‘How I Met Your Mother’ Recap: ‘The Magician’s Code’

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Your enjoyment of How I Met Your Mother during its final days (next season will either be the penultimate or the final one depending on business stuff) is dependent on how much you care about the identity of this Mother person. If you’re heavily invested in it, watch the show primarily because of it, and think you’ll be satisfied with the answer after an eight or more year build up, there’s going to be a lot of hurt coming your way. The problem with all mysteries is that the answer can never possibly top what your imagination can conjure up. If you find a door that you never noticed before, anything can be behind it. It could be a portal to another dimension. Or a giant ball of fire that sings showtunes. But it’s probably a janitor’s closet. Usually by the time a television series gets around to solving its own epic puzzles, it’s rare that the viewer looks as happy as a bunch of practical jokers.

They tend to be pissed off and sweaty.

It’s best to remember that first and foremost that How I Met Your Mother is a comedy that can make you feel all of the feelings without the overall premise being involved. Robin was never going to be the mother, but “Robin Sparkles” is a comedic work of art. Zoey was never going to be the mother (or be liked), but the end of “Oh Honey” would make Frank Capra think it was a remake of one of his own heart swelling films if he was alive to see it. There’s still a good show there if you care to look, and the back half of season seven will be remembered as a welcome return to bringing some serious funny, as shown by some of the scenes where Marshall and Barney attempted to get out of Atlantic City despite being incredibly drunk and being unable to find a damn cab. There was the part where Marshall was so drunk that he saw Zelda and a chimp kickboxing a man in an ATM.

And then there was Barney being taken into custody for attempting to ride a motorcycle out of the casino. Barney dared one of the members of security to find a law that said that riding a motorcycle in the casino was illegal. It turned out there wasn’t, Barney was free to go, and only now there’s a sign saying you can’t do that.

To distract Lily from the pain of child labor and the thought that her husband might not make it in time to be there, Ted and Robin were tasked to tell her stories to distract her. All of the stories felt like they came from half formed ideas from the writers room that they knew could never carry even a C plot but were too funny to discard, like the time everyone decided to go as Judd Nelson from The Breakfast Club for Halloween or testing to see if a banana peel really is slippery (it is). The best of course was the one where Marshall became convinced his pants were cursed, and it led him to a mysterious Chinese shop, at the very least because it reminded me of the classic“Cursed Frogurt” bit from The Simpsons.

Because it’s television, Marshall made it in time for the birth. The couple named their newborn son Marvin, after Marshall’s deceased father. To keep a promise he made Barney if he managed to get him to the delivery, Marvin’s middle name is Waitforit, giving him the full name Marvin Waitforit Eriksen. Admittedly, Waitforit is incredibly dumb, but its also kind of funny and cool, and it’s only a middle name anyway.

“We’re busting apple bags? I can bust apple bags.” - Robin, “The Magician’s Code”

“All day long you been busting my apple bag about finding this girl.” - Ted, “Drumroll, Please”

Now that Robin was back in Ted’s life and they were best friends, she was given license again to completely eviscerate him, cut through all of the shit and tell him that he’s been a lying liar who lies throughout the entire series when he whined about wanting to be a family man. He’s always chased after women who couldn’t give him what he claimed he wanted, the only exception being Victoria. Ted is egged on to give her a call, and in a TV coincidence, he rang her up on the day of her wedding. It turned out that she never stopped thinking about Ted and wanted to “drive off into the sunset” with him, which is a shitty thing to do to her fiance but also a hackneyed romantic thing to do which Ted and Victoria eat up.  Ted remembered what it was like to be left at the altar and at first decided to drive her to the chapel, but in the end he drove right past it and decided to see what it’s like to be on the other end of that specific emotionally devastating thing. First The Slutty Pumpkin, then Robin, and now Victoria is going to be examined one final time before ultimately Ted realizes she isn’t The One, as if there’s a checklist with all of Ted’s exes and missed connections crossed out, but only by a single line so you can still read the names.

If we’re not going to meet The Mother, we might as well have Victoria to hang out with for awhile, who we don’t hate and can make delicious cupcakes.

Barney and Quinn made up and decided to take a little vacation. They were stopped by airport security on their way to a Hawaiian getaway after Barney refused to open a “magic box” (not a euphemism) he had packed in his suitcase. Stinson was unfazed by a bunch of guns being pointed at him and claimed he couldn’t reveal what was inside due to “The Magician’s Code” that states that a magician can never reveal his or her secrets. Even after its extracted from Quinn that she quit stripping for him, he refused to open the box until she threatened to leave him there alone at the airport. The convoluted trick involved explosives and a goddamn sword, but security found themselves smiling and applauding when a plant grew with a diamond engagement ring inside. It was a sweet albeit incredibly illegal moment, and considering how Barney Stinson saw the world and acted in it in the beginning of the series, it’s remarkable that he’s even proposing marriage at all. Quinn said yes. The two shared the news with Marshall, Lily and Robin, and when Barney and Robin were left alone they flirted, and Robin probably believed herself when she said she was happy for them. In the final scene, we were transported to “A little ways down the road…”, a.k.a. whenever the series finale will air to Barney’s wedding day. Ted opens a door to see the bride, and it’s…

Making a lot of shippers happy. Of course, Saget Ted claimed to his kids that the wedding was on a day that went “horribly wrong.” What the hell is that about? It’s an odd thing to say about the day when you meet your wife, but it’s nothing to obsess over, because that’s a part of a puzzle, and one that will eventually be solved, much sooner rather than later. Saying it’s the journey, not the destination is about as hokey as riding off into the sunset, but it doesn’t make it less true, provided that you have more than “500 Miles” to listen to on your way there.

Things To Say After Getting to Second Base with Neil Young

“I remember that suit. He looked like a little kid’s imaginary friend.”

“At your age erectile dysfunction is not something to be worried about, Marv.”

“The time Lily went into labor…”

Second most clever joke of the night: “That was not cool, Ted!” “Contraction!” “That…wasn’t cool, Ted?”

Most clever joke: “Let’s have an eightway with my six hottest stripper friends. But I forbid you from filming it with your overhead camera that zooms in on whoever is the loudest.” When Barney screams to the heavens “NOOOO!” it is shown through the lens of the overhead black and white camera, which zooms in on the screaming man.

“You’re going to love the park buddy. It’s a great place to meet chicks. Or dudes. Or both.”

“I’m potentially going to ruin a wedding! And Mrs. Patson’s friend thinks I’m gay, but let’s put a pin on that one.”

Things To Ponder While Getting Tickets To That Big Thing in Atlantic City This Weekend

Was Chris Elliott’s rant about the possible complications of a tonsillectomy an obscure* Get A Life reference? In “Chris Gets His Tonsils Out” Elliott (spoiler) dies from his surgery.

* Sadly there is no other kind of Get A Life reference.

The quick non sequitur stories had a “Curriculum Unavailable” and “Paradigms of Human Memory” vibe to them, but did Communityinvent the clip show with clips that are actually new, or was it How I Met Your MotherTechnically the latter, but it’s pesky ol’ semantics.

There’s a cool mirrored seasons effect if the show does conclude next season. Robin will have been the main female object of affection for Ted in seasons 2 and 7, and Victoria will be Ted’s girlfriend for parts of the first and last seasons (1 and 8).

It’s a lock that the “perfect woman” from the dating website that Ted canceled on for Robin in “Milk” will come up next season, right?

Oh hey Rob Huebel! Too bad he was shot and killed by Mrs. Flannigan right? RIP Rob Huebel!

Becki Newton is going to star in the new show The Goodwin Games on Fox, but it’s executive produced by the HIMYM execs Craig Thomas and Carter Bays and doesn’t begin until at least January, so she can still be in the way for a few episodes next season.

For the first three seasons, the show was getting mediocre ratings and there was a constant threat of cancellation. Ever since it’s been doing ridiculously well in viewership numbers, but the writing quality was never as good as it was before. Is there something to that? Or, and this is probably more likely, was the drop off merely due to a creative fatigue that plagues most tv shows after three years?

All the same, the just concluded season seven was a major improvement from season six.

Who The Fuck Is The Mother?  

I know what I wrote about the journey and the destination, but let’s figure this out: There is a 90 percent chance that it’s Barney’s half sister, Carly Whittaker. We know Ted meets The Mother at Barney’s wedding, and she would definitely be a guest that he had never met up to that point. And since Barney and Robin are going to marry that would mean they’d literally be Uncle Barney and Aunt Robin to Ted’s children. The two being literal nephews is very cool, and something that could have been planned since the inception of the show. Then again, Thomas and Bays claimed that they never considered Barney and Robin as compatible until the middle of the first year. But then AGAIN, even good people lie sometimes. But then again again, they might be total dicks, making the previous point moot.

Roger Cormier hopes that his son will become a head of Cardiology.