How I Met Your Mother season finale recap: The Magician's Code
Barney gets engaged, Robin gets married, and an epic middle name is invented
I can’t complain.
The brilliant minds behind How I Met Your Mother could have left us dangling for the summer in all sorts of ways, but after watching last night’s hour long finale, I repeat: I can’t complain.
If watching the gang crowd around Marvin Waitforit Eriksen didn’t leave you teary eyed, then surely watching the slow pan up to a wedding dress-wearing Robin as she prepared to marry Barney struck you right in the gut. I, for one, was ugly crying into a nearby pillow. Let’s start at the beginning.
We picked up where we left off last episode with Marshall and Barney drunk in Atlantic City. The two were doing everything in their power to get home in time for the birth, which included Marshall imagining a gorilla doing karate on an ATM machine and struggling to get up two steps. Lots of credit must go to Jason Segel for playing a superb drunkard. I could totally empathize with his stepping plight. We’ve all been there, right?
Thankfully, Barney was on hand to pick up the slack, and after a botched attempt at hijacking a motorcycle on display, the two finally found their way onto a senior citizen-filled bus…heading to Buffalo. Wrong direction, boys. I really thought Barney’s earnest speech to the rigid bus driver might tempt him to head towards New York, but unless it was an emergency, a U-turn was not happening. Fortunately, the senior citizens on board took pity on the stranded pair, and in a move I’m choosing to attribute to Dead Poet’s Society, one by one rose from their cramped bus seats, fervently declaring, “I’m having a heart attack!” It was beautiful. It really was.
Back in New York, Lily was in all-out panic mode as she waited to go to the hospital with Robin and Ted, who managed to put their differences aside to help her. I was unsure if these two would bicker in front of Lily, or even ignore each other, and I was really pleased to see that they didn’t. After several episodes apart, it was nice to see a fairly seamless transition back into friendship mode, but it’s moments like these that always shift things back into perspective.
Lily needed a good distraction from the pain, and there was no better way to do that than to regale her with all of the best stories from the gang’s past. Some of the chosen stories were Ted and the Cuban Sandwich Crisis, The Worst Cab Ride Ever, The Time We Tested if Banana Peels are Really Slippery, When Barney Tried to Pick Up Girls as the Terminator, and (my personal favorite) Where Does That Door Go? Answer: Nowhere, but it did give Marshall a good scare.
In between trading the most random stories, which could each be an episode in itself, Ted managed to find the time to send out a “Kick-Ass Labor Announcement E-mail” featuring a man, a woman, and their best friend embarking on the grand journey of Lily’s dilating cervix. And they want YOU to be a part of it’s grand opening! (What is our society turning into?) Thankfully, Lily’s contractions finally reached four-minute intervals, and off to the hospital they went.
NEXT: Mickey Aldrin has the worst bedside manner everNow the party really starts. Robin, God bless her, got her game face on and prepared to help Lily’s son make his way into the world, but one look under that medical blanket and – BOOM! – Robin was out cold on the floor. I’ve never witnessed a birth before, but I’m guessing it’s not something the faint-hearted should take a peek at. As Ted ushered her out, Lily was left alone, but suddenly a male figure appeared in the doorway. Could it be Marshall?! No, but a grinning Mr. Aldrin greeted us. Guess he got the labor announcement!
Lily wasn’t thrilled to see her dad because (as she recounted earlier) Mickey Aldrin’s unsuitability to deal with medical situations dates all the way back to when a 7-year-old Lily was getting her tonsils removed and her dad did anything but calm her down. Her pregnancy proves to be no different, and Mr. Aldrin is soon escorted out.
Robin and Ted were in the waiting room, finally getting the closure they both needed to move past their prolonged fighting. I know this episode was filled with some really big moments, but as I said before, this smaller one made me just as happy. It’s no fun when two friends who are part of a larger group are fighting, especially two with as great of a friendship as Ted and Robin. With all the happy moments this episode gave us, it would have been a hard pill to swallow to go the whole summer knowing these two are still on the outs.
Back in the delivery room, Marshall finally made his way to New York just in time to tell a sweating, heaving Lily that he promised Barney he would give their son the middle name of Waitforit, which I think is pure brilliance. Lily agreed, and between pushes managed to scream, “ARGHHHH, THAT IS THE COOLEST MIDDLE NAME OF ALL TIME.” And with that, the beautiful Marvin Waitforit Eriksen was born. Thank you, producers, for going for the sucker punch naming the baby after Marshall’s father. Could you get to me any more? Ugh, where did I put those damn tissues…
After a gorgeous moment of the gang crowding around little Marvin, Robin and Ted headed back to the waiting room to continue their chat, and by chat, I mean Robin handing Ted a big dose of reality. “You’re full of crap” she says. “You say you want a family, you say want to meet ‘The One,’ but you’re always chasing the wrong women.” She cites Stella and Zoe as bad romantic choices, but urges Ted to reach out to Victoria, the one who truly got away. I swear I could hear viewers all across America getting off their couches to give Robin a standing ovation. Finally, someone tells Ted what he needs to hear.
