'How I Met Your Mother' Review: "Knight Vision"

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How I Met Your Mother’ season 9 recalls its sixth episode of the final year, “Knight Vision,” as Ted finds himself paired with an increasingly downtrodden wedding guest ('True Blood''s Anna Camp), while Barney and Robin contend with their ill-tempered reverend, and Marshall wrestles with how to break the news of his job offer to Lily.

Last week’s ‘How I Met Your Mother’ installment “The Poker Game” saw Barney caught between Robin, James (Wayne Brady) and his mother Loretta (‘American Horror Story”s Frances Conroy), while Ted, Marshall and Lily argued over wedding gifts from years earlier, so how does the final season keep rolling down the aisle?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about the ‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 9 episode 6, “Knight Vision!”

By the time of Friday drinks before the wedding, Barney revels in the opportunity to get Ted laid with one of three women at the reception, likening the choice to the grail scene of ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.’ Ted first goes for Robin’s former roommate Sophia, but quickly changes his tune to Cassie (Camp) when she introduces herself. Suddenly, the grail knight appears to warn Ted he’s chosen poorly, as Lily recoils at the sight of Barney and Robin’s fearsome Reverend Lowell.

Out on the road, Daphne convinces Marshall that he hasn’t prepared to properly break news of his judgeship to Lily, and the two role-play to figure out the best way to ease her into the news. Meanwhile, Ted and Cassie seem to hit it off at first, at least until Cassie learns over the phone that she’s lost both her job and her friends, and desperately needs the comfort. Lily seems shocked that Reverend Lowell would so rudely brush off her attempt to win him over with the story of hers and Marshall’s meeting, before Barney and Robin reveal they had earlier stolen the story for their own in a panic.

Ted attempts to ease his way out of spending time with the increasingly depressed Cassie, again choosing poorly in suggesting they get a last drink in the dining room, and stumbling upon Cassie’s parents. Elsewhere, Reverend Lowell confronts Lily about his belief that she stole Barney and Robin’s story, for which Lily co-opts Robin and Barney’s history with Ted for her own relationship with Marshall, leading Barney and Robin to snap. Lowell realizes the truth about Robin and Barney’s muddled history, and storms off.

Marshall accidentally lets slip to Daphne that he already took the job without consulting Lily, to which Daphne reveals that she sacrificed her own dream job for her husband’s, and later regretted it. Back in Farhampton, Reverend Lowell refuses to officiate the wedding after Barney and Robin’s lie, while Ted and Cassie run into Sophia with Cassie’s ex Wesley, further exacerbating the situation. Barney and Robin come clean to Reverend Lowell, and express pride for their sordid and smutty history, leading the good reverend to drop dead right in his office. Meanwhile, Marshall learns that Daphne lobbied for big oil in her past career, before storming out of the car in a huff.

Ted finds Cassie too awkwardly upset for things to progress in her hotel room, before she thanks him for the honesty, and releases him to have fun for the weekend. Once downstairs however, Ted quickly discovers that most of the guests have already assumed him to be with Cassie, ruining his chances with any other women. The third of Barney’s choices for Ted arrives late, giving Ted a spark of hope, at least until an ill-advised toast to the departed Reverend Lowell reveals that he was actually Cassie’s uncle, again souring the mood.

Still, future Ted suggests that he chose wisely after all, as the bad decisions eventually led him to the mother that weekend. Meanwhile, Marshall gets back in the car and apologizes to Daphne, though she reveals in her anger to have texted Lily about the judgeship, just as Marshall’s phone rings.

Putting aside our continued complaints that the final season's wedding weekend format has become increasingly strained in recent weeks, causing all manner of logistical headaches in character continuity with nary an appearance from the mother (even in flash-foward remaining hidden under the umbrella), we need to draw a brief line. Eight years of retrospective have shown Ted to be awfully promiscuous prior to meeting the titular mother, something thankfully lampshaded by "Knight Vision" in that Ted never hooked up with anyone else at the wedding before meeting the mother.

That said, did the writing staff at no point stop to realize that Future Ted was telling his kids about the women he attempted (somewhat creepily) to sleep with at the wedding, hours before meeting their mother? Understandably, the entire series falls apart when we gaze too intently at the logic of Future Ted's sordid eight-year parable, but by this point in the story, Ted's oddly-prideful sexual misconduct should not go ignored, let alone become the focus of entire episodes. The character may not know of the landmark event hours in his future, but Ted's status as an often-unreliable narrator allows the audience some sense of participation in the story, an investment borderline insulted by the continued attempts to cram a sex-romp farce into the love story we've been promised.

We digress. At the very least, "Knight Vision" accomplishes its goal of coasting through another half-hour at the Farhampton inn with a bit more story to tell than last week's "Poker Game" disaster, though curiously the feud ignited between Robin and Barney's family fails to merit mention. Instead we're thrown a few laughs in both Marshall's imaginary conversation telling Lily of his news, and Lily's amusing co-opt of Barney and Robin's tale, though the moments are robbed of any real payoff, at least this week. Seriously, would wedding parties continue on this amicably if the gosh darn reverend (harsher language would have been oddly on the nose) up and died in the days before the wedding?

Sigh. We fully acknowledge that the future integration of the mother and ultimate 'HIMYM' resolution will likely have us all in tears, with plenty of earnest laughs along the way, but "Knight Vision" serves little more than to remind us how poorly we chose in dragging this out an additional season.

Well, what say you? Did ‘How I Met Your Mother’’s latest “Knight Vision” sour you on the final season format?  What did you think about Ted's latest romantic woes? Give us your thoughts in the comments, and join us again next week for another all-new recap of ‘How I Met Your Mother’’s latest episode “No Questions Asked” on CBS!

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