“The Final Page” is a two part mid season close that answers a few more questions and insight into our gang’s past as we move to the opening of the GNB building.
I’m not sure if this really was intended to be a two part episode. A few weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy caused all of the episodes on CBS Monday pushed back a week. Though the two parts are titled the same, it really felt like the first part was totally independent originally and just renamed to be fitting as a mid-season finale.
In part one, we go into the idea of the basement pit, the place where we imagine sending that worst enemy we hate down to rot as we torment them Silence of the Lambs style. For Ted, it was his Professor Vinick (Peter Gallagher), who proclaimed he will never become an Architect. For Lily and Marshal, it was Wesleyan classmate Creepy Daryl, who has taken to semi stalking them for the last decade. For Robin, it was of course Patrice, for being herself. We aren’t sure who Barney’s person is as he ended up silenced in a jinx the entire episode.
Through it all, we get a fun road trip back to Wesleyan to see some of the nostalgia that they experience going back. The episode as a whole had a lot of humorous elements, especially the whole jinx motif. The basis of the episode is the idea of letting go though. Letting go of those negative thoughts for no reason for as Ted puts it “You can spend a lot of time making a pit for someone in your mind, but the only person in the pit is yourself.” By the time we are reaching the end of our young adult lives, we’ve accumulated a fair amount of relationships. Some of those relationships may be good, and some may be less than good, but in the end, these relationships are what shape who we are. It’s when we let those negative relationships define our goals, our goals are no longer our focus.
One lead up to the second part though is the revelation that Barney will ask Patrice to marry him on the room of the World Wide News building. The reality was the whole episode is centered around Robin losing her mind at the thought of Barney asking someone else to marry him. Despite all her denial, deep down it’s obvious she truly loves him, and it’s up to her to cut through all her self doubt, excuses, and reasons to not accept the truth.
“The Final Page” refers to the last page of Barney’s “Playbook,” the collection of schemes he’s used over the years to manipulate women into one night stands. In this case though it’s the end of the “Playbook” both metaphorically and literally.
The final play is “The Robin,” a huge 16 part scheme to get Robin to realize she not only loves Barney, but also marry him. I have to admit, I had my full suspicions that the idea that Barney would marry Patrice was merely a ploy to get Robin onto the roof, but even I had no idea the extent of Barney’s plan. Spanning across the entirety of the season, Barney has put into motion this plan from the moment he proclaims his love in front of Nick to bail Robin out.
It’s manipulative, deceitful, and down right sneaky, which is par for the course for Barney. But in the end though, it also marks a distinct changing point for Barney, as while the surface of the plan was a guise for Robin, the heart of the plan was a true change and mark of an end of Barney’s womanizing chapter. Proclaiming his love, burning his book, asking for help are all signs he’s grown up and is moving on with his life. Even if it wasn’t with Robin, this would have been the end of the old Barney we’ve loved and despised since we’ve known him. Fortunately, this ultimate act of faith in Robin is a heartwarming sign and a legendary end to the first half to the final season.
- Jinx game, you can’t talk until someone says your name to release you. After Barney got jinxed and then hit by a bus, he takes it extremely seriously.
- Barney scored a perfect situation, knowing Ted would reveal his plans to Robin. Now Barney, under the rules of Jinx, will be able to take a wiffle bat to Ted’s crotch for three swings.
- Marshal’s song to Marvin is really sweet, and I have to wonder if Jason Segel sing that to his own kids.
- I’m team Ted-ward.
- Lily gets pretty hammered at Ted’s party.
- Ted’s dream has come true, He has a building on the skyline of New York City.
- Barney has a lot of cameras setup in everyone’s apartments.
- “Making an ass of yourself is underrated.”
- Admit to yourself you still have feelings for this girl
- Choose the completely wrong moment to make a move and get shot down on purpose
- Agree you two don’t work, locking the door, which will drive Robin nuts.
- Robin goes nuts
- Find the person that annoys Robin the most in the world, and ask for her help.
- Pretend to be with Patrice
- Wait for Robin to break in and steal your playbook.
- Have your first real “fight” with Patrice
- Burn the playbook to prove your loyalty. You really don’t need it anymore.
- Because your friends have no boundaries, they will have an intervention.
- Tell Ted you will marry Patrice
- If Ted tells Robin, your best friend in the world has let go of Robin and given his blessing.
- Lead Robin to her favorite place in the world
- Robin realizes she is standing under mistletoe
- Hope she says yes.
The final song “If the Hudson Overflows” is available on iTunes. Proceeds go to Hurricane Sandy Relief!