S06E23: Whenever a relationship ends, the balancing act between the couple falters and that delicate item they were juggling between them shatters in a horrific mess. That being said: ZOEY DUMPED TED!!! WOOOOOO!!!! THE BITCH IS GONE!!!
But let’s get serious. One of the things How I Met Your Mother does really well is teasing us with the outcome even though we already know it. Like we knew Ted and Zoey were going to end it this episode and yet there was still some serious emotional turmoil this week. Part of that was due to tying to Ted's decision not only his fate with Zoey, but Barney's job as well. Never mind that contributing to New York's skyline was a life time goal of Ted's (why would you kill that dream, Zoey? For nostalgia?). So even though we were 99.99 percent sure which way the episode would go, it was still tense.
"Whaaaaat? Nooooo." - Barney
Part of that was due to watching Barney get tied into Ted's decision, but also watching the debate draw down to what Ted thought. Of course, he said the Arcadian wasn't a landmark, but then Zoey pulled out a tape recording of him saying otherwise and sealed her fate as a bitch-that-had-to-go.
So, then even though Zoey seemingly won, Ted still had his job and Barney's job on the line and they had to come up with a solution. It was the basic "all is lost" moment and we knew what would happen, but again credit to HIMYM for still making it seem like it could go either way. Lily once again stepped up and came to the logical conclusion: the Arcadian's lions head was the prized possession, so they should steal it. I thought it was a cheap cop-out for saying they couldn’t say what the plan was due to legal reasons, but it was saved for the coda in Barney’s room. Why didn't they just promise to keep the lion and incorporate it into the new building? Well, that's a compromise and Zoey might have liked that and we can't have that bitch around.
"We should buy a bar!" - Everyone
Another really good development in this episode was something that hadn't been said before and Ted was plainly ignoring: he and Zoey were already going to break up. No matter what happened with the Arcadian there was going to be a rift between them and eventually they'd split up. I guess it really had to come down to the wire and his group of friends about to be ripped apart for him to see that, but he did. Thankfully.
This was the kind of episode where the plot and mythology tend to take over so the humor wasn't quite there as much as it usually is (although it was still funny). Marshall focusing on his rhymes to persuade the vote his way was gimmicky, but Jason Segel is so damn charming it worked. Barney pantomiming his message via Robin worked quite well too. Barney is basically a grown boy and when he really gets to act like it the show is never funnier. Also the thought of him eerily drawing out Lily’s boobs was just sweet.
There was also some really strong acting from Bob Odenkirk this week as Ted and Barney's boss. Usually this kind of emotional growth isn't wasted on guest stars, but come on! This guy created Mr. Show! And directed Let's Go to Prison but still! Mr. Show! I want to say his transformation was symbolic of Ted’s growth as well to help him move on, but it also could have just been an excuse to cut away to that cute dog.
This was by no means a great or classic episode but it was still one we have been waiting on for a while. Now that we have gotten the stupid Arcadian and Zoey out of the way we can get back to finding the mother. Next week is going to get us a tiny step closer and well, at least it's a step in the right direction.