The Final Page
|"The Final Page"|
|How I Met Your Mother episode|
|Episode no.||Season 8
Episode 11 (Part 1)
Episode 12 (Part 2)
|Directed by||Pamela Fryman|
|Written by||Dan Gregor & Doug Mand (Part 1)
Carter Bays & Craig Thomas (Part 2)
|Original air date||December 17, 2012|
- Part 1
Ted's new building is set to open and he invites his favorite architecture professor, Vinick, from his college days to the grand opening. The group says that Ted has put the professor in his "pit", in that he has obsessed over him and hasn't let him go since college. This is further confirmed when the professor declines the invite. Ted takes the group to Wesleyan, intending to unleash his wrath on Vinick. After hearing one of his inspiring lectures, Ted craves Vinick's approval and shows him a sketch of the GNB building. Vinick is unimpressed and Ted brings a 3crD model, but Vinick views the attempt as pathetic. Ted realizes he has to move on.
Marshall and Lily explain they are in someone else's pit. Daryl, a friend from college, became obsessed with the two, causing them to feel uncomfortable. They run into Daryl at Wesleyan, having formed a company selling hacky sacks named after the three of them. He invites them to his house; Marshall and Lily fear they will be killed, but find that Daryl's company has become successful, and they unknowingly reject his offer to give them $100,000, claiming it was partly their idea. Daryl seems to accept that they don't want any part of his life.
Marshall calls "Jinx" on Barney when they utter the same phrase simultaneously. Future Ted explains the group takes the game very seriously; Barney had previously broken the jinx out of mockery, but later had been hit by a bus, causing everyone to follow the rules whenever they're jinxed. The group relishes Barney's silence. Robin has someone in her pit, Patrice, and plans to fire her for getting together with the man she loves. She moves on and lets Patrice stay. Barney tricks Ted into saying his name by showing him a wedding ring, breaking the jinx. Barney explains that he's serious and makes Ted promise not to tell anyone he plans to propose to Patrice.
- Part 2
Ted's new building is opening that night, but he is distracted by his promise to Barney; he winds up asking Robin to be his date to the gala when he loses the nerve to tell her. When Ted meets up with Robin, he tells her. Robin claims to be fine with Barney's plans, she admits that she has still loved him for a long time, but cannot keep chasing after Barney if he will never feel the same way about her. Finally letting go of his pursuit of her, Ted takes Robin to the WWN building where Barney intends to propose to Patrice.
Marshall and Lily are excited to have their first evening away from baby Marvin, thanks to her father Mickey taking care of him. Marshall hears about Barney and the two end up missing Marvin. They decide they are more content spending the night back home with him.
When Robin heads to the roof of the building, she sees no sign of Patrice. Instead she finds a page from Barney's Playbook, titled "The Robin". Barney had a long plan to get back together with Robin, which started with proclaiming his love for Robin and intentionally getting shot down. He went to Patrice for help and pretended to date her so that Robin would realize her feelings for him. When Barney arrives, Robin feels that she can't trust Barney because of how he manipulated her to get to this moment. He still proclaims his love for her and proposes; Robin accepts, and they