May 19th, 2008
For quite a few series, there isn’t much to go on as far as judging the show’s return post-strike – can we really fairly judge the quality of a series by only four or five episodes designed to either tie up loose ends or pump out content for their network before May Sweeps ends? However, in the case of How I Met Your Mother, you can’t really make the same argument.
We got almost as many episodes post-strike as we did before, and as a result there is a sense that the show got to tell actual storylines and to lay down important pieces for its (now confirmed) future. The biggest problem with this is that I don’t know if they actually told enough of those storylines, particularly the unfortunately absent Stella (Busy with Scrubs Sarah Chalke); if we are to buy this as the season’s big purpose, for Ted to meet this one woman, why is it that we still don’t really feel we’ve met her ourselves.
This isn’t to say that the show is falling apart at the seams, but rather part of me would have preferred a classic apartment setting to the hospital retrospective we ended up getting. It felt like too much of a cop-out, an admission that even with nine episodes post-strike they still weren’t able to build to the finale it feels like they wanted to write.
The result is a finale that is humorous, moderately eventful, and felt less identifiable as an episode of this series than the month’s other comedy finales.