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'How I Met Your Mother' 'No Questions Asked' Recap: The Mother Is Missing and We're in Trouble

How I Met Your Mother’s ninth and final season promised us The Mother. It gave us The Mother. It even allowed Lily to meet The Mother. Heck, it showed us Ted and The Mother together in the future.

Then HIMYM took away The Mother.

After its two-episode season premiere, HIMYM packed up Cristin Milioti and decided that we had seen enough of her character, the very character that fans of the show had waited eight seasons to finally meet.

With The Mother absent, HIMYM’s final season has suffered. Sure, this odd move by the show’s writers is just one part of the reason this season is struggling, but it’s the main cause. Season 9’s storytelling abilities have been shackled by two other moves.

One is the format of this season. The concept of using an entire season to tell the story of Barney and Lily’s wedding was cute and creative, but it isn’t working. Our favorite characters are stuck in Farhampton.

HIMYM has been able to jump around with flashbacks, but it’s just not the same. For eight years, we hung out at the apartment, did some serious drinking at MacLaren’s and even got into trouble at the Goliath National Bank headquarters. The Farhampton Inn doesn’t have any kind of emotional connection for fans of the show.

Look, if you’re a hardcore fan of the show, this is where you try to make some reference to Ted not wanting to move out of the apartment but then eventually realizing that sometimes things have to change and people move on, blah blah blah, but that shouldn’t be the case here. I don’t want HIMYM’s final season to be a series of jokes told in a strange place while the apartment sits dark and that particular MacLaren’s booth sits empty.

The second big problem that this season has is that Marshall isn’t with the group. When HIMYM got a kind of surprising pickup for a ninth season, it was reported that Jason Segel was the final castmember holding things up. More than anyone in HIMYM’s main cast, Segel has a maturing film career. He both stars in movies and writes them too. I’m certain that Marshall’s storyline this season — being stuck on road trip separated from his friends — was a way to lure Segel back while still giving him the freedom to work on other projects.

“Hey, Jason, you’ll be stuck in a car with Sherri Shepherd FOREVER, but we can shoot those scenes any time and any place you want,” had to be how the HIMYM producers pitched this season to Segel. Thanks, HIMYM producers, for sticking us with this format.

Fun fact: Despite Milioti being promoted to a HIMYM series regular, the very first time the show has done that outside of Segel, Josh Radnor, Neil Patrick Harris, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan, she’s only appeared in two episodes. Shepherd has appeared in every episode. Wayne Brady has appeared in most of them. What kind of bait-and-switch is this?

Let’s see how quickly we can sum up No Questions Asked, the latest HIMYM episode. Last week, Daphne used Marshall’s phone to send Lily a text about Marshall accepting a judgeship. Marshall, desperate to keep Lily from seeing that text, calls in a No Questions Asked from Ted, Barney and Robin. Over time, that trio had asked Marshall for help in ridiculous scenarios with the stipulation that Marshall would ask no questions. He would never know how Ted got stuck in a blue mailbox, why Robin was wearing a unitard and being chased through the alleyways of New York City or why Barney was in the hospital. (OK, Marshall did figure out that Barney had been hospitalized after eating real-life versions of the Lucky Charms items in order to win fifty bucks.)

Despite Marshall trying to tell his friends that Lily’s hotel room door didn’t lock, possibly due to the fact that it was haunted, Ted, Barney and Robin launched absurd plans to break into Lily’s room and steal her phone. When none of them worked and Lily went to the hotel front desk to protest a room service order, Ted had to use his No Questions Asked to make Lily throw her phone on the ground and stomp it into destruction.

Problem solved, right? Marshall was home free, right? Nope. Marshall realized that he had never asked Lily for a No Questions Asked, thus never keeping a secret from her and knew that he couldn’t start now. Marshall asked Ted to give Lily his phone and finally told his wife that even though they planned on moving to Italy, he had agreed to be a judge.

Lily’s response? “You know, Marshall, I don't believe in ghosts. And I’m not sure anyone died in our room … but someone’s going to.” Gulp. Between this and the Robin-versus-Barney’s mom feud, we’re due for some violent HIMYM episodes.

Oh, there was also the fact that HIMYM once again tried to stir up trouble for Robin and Barney’s relationship.

If you didn’t just punch a hole through your monitor, let’s proceed. If it wasn’t enough to have Barney and Robin date, break up, flirt with the idea of getting back together, have Barney carry out an elaborate proposal that broke Robin’s heart, make Robin’s dad hate Barney, have Barney and Robin possibly be related, and have Ted possibly have feelings for Robin again, the show decided that they weren’t done beating this dead horse of a storyline.

For some reason, HIMYM infused No Questions Asked with the secondary plot of Robin and Barney realizing that they were both lone wolves who didn’t always work as a team. I have no idea why ANYONE thought this was necessary. Please, please, please end this storyline. If Robin and Barney are right for each other, just let them be. If it means we’re burning valuable time that could be spent showing Ted’s story, I don’t want to see any part of Barney and Robin’s story beyond the actual wedding and reception. They’ve had their time. Barney’s proposal to Robin was one of HIMYM’s best moments. Stop trying to ruin it.

The preview for The Lighthouse, next week’s episode, promised that The Mother will be back. Hopefully it’s not too late for her to salvage this season.

Notes and quotes 
How isn’t there a channel called The Ghost Network? Based on the amount of time I’ve killed watching Finding Bigfoot and Ancient Aliens, The Ghost Network could suck in a ton of viewers.

Barney to Robin in regards to her relatives’ 21-gun post-wedding salute: “Can’t your guys just fire blanks?”
Robin: “At a wedding? Yeah’s that’s romantic.”

Marshall submitted his “Priority male” joke to Bazooka Joe but got rejected. What other jokes has he submitted? Would Bazooka Joe run a series of strips based on Marshall’s fish routine?

Ted’s confidence when it came to climbing drainpipes had to be based on his successful drainpipe climb while trying to leave a note after Victoria agreed to run away with him. Dang. Now I’m thinking about Victoria. She was perfect. Why’d you have to ruin her, HIMYM?

Barney thinks that Bruce Willis was the villain in the Die Hard movies, continuing his trend of rooting for the actual villain in movies like The Karate Kid.

Lily referring to the ghost of Deardoff the Hooker: “I’m not paying for room service the hooker ordered.”
Barney: “I’ve been there.”

Robin in response to Marshall’s request to delete a text he sent Lily: “Just because you didn't know better than to take a naked selfie while in the coldest part of the country.”
Marshall: “First, I’m an Eriksen. Cold has an, uh, plumping effect.”

Barney after his doves fly away: “Courtney Dove! I already lost Kurt Coo-bain! I can’t lose you as well.”

I bet Courtney Dove killed Kurt Coo-bain after this incident.

Times Marshall could’ve asked Lily for a No Questions Asked but didn’t included when he thought he was tackling Bigfoot but tackling Russell Brand instead, tried to hug a racoon, took the TV apart to build a robot and tackled Brand again.
'How I Met Your Mother' 'No Questions Asked' Recap: The Mother Is Missing and We're in Trouble Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 10/28/2013 Rating: 5

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