How I Met Your Mother Season Premiere Review: “Farhampton” (Season 8, Episode 1)

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Getting back to Robin and Barney’s wedding, this episode actually has me questioning if those two actually end up together. Both of them are in freak-out mode on their wedding day, which is normal I guess, but just because this wedding has been teased for multiple seasons does not mean they end up going through with it. If there were a show to throw that big of a curveball at its audience, it would be How I Met Your Mother.

And finally we move 10 more hours into the future, to when Ted is relating all of this to an old lady at the train stop. I hope this lady winds up playing more of a role than just a throw-away character for Ted to talk to. It’s completely believable that Ted would tell all of this to someone and never speak to her again, but I’d still like this lady to have more depth than that.

Lastly, the moment at the end where we see everything but the mother’s face is an absolutely beautifully shot. Band Of Horses perfectly scores the build-up towards revealing the mother, as she exits the cab, grabs her guitar and walks up the stairs towards Ted. I had my write-up ready for how bold of a move it was to reveal her in the opening episode, but alas, as we all should expect, we only got to see her hand, shoes, legs, and dress.

Not only is the part of that scene with Ted beautifully shot, but the way all the characters appear to be thinking of what Klaus is is a brilliant approach to the serious end of this episode. The shots were put together perfectly, with great, albeit brief, acting from the entire cast.

How I Met Your Mother has developed its loyal fan base by effectively mixing humor with the characters’ serious, life moments. Farhampton was a bit light on the humor, as the writers tried to set up a lot of things in one night. The emotional toll of season 7 was greater than any before it, meaning if season 8 really is the last, it may end up even more on the serious side than ever before. That being said, if they keep providing such moving scenes as they have recently, I’m willing to sacrifice a bit of comedy.

Overall, Farhampton was a successful season premiere, but certainly not one of the best episodes we’ve seen, either emotionally or comically. Next week should settle into the plot, and be treated to the laughs that come from the usual episodes of this show. All in all though, this premiere served as a good catalyst for the roller-coaster ride of a season it looks like we’re in store for.

Other Random Notes

  • Has the show given up on this being a story Ted tells his kids, or did they just forget that’s what it’s supposed to be? If he really is telling his kids all of this, we have him telling his kids about telling an old lady about earlier in the day when he reflected on an early wedding at the same location. Whoa.
  • Ted’s feminine qualities have always been one of my favorite parts of his character, so naturally I got a huge laugh out of Victoria’s comment about his handwriting. Looks like those calligraphy classes paid off.
  • Easily the funniest part of the show was when Barney gives a history of Robin (and really the whole show) in under 60 seconds. He even had a few seconds to share “… Also, I went on ‘Price Is Right’ and I won a dune buggy.” If you’ve got friends who are still holding out on watching this show, Barney’s monologue can serve as a wonderful recap of the last 7 seasons.
  • Despite Marshall’s almost complete absence, he did have one shining moment. I’m referring to when Quinn asks the girls in the room to be her bridesmaids and Marshall replies “I’d be honored.” Classic Marshall, and it certainly wasn’t just his fatigue speaking. I just wish we had more of that.

Check back next week for my thoughts on the second episode in the eighth season of How I Met Your Mother.

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