How I Met Your Mother: Season 7
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With both a baby and a wedding on the way; change is in the air and awesomeness abounds in the hilariously unpredictable Season Seven of How I Met Your Mother. As Marshall and Lily move away to start their family; Ted continues the search for the woman of his dreams. Meanwhile; Robin reveals a shocking secret and special guest star Katie Holmes joins the fun in the long-awaited return of the Slutty Pumpkin! And; wedding bells are ringing at last for confirmed bachelor Barney; but why is he wearing that ridiculous ducky tie; and just who is the aluckya lady?
How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Season 7 opens with Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) getting married, but you won't find out who he's marrying until the very last episode--which is pretty quick for this show, given that after seven seasons we still don't know who the mother of Ted's future children is. Or do we? The season concludes with Ted (Josh Radnor) hand in hand with someone, but is she really the long-awaited woman of his dreams? Robin (Cobie Smulders) realizes she still has feelings for Barney, leading her to sabotage his flowering relationship with another woman. And Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) are pregnant! When is the baby due? In the last episode of the season, of course! These season-long storylines are the counterpoint to the quick flashbacks, flash-forwards, sideways jaunts, and stories-within-stories that fill every episode.
Unlike most sitcoms, How I Met Your Mother benefits from watching an entire season all at once. Not only do episodes routinely refer to past or future events, but the show's humor depends on what the five main characters themselves find funny. In fact, How I Met Your Mother is practically an analysis of how shared humor forges a group identity, as the friendship of these five hapless New Yorkers is held together by in-jokes and mutual history--to the point that it's almost impossible for anyone else to join their tight little tribe, including new viewers. This makes watching any single episode a little off-putting; the show doesn't seem that funny and the characters seem derangedly attached to each other. But with each episode you watch, you get drawn in more and more until you find sweeping declarations, the ducky tie, long-term bets, "The Night We," and pregnancy brain just as compelling as they do. --Bret Fetzer
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Season 7 kicked off in the fall of 2011 with main characters: Josh Radnor as Ted Mosby, Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson, Cobie Smulders as Robin Scherbatsky, Alyson Hannigan as Lily Aldrin, and Jason Segel as Marshall Eriksen. As the series progresses it is also picking up more and more celebrity cameos [ehem, did you know that the voice of "future Ted" in the precaps is actually Bob Saget?]; Season 7 features guest appearances from Marshall Manesh as Ranjit, Chris Romano as Punchy, Nazanin Boniadi as Nora, Wayne Brady as James Stinson, Frances Conroy as Loretta Stinson, Alexis Denisof as Sandy Rivers, Kal Penn as Kevin, Becki Newton as Quinn Garvey, Chris Elliott as Mickey Aldrin, Vicki Lewis as Dr. Sonya, Martin Short as Garrison Cootes, Bill Fagerbakke as Marvin Eriksen, Cristine Rose as Virginia Mosby, Ray Wise as Robin Scherbatsky, Sr., Suzie Plakson as Judy Eriksen, Ellen D. Williams as Patrice, Ashley Williams as Victoria, Brendan Robinson as Ned, Conan O’Brien as extra, Katie Holmes as Naomi, “Weird Al” Yankovic as himself, and Ernie Hudson as himself.
SEASON 7: Season 6 came to a close with the news that Marshall and Lily are expecting a baby. Ted has broken things off with Zoey, but the return of Victoria this season could mark a change in the way Ted pursues finding the mother of his future children. Robin and Barney seemed to mature (a little) in the previous season, possibly making Season 7 the prime time for them to find lasting love.
Episode 1: “The Best Man”—Marshall and Lily try to conceal the news of their pregnancy as the gang attends Punchy’s wedding in Cleveland. Just when Robin admits her lingering feelings for Barney, he makes another attempt with Nora; we get a glimpse of Barney’s future wedding as well as the idea that he may have had to pick between two eligible brides.
Episode 2: “The Naked Truth”—Barney stays up all night trying to prove to Nora that he’s worth another shot; Ted is torn between two women; Beercules emerges online, threatening Marshall’s potential to be hired with an environmental law firm.
Episode 3: “The Ducky Tie”—Barney moves into the reaping phase of a long-term con against Marshall and Lily; after reuniting with Victoria, Ted begins to reevaluate why he hasn’t been able to make headway in relationships.
Episode 4: “The Stinson Missile Crisis”—Barney decides to focus on his ‘A-story’ with Nora, but has to abort all side-missions. Robin reveals how she ended up in mandatory therapy for an assault charge.
Episode 5: “Field Trip”—A field trip for Ted’s architecture class takes a detour. Marshall begins to think he put his new boss on a pedestal, but refuses complacency; Robin enters a relationship with Kevin.
Episode 6: “Mystery vs. History”—In the age of social media, Ted goes on a new sort of ‘blind’ date. Barney and Robin can’t help but expose the gender of Marshall and Lily’s baby; Kevin comes to terms with the mental state of his new group of friends.
Episode 7: “Noretta”—James, Barney’s brother, pays a visit and shatters the glass on similarities between Nora and Loretta; Kevin evaluates the relationship between Ted and Robin.
