How I Met Your Mother: Season 9, Episode 3
Last Time In New York
Last week, I noted that while not an issue for the double season opener, the final season of How I Met Your Mother was going to be rife with pacing problems. Well, I didn't have to wait long to have that theory confirmed. “Last Time In New York” is a largely forgettable episode with few laughs, few plot developments, and many reasons to be afraid that worse is yet to come.
The arrival of Barney and Robin's older relatives (respective older relatives, we established that they're not related a couple episodes ago, I think) prompts Barney and Robin to go on a frantic search for an inappropriate venue for some last minute pre-wedding taboo sex before they become just another boring old married couple. So far we are three for three of season 9 episodes that feature a sub-plot focusing on Barney and Robin's doubts about their impending nuptials. Three episodes in and this is already well worn territory. It seems like Thomas and Bays don't really know what to do with Barney and Robin in between now and them actually getting married and have therefore decided to throw every sitcom engaged couple cold feet sub-plot in the book at them. If this pattern keeps up, Barney & Robin subplots are going to be a very repetitive drag on the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, Lily confronts Ted about his refusal to tell anyone else in the group that he has decided to move to Chicago after the wedding, and that the awkwardness he feels towards Barney & Robin is affecting his duties as best bro. Lily is presented as a much more supportive and likable character here as compared to her portrayal in "The Locket", but the sweet moments between them also fall under the ground of well worn territory, and there are very few laughs to be mined out of Ted's NY bucket list. We know that eventually the secret regarding Ted's move will come out, but ultimately he will change his mind, so having Lily cover for Ted when Robin finds the list feels like stalling at best and an unnecessary misdirect at worst.
Also, Marshall drives through Wisconsin.
“Last Time In New York” is a worrying stumble for HIMYM's final season in just how many problems present themselves so early in the season. HIMYM was always a show that was known for playing with time and structure in creative ways, making it all the more disappointing that the gimmick at the heart of the final season is proving to be so constraining for the show runners.
-"Are you one of those freaks that's sexually attracted to buildings?" "An objectofphiliac? No way!" "Then why do you know what they're called?" "Why do you know what they're called?"
-Boy, Lily sure is gonna be dead of alcohol poisoning by the time this wedding rolls around.