How I Met Your Mother

Episode Report Card
Angel Cohn: C | 115 USERS: B-
One Red Balloon Goes By

This episode resolved a lot of lingering plot lines, and given the fact that we're nearing the end of the series run in the wee hours of Barney and Robin's wedding day, it's about time. The only problem is that while it did answer some stuff, I felt really detached from it. Like I might has well have read what happened in this episode from a Wikipedia page. At least the Barney stuff was mildly entertaining.

Barney is drunk and wandering the streets of Farhampton when he runs across two young hopeless boys who have struck out at a party and apparently have bunk beds. He decides to pass along his years of wisdom to these two lads, and introduces them to the wonder that is a strip club that appears out of nowhere like a Long Island oasis. Then he gets them suited up by Tim Gunn before giving them the keys to the castle -- a.k.a The Playbook -- scrawled on some napkins. It seemed that they were setting up something with a knowledge transfer, given the way that we have seen Barney himself transformed and transformed again, but we could have lived without him slapping the kids and telling them they weren't ready. It reminded us of that terrible episode from a few weeks back where Marshall learned to slap... and no one needs to think about that.

On the Marshall/Lily front, he's stuck in the haunted room having visions of ghost Lily (present) and ghost Lily (past), who both call him out on the fact that bringing up her San Francisco period at this stage in the game was a supremely low blow. Even his dead dad ghost and Robin chime in. Eventually he thinks he's won because ghost Lily (present) tells him she's obviously going to stay in New York because it's best for the entire family, but he's a lying liar who lies and if he doesn't shape up. he's going to find himself a very lonely human being down the road. Then the two reconcile, but not before we have to sit through ghost Lily (past) making a bunch of lame pop culture references. MySpace, right?

We see a flashback of young Ted with his best friend, a red balloon, and how he lost it at a barbecue when he let it go to grab a hot dog. It's supposed to be a metaphor for hanging on to things you truly love, but all I could think about was Dr. Doofenschmirtz from Phineas & Ferb and his childhood best friend Balloony. Do you think that was a coincidence?

Then, somehow, Ted ends up on the beach with Robin on the night before her wedding, and she starts ranking his previous girlfriends, with Victoria at the top of her list. She asks what happened there, and he finally reveals that Victoria gave him an ultimatum not to be friends with Robin anymore. She's hurt that he didn't tell her. She also wonders about Stella and the worst girlfriend Jeanette, and asks if he's talked to any of them, and we see that he talked to Stella (and went to California to search her storage unit), spoke with Victoria (who was wearing the locket and shipped it to Ted from Germany) and then see Jeanette who stole the package and brought him to the Bow Bridge in Central Park (which has been under construction for ages and hasn't looked like that in so long that it must be stock footage) and throws the necklace in the lake. We don't see if Ted jumped in (we wouldn't put it past him) but the gist of all of this is that he needs to move on. It should be noted that all his exes, even the crazy one, tell him that he's a ridiculous person who is hung up on Robin and needs to let go.

He finally tells Robin that she was his number one (and only girlfriend) and that he's moving to Chicago so he doesn't have to see them together. The two watch the sunrise and he realizes he needs to let her go like the red balloon that used to be his best friend. And I start laughing hysterically because the floating-away effects are the funniest thing I've seen on this show in weeks.

How I Met Your Mother




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