How I Met Your Mother: Season 4, Episode 23
As Fast As She Can
After last week's shocking lack of mother reveal (ok, not that shocking but a guy can dream, right?) I expected an episode chock full of mother-iffic plotline. Unfortunately (but unsurprisingly) it looks like the writers are saving all of that stuff for the finale.
Instead, this week found Ted re-united with Stella, and much more awkwardly, with Tony. Tony felt bad for stealing Stella from Ted, and so wanted to make it up to him. This leads to one of the classic How I Met Your Mother tropes in which the whole gang tries to one up each others jokes"”this time the one-ups are not nearly as inspired as I've come to expect from the show (fat jokes? Really guys?). Instead, Tony offers Ted a teaching job, which Ted, pretentious as he is, scoffs at and refuses. Ted also refuses to design a house for an eccentric billionaire who wants his laundry room to be prepared in some very specific, and very creepy ways (as Marshall screeches, "Ted, you can't design a murder house!").
The B-story is also surprisingly weak in this episode. It centers around Barney's continuity destroying attempts to talk his way out of a ticket (Fans will recall that the episode "Arrivederci, Fiero" establishes that Barney is terrified of driving. I wish the writers would do the same as they have ignored this fact in numerous subsequent episodes, none of which have been worth it. At least throw in a line of dialogue on how he learned to drive guys! You're usually so good with continuity!). While I did find Marshall's Minnesotan flashback quite funny ("You a brat man Jorgenson?") and Robin's blatant admittance that she talks her way out of tickets funny, Barney's attempts to follow suit were all very lame and un-Barney.
Additionally, the episode failed to ever truly tie the A and B plots together, as so many classic episodes do. There was a lame attempt in Stella's speech at the end, but it never connected in any sort of realistic way for me. Fortunately the episode did provide a fer sweet moments at the end. Ted re-uniting Stella and Tony was great, as we get to see Ted doing something truly nice and showing his romantic side. I've really missed romantic Ted (though douche Ted is pretty funny) and I'm glad to see him back in form. I also quite enjoyed when Ted and Stella have a real talk and Ted admits that he still desperately wants to find the one. I am rooting for Ted, perhaps even more than most, and knowing how badly he wants to find the mother will make it all the sweeter when he finally does. Ted and Stella's real and affecting scene saved an otherwise mediocre episode from being completely unforgettable. Let's hope the writer's come at it next week with all guns blazing, giving us some great laughs and some real plot along the way.

Grade: B

· Honestly this episode was a B- until the Ted and Stella scene at the end. Curse my romantic side!
· I loved the Ted and Tony exchange, "I'm a small business owner. It's the backbone of the economy." "No its not." And everyone generally thinking that's a ridiculous notion.
· Robin's reaction to Ted breaking Stella and Tony up: "I am very sorry"¦but I'm going to have to insist that you BUMP THIS!"
· Barney's, "The only difference between my real life and a porno is my life has better lighting." It's too bad that line was a lie, and came on the back of such an incredibly lame joke/side-plot.
· Ted's ringtone is "Let's Go To The Mall"
· Tony's new movie The Wedding Bride is coming in 2010. Bets that'll be a plot point in Season 5?
· LILY IS BACK! I never realized just how badly this show needed her until she left. Can't wait to see more in the finale!
Tags: How I Met Your Mother
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