‘How I Met Your Mother’ Season Finale Review: “Something New”
‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 8 reveals its twenty-fourth and final episode of the penultimate season “Something New,” as Ted confesses his wedding discomfort to Lily, while Marshall receives an offer and Barney and Robin face off against an obnoxious couple (‘Happy Endings‘ star Casey Wilson and ‘Key & Peele‘s Keegan-Michael Key), leading up to one major reveal.
Last week’s ‘How I Met Your Mother’ episode “Something New” saw Robin dig up a past memento from Central Park, while Ted helped Marshall and Lily pack, and Barney bonded with Robin Sr. ('Twin Peaks' Ray Wise) over laser tag, so what did tonight’s finale bring? With the big reveal out of the bag, how will the final season play out next year?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 8 finale, “Something New!”
A week prior to Barney and Robin’s wedding, Ted puts the finishing touches on his Westchester home, while Barney and Robin prepare their wedding dance, and Marshall and Lily pack. Marshall’s mother Judy calls to check in, when Lily accidentally reveals their plan to move to Rome, for which Marshall offers to bring Marvin out to Minnesota for a week before they leave. Ecstatic to have Marvin off her hands for a few days, Lily eagerly follows Ted up to Westchester to see the finishing touches on his house.
With the final plans out of the way, Barney and Robin enjoy a romantic meeting in one of their favorite restaurants, Barney offering Robin replicas of the first cigars they smoked together. Breaking the mood, an obnoxious couple (Key and Wilson) ask them to put away the cigars, next taking Barney and Robin’s favorite table out from under them.
Arriving at Ted’s Westchester home, Lily worries that Marshall’s mother will talk him out of moving to Rome, pointing out Judy's less-than-subtle Facebook pictures of Marvin denouncing the move. Lily marvels at Ted’s complete renovation of the house, but soon finds a “For Sale” sign tucked away, to which Ted admits he plans to sell the house and move to Chicago. Back in Manhattan, Barney and Robin commiserate at their poor table, ultimately resolving to break up “Krirsten” (Wilson) and her boyfriend as revenge.
Ted explains to Lily that Chicago would suit him well, more specifically that the girl he’s dreamed of meeting likely won’t be found in New York. Lily laments that Ted plans to move the day after the wedding, realizing his real reason for leaving to be Robin’s marriage to Barney. Marshall interrupts Lily with another call, assuring her nothing will prevent their upcoming move to Rome, when suddenly Marshall’s other line rings with a call from the New York State Judiciary Committee, offering him an immediate judgeship.
Back in Manhattan, Barney and Robin enact their plan against the other couple by slipping Robin’s engagement ring into a champagne glass, which Krirsten mistakes for her boyfriend’s doing. Upon correction, Krirsten points out that the couple had been dating for seven years, before a vicious argument begins. Meanwhile, Marshall pleads with the committee representative for any way he could take the judgeship while still moving to Rome, only to be denied at every turn.
Out on a park bench, Robin and Barney revel in their dissolution of the rival couple, when the pair suddenly walk by and reveal that the argument led to an actual engagement, delighting Robin and Barney even more. Back in Westchester, Ted admits that he wants Robin and Barney to be happy, but realized from their hand-holding last week that he’ll always have romantic feelings for Robin, and would do best to leave them be.
When Ted mentions the locket however, Lily reveals that back in 2008 she found Robin drunk over Ted’s imminent wedding to Stella, before Robin led her to Central Park and dug up the locket. Returning to the apartment, Robin drunkenly placed the locket in Ted’s pencil box, but rather than take it to Japan with her, she left the box in Ted’s possession without remembering its contents. Ted beams that returning the locket will make a wonderful wedding gift to Robin, but Lily urges him to be careful how he proceeds.
On a Friday morning, 56 hours before the wedding, Ted leaves his empty apartment and gets in the car with Lily, asking her not to tell the others about Chicago. Barney and Robin blissfully leave for the wedding as well, Ranjit as their driver, while back in Minnesota Marshall and his brother drive to the airport. Marshall explains to his brother that he’ll have to wait until seeing Lily to deliver the news about his judgeship.
Elsewhere, a girl bassist in stylish boots with a yellow umbrella arrives at a train station to Farhampton, finally revealed as she orders a ticket toward the wedding.
And there you have it! Eight seasons of waiting, and finally we have a face to the....well, I guess we don't know her name, do we? In any case, we had a number of questions and reservations heading into tonight's finale, particularly the idea that series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas would likely drag the wedding out for another season, regardless of the mother's possible reveal.
Revealing the mother (Broadway 'Once's Cristin Milioti) certainly gives us enough to chew on until next season, even with as many questions lingering what format the final year will take. Will we spend the remaining 56 hours in half-hour installments, or blow through the wedding in the early episodes, chronicling Ted and the mother's early relationship?
In truth, "Something New" feels as unplanned as the ninth season itself, lacking any strong sense of momentum outside of the final minutes, though we'd be hard pressed to deny the big reveal makes up for that. It was nice to see Ted and Robin's cliffhanger ending last week didn't throw unnecessary wrenches into the works, instead offering up a nice bit of introspection for Ted. Obviously, we're left with some immediate cliffhangers, between Marshall's job offer and Ted's imminent move, but we'll concede that "Something New' gave us exactly that, and an adequate cap on an uncertain season.
Say what you will, but we're finally excited for another 'How I Met Your Mother' season in a way that doesn't hinge on the titular promise dragged out even further.
What say you? Did ‘How I Met Your Mother’s finale “Something New” take you by surprise? Do you think the reveal of the mother redeemed any doubts about the final season? Give us your thoughts in the comments, and join us this fall for all-new episodes recap of ‘How I Met Your Mother’s final season on CBS!
And in case you missed the big surprise...meet the 'Mother!'