‘How I Met Your Mother’ Review: “Something Old”
‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 8 digs up its twenty-third episode of the penultimate season “Something Old,” as Robin digs up a past memento from Central Park, while Ted helps Marshall and Lily pack, and Barney bonds with Robin Sr. over laser tag..
Last week’s ‘How I Met Your Mother’ episode “The Bro Mitzvah” saw Barney’s surprise bachelor party underwhelming him, while Robin found herself stuck at dinner with Barney’s mother (‘American Horror Story’s Frances Conroy), before both situations quickly get out of hand, so what did tonight’s all-new episode bring? Are we any closer to learning how the final years for Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall and Lily play out?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 8's penultimate episode, “Something Old!”
Back in 1994, a young Robin -- visiting New York with her father -- buries a locket in Central Park with intent to retrieve it before her wedding. Robin Sr. accompanies her to dig it up in 2013, but loses interest and leaves to play laser tag with the son he never had, Barney. Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily debate what to discard and what to take to Italy, ultimately agreeing to call master-packer Ted to help them out. Ted agrees, given his Spain-borne reputation for packing, one he doesn’t realize to be an insult in Spanish.
While Ted makes difficult decisions of what items to part with, Barney and Robin Sr. bond over laser tag. Ted points out a few superfluous items of Marshall and Lily’s, but refuses to discard an aging beanbag chair and karaoke machine, given the past sentimental value inherent to the three. Barney and Robin Sr. argue over who should take the lead in the laser tag match, while Robin continues to frantically dig in Central Park.
Lily and Marshall send Ted out for fanny packs as a distraction to get rid of the chair, while Barney coaches his laser tag team against Robin Sr.’s. Ted realizes the distraction and rushes back to protect the chair on the street, despite an upcoming interview he’ll need to leave for. Barney ignores Robin’s pleas to come help her in the park, while Ted explains to Marshall and Lily that the chair represents the first furniture the three of them had in their apartment and ultimately their friendship. Marshall and Lily assure Ted their friendship will remain intact, as Ted agrees to get off the chair, and quickly sees it disappear from their “Bermuda Triangle” stoop.
While Barney continues to play laser tag with his father-in-law, Ted decides to blow off his interview to help Robin in the park, even without knowing the dig’s importance to her. Robin worries that the universe wants to prevent her from marrying Barney, especially after she finds the locket box and discovers it to be empty. Ted reminds her that she doesn’t believe in universal signs as he does, but she finds the evidence difficult to ignore.
Finally, Robin Sr. and Barney turn on the kids in the laser tag arena, while rain pours down on Robin and Barney, and Robin grabs Ted’s hand as a sign from the universe.
We have to admit, "Something Old" shook us of our usual faith in 'How I Met Your Mother' to deliver memorable finales. Next week's "Something New" may well subvert expectations in setting up a ninth and final season of the long-running CBS series, but we couldn't help feeling "Something Old" was devoid of any real momentum.
For one, Marshall and Lily spent too much time comforting Ted's neuroses to provide any real weight to the Italy plot, while Barney's adventure with Robin Sr. amounted to nothing more than an entertaining exercise. Robin and Ted issues understandably rear their head, but not in a manner that feels genuine going into a finale, particularly one teased over the last few years.
We'll remain cautiously optimistic of next week's finale, but "Something Old" places an awful lot of weight on "Something New" to deliver on its eighth and ninth season promises.
What say you? Did ‘How I Met Your Mother’s latest “Something Old” take you by surprise? Do you think it made for a solid entry to the penultimate season? Join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 8 finale episode “Something New” on CBS!