Spoiler Alert: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 9, Episode 8 of CBS' "How I Met Your Mother," titled "The Lighthouse."
It's getting better, folks. After last week's dismal episode, "The Lighthouse" was a welcome step toward ending the series on a high note.
Some bits in this episode felt like gifts from the writers: backstory on Robin's mother and that huge revelation at the end. Now that we've sort of grown to accept Marshall's absence, it's easier to empathize with his situation instead of blindly crossing our arms and wagging our tongues at the whole Midwestern debacle.
Loretta and Robin are still fighting, buying into the typical mother-in-law vs. new wife routine we've seen played out over and over on the small screen for comedic effect. Robin dips Loretta's favorite blouse in ketchup. Loretta wants to prove she can make the best scrambled eggs ... ever. Etc. Etc.
Though the scrambled-egg-off seemed superfluous, it served to make a few important points. The first: Robin has come to terms with not having kids. But Loretta had no idea, nor did she know that didn't matter to Barney. The second: Robin's mother isn't coming to the wedding, though she did once get stung by a jellyfish and may or may not fit into a regulation-sized bathtub. We know nothing about her mother, perhaps on purpose. This brings us to the third: A happy resolution between Loretta and Robin. "Call me mom," the exceptional Frances Conroy said.
The best part about that confrontation was Barney's mini monologue. Being with Robin means more to him than having kids. He's marrying a woman, not the idea of starting a family.
Somewhere else at the Inn, Ted is consumed by the lighthouse. He winds up carrying Cassie (why, hello again, Anna Camp) up to the top of the most romantic spot in Farhampton. He's been dying to see it. She could not be bothered. He pukes -- puke-free since 2013, maybe -- and is devastated that he wasted the experience with someone like her. "I'm starting to think I've used my allotment of lighthouses," he tells Lily.
But he's wrong. Oh, so wrong, as we see in the final moments of the episode. Less than two years later he's back at the lighthouse with the mother ... and a ring. Ted proposed to the mother at the top of the lighthouse. It's sweet and she says yes a dozen times before he can even ask her to marry him. Call it corny, but this scene felt somewhat like redemption.
This season is far from perfect. But scenes like these, the ones that remind us loyal watchers why we're still holding out for golden moments, make it seem like we're getting rewarded for rooting for Ted all these years.
- Ted's snarl when inviting Cassie to the lighthouse
- Baby Ted on a mug and his childhood best friend, a balloon
- A real-life Lamborcuzzi
- Now that we know a little bit about Robin's mother, we want to know a whole lot more
- Lily does not need to break a glass every time someone mentions judges/ gavels/ courtrooms, etc. That got old
- Bad lighthouse green screen effects
"How I Met Your Mother" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.
What did you think of this episode and Ted's proposal? Are you as hopeful as I am? Leave your thoughts in the comments!