Mother’s major issue is that it’s depleted of ideas for interesting stories to tell and interesting arcs for its characters. November sweeps is giving the audience the same type of filler episodes that aired in October. The B story is an unnecessary retread. The A story tries to put the button on Barney’s story with the substantial inclusion of the mother. It’s that sort of grand romantic idea of the Fates bringing people together. Bays and Thomas have always said the show is a romantic comedy, so, yeah, then go all the way.

Photo Credits: CBS