Monday, April 15, 2013

How I Met Your Mother "Romeward Bound" Review

Veteran shows will usually throw in a plotline about a character or two contemplating a life-changing offer. Dick Wolf famously said he'd never run out of ideas for Law & Order, which may or may not be true as I've never watched the procedural, or its spinoffs, much. I'd wager that, if Dick Wolf never ran out of ideas, his ideas were worse in season fifteen than in season three. The Rome plot in "Romeward Bound" was another instance of a sitcom that's been on too long. The Captain offers Lily a year in Italy with her famiy, but she must decide by the end of the day. Lily and Marshall don't discuss the issue until the last scene of the episode. The ideal couple of HIMYM are terrible communicators.

Lily, Marshall and Marvin will leave New York for Italy, though. Lily stopped herself from saying yes to the offer because of doubt. Marshall asks her when she'll sabotage her dream job again. Lily laughs, unsure of why she sabotages her dream job again and again. The fear of a failure is the lone reason why. The doubt isn't about her friends or her roots, but her fear of failure in Italy, of being found out as a fool, no more able to identify a exceptional work of art than a squirrel's able to identify anything other than an acorn. Lily succeeded in her ho-hum life as a kindergarten teacher, as Marshall's wife, and as a mother. She succeeded in the local New York art scene. Beyond, though, in a different culture, in Rome, the Eternal City, is unknowable until she goes. Marshall builds her up with encouraging words involving his love for her. Lily smiles and says, "We're going to Rome."

HIMYM told the same basic story when The Captain hired her as his art consultant some episodes back. Lily's story of ambition and fear is re-told on a grander scale with an opportunity to have a few scenes look like classic existential Italian films. Lily's and Marshall's inability to communicate with one another is the frustrating aspect of the Rome story. Marshall delivered a nonsense speech about love using one Italian phrase he learned which was the show's way of communicating the strength of their communication. Lily learns that Marshall's been doing nothing in the environmental law world because the company is client-less. Marshall's dream was to save the world, but he's as ready to leave that lawyer life behind for Italy as Barney is to see a pair of bare breasts. Season 8's about Lily's career. Bays and Thomas must want Marshall to save the world in the 9th and final season.

Ted, Robin and Barney encourage Lily to accept the offer in the midst of their attempt to see their wedding planner's body. Ted took a yoga class with Barney's and Robin's wedding planner and described her body as the best he's ever seen, the type of body that causes him to lose his ability to say words. The writers beat around the bush for awhile before getting the point of the story, which is whether or not Barney's capable of asking a pretty woman to remove her coat so he can see her without wanting to use the playbook on her. Robin uses it as a test of his fidelity. The audience, it is assumed, should forget Barney's recent speech about being a creep and not caring enough to change.

Of course, the story wasn't about Barney's task to be faithful to his wife in three weeks. Indeed, the story's about Ted's attachment to Robin. Ted urges his buddy to quit talking about women as if he's single. Robin will get mad, Ted warns. Barney thinks Ted needs to accept the fact that Robin's marrying Barney and not Ted. Ted meekly offers to buy the next round of drinks.

Change seems to unite the two stories. Lily fears the change of going to Rome. Ted seems to fear losing Robin forever. Robin's loomed large in Future Ted's story. He's spent 8 years talking about Robin. There's one intriguing theory about the conclusion of Ted's story. In three weeks, he'll have to say goodbye; however, when something ends, something begins.

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK


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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.