As Future Ted’s voiceover told us in the opening moments of Monday’s season premiere, there are two big days in any love story: the day you meet the girl of your dreams, and the day you marry her. And so the episode “Big Days” opened with one of those; a wedding? a little ways down the road.
This is one of the things that makes How I Met Your Mother so enjoyable– the time jump. It makes the storytelling more interesting and often elevates the comedy to a bigger place. And it certainly has helped craft this group of friends into more than just the here and now. We’ve seen Ted, Barney, Robin, Marshal and Lily as kids, in college and even old and gray. So this time jump served as a “welcome back” to viewers. Welcome back to a new year, for sure, but hopefully it’s also a welcome back to a more consistent season.
Last season was fun, but the series had lost its focus just a bit. There was no continuing arc that would lead us to meeting Ted’s future wife, only hints here and there. Robin and Barney hooked up and broke up in a series of episodes that felt ill advised. And Lily and Marshal had little to do but be Lily and Marshal. Monday’s premiere episode was quick to return focus to the series, using our familiarity with these characters, great writing and lots of laughs.
The mystery wedding at the top of the episode was a nice red herring. You almost immediately think its Ted’s due to the voiceover and his nervousness and you sort of expect the rest of the episode to start telling the tale of how we get to that moment. Instead, the end of the episode revealed that Ted is only the best man at this wedding and that this is where he will meet his own future bride. So right away, with episode one of the season, we know where Ted meets his children’s mother and we have something to move towards. And whose wedding is this? Between Barney and Robin, my money is on Robin. And let’s be clear, it can’t possibly be Barney and Robin.
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