Screen: CBS

How I Failed To Hook Up With Every Woman Except Your Mother

How Mother-y was an episode about wedding weekend hookups? Hint: it chose poorly.

Is anybody else exhausted with this already?

This wasn't a terrible episode of How I Met Your Mother, but the stuff that should have shone only flickered weakly, and the stuff that didn't work was painful. How do you have Anna Camp (as Ted's overly emotional potential hookup Cassie) and Edward Herrmann (as Reverend Lowell) guest star in the same episode and not knock it out of the park? By making their characters stupid-broad and uninteresting, that's how.

Last week's poker game already gone and forgotten, this 9 PM Friday episode, set 45 hours before the Sunday wedding, is about Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) trying to hook up Ted (Josh Radnor) with someone at the Friday-night party, a tradition for singles since time out of mind. They offer several easy hook-up options, but Cassie suddenly gets in Ted's face with the promise of an easy lay. But it's not so easy; she's just been through a breakup and fired from her job and spends her entire time with him crying, promising sex, pining for her ex-boyfriend (who, improbably, is at the wedding and hooking up with one of Ted's other options) and coughing all over Ted because she's probably getting sick.

The Cassie story is framed by a mock flashback to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Barney and Ted are urged to "Choose wisely" by a Holy Grail-guarding knight. (Sidebar: Who the hell picks Last Crusade as the most sacred of the Indiana Jones movies? Barney's usually a lot smarter than that.) The guard keeps coming back to let Ted know when he's chosen poorly or wisely, a joke that gets old fast, but that comes back around when the Grail Knight starts making fun of Ted's tipping. Ted spends so much time with Cassie that everyone thinks they're a couple, ruining his chances for a wedding weekend hookup, but clearing the way for him to meet The Mother (Cristin Milioti) later.

Marshall (Jason Segel) and Daphne (Sherri Shepherd) are still in the damn car and still having damn arguments and it's just the worst. This week, they discuss why Marshall hasn't told Lily about his job offer to become a judge (remember, Lily accepted a job in Rome). Daphne tries to help Marshall walk through what his arguments should be to lawyer Lily into not killing him for hiding the information. There's a clever bit in which Lily is shown responding to Marshall's arguments in the voice of Daphne, but this goes on and on and on and on and leads to a ridiculous reveal that Daphne actually works for the same kind of oil company that Marshall would be fighting against as a judge (never mind that that's not what judges do). And then Daphne calls Lily and leaves a message imparting the information Marshall didn't want her to know and that's the big cliffhanger for next week.

But if you really want to feel bad about this episode, consider the awfulness of Robin and Barney, who literally kill Reverend Lowell by angering him so much about their promiscuousness and their lying that he dies in his chair after muttering over and over, "You're killing me with this." Herrmann will always be Richard Gilmore to me and he does what he can, but the part is one-note, all glowering and disapproval, and as much as I would have liked to see him stick around a few episodes, perhaps it's best that he got to leave before we had to see another 15 close-ups of him frowning over people using condoms and not being purely devout in the year 2013. As for Robin and Barney, they come to realize they love their messy past and should stop lying about it just to please others. Too bad they need to find someone else to officiate the wedding and that, oh yeah, a man had to die for them to figure it out.

The past few mediocre episodes have started to run together and this one had some glimmer's of hope at first. But in the end, how Mother-ly was "Knight Vision"?

Mother-Y Element Present?
Ted Still Pines For Robin...Or Does He? Perhaps I'm being overly optimistic, but that may finally be behind us. No pining this week, just raw lust for hooking up on Ted's part.
Robin And/Or Barney Shows Signs Of Cold Feet Before The Wedding Surprisingly, no. They were unified in their awfulness and determination to get married in a church that doesn't want them.
Guest Star From A Past Season Pops Up (Ex-Boyfriend, Old Boss, Ranjit The Cab Driver) There were guest stars, but not ones from past seasons.
Baby Marvin Does Something Cute And/Or Disruptive Seriously, please check on Baby Marvin. I'm getting worried. Is he even still in that car seat?
Gay Jokes About Barney’s Brother James Stinson (Wayne Brady) James does not appear this week.
Ted Moves A Tiny Step Closer To Meeting The Mother (Cristin Milioti) She's only alluded to briefly this week when Ted says that the bad decisions he made over the weekend of the wedding proved wise overall because he wasn't with someone else when he finally meets her. But it's the same umbrella-at-the-station bit we've seen before. Time marches on.
Humor Involving Wacky Relatives Doing Wacky Relative Stuff At A Wedding No relatives shown this week.
Ted Is An Insufferable, Pretentious Prick About Architecture, Wedding Etiquette, English Literature, Or Any Other Pedantic Bullshit Ted was so busy trying to get laid and then extricate himself from Cassie that he didn't have time to be pedantic. Also, he tipped badly, which seems out of character for Ted.
Public Transportation High Jinks None.
Flashback to Ted, Lily, And Marshall In College A very brief flashback to the moment Lily and Marshall met in their college dorm was followed by a mock flashback of Robin dressed as Lily doing the same. Robin in a black Lily wig was surprisingly great.
Pop Song Montage Or Episode Outro Soundtrack was skimpy this week.
Barney Says Something Inappropriately Dirty About A Hot Woman Because, Come On, Barney Barney says inappropriate things about a few wedding guests he's trying to hook Ted up with, but it's less inappropriate than usual since Robin is standing right there chiming in right along with him and even adding sexual sound effects. Did we mention they were awful together this episode?
"Legend…ary!", "Wait For It…," Or Any Pun On The Word "Bro" None, but a new show catchphrase, "What in the damn hell?!", got a workout.
Retro Video, Instructional Tape, Book, Or Other Multimedia Project Starring Or Created By One Of The Main Characters (Robin Sparkles, Barney As A Fake Astronaut, Etc.) Nada.
Slap Bet Everyone needed a slap in this episode. Nobody got one.
Unanticipated Wedding Hookup Ted hooks up briefly with Cassie in the bar area and then almost beds her until he decides to stop because she's an emotional wreck. Ted also nearly hooks up with another girl before he chooses poorly in making a toast to the deceased Reverend Lowell, and has to console poor Cassie when she reveals it was her uncle. Womp womp.
3 / 16
Final Score
How I Met Your Mother
striking out at hooking up Mother-y loneliness
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