How I Met Your Mother‘s season premiere picked up right where the finale left off — at Barney and Robin’s wedding. “Farhampton” focuses on the gathering, Victoria’s escape, plus Barney and Quinn’s engagement. But let’s be honest, all anyone really cares about is who “The Mother” is and whether or not Robin and Barney got hitched.  Are fans any closer to finding out? Or did those crafty showrunners Carter Bays and Craig Thomas fend them off yet again? Tread lightly, there are spoilers ahead.

The Players:

  • Director: Pamela Fryman
  • Writers: Carter Bays & Craig Thomas
  • Cast: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Bob Saget, Ashley Williams, Becki Newton, Thomas Lennon, Michael Trucco, Hal Havins, Colleen Smith, Judith Drake, Jennifer Birmingham, Jarrod Crawford

Episode Title: “Farhampton”

In order to calm down an anxious Robin on her wedding day, Ted recounts the time he left a note for Victoria’s jilted fiancé.

The Good:

  • 52 Seconds: Barney speeds through the story of the Ted-Robin-Barney love triangle in its entirety in 52 seconds. There was a minor flaw—Robin went to Argentina, not Brazil—but that didn’t take away from the awesomeness of the brief but comprehensive speech. Plus, anytime it’s permissible to use the phrase, “smurf penis,” should be celebrated. The swift monologue also highlights the shift in focus from Ted’s journey to Barney’s.
  • Abs for Licking: No one handles gratuitous displays of flesh like the How I Met Your Mother crew.  Robin has always been a beacon for key moments. Her cocky grin while stroking her new boyfriend’s abs pretty much said it all. Nick has great delivery, but all we really notice are those abs.
  • Zombies: Lily and Marshall’s zoned out shtick is yet another example of a coming of age story getting older. With a baby in the mix, the rhythm of the show is in question. But if any show can handle the addition of a little one, it’s HIMYM.

The So-So:

  • Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: The season premiere has come and gone, and we’re no closer to learning the identity of the elusive Mother. Or whether or not Barney and Robin got hitched.  The only thing we can be sure of is that Victoria is not the maternal one. Honestly, that should have been obvious after the season six episode, “Big Days.” Even though we’re right back where we started, you have to give the showrunners credit for keeping us interested, without giving any real information. At least we know Ted will meet her at Farhampton train station. It will be in the rain after Robin and Barney’s wedding, yellow umbrella and all.
  • Lifelong Treasure of Destiny: The future of Barney and Robin’s nuptials might seem bleak, but Bays and Thomas have encouraged us to not give up on the couple. Keep hope alive!

The Quotable:

  •  Lily: “She let you fart in front of her?” Marshall: “Barney, go get that girl.”
  • “I don’t know what kind of vibe I was giving off before, but I’m not interested in your schnitzel.”
  • “Okay, well I’m glad I left work early for this. Robin, maybe later we can discuss the meaning of the word, emergency and the phrase trapped under a car.”
  • “Say what now?”

Overall:

The beginning of the episode had a slight lag, but the latter half more than made up for it. We’re not sure if this is the last, or second to last season of HIMYM. But season eight is off to a good start.

Rating: 8/10

How I Met Your Mother airs Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. on CBS.

What did you think of the season premiere?