How I Met Your Mother Review: “Romeward Bound” (Season 8, Episode 21)


After what seemed like an eternity away, How I Met Your Mother returned tonight with Romeward Bound where Lily and Marshall are faced with the decision of whether to move to Italy with the Captain, and Ted, Barney, and Robin spend the whole time wondering what a girl’s body is like beneath a coat.

In case you aren’t clear after that description, I’ll spell it out for you – This was a very bad episode. There is absolutely nothing in that plot. The reason why the whole coat deal is terrible is completely obvious, but even the Marshall and Lily bit doesn’t hit its mark. The reason? It’s too big. There is little chance the couple actually moves to Rome. Something is going to go wrong and they’re going to end up staying in New York, and I doubt many people were all too worried about things going any other way.

Before I dig too deep of a hole, I will say that if Lily and Marshall spend season 9 in Rome, that would definitely play into what Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have said about season 9 being very different from what we’ve previously seen from the show. Having two out of the five main characters on another continent would certainly mix things up, but I think there’s very little chance that this actually happens. There’s also the note of the episode descriptions on Wikipedia which talk about packing for Italy and “one last trip” to Minnesota before moving, but I think something is bound to stall at the start of season 9.

The fact that it is so farfetched to even imagine them going to Rome made Lily’s whole dilemma a bit boring. We know that it’s really hard to move, even to another town, so she was going to be hesitant about going to Italy. We’ve seen Lily’s struggles with her career and what is comfortable before. Multiple times. They didn’t need a whole episode to inform the audience of that.

Also, how is Marshall making any money if his company really hasn’t had a client in months? There’s no way he’s getting paid, and Lily certainly would notice if he didn’t add a cent to their savings. She is nowhere near as mad as she should be considering he lied to her for months on end. The response she gives isn’t in any way believable, and the episode suffers for it.

In terms of the interactions between the other three, the only thing that stands out is the fact that yes, what Ted says about Robin not being quite as cool as she’s letting on is 100% true. We’ve seen her insecurities multiple times. Ted is giving Barney a valuable piece of advice, and Barney’s response is way out of line. If nothing else, I’m interested to see Robin’s breakdown, because that interaction was clearly foreshadowing one.

I will concede that the scenes in imagined Italy are funny, but they weren’t the kind of laugh out loud funny that can save otherwise pointless episodes. They made me smile, and I got a slight chuckle out of the final scene when Marshall continually uses the same phrase, just with different inflection. Other than that, there was nothing redeeming about this episode.

I realize this review is shorter than I usually write, but honestly, there’s very little that can be said about it other than reiterating how bad it is, and there’s no reason to dissect every detail of a utterly disappointing episode. I’m very letdown, especially after such a long wait. The show has three more tries to get it right this season. Hopefully something good is on the way.

Other Random Notes

  • The end of this season has really crept up on me, hard to believe there are only three more episodes left in season 8.
  • Marshall the Italian is something I definitely want to see more of. Especially with that awesome suit.
  • Ghost Protocol was very good, but I don’t know if I’d call it ridonculous.
  • The best of Marshall’s non-lies to Lily was having to focus on The Client.Very witty.
  • “A body that will melt a Nazi’s face.”

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

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