Episode 8: “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns”—Ted gets another shot (and closure) at the romance that never was. Lily’s grandparents leave their house in Long Island to the young couple.
Episode 9: “Disaster Averted”—Barney, nervous about meeting Nora’s parents, barters three slaps to Marshall in exchange for retiring the Ducky Tie. Ted tells Kevin the story of how the gang survived Hurricane Irene, and, despite their respective relationships, stirs up old feelings between Barney and Robin.
Episode 10: “Tick Tick Tick”—Ted and Marshall take a trip at a concert. Barney and Robin realize they need to try again, but only one of them follows through.
Episode 11: “The Rebound Girl”—Lily and Marshall decide to move to Long Island, causing Robin to feel alone and confused; Ted and Barney make a rash decision to adopt a baby together.
Episode 12: “Symphony of Illumination”—Marshall falls victim to suburban antics. Robin contemplates her ‘almost pregnant’ situation only to be depressed about knowing she’ll never have that crisis again.
Episode 13: “Tailgate”—Marshall narrates the episode at his dad’s grave, but the audience is greater than expected. Robin gets another shot at live TV; Ted and Barney embark on a business venture which turns Ted’s apartment into a bar.
Episode 14: “46 Minutes”—With Lily and Marshall 46 minutes away, the rest of the gang runs wild… but makes it home just after curfew.
Episode 15: “The Burning Beekeeper”—Lily’s dad has overstayed his welcome, but manages to ruin one last important function.
Episode 16: “The Drunk Train”—Barney and Ted discover that “the drunk train” is a prime spot for picking up desperate women, though Barney ultimately sets his sights a little higher. Robin accepts Kevin’s proposal, but later recants due to her infertility.
Episode 17: “No Pressure”—Now that Ted has bursted the friendship bubble with Robin, Victoria’s warning becomes more clear. Barney uncovers a secret box of bets at Lily and Marshall’s house.
Episode 18: “Karma”—When Robin moves out, Ted is overwhelmed with separation anxiety. Quinn, aka Karma, manages to turn Barney’s tricks around, showing him how it feels to be swindled.
Episode 19: “The Broath”—Barney and Quinn craft an elaborate ploy to offset the gang’s meddling; Robin and Ted struggle to repair their friendship.
Episode 20: “Trilogy Time”—The tri-annual Star Wars marathon leads Marshall, Barney, and Ted to review the progress (or lack of progress) each has made in the past three years; the revelations lead to revolutions, including Barney’s desire to settle down with Quinn.
Episode 21: “Now We’re Even”—Barney wears Ted out with ‘legendary’ outings, but we learn that Barney needs the distraction to keep him from thinking about Quinn; Robin becomes an on-air hero; Lily confesses her dream about Ranjit to Marshall.
Episode 22: “Good Crazy”—Marshall’s stress about the baby causes Lily to trick him into an Atlantic City trip with Barney, who also needs a break from worrying about Quinn. Ted struggles to get over Robin; Lily goes into labor.
Episodes 23-24: “The Magician’s Code”—Ted and Robin are forced to interact at the hospital as an effort to distract Lily from being angry about Marshall’s momentary absence (he’s stuck in Atlantic City with Barney). Barney and Quinn are held up at the airport due to the failure of Barney’s magic trick to pass security; Barney and Quinn end up engaged, but Quinn is not the bride shown in the episode’s ending flash-forward scene. Ted reunites with Victoria, inciting her to ride off into the sunset with Ted instead of getting married.
First, the Slutty Pumpkin storyline is finally reconciled when Ted meets her, albeit nearly a decade later (played by Katie Holmes). The last five minutes of the episode are awesome, and almost made me a Katie Holmes fan (when she explains their short relationship from her point of view).
Also, Marshall and Lily finally have their baby, a long-awaited moment--and Lily's father finally comes back into the picture. This is further expanded on in season 8, where he finally redeems himself (as much as possible) after not being there during her childhood.
There are a lot of moments in this season that made me cry! The episode "Tailgate" and towards the end of the season, the awkward exchange between Ted and Robin as he finally lets her go ("No Pressure"). Overall, this was an excellent season and viewers see the show start to mature.
I was expecting a lot of misses in Season 8 from some of the other reviews, but as it turned out there was really only two episodes that didn't work for me and were disappointments. I thought The Slutty Pumpkin episode had so much more potential especially after a big buildup to it in previous seasons. Also I don't find Chris Elliott as Lily's Dad particularly funny and although I loved the flaming beekeeper episode, 46 minutes was also a miss where much of the episode was devoted to Lily and Marshall trying to get rid of Elliott. For me, he's always been annoying and the only thing I've ever tolerated him in was Groundhog Day. I was glad to see him depart after a couple of episodes.
That being said, I thought all of the other episodes jelled together nicely with a lot of ups and downs, some sadness, and a lot of laughter. And it's that mix that really makes me enjoy this show. Well, that and finding out How Ted Met His Kid's Mother.