How I Met Your Mother: “Symphony of Illumination”

 Grade: B-

Airdate: 12/5/11

After finishing watching this episode of How I Met Your Mother, I wasn’t really sure how I was going to review it because it is very twisty. This isn’t usually something I do but caution this contains spoilers.

The episode opens with two kids sitting on a couch. But they aren’t Ted’s kids, they aren’t in Ted’s house and Older Ted isn’t taking. Robin (Cobie Smulders) is talking and the boy and girl are sitting in Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) current apartment furnished with the storm-trooper and everything.  So, instantly it seems like the marriage question is answered.  Barney marries Robin.

We are thrown back into 2011 when Robin tells Barney she thinks she is pregnant. Barney questions her at first, but she hasn’t slept with Kevin yet. Barney then gets incredible happy but they agree not to tell anyone until she goes to the doctor. They also agree not to tell Kevin. I’m not really sure where Kevin is because he hasn’t been in the last two episodes.

Marshall (Jason Segel) has his own story line for most of the episode because he is trying to re-create a recreation of this house.

The rest of the gang goes to We B Babies with Lily (Alyson Hannigan). Robin and Barney both freak themselves out and decide they don’t want to have a baby. A little bit later they go to the doctor and find out they are not having one. Robin apologizes to kids on the couch after she and Barney dance in the doctor’s office after hearing the news.

Shortly after Robin gets another call from the doctor and goes back in. The doctor tells her she can’t have kids. This leads to one funny montage and a not-so funny Robin antic. The first is a montage of why Robin isn’t going to tell the group what happens because they will all react in an annoying way. The Robin antic is that she tells the gang that she is upset because she isn’t able to become a Canadian Olympic pole vaulter. Making up stuff to avoid talking about a difficult situation equals Robin antic. It was funny the first couple times but after about six it lost it. Robin is able to use the metaphor to explain to Lily that it is difference between not wanting something and being told you can’t have it.

Ted (Josh Radnor) tries to cheer Robin up but she doesn’t want him to and refuses to go to Cleveland for Christmas with him. She ends up spending Christmas Eve by herself. She is walking down the streets of New York as the voice-over Robin tells the kids that she never wanted kids because they would tie her down and take the focus away from her career. I was expecting her to apologize to the kids again, but instead she says, “I’m glad you aren’t real.” The kids vanish from the couch. The background remains just long enough for the audience to think that Barney’s apartment is in Robin’s future but it disappears and turns into the empty park that Robin is sitting in.

She goes back to her apartment and Ted has decorated it with the dancing Christmas lights. Robin starts crying but we don’t hear her say anything to Ted. Older Ted (Bob Saget) then tells us that Robin does have an excellent career and becomes a famous journalist, but never a mom.

This new development doesn’t rule out Robin marrying Barney, but I am a little skeptical because Barney really wants kids. It does rule the fan theory that Ted marries Robin and ‘the mother’ is actually the kids biological mother because the kids are adopted. This was a good episode classic dramatic story line with some comedy mixed in. I like Robin so I’ll let it slide that Ted was only in a few scenes. If it hadn’t been from the waste of a story line for Marshall I might have given this episode an A.

Watch “Symphony of Illumination”

HIMYM Throwback Moment

Season 1: I Slept with Robin


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