How I Met Your Mother
returned tonight with its first new post-strike episode. Unfortunately, the half hour felt shoddily assembled. You could feel the writers' rust, though How I Met Your Mother's
story-telling acumen remained spectacular. The episode was like a rough draft - the plot was good, and everything was set up for a solid episode, but the jokes weren't up to snuff. But, this was to be expected. The writers probably hurried the script into production – you could tell because it was a St. Patrick's Day themed episode. Not surprisingly, the episode was penned by co-creators and show runners Craig Thomas and Carter Bays. Hopefully, the quality will improve in the coming weeks. The bright spot was that tonight's How I Met Your Mother
was another in a long line of semi-poignant, resonating episodes that the series has made its calling card.
While the episode did attempt to further the “Who is the mother of Ted's children?” through line, that wasn't why the story was good. I don't particularly care who Ted's future wife is and I don't expect that reveal to come until the last episode of the series. Unfortunately, the last episode of the series could come this year, which would be a grand travesty. I get the sense that Bays and Thomas, with this episode and Ted's acquisition of the famed yellow umbrella, are keeping their options open in regards to Ted's wife – if How I Met Your Mother
doesn't receive a fourth season pick-up, then they'll have the flexibility to give the reveal to audiences in the final episode of this season. It's also possible that they'll hedge their bets anyway and plan on revealing the mother's identity on this season's finale, pick-up or not.
The episode's main action involved Ted and Barney going to a club on St. Patrick's Day. Bob Saget tells us early in the episode that the mother of his children was at this club on this particular St. Patrick's Day, though we learn at the end of the episode that Ted did not actually meet her there. However, when he went back to the club the next day to search for his lost cell phone, he ended up taking the yellow umbrella (which was left there) belonging to his future wife. We can assume that the umbrella will come back into play in a later episode.
The theme of the episode was what I like to call “next day regret.” Ted and Barney practice their “no tomorrow” theory at the club on St. Paddy's Day, in which they keep doing bad things (ditch their dates, order Dom Perignon on someone else's tab, and hook up with married women) and inexplicably keep getting rewarded for their actions. In the end, Ted figures out that the night didn't really go as he had remembered and that he acted like a first class a-hole throughout the night. I think most of us can relate to that, at least partly.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)