E: Thank God. Thank God. This show has put us through a lot of changes, and it’s too soon to see where any of them will lead. After three absolutely brutal weeks, after fumbling blindly in the gloom, we get a little sunshine back into our lives.
E: When anticipating this episode, I assumed that it would pick up (as we so often do) with the end of “The Last Call.” That this would be where Alicia and Peter had the fight hinted at in the previews. As is perhaps more traditional with this show, however, we have to wait for the most explosive scene. And we have a lot of rather heavy-handed philosophy between us and that momentous fight.
Also, I kept thinking of the song “Pompei” by Bastille. If “The Last Call” was the rubble – the debris and the rolling clouds and the chaos – “A Material World” is definitely about dealing with the sin. If I close my eyes, will it seem like nothing’s changed at all? How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
M: Interestingly, the summer movie season appears to begin in April this year, despite the fact that in most of the country spring still hasn’t even started yet.
C: Certainly not in New England!
E: Yep. Despite the fact that I still have isolated snow banks scattered in my yard, we’ve got at least one full on summer style blockbuster premiering this week.
M: Isolated snow banks? Heck, it snowed THIS WEEK! Continue reading
E: If “A Few Words” was about the narratives we make out of progress, was our best self-promotion, then “The Last Call” is about the narratives we try to make out of tragedy, our search for meaning and reconstruction. How do we face a suddenly unimaginable future? How do we make sense of the unthinkable? Yes, it was an exercise in anguish, but it felt true to the way we experience grief. Every thing I’ve ever said in the wake of a shocking death gets said in this episode. That dumb sense of disbelief that comes over you when a pillar of your world gets taken away; we see a lot of that. In some ways, there’s more sleepwalking than tears.
Which is all to say, the pain isn’t going to end any time soon.
C: What with good shows getting abruptly canceled and once-good shows outliving their watchability, it’s not often I see the preplanned finale of a series I’m invested in. And in fact, I almost gave up on How I Met Your Mother at the end of last year (we can agree, I think, that Season 8 was pretty dismal), but I hung on because I was curious about The Mother. Yes, that ploy got me. And while the premise of Season 9 — the whole season taking place over Barney & Robin’s wedding weekend — should have been terrible, there have actually been some great episodes, especially those featuring the funny and delightful Cristin Milioti. Oh, and let’s not forget Billy Zabka. The gang lacked fizz with Marshall on a too-long road trip, but once Jason Segel was back in the mix, we got some scenes as good as anything in the earlier, classic seasons. I had no fears about the finale.
As it turns out, that confidence was a mistake.