“Do I Know You?”
September 22nd, 2008
There’s a lot of things that we don’t know about Stella – she walked into the series in a guest appearance, returns to make Ted realize the brevity of life, and then all of a sudden at the end of last season she was, potentially, about to become Ted’s fiance. Our limited knowledge of her is what has me convinced that she can’t be the titular Mother – there is just something about the way they met, and the way they are progressing, that makes this feel like one of those emotional rollercoasters that leads Ted to self-awareness and his eventual soul mate.
And the show isn’t pretending, as other shows might, that this is a match made in heaven – the opening episode is all about two relationships, each that has either a lack of information or damaging preconceptions standing in the way of their future. As Ted struggles to get to know Stella, Barney struggles to get over himself in order to show Robin a new Barney. The episode jumps back and forth between the two, connecting these two narrative threads and their importance to the future of the series.
The end result is an episode that never transcends to laugh out loud, that doesn’t feel like a showcase for any one of the show’s elements, but nonetheless represents a good investigation into the insecurities and indulgences of this series. So while the characters might be struggling to find their own footing in this new frontier, this is likely to serve as a foundation of growth and, hopefully, a strong fourth season.