Monday, May 6, 2013

How I Met Your Mother "Something Old" Review

Robin Scherbatsky never wanted to marry until she wanted to marry. Barney never wanted to marry until the writers chose to make him a character of substance. Robin and Barney had a failed relationship that didn't last long. The fans loved the relationship. Bays and Thomas didn't share the love. The fans' fervor about the coupling might've contributed the marriage storyline. The impending marriage story hasn't been a success. Robin's forced to overlook many red flags of Barney's, including his own admission that he'll never stop being what he is, which is a sociopathic lunatic. "Something Old" is another example Barney's reluctance to change, of Robin's fear of marriage, and of Ted's devotion to Robin, the girl who took his breath away in the "Pilot."

The finale's titled "Something New." How I Met Your Mother likes to view history as circular, or, rather, as rounding into form. Future Ted, the show's narrator, certainly enjoys stories, and gags, paying off later. Why else would he tease nonsense? The reason is because it gives the show a sense of purpose and narrative cohesion, that the writers do have their story mapped out. "Something Old" holds onto the past whether it's in the Lily-and-Marshall-try-to-pack-for-Italy story in which they come across many items from their past, Barney's desire and need for a consistent father figure who supports and loves him regardless and will play laser tag with him for hours on end, or in Robin's search for her something old item wherein her and Ted remember their old feelings for each other, during a rain storm, holding hands, in central park.

Robin's search for the locket she buried in 1994 is an innocent story. Teenager Robin buried it when she thought about marrying a Canadian hockey player. The burial of her something old showed her feminine side to her father that repressed her femininity. Her father always wanted a son, but he got Robin. The locket takes on more meaning so close to her wedding. Robin called three men during her search. Just one showed up to help her. Robin's search reminded me of the coffin and ring test in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Robin's first two calls are to men who won't respond to her. Barney and her father are too caught up in what they need from each other. Her father needs a son figure, and Barney needs a father figure. They wouldn't give up that experience for the world or just for the most important woman in their lives. Deep down, Robin should've understood she'd have more luck hearing a duck recite the alphabet. Ted always comes. He'd pass up anything in the world to help Robin. The set-up is like Portia's ring test with Bassanio or the coffin test. The game is rigged. Ted's going to show up.

The scene in the rain is among the better Robin-Ted scenes in the later seasons. The tests in The Merchant of Venice have a spherical pre-dominance about them; it's not that the tests are connected to the stars, but they have a fateful quality. Of course, Portia's knows which coffin will unlock the key to her hand, just as Ted and Robin understand what they mean to each other. Ted puts to bed nonsense such as 'it was meant to be,' 'it's in the stars,' 'the missing locket and the pouring rain are bad omens for Robin's marriage to Barney.' Ted spits on the idea spherical predominance. People know what they who they want as their companion in their life. Dreams, seeing the person on a certain day and a certain time, the moon phase, etc., are hogwash folk use to complicate their lives.

The holding of hands to end the episode is a bit much, but I've ranted about the show's habit of returning to that well. I'm sure many, many fans are all over the final scene all across social media. Lily and Marshall throw stuff out they won't need in Italy. Ted tries to hold onto a bean-bag chair from their past, the first piece of furniture they bought as roommates. Ted fears he'll be discarded as a friend if not seen for a year. I predicted the outcome of the Italy storyline very early into "Something Old." Lily and Marshall disappear after the completion of their story in Act II. "Something Old" is about the oldest pairing on the show in the end. Now the pieces start to come together in regards to Robin's desire to leave her wedding through a window.

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.