'How I Met Your Mother' Needs To Get With the Mother Meeting, like, Pronto
Fun Fact: I was working on this recap, the original version of this recap, for 45 minutes and 500 words before I accidentally deleted the publishing page and everything I'd written. I was mad for a few minutes, mumbling stuff about "the stupid Internet" and "cookies" while magically hoping the text was saved somewhere. But then I quit talking to myself and considered what I'd actually lost. On reflection — not so much! What I'd managed to compose in the cruel darkness of a waning California night was something about How I Met Your Mother not living up to its peak mantle, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas making a silly decision with this "bottle season" format they seem determined to see through to completion... And I stand by those assertions! But we can do better than pointless wheel-spinning rants (even if the show can't)!
Are we still rooting for Ted at this point? I mean, obviously that's what we're supposed to be doing — it's the conceit of the ENTIRE SHOW — but what impetus do we really have right now to do so? Last night's episode, "Knight Vision" charted Ted's quest to find a date to Barney and Robin's wedding. We'll sidestep the weirdness of Ted looking for said date AT the wedding to focus on more pressing issues, namely, "What is it that Ted wants?" Ostensibly, Ted wants to meet The One. This was his stated goal in the pilot and has carried him through every season and relationship, up to his finally Meeting The One/Mother in the series finale.
I'm not suggesting that sometimes people don't just want to get laid, but what is this hopeless romantic doing scrounging for easy sex with his possible wedding dates? It doesn't jive, and in any case doesn't offer any reason for us to care. (Poor Anna Camp — first booted from The Mindy Project for being too pretty, and now slumming it for a likely multi-episode arc as Cassie, Ted's crazy wedding date. What crime did this actress commit?!?) One of the things that kept us coming back in the early days — say through Season 4 — was the fact that, even conscious of the fact that we wouldn't meet the mother for SOME TIME, Ted's romantic travails always felt sincere, and not the fodder (not the exclusive fodder, anyway) for jokes. Since Stella, it's been one nose-diving guest arc after another. Who gives a shit? Framing an episode about Ted's decision as to who he'd take to the wedding — who he'd sleep with at the wedding — just calls attention to how little we could possibly care about the outcome.
SOLUTION: Bring in The Mother. Now. Stop stalling. We've seen Cristin Milioti, we like her, and this show would feel so much more purposeful if we stopped spinning our wheels and actually saw the characters act like believable, or at least likable, human characters once more. Sorry for ranting! Enjoy your breakfast!