NEXT: Barney says hello to Hello Kitty
Someone else getting a blast of reality was Barney, who realized that after arguing with Quinn, he ran off to Atlantic City for two days without calling. Would she be there when he got home? I would have thought that the no-nonsense Quinn would have split the second she didn’t hear from Barney, but no, she did him one better and exacted her revenge in the form of a Hello Kitty redecoration of his entire apartment. I shudder. Barney, however, wasn’t mad to see his pad given a pretty in pink makeover. He was just flooded with relief that Quinn stuck around. I’m not the biggest Quarney fan, but I did think this moment was really sweet, especially as you could feel Barney’s relief.
Over at Lily and Marshall’s, Ted was busy snapping photos of the parents and their newest addition. When Robin grabbed the camera and took one of Ted and Marvin, a sad epiphany struck: Ted isn’t in a place in his life where he can have kids. This provides just the push he needs to call Victoria, who happens to have a Runaway Bride-sized gap in her afternoon to meet Ted at MacLaren’s. He anxiously awaited her arrival and, oh, she arrived, decked out in the casual attire of a wedding gown. The fact that’s she was walking down the aisle in a few hours seemed to have sent her into a tailspin and she propositioned Ted: “Let’s drive off into the sunset together.” And off they go.
I couldn’t help but be alarmed that Ted was so quick to take Victoria’s sunset offer since he knows exactly how it feels to be left at the altar, so I was happy when he changed his mind soon after they started driving. While it would have been nice for the two to finally find the happiness that keeps eluding them, I just didn’t want Ted to have this on his conscience. It seemed like something he would look back on and regret one day. Unfortunately, Ted’s moment of clarity didn’t last long, and after images of the times he and Victoria parted flashed through his mind, he drove right past the church, fingers entwined with hers.
NEXT: Barney won’t give it up
The other couple seemingly headed towards the Pacific sunset was Barney and Quinn, as they decided to take a trip to Hawaii to celebrate their reconciliation. But Barney, master of mischief, got stopped at security since he decided to carry on a box that looked like it had been swiped from the Game of Thrones set. Getting taken to a holding room for questioning still wasn’t enough to get Barney to reveal what was hidden inside, but Quinn threatening to leave was. The trick was revealed, and the box turned into a small, aluminum case that set to explode, revealing a red flower holding one hell of an engagement ring. Barney proposed, Quinn accepted, a security guard slyly took a picture, and for a second, I thought all of our HIMYM characters had nice, romantic storylines that were tied up heading into the summer.
Then I remembered Robin, and when Barney and Quinn burst into Lily’s to share the good news, my eyes went immediately to her. This episode alone, Robin helped Lily get through her labor and helped Ted realize his romantic potential, but where was her payoff? Other than getting a promotion at work, this year has been a rocky one for Robin. It’s been a while since we’ve seen her truly happy, and she’s been through enough this season to deserve something good. All these thoughts flashed through my mind as she quietly managed to tell Barney that she was happy for him. Did you feel the slow, dull ache for her? Could you have known what was about to come next?
We flash forward to a scene that has been dangled in front of us for a while now. It’s a little ways down the road at Barney’s wedding, and as Ted helps ready him to walk down the aisle, Lily enters and tells Ted that the bride is asking for him. This is as far as we’ve ever gotten. But tonight, with seconds to spare until the door closed on the seventh season, Ted enters a different room, the camera slowly pans up on a wedding gown, the bride turns and…it’s Robin.
The magnitude of tears that began pouring out of my eyes when I saw her face could be measured on a Richter scale. Seeing Robin so unhappy just moments before to now seeing her in a wedding dress felt like jumping into a cold pool after exiting a Jacuzzi: deliciously sweet. So many of us have been rooting for this pair to be together, and though I’m sure many of you will theorize away, for now, we can enjoy the idea of this marriage.
So as I said at the top of this recap, I can’t complain. I can spend the long summer months knowing that the Lily and Marshall have transitioned from the cutest couple in the world to the cutest parents. I can rest assured that despite a hard year, happiness for Robin is just around the corner. I can hope that Ted and Victoria figure out what the hell it is they’re doing before it’s too late, and I can smile and shrug my shoulders knowing that our esteemed bachelor Barney is officially off the market. I’m satisfied, readers. Are you?
Lily: I can’t go to the hospital without Marshall!
Robin: I’m on it. Lily, spread your legs, I’m gonna see if we can see the hooves. Uh, the snout. Uh, the head.
“Lily, if you don’t push, I will shove that baby up your throat, and pull it out of your mouth!” – Dr. Sonya
“Sir, this man is having a baby tonight and instead of going to St. Marcus hospital, we’re going to Buffalo. And I’ve seen women from there. The city’s aptly named.” – Barney
Ted: Victoria was great.
Robin: And you threw it all away to chase some hot piece of ass!
Ted: You mean you?
Robin: Thank you!
“You’re gonna love the park, buddy. It’s a great place to meet chicks. Or dudes. Or both.” – Marshall
How I Met Your Mother
Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lilly remind us all of the joy of slap bets