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'How I Met Your Mother' 'The Locket' Recap: The End Begins on the Journey to Farhampton

After being asked to wait for it for eight years, the final season of How I Met Your Mother is here. The show finally introduced us to The Mother at the end of last season’s finale, and now we’ve been promised an entire season focused on the weekend of Barney and Robin’s wedding. In case you missed it, Season 9 will take place over just 55 hours, with the show revealing how every character met The Mother before Ted finally did. A lot of HIMYM fans have expressed worry over whether or not the show can sustain this model for an entire season — if you have trouble padding out a regular season, can it really be done for 20-plus episodes?

The Locket gave us our first on how successful the final season of HIMYM would be, kicking off the story with the gang heading to Farhampton — Barney and Robin being driven in a limo by Ranjit, Ted pretentiously driving Lily (at first) and Marshall trying to get back to New York after taking Marvin home to Minnesota to see Grandma Judy. Of course, there was no way HIMYM was going to let everyone make it to the wedding without a road bump of some sort.

Ted and Lily’s leg of the trip had the biggest impact on the episode. Despite attempting to ditch his pretentious side in Season 5’s Robots Versus Wrestlers (geez, that episode was four seasons ago?), Ted was suffocating Lily in his driving gloves-wearing, binder-preparing road trip. I half expected Ted to randomly preach about the correct pronunciation of “encyclopedia,” but thankfully it didn’t come to that. When she can no longer take Ted, Lily bailed on the car trip, choosing instead to take the train.

Enter The Mother.

Want a cookie?

In the first interaction between The Mother and one of the gang, she attempts to comfort Lily during the train ride. While Marshall and Marvin have been in Minnesota, Judy has peppered Facebook and Lily with pictures carrying the intent of guilting the Eriksens from going to Italy for Lily’s new job. (Yup, the Italy plotline, despite it’s awfulness, is still haunting us.) When The Mother overhears Lily talking about missing Marvin (and lonely unicorns, which would make an excellent children’s book), she springs into action, offering Lily a cookie.

OK, so what’s everyone think of The Mother?

After getting introduced to the character last season, this way our first chance to see how Cristin Milioti would interact with the cast that we’ve become so familiar with over eight seasons. This role is a huge challenge, and I think Milioti and Alyson Hannigan played well together. Milioti has infused The Mother with a calmness that still hints at a nervous dorkiness somewhere under the surface.

Without even seeing her and Ted together, HIMYM shared a few stories about the couple’s life down the road. “Waity Tedweena Slowsby,” The Mother’s nickname for her husband thanks to his wimpish driving habits, is a horrible nickname, but I could feel the affection that came along with it.

The Mother can also hold her own against Lily, who has always been one of the show’s most formidable characters. We’ve seen Lily’s devil-red eyes and heard her seeth “You sonofabitch” to countless friends and strangers. If The Mother can tussle with Lily and still wind up being friends with her, Ted is going to be lucky. After years of Lily secretly sabotaging his relationships, The Mother is finally going to be the one who passes her porch test. Will we see a scene of Ted, The Mother and the rest of the gang on a porch together in their older years by the end of the season?

While Lily met The Mother, Barney and Robin were dealing with one very traumatic event — the possibility they were related. Barney let is slip that on the Canadian side of his family there was a Cousin Mitch. Robin too happened to have a Cousin Mitch. The couple launched a frantic quest to figure out if they were related, calling relatives and even trying to justify the possibility that they would be OK if they were related.

Barney and Robin discover that Cousin Mitch married into Barney’s family and was actually adopted by Robin’s side, relieving them of any fear that they were blood relatives. With this scare in the past, Barney declared that he wasn’t worried about anything going wrong at the wedding, saying, “Whether any of those mammals go rogue, our wedding is gonna be legendary.” After years of hearing her fiance’s catchphrase, Robin asked, “No ‘Wait for it'?” “I’ve got you,” Barney said. “I don’t have to wait for it anymore.”

Thank you, HIMYM. Thank you for dropping all the ridiculous “Will Barney and Robin make it?” shenanigans from last season. If I had one complaint about last season, those storylines would be that complaint. (Actually, ruining Victoria would be my main complaint. I can never let that one slide.) Seeing Barney express confidence in his future marriage while outgrowing one of his catchphrases is progress. Don’t backtrack here, HIMYM.

