Donna Bowman from The A.V. Club nails the intro to her HIMYM recap: When Ted picked up the yellow umbrella on his way out of the apartment to get a bagel, did your heart start beating faster? Mock me all you want, but I am seriously invested in the masterplot of this show. I catch my breath whenever there’s a hint of mother information or mother activity. If you’re with me, then you might have been soaring during the montage where Ted hugs all the people who led him to that fateful moment at the end of Act III, set to Guided By Voices’ joyful “Glad Girls.” You might have yelled out involuntarily when the montage ended and Sarah Chalke appeared. Did you yell out “No!”? Was it “Yes!”? If you stayed quietly in your seat, then this recap might not be for you.
Right fucking on. Go ahead and mock me too, because this episode had me all kinds of worked up, particularly in three different moments; two negative and one positive. I’ll start with the positive:
The Cecilia chart. “This circle represents people who are breaking my heart. And this circle represents people shaking my confidence daily. And where they overlap? Cecilia.” Classic, classic HIMYM moment. Even typing that out was fun. The whole storyline about the charts had me giddy. It made the episode.
And now on to the negatives…
The reemergence of Stella. Thinking about it now, I’m confident that she isn’t the mother. She can’t be. Impossible. But I briefly lost my mind when the woman under the umbrella was revealed to be Stella. Or maybe it was just the realization that she’ll probably be the one that leads Ted to the mother, which is only a bummer because I never liked her character and also because come on, get on with it already. Either way, I flipped out and am kind of embarrassed about it.
Barney’s continued pining for Robin. Please god no. I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it again, Robin and Barney will not work. Someone as cool as Robin wouldn’t be caught dead with a chauvinistic walking STD like Barney, no matter how awesome he is at magic. It’s ridiculous, and it reeks of Sitcom 101, and I’m bummed when looking forward to a season 5 with the Barney-Robin hookup as a principal plot. To which I say again: please god no.
That said, I can’t hardly wait for the final two episodes of the season.