HIMYM – Challenge Accepted
Spoiler Alert: You probably won’t want to read this post if you haven’t yet watched the season six finale of How I Met Your Mother. If that’s the case, go to CBS.com to watch, then come back here to weigh in on the episode!
As Neil Patrick Harris mentions in an interview, this episode really isn’t as much the climax of season six, but rather more of a teaser for season seven. The climax of the season for the show’s main character, Ted, came in the previous episode, as his and Zoey’s differing views on the Arcadian came to a head, ending their relationship. Ted tried to side with his girlfriend on the issue, but finally had to be honest with himself and admit he wanted the building torn down. Zoey’s reaction was to play her recording of Ted saying the Arcadian should be saved, which (mini-rant here) was a completely horrible thing to do. Of course viewers knew that Ted and Zoey’s relationship would never last, and I for one am glad to see her go, but her willingness to betray her boyfriend like that sinks her down to the level of Ted’s awful college girlfriend, Karen. The fact that Zoey kept the recording all these months just adds to the premeditated way she decided to win at all costs.
In “Challenge Accepted,” pressures regarding the new building cause Ted to debate getting back together with Zoey. Robin and Barney try to prevent that from happening, and in the process get some much needed closure on their own relationship. The episode (nearly 2 seasons ago) where they broke up I consider one of my least favorite episodes of the entire show, especially since Ted’s caricature of how they let themselves go in the relationship was so extreme that it didn’t even seem like the real Barney and Robin.
The two do manage to talk some sense into Ted (aided by a ride from Ranjit), ending the Zoey plot arch and setting things up for Ted to meet someone new in season 7. The demolition of the Arcadian restates this metaphorically.
Of course, since this is the season finale, as soon as Lily starts throwing up you KNOW it’s not food poisoning, so that aspect of the story fell a little flat (you knew Marshall had nothing to worry about). Adding a baby to the group should be interesting.
And I’m glad that Nora has returned to the show, and that Barney seems willing to do whatever it takes to win her back. Those two seem perfect for each other.
The final scene of the episode, a leap forward in time to the wedding where Ted will finally meet his future wife, was amazing. All along I’d assumed that the wedding where Ted is best man would be his friend Punchy’s. Then Lily comes out to where Ted and Marshall are talking and tells Ted the groom needs him. They walk inside to see the groom – and there stands Barney.
Season 7 can’t get here quickly enough. Wait for it . . .