How I Met Your Mother Review: “Vesuvius” (Season 9, Episode 19)

How I Met Your Mother

This week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother marks the final month of the show’s run. When April rolls around, the finale will be over and everything that fans have been anticipating for years will have (hopefully) occurred. So it’d seem fairly safe to assume that these last few episodes would be full of substance, but as Vesuvius shows, that may not be the case.

This episode is yet another in the run of essentially meaningless episodes to close out the show. The main plot here focuses on Lily being upset that Robin isn’t freaking out about her wedding. That’s supplemented by the side plot of Ted trying to help Barney select a suit. Yeah, I’m not sure I can believe that’s the 203rd episode of the show either.

It’s as if there’s no effort put in here to actually move the story forward. With only a few hours to go until the wedding, it seems like there are plenty of loose ends and arcs that need to be worked out. But instead of tackling any of them, it’s yet another episode where there’s nothing of substance to hang onto, at least not in the timeline of the wedding weekend. There isn’t an attempt at adding more intrigue into the wedding weekend either, other than the re-appearance of a character who we’ve never met before one who I’m sure most people had forgotten even existed at all.

Fortunately, the episode has a bit of a savior in a sequel to The Wedding Bride and some quality scenes with Ted and the Mother that take place ten years from now. That added humor brought some emotional weight to the story, but it shouldn’t be any stretch for the actual wedding to have some weight, too. After all, Ted is mere hours from meeting his future wife, and Robin and Barney are about to get married. Yet, the only effort that is made to add some weight to the actual wedding plot is another terrible attempt at doing something emotional.

Can they really not let it rest with the idiotic, on-the-nose symbolism? Is it not enough that Barney doesn’t feel comfortable in a new suit? Does it really have to be made comically large? It’s those moments that have turned the show into a series of caricatures from something that was, once upon a time, always heartfelt and meaningful when it came to dealing with quality, well-developed characters. It’s completely baffling how they keep coming back to these sorts of symbols. If they were trying to take a decent episode and ruin it, then mission accomplished. If they thought that would actually be something that’s deep, cute, interesting or any other positive adjective, then it drastically failed.