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'How I Met Your Mother' recap: Ted's ready for his close-up

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Image Credit: Karen Neal/CBS It’s been a rocky season for How I Met Your Mother, and the long-awaited “Wedding Bride” episode had some return-to-form high points: The ongoing gag of the literal luggage, the crummy catch phrase Ted’s alter-ego Jed Mosely spews in the movie, the always-welcome Judy Greer. (Thought it was strange having just seen her on Big Bang last week.) And yet I can’t help but think that what Ted needed in this episode wasn’t the love and support of a caring girlfriend — it was a swift kick to the teeth.

Ted was completely preoccupied this week with the idea that other people have, yes, baggage. He couldn’t recognize his own, though, until it was right in front of his face — courtesy of a movie written by Tony, the guy who swept Stella right off the altar when she was supposed to marry Ted.

Because I love this show, I want to believe that Ted’s shortcomings in the last few months (years?) are intentional on the writers’ part, and that they’re having him crawl through a narcissism tunnel so that he may emerge a beautiful enlightened butterfly. This episode was the perfect opportunity for a moment of reflection, for Ted to say Yeah, sure, I look like a jerkhole in his movie — but he looks like a bumbling dope in my version of events. That’s how love stories work. It was a chance for Ted to see himself, even for a second, through everyone else’s eyes, as a sometimes self-aggrandizing douchelord. Nope. Instead, Ted did what he seems to be doing more and more lately: whined, acted victimized, an then treated other people poorly. It’s important to let other people help you with your baggage, kids. But definitely don’t help them with theirs.

Okay, gripes aside, this was still a funny enough episode. The “Wedding Bride” itself — starring Chris Kattan, Jason Lewis, and Malin Akerman — was appropriately stupid (and beloved by the masses), and I loved everyone’s different baggage (“Cubs fan,” “still thinks ska band is going to take off,” etc.). What did you think, PopWatchers? As the season finale draws near, where do you think the show has gone this year? And where are you hoping it goes next?

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