How I Met Your Mother Review: Bittersweet Symphony

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This week's episode of How I Met Your Mother -  "Symphony of Illumination" - had this Gentile thinking Christmas came early, but in the end I was left feeling like I had been Rickrolled instead of Mannheim Steamrolled.

While some parts of the episode were tough to swallow - like how my mom told me I had to finish my peas before I got pie - these served as key ingredients to a pretty tasty helping of the sitcom from Joe Kelly and gang.

What a tremendous performance from Cobie Smulders, treating us to equal amounts of humor and heartache. From the bathroom beat down to the "play it again Sam" egg nog for one on the park bench, she took us to the roof top of emotion... only to pull the ladder out from under us and send viewers crashing back down to Earth. I so wanted those to be her and Barney's kids. Robin has always brought out the best in the Barnacle and the prospect of her pregnancy sent him into a flurry of fatherly fuss with such adorable moments like when he freaked about giving her the wrong rocks glass.

You're What?!?

Robin's seriousness at times did not upstage her humorous moments, though. We-B-Babies was the set for some of her funniest moments this season, from shooting herself in the head with Lily's registry gun to calling that baby "cute as crap." I did feel sorry for Barney, though, who missed a number of great joke opportunities with the whole pole vaulting story. I'm sure he would have interjected, saying he thought most Canadian women hoped they would meet a nice guy and settle down only after spending most of their twenties "vaulting poles." 

Marshall's scenes out in East Meadow were pretty funny, what with Scott cranking he and Lily's stereo while "eating a sandwich" in their house. Kids these days are so tech savvy. Hats off to the little punk for thinking to ask Lily to send him pictures of her, ummm... hats. More importantly, however, all the father/son references were setting the stage for what will surely be an emotional Christmas for Marshall without his own father.

Ted, meanwhile, is one of the closest things Robin has to her own family in the States. His line about how she couldn't fire him because he was "union bitch" was one of the best quotes of the episode - but was overshadowed by the intense back and forth the two long time friends enjoyed. Ted realized in the end that actions speak louder than words, especially if those actions are timed up to ACDC's "Highway To Hell."

Robin has brought so much light into Ted's life it was fitting that in one of her darkest hours he was the one to illuminate her world. Just like Ted said to Robin, it's not How I Met Your Mother's job to cheer us up each week, but that doesn't mean its writers don't try. It's a fact of life and a darn good one. I couldn't give the episode five stars because I selfishly want to still see Barney and Robin end up together... and while that still might happen, and while I was happy to hear all the amazing things Robin goes on to do in life, the realization that she never will be a "pole vaulter" left me a bit sad.

I don't think I was the only one, right?


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (374 Votes)

I still think Robin is the bride. While Barney does want children---he obviously figured out he doesn't want them now (insane dwayne). His bother adopted, lilly could carry the baby (w/ barney's sperm---hilarious, etc etc. The main reason I think she is the bride is b/c in the first ep of this season lilly comes in and says "ted, the bride wants to see you" and robin always said ted would be her bestman (never said he was barney's best man..just at the wedding of a best friend)---why would some new chick they fling onto the show in January, want ted?!


I cried a lot with this episode... And i still want to Barney and Robin end up together


I loved this episode and I think that robin and Barney will end up together even thought she can't have kids.


I felt "rickrolled" too. But I couldn't be too mad. It was a very moving episode, and you're right. Colbie Smulder's was just great. Still, I really thought the show was revealing something pretty wonderful, and I hated having that taken away from me. Funny how fiction can affect us.


What if Robin is actually a lesbian and that's why she is reluctant to open up to people so she doesn't end up with Barney?


With Barney and Robin, it's not just the pregnancy thing, it's the way she reneged on their agreement to break up with Nora and Kevin, and the fact that we know she's going to become a globe-trotting journalist and be living all over the world. I think this sets up the last half of the season to be where we, as viewers, come to realize along with the characters that Barney and Robin are not meant for each other. It was so sad when ted showed robin the baby canada clothes


first of all, i think all that robin and kids talking stuff is in fact robin narrating this episode, it's not necessarily from future. secondly, when i think about the "pole vaulting" business, at first i thought it was clearly a reference to robin never becoming a mother but then, why would writers make such a not-so-funny reference and add a detail to the whole plot line? i think they just play with words to lead the audience into believing she will not have children but at the end, ted will just say "she really hasn't become a pole vaulter, she is a successful journalist". so it still leaves an open storyline for kids.
btw, barney may not get married to robin the first time, but they will def end up together from tiny clues from the last few episodes..


yeah but Barney wants to have kids, and if robin really cant have kids, it maybe means they wont be together. hmm or they will? But the thing is im not a 100% sure if she really wont have kids, the thing is i want everyone to end up with kids and marriage, but thats not everyones life.. i always wanted robin and barney - but now i think: it would be ok if not... what i thought was really bad: Robin thinks she cant tell her friends about that and when the docter says do u have someone to talk to, she NEVER thought about Kevin??? If that happens to me, i would ring my boyfriend. She didnt even think about him? come on - she cant really like him that much!!! this was an awesome show but always soo sad. Ted was awesome in the end.
And i cant believe i have to wait for such a long time for the next ep.


This episode was a masterpiece. It had every single thing = good humour (i was giggling as crazy in some parts), emotions, unpredictable ending and character development. It was written amazingly, im just upset about the ending though. But i have faith in HIMYM writers. But i really want Robin to be with Barney and they have biological kids together. it was so sweet when she was talking to her "imaginary" kids with Barney. Ted is so sweet as BBF. And im glad between Ted and Robin there is just a pure, strong, great friendship. WHEN IS THE NEXT EPISODE???!!!


What a great episode

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How I Met Your Mother Season 7 Episode 12 Quotes

Here's twenty for picking up a girl with only one word and here's another twenty for that word being boner.


So you're pregnant? Huh, looks like nobody told your boobs.