'How I Met Your Mother' Season 9 Premiere Recap
For a show who took nearly eight years to reveal the title character, it seems logical that this last hurrah will be like nothing we've watched before. Well, that's right. Writers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas stated that the entire ninth season would take place during one weekend.
Monday's premiere consisted of not one, but two new episodes. It focused on the first two or so hours of Barney and Robin's wedding weekend, with each character making their way to Farhampton. So let's see what is going with the "HIMYM" gang!
Showing his true Mosby ways, Ted takes the excursion to the wedding location as a chance to have a road trip. He's driving along with Lily and the many driving quirks he has annoy her: the tourist attraction detours, the driving gloves he wears, his need to drive way under the speed limit. After a while, Lily asks Ted to drop her off at the nearest train station and he does just that.
Marshall finds himself in a crowded plane to Farhampton with baby Marvin in tow, stressed out over his chance to preside as a judge in New York. Although it is a perfect career path for him, he cannot get too comfortable since Lily is also faced with a dream job opportunity: being an art consultant in Rome. This struggle, along with a bothersome yet hilarious woman named Daphne (Sherri Shepherd) seated next to him, drives Marshall pretty crazy during this time.
Then Marshall gets a message informing him that his mom posted a photo of him and Marvin with a caption saying that Marshall was going to be a judge. He worries that Lily will see the picture and be upset since he has yet to tell her about his decision to take the job.
There's a lot of begging on his part for his mom to take the photo down, but she has trouble navigating through the technology. His desperation makes him outwardly frustrated and he talks loudly, disrupting Daphne's sleep time. They bicker, but unfortunately, their disruptive behavior gets them kicked off the plane.
Meanwhile, Lily's on the train and is anguished over how much she misses Marvin. She is conflicted about checking for any new pictures of him, and starts ranting in her head about what she should do. Some of her thoughts become words said out loud, and she draws the attention of another woman on the bus.
That woman is the Mother.
She explains how she heard Lily say "lonely" and "unicorn", jokingly remarking that it gives her an idea for a children's book. Then, the Mother offers her cookies and Lily says yes, but she admires Lily's boldness to trust a total stranger by eating cookies that could be filled with drugs or poison. Lily is frightened and asks if it's true, and the Mother says she would not know since she found them under her seat. Again, she was joking.
I explain all of that to you to say that the Mother is slowly but surely earning my respect as someone who would be a wonderful addition to the tight-knit friends. She's also earning my love, but that's way too cheesy to admit. Too late.
Then, of course, there are the bride and groom themselves. Barney and Robin opt to arrive at the Farhampton Inn by limo, driven by none other than Ranjit, the friend and frequent chauffeur of the group. They discuss potential "wild cards" at the wedding, or family members who will potentially put a damper on the festivities. Robin brings up a Cousin Mitch of hers, who is a lumberjack with a total of six fingers. This rings a bell for Barney, and says he also has a Cousin Mitch exactly like that. Both realize that they could be cousins of some sort. Barney and Robin go from lovey-dovey to totally grossed out in seconds.
Lily continues venting to the Mother and tells her about Ted's annoying driving habits. Although she remarks that they're lame and dorky, she happens to share those same traits, emphasizing how perfect she is for him. The Mother tells Lily that maybe Ted wanted to get rid of her. What seems like a preposterous idea at first becomes real for Lily; she recalls earlier when Ted was desperately looking for a locket Robin buried in Central Park so he could give it to her and win her back. After a confrontation about Lily's phone and her desire to look at her son, the Mother and Lily apologize and give each other a hug.
Daphne is extremely angry at Marshall, so much so that when a seat is open for another flight to New York, she sabotages him to get there first. Both of them end up losing because a storm is heading towards the east coast.
His luck changes when Herb, an elderly man working at the car rental front desk, starts handing out sets of keys frantically. The final set is given to Marshall, and Daphne proposes that they both drive together. She even offers to buy a car seat for Marvin then come back for the two of them and be on their way. At this point, I was suspicious of her intentions, but Marshall believes her and even gives her cash to buy the seat.
Barney and Robin are still disgusted by the chance that they are blood relatives. All that mystery is cleared up when Robin gets a call from a family member clarifying that Cousin Mitch was adopted, therefore placing them on completely different family trees. They go back to being happy and excited about the wedding, with Barney stating that it'll be "legendary." It's a new way of him saying that catchphrase of his since he always interjects it with a "wait for it", and when Robin asked why he doesn't do that, he simply states that he already has her, and doesn't need to wait any more.
It turns out that Ted was planning on going all the way to Los Angeles to retrieve the locket with his ex-fiancée, Stella. We see him buying a plane ticket, but it is still not clear whether or not he actually went. It seems like maybe his feelings for Robin have subsided after all when he finally arrives at Farhampton and gives Robin a picture of the five friends at MacLaren's, their favorite bar and hangout spot.
Marshall still has not arrived at this point, so Lily and Ted go to eat with Robin, Barney, and his brother James Stinson (Wayne Brady). Barney is excited for the wedding on Sunday since it also happens to be James and his husband's anniversary. When he leaves the table, James confesses to cheating on Tom, his husband, and that they are now filing for divorce. This concerns Robin to no end since Barney believes in true love because of James' relationship, and she thinks that by telling him, he will not want to get married any more.
There is a huge realization of how much Barney has grown as a character over the seasons. He does not feel the need to run away from Robin, and feels like he will always believe in true love as long as he has her to remind him. During this, Future Ted reflects and says, "When you believe in people, people come through."
Before Marshall gives up all hope on Daphne coming back, she pulls up to where he is in the rental car and agrees to drive with him to New York, so long as he pays for gas and she picks what music to listen to. Marshall says yes, and Daphne exclaims that it's going to be a fun road trip.
The final scene takes place in a lounge area of the inn, where Ted is sitting alone at a table working on the crossword. James sits down with him and tells him an observation about marriage: "It's not all champagne and frosting."
After James leaves, Ted has another moment where he looks to the future and sees the Mother with him. It is the first time we have ever seen them interact, and quite honestly, it's everything I wanted and more. Similar to Ted's imagined speech to her in season eight about looking forward to meeting her in 45 days, the glimpse of them together aches in the most beautiful way.
WATCH: The Mother's first interaction with Ted's friends. See how well she and Lily get along!
Contact Staff Reporter Gennyvera Pacheco here.