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Posted on March 3, 2014 at 9:20 PM

By Dhruv Rao


It's been a general trend over the past few episodes that the writers start the episode with a cute little clip of The Mother and then, on a similar note, revert to the present day. These past few cold opens have made the Mother a more intimate character, and that's what have made the "filler" plotlines seem more vivacious and significant. And I'm telling you, we will truly relish the remaining Mother moments in the series.

For example, this week's episode, aptly named "Vesuvius", had a new framing device: Ted and the Mother at the inn in 2024. (It seems that the couple like to frequently revisit the inn for romantic weekends.) The cold open discusses how each one of them knows every single story the other has recounted. It's cute and natural, and it sets the mood in for the wedding day with a few twists and turns en route. The gist involves separate plots for the bride and groom. The groom is overly stressed for the wedding while the bride seems to be kicked back and composed for her wedding in a few hours. The plots aren't "fulfilling" in terms of the ending of the series; however, they let time freeze for half-an-hour to show that the writers want to beautifully wrap up the show in a way that will make the viewers enjoy it the way it has always been.

And this episode does justice to that plan. It gives us elements we've enjoyed since day one and wrapped them into a 20-minute dessert ("Timbits" are referred to in this case). The first element, and probably the one that got me the most excited, is the sequel to "The Wedding Bride". Jed Mosely and his funny overreactions was one the things the last few episodes of season five needed. The energy brought about by the movie even in this case in very important, as otherwise the episode would be a loosely packed set of prenuptial events. In fact, without the Mother, this entire season would have been a chain of prenuptial happenings with no substantial progress being made for the show.

I really appreciate that Robin gets some family support this week: first from her sister and second from her mother. It was such a poignant scene back in the 8th episode when Robin's mother refused to come for the wedding. However, inside us, like the Mother suggested, we all knew that she would eventually come around. How I Met Your Mother might like to stand in between comedy and drama, but we often get lost behind the poetic scenes and forget that in essence it's a comic series. Happy endings are part of the package. The route; on the other hand, has its own ups and downs. Tonight, for example, Robin was unwilling to consider that Sunday her wedding day: she played hockey with her sister and watched The Wedding Bride's sequel. Here's where the writers employed Lily and Robin's contrasting characters really well. They got Lily to force Robin to have a pre-wedding freak out. It's like she doesn't want anyone to have fun with their wedding ceremony after what happened to her a few years ago. So, they fight, and eventually this leads to Lily doing the thing that any bride would get raged with: wearing a bridal dress at someone else's wedding. However, this doesn't affect Robin, who keeps on insinuating that she doesn't really care about the smoothness of the ceremony; she wants to have fun.

Barney has a contrasting view of the day. He has been wrecking himself to find the perfect suit. Each suit of his has a story buried within. It's not something we should find surprising, but something we should enjoy. Barney has changed, but it will always be fun to look back at his past. This plot was reminiscent of "Girls Versus Suits", another stellar episode of the series. But, even though it is fun to be nostalgic for old Barney, it is great to see the new Barney fit perfectly in his tailor-made suit. It feels like the show is finally rounding off these characters we met a few years ago, and nothing could make this moment more bittersweet...

Grade: B+

Stray Observations:

- Why the episode didn't get an A or an A-? Because the plotlines from each side didn't complement each other perfectly. Also, I couldn't put my finger on what the hidden truth was at the end of the episode...

- Remember Symphony Of Illumination? Well, who told the mother that story? TM: "Yeah, Lily used the word 'ragamuffin.'"

- I am really intrigued by how Dong Nose got her nickname without actually banging her nose on a dong.

-  Robin's sister and she call each other "Scherbatsky!" and like to make fun of how they play hockey.

- How does Ted bribe Curtis? A:"I believe my old friend Mr. Lincoln can emancipate that information."

- Barney doesn't understand that Robin walks down the aisle, not him.

- The writers finally explain why the cornflower blue tie is very important to Barney.

- Jed, Narshall and Swarley. God, the best bromance ever!

Categories: How I Met Your Mother

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