Spoiler Alert: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 9, Episode 7 of CBS' "How I Met Your Mother," titled "No Questions Asked."
Welp, we're 42 and a half hours away from the wedding, but we're no closer to feeling satisfied by the final season. Real emotions and hard-to-bare conversations used to make "How I Met Your Mother" so beloved. It was good TV. But lately, it feels like every time we're on the verge of one of those moments, the writers back off, as if scared to dampen the mood of the final season with all those heart-tugging scenes. But that fails too, and we're left with flat plots and cringe-y tag lines.
Robin and Barney, who seem to be merely props thus far this season, bore the brunt of that sentiment this week. Barney had planned to release doves at their wedding, but Robin's gun enthusiast family were set to fire a 21-gun salute. Since neither wanted dead doves falling from the sky, this exchange prompted what could have been a relationship-trying conversation. Robin says they never talk before doing stuff. Barney responds, "Can't talk. Doing stuff!" For a moment it seemed like this could have been the break-up scene. We're on the brink of getting to the bottom of Robin and Barney's issues. Are they even going to get married? But then Barney disappeared into an air duct (more on that later), signaling an undeserved laugh track.
This scene seemed like a lost opportunity, and though they tried to get back to this conversation later, it was too little too late. For a while, Barney and Robin had developed a real relationship based on mutual respect. But now, Robin has fallen into a stifled wife/girlfriend role. It's not a good look for her -- even when she's wielding a gun.
But let's back up to where we left off last week: Daphne admitted that she texted Lily about Marshall's new judgeship.
Marshall called in "no questions asked" favors with Barney, Robin and Ted, and asked them all to get to Lily's phone and delete the text. (Worth noting: Marshall booked Room 13, a Farhampton Inn room haunted by the ghost of Deerduff the Hooker. Happy Halloweek, y'all!)
"No Questions Asked" gets us flashbacks to wacky tales we've never seen in which Marshall helps everyone out: Ted climbs into a mailbox trying to retrieve a love letter to a stranger. Robin's alter-ego known as Night Falcon dresses in a purple leotard and does parkour in an alley. Barney swallowed life-size Lucky Charms.
They all try -- and fail -- to delete Daphne's text until Ted gets Lily to smash her cell phone in his own "no questions asked" request. Then came the one redeeming moment of the episode. When Ted asked Marshall why he didn't call in the same favor to Lily, Marshall never pulls that with her. He doesn't keep things from her because he doesn't want to. Then he asks to speak to Lily, to tell her about the judgeship.
We were hopeful that this sweet move will tackle one of the more difficult moments in their relationship. We want this hard conversation because we've been conditioned not to expect it this season. We don't get it. Instead we get a lame joke about Lily killing someone in their haunted room over Marshall's decision. It's not funny.
The touching moments that made "HIMYM" so strong are seriously lacking in this last season. Perhaps we need the "Mother's" touch, or just for the gang to all get back together. But maybe, we just need to tie up these loose end plot lines. It feels like Lily and Marshall have been fake-moving to Rome forEVER. Let's wrap up some of these issues. It's time to get to the good stuff.
- Real talk. Real confrontation. Real moments within their friendships.
- Ugh, every time Barney disrespects or doesn't listen to Robin. Please make that stop.
"How I Met Your Mother" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Are we totally wrong in expecting more from "HIMYM"? Leave your thoughts in the comments!