Tonight’s How I Met Your Mother was an impressive feat to behold
Where three stories were told in rhyme, but were you all sold?
It was an hour that seemed straight from a bucket list
And since it’s the final season, well, you get the gist.
So here’s a little recap of all the action seen
Don’t worry, the rhymes end here, and I tried to keep it clean
The episode began with Marshall trying to get Marvin to sleep while riding a bus full of distractions and noise. And since he’d forgotten Marvin’s storybook in the truck, he had to improvise by making up rhymed stories of his own. (By the way, why didn’t he keep the truck? Was it because it wasn’t eco-friendly?)
The tales were, honestly, nothing too incredibly important — mostly new trivia that fans can store away for keeping. “Remember when Ted went on a date with a girl who once dated Barney because she thought he was Derek Jeter?” “Remember when Robin ate an entire cake and had to get her stomach pumped?” Or “Remember when NPH played a million roles at one time?” (Actually, the last one happens in pretty much every episode.) Stuff like that. But where this episode was special was how it all came together — the aww moment that even after nearly 200 episodes still catches me by surprise at times.
During the episode, Marshall befriended a man on the bus named Gus (well played, writers), who told Marshall, with concern, that some of his stories might be inappropriate for Marvin’s young ears. For a moment, Marshall fretted, concerned by the idea, but he went on telling his stories because, he figured, Marvin was too young to hold on to those memories. Still, later, after failing to get Marvin into a comfortable slumber (thanks, fireworks), he apologized to his son for the crappy trip and also apologized in advance for the blow-up he and Lily were probably going to have at the inn. (Remember: She’s still ready to rip into him for keeping the judgeship news from her.) This is how this moment played out:
Marshall: Sometimes daddies screw up, sometimes mommies get upset; I really hope this weekend is a memory you’ll forget. So look up at those fireworks, enjoy the falling embers…
Future Ted: And that, kids, is the very first thing your cousin Marvin remembers.
Corny as it may seem, I loved the message about parenting that this story represented. I mean, being a parent is freaking hard. It’s their job to tell stories — little tales that have happy endings or morals or come in rhymed phrases — but at the same time, they’re dealing with life. Real, hard, sometimes-uncomfortable life. The mark of a remarkable parent, though, is that desire to fill your child’s head with good memories — ones of beautiful lights in the sky — and the hope that they forget the crappy bus rides or the LIE. This story made me oddly proud of how good of a parent Marshall is. And not so oddly proud of all the good parents I know.
So that’s the sum of the episode, we had the best of times
Now when will I stop thinking in nothing but freaking rhymes?
+ Guest star Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose rap was insanely good
+ Honorable mention: James Van Der Beek, who reprised his role as Simon, whose wedding cake was the one devoured by Robin.