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How I Met Your Mother's trickery

How I Met Your Mother poster

Written by : published Tuesday 15th May 2012

CBS ends this season of How I Met Your Mother with the two part episode, "The Magician's Code." It doesn't really make sense to list this as a two-parter because they really are two completely separate stories. None of the major plots continue from one half hour to the next. One wonders if, after deciding to grant 2 Broke Girls a full hour last week, someone just went and renamed the first of these two episodes.

But the title "The Magician's Code Part 1" is not the only thing that doesn't work about the first half of the finale. The entire story is dumb. Marshall (Jason Segel) is plastered as he tries to make his way home for the birth of his daughter. Big event in Atlantic City or not, surely someone would have found him some type of transportation if he explained the situation. Granted, Marshall is in no condition to explain anything, but Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) could. Unfortunately, Barney is acting so far inept that he's way out of character.

Worse is the other plot, where Ted (Josh Radnor) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) try to distract an in-labor Lily (Alyson Hannigan) with stories. These are nothing more than rapid punchlines shown in quick succession, Family Guy style. Even the larger tale of the mysterious door, while essentially clever, doesn't work in this context. Robin's insistence on treating Lily like a farm animal is horrible. And why is Lily told by her doctor to wait to go to the hospital until it is too late to administer the drugs? Not to mention, Mickey (Chris Elliott) is a terrible character.

Fans have come to expect better than this from How I Met Your Mother. Despite a weak season or two in the middle, the series has gotten relatively consistent at being good again. "The Magician's Code Part 1" does not at all live up to this high standard. The fact that the episode features something as momentous as the birth of Lily and Marshall's child makes this mistake of an episode nearly criminal.

Thankfully, "The Magician's Code Part 2" is excellent. Barney and Quinn (Becki Newton) head off on a trip, but are detained in airport security because of Barney's mysterious box. Now, at face value, Barney cannot possibly be stupid enough to act the way he does in front of these security agents, who are also unnecessarily bad at their jobs. However, the charming tone and sweetness of the situation, which ends in a proposal, is more than enough to make up for any flaws. How exciting that Barney has finally found true love!

Too bad Barney's love is not with Quinn. It's actually a little disappointing when Robin is revealed to be Barney's bride. For years, a Barney-Robin pairing has been something to root for. As Barney matures and moves on with Quinn, that changes, which is a testament to what Newton is bringing to the party. It's kind of a step backwards for Barney to return to Robin now. However, this takes place in the future, so there is time to build to the wedding properly. And fans still want Robin to be happy. As such, while it's sad that Quinn, as predictable as that would have seemed in the context of this episode, is not going to marry Barney, it's also great to see that Robin finds happiness. Bittersweetness.

Also in "The Magician's Code Part 2," Ted gives Victoria (Ashley Williams) a call. Robin tells Ted that he is not dating the right girls for building a family, something he claims to want, and Victoria is the only possibility he has squandered a chance to fulfill his dreams with. But it's Victoria's wedding day, and she shows up dressed for the ceremony, asking Ted if he wants to run off together. It seems Victoria is no longer the type of girl Ted needs to settle down with, either.

Ted pledges to do the right thing and take her to the church. Though, if she is actually considering running off with another guy, is that really the right thing? Which is why it's not so sad when Ted drives past the church and off into the sunset with Victoria. Such terrible circumstances do not point to Victoria being the likely titular mother. But she is such a delightful character that it would be good just to have her around again for awhile. And Williams makes her so wonderful that, if Ted does reveal her to be the mother, any mistakes and bad ideas would be forgiven anyway.

How I Met Your Mother will return next fall to CBS.

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About the author JeromeWetzelTV


Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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