Beautiful episode. This is most I’ve laughed with HIMYM in ages, and not just a chuckle or two here and there, but genuine uproarious laughter. The fast pacing and bouncing back and forth between the different characters’ reactions to Gary Blauman was classic HIMYM, and the curly fry bit was particularly hilarious. It had that vintage HIMYM quality of “This is so funny because it’s a little thing in life that no one would ever think to bring up, even though it’s really true.”
And that 3 minute tracking shot was perfectly staged. I was impressed with just how many people they got to come back for cameos. As our first sign of the show truly ending, it had a lot of emotional significance as well as being packed with great little comedic bits.
But my favorite element of the episode was Ted and the mother’s date. It was the most stand-out sign of character growth we’ve seen in Ted for a very long time. Instead of taking fate in his hands and forcing something that isn’t meant to be (Aka Robin) he lets fate have its way, being so bold as to walk away from his future wife. But not only does she call him back, she actually makes the first move and kisses him.
This is not only a sign of how perfect she is for Ted, but also symbolic of how much Ted has grown since the day he first stole that blue horn for Robin. Where the old Ted was brash and determined to make his fate the way he saw fit, the new Ted is willing to take it in stride, hoping for the fate he wants but accepting of the reality he sees in front of him.
It’ll be interesting to see if this new reality-grounded Ted can last through, say, the mother’s death, if indeed that does come to pass. But for now, it’s refreshing to see Ted’s final and most significant relationship begin with a 180 curve from his normal routine. Ted’s arc is almost complete.