Tonight’s How I Met Your Mother “Last Words” is undoubtedly one of the most emotionally charged episodes of sitcom television in recent memory. It’s difficult to address the issue of death of a loved one in any situation, but the fact that HIMYM wraps this storyline with the careful grace it requires while maintaining a sense of humor is a testament to not only the writing staff, but also the cast themselves.
“Last Words” is the continuation of the previous episode where we learn that Marshal’s father has suddenly died of a heart attack. This week, at the funeral, Ted and the gang (like any of us would be in the same situation) are at a loss at what to do to help Marshal in this dire time. With the typical friendly humor, we find Lilly talking about trying to pee for Marshal, while Robin attempts to be the vice girl of the affair, providing all types of illicit goods out of a Mary Poppins style bag. Ted and Barney resort to attempting to make Marshal laugh by presenting the finest in getting hit in the groin internet videos, though to no avail.
It’s a subtle reminder that in our darkest hour, sometimes the only thing that can bring us out is the though of a little laughter to ease the sadness. When Marshal proclaims that, contrary to the rest of his family’s heartwarming stories of their patriarch, the last words his father said were to go rent Crocodile Dundee 3, the whole congregation, and the audience, can’t help but laugh a little at the idea that this small bit of character humor is what makes the man that leaves them today.
“Last Words” was definitely not a typical sitcom episode, as the laughs were less of a biting humor than a silly get your mind off the sadness humor. It was very appropriate, considering the setting, and is not unlike something you would run into in your own situations. The drama itself might have been a bit heavy handed or most, but there is no denial that Jason Segel’s monologue cursing God is incredibly powerful and of fine form. When he exclaims “How is this fair? An entire human life and it just ends, for no reason,” you can’t help but agree that it feels like an injustice. It’s the very same anger we all have had in our lives, and it’s not something that translates easily to mere words.
As the show goes on a short break, we have to think back at the half season and realize it has been a shining example of the dynamics, the variety, and the quality of the show, and I for one look forward to it’s return in a few weeks.
- I think this was the only episode without an introductory scene pre theme song.
- “Be Cool Nerds!” – Robin hiding her stash as Marshal’s mother walks by
- “You’re like Marry Poppins if her magic purse were filled with drugs.” “If? The Kids in that movie jumped into a painting and spent 15 minutes chasing a cartoon fox. Spoon full of sugar? Grow up!”
- What kind of minster leaves a funeral at the last second?
- Trey made Marshal carry a stepladder so he could terrorize him.
- “The Koreans are a trustworthy and generous people” – It’s positive racism
- “Robin gave me a little orange pill…I dunno what’s in it, but things are going pretty smoothly now!”
- Calling back to the mayo fueled diet of the Eriksen family, we find Judy chowing down on a Mayo, Cheese, Jelly Bean salad.
- Soon as they learn cousin Nicole is only 15, he promptly returns her number
- During the monologue, Marshal refers to his dad as his best friend, and we see Barney nod his head in agreement, for once acknowledging he’s not the best friend.
- “Hey Marshal!” Knees Ted in the groin “So that’s it, no discussion?”