In my least favorite plotline of the episode, Marshall got into some airline trouble. I’m pretty sure Alec Baldwin and those awful smartphone-using pig commercials have thoroughly sucked airplane jokes of any value, but HIMYM decided to go that route during the season premiere. Among the photos Judy had been posting on Facebook was one of Marshall wearing judge robes and pretending a banana was a gavel. Thanks to the phrase “I’m going to be a judge!” Marshall didn’t want Lily seeing this picture, as he had yet to talk to her about his own dream job offer. While on the plane, Marshall desperately tried to get his mom to pull the photo from Facebook, all to the annoyance of Daphne, his seat neighbor.

As we all know, you’re not supposed to use phones on planes, and as Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis taught us in Due Date, causing trouble on a plane is going to get you kicked off. Odds are, you and the person who caused a scene and got you kicked off will even have to go on a road trip together. These two are going to get stuck together, right?

While talking to The Mother, Lily realized that Ted’s pretentious behavior had a purpose. He wanted her to abandon him, giving Ted the chance to make it to Robin first and present her with the locket that Robin had searched Central Park for at the end of Season 8. According to Lily, it turns out that the locket wasn’t in Ted’s pencil box and instead was possibly taken by Stella when she moved. Ted even called the woman who left him at the altar, finding out that she was in Los Angeles now.

Ted has a gift

Ted did make it to the Farhampton Inn before Lily, almost handing Robin a wrapped box before Lily burst in and tackled him. After dusting himself off, Ted gave the box to Robin anyways, revealing that it was actually a framed picture of gang. Ted swore to Lily that he had dropped the possibility of finding the locket and that he wouldn’t cause a scene during the wedding weekend. At the beginning of last season, we saw that Ted left the wedding with a bandaged hand, so there is most likely a scene to be caused.

In the episode’s final moments, we flashed back to four days earlier when Ted purchased an airplane ticket to Los Angeles. Looks like he at least intended to go hunt down Robin’s locket.

Look, I wish I could say that The Locket was a glorious HIMYM season premiere, but it was just OK. You want a legendary HIMYM season premiere? Go watch Farhampton, last season’s premiere. Ted listening to Klaus talk about finding a woman who means the world to him. Ted later sitting at the train stop after the wedding, unaware of a certain yellow umbrella-holding person approaching in the rain. That’s a season premiere. And that’s the promise that HIMYM’s final season holds.

Notes and quotes
Ted to Lily after she mocked his driving gloves: “Then why is it called the glove compartment?”

Back when Barney was planning a wedding with Quinn, he wanted to ride a tuxedo-wearing bear down the aisle, and it looks like Barney hasn’t given up that dream.
Barney: “They’ll look so cute next to the ring bear.”
Robin: “Wait. You said ring bearer, right?”
Barney: “Ring bear.” Robin: “Ring bearer.”
Barney: “Ring bear.”
Robin: “Are you planning some crazy stunt with a dangerous wild animal at our wedding?”

Barney responding to Robin’s story about a crazy relative: “Does she actually ride a moose?”
Robin: “Yeah … and I’m worried she’ll bring it to the wedding. She and the moose are very close.”

Ted insulting Lily: “You’re a 21st century toilet!”

Marshall’s mom still has dial-up. There’s no way you could upload photos to Facebook using dial-up. That would take forever. I do appreciate her use of “Internet” as a verb, though.

The Mother to Lily: “I heard lonely and unicorn, which actually gave me a great idea for a children’s book, so thank you.”

Lily loves to calls people sonofabitches. The Mother makes cookies called sumbitches. These two are going to be friends, I just know it.

Barney on the phone trying to figure out if he and Robin are related: “I’m not asking about Cousin Pete, I’m asking about Cousin Robin. MITCH! COUSIN MITCH!”

The first thing The Mother ever says about Ted: “Huge dorks, that’s who.”

Robin trying to justify it being OK if she and Barney are related: “It’s really not that big of a deal. We know we won’t have kids.”
Barney: “And even if we did, King Joffrey’s parents were brother and sister, and he was a fair and wise leader.”

Barney responding to Robin’s sexy talk: “Whoa, you’ve certainly piqued by incest — interest INTEREST!”

Lily after fighting with The Mother: “Sorry I tried to bite you.”
The Mother: “Sorry I swatted you on the nose with a rolled up magazine."
'How I Met Your Mother' 'The Locket' Recap: The End Begins on the Journey to Farhampton Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 9/23/2013 Rating: 5


  1. so apparently you moved to a diff site. someone commented on the review of HIMYM from and said that they found you so i followed the link here. and yea i love your reviews. so please keep posting.

  2. Thanks. I'll be posting about How I Met Your Mother's final season on Popculturology all year long. Spread the word.

  3. The review of Coming Back is live now too.


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