Monday, May 18, 2009

Jordan's Review: How I Met Your Mother, Season 4, Episode 24

Episode: The Leap

Tonight's episode wraps up the fourth season of How I Met Your Mother, and what a way to go. To borrow Sam's words (which I disagreed with last week) this episode had almost everything I look for in an episode. It advanced the master plot in an arguably serious (though truthfully minor) way, it played with time (though admittedly less than the best episodes do), it was adorable. Oh yeah, and it was very funny too.

This week found Ted still at work on his soul-crushing project to design a cowboy hat shaped rib joint. Marshall tries to get Ted upstairs to the roof for a surprise party (which he plays off hilariously poorly) for Ted’s 3st, but Ted refuses—he can’t have any fun, he’s doing the job he used to love. Meanwhile, barney has decided to admit his feelings to Robin, but only after receiving Ted’s permission with an obvious suit metaphor (Canadian Double Breasted).

As Barney attempts to find the courage to admit his feelings to Robin, Marshall tried to find the courage to jump to the adjacent roof, a feat he has been trying to accomplish for years. Lily attempts to stop him with what was easily the biggest scare of the night for me—she tells him she’s pregnant. Thank god it was another of the writer’s clever jokes about Hannigan’s pregnancy, as everyone knows a baby can kill a show (see my Scrubs retrospective for more proof of that), especially one that takes place majorly in a bar. So the episode has set up its premise—all of the male characters are taking a leap in the finale. I’d like to examine each of them individually:

Marshall’s Leap:

Let’s tackle the least interesting first. Marshall has been attempting to leap to the adjacent roof for several years, ever since he and Ted filled up a kiddie pool on the roof, only to find a hot tub sitting just one roof over (for the record, Barney and Ted in the kiddie pool as Marshall prepared to jump was an inspired moment). Perhaps the best moment in Marshall’s storyline was when he leapt off the ledge and safely back onto the roof. He stumbled, squeaked a bit and seemed entirely incapable of even a simple jump like that, much less a feat of Knievel-like proportions. Of course Marshall eventually takes the leap, but we’ll come back to that in a moment.

Barney’s Leap:

I have been waiting all season for this moment, and finally it came. Barney admitted his feelings to Robin tonight, and the writer’s managed to make it adorable, hilarious, and true to both of their characters. Barney attempts to tell Robin how he feels, only to find out (TWIST!) that she loves him. Which of course makes him immediately lose all attraction to her. Of course Lily lets him in on a secret: Robin knew what he was about to say, having overheard his conversation with Ted (TWIST) and was admitting her love only to push him away (a move Marshall and Lily have hilariously termed “The Mosby.”) Barney, hip to her scheme, decides he does still love Robin, which leads to a hilarious back and forth as the two, both confused and terrified by their own feelings as well as repelled by the idea of a serious commitment, try to talk out their relationship. There was no better way this could have come across. As Robin admitted she had feelings for Barney, he lost all interest in her, only to realize she was trying to “Mosby” him, which made him interested again. And Robin attempted to hide her real potential feelings by…pretending she had those feelings because she knew it would push Barney away. While this catch-22 of hilarity never really reached a conclusion (and we’re likely seasons away from a serious declaration of commitment from these two) their kiss at the end was all I needed to see. Barney and Robin are involved, and I’m as happy with the way it happened as I could be.

Ted’s Leap:

While the gang is upstairs enjoying his party, Ted is in the apartment having the much ballyhooed showdown with the goat. This story has been built up since the first season, and when the writer’s pulled a fairly cheap stall tactic last year and pushed the deadline back, I suspected they had nothing. What we got after four years was a pretty ridiculous scene of Ted wrestling with the goat, and Ted’s second trip to the hospital in as many season finale’s. I’m willing to forgive this pretty weak resolution however, for a few reasons. Firstly, the goat mark on Ted’s head in the hospital made me laugh. But more importantly, I am willing to forgive it because the rest of Ted’s story was more important. Ted has become disillusioned wit h a lot this season. He lost his faith in love, he lost his consciousness (and record as a civilized gentleman), he lost his job, and now he has lost his love for his dream job. Ted simply isn’t enjoying being an architect anymore. And so, as I predicted, Ted takes a leap and becomes a teacher. And the season leaves us with the knowledge that somewhere in his class is seated the future mother of his children.

As the episode ends, Marshall, and the rest of the gang, take the leap from their roof to the adjacent one (to the New Pornographer’s no less!). Each character has made some major steps forward this year, and I am very satisfied with this season’s conclusion, and very excited to see where Season Five takes us.

Grade: A

Notes:

· I love Marshall and Lily’s reaction to Robin’s sarcastic dream of moving to the suburbs with Barney. They’re so na├»ve and romantic.
· Marshall, rejecting Robin: “You’re very pretty, but you’re freakishly tall and you don’t believe in ghosts.”
· Two Barney moments that made me happy, both in regards to Robin: “But with you the trouble doesn’t seem so troubling.” Aww! And when he said, “You little minx!” It was adorable and funny simultaneously.
· Great Sven callback!
· Marshall shaking his head and refusing to watch Robin’s show. Subtle, but awesome.
· Barney looked at Robin before jumping! If you didn’t find that cute, I have nothing to say to you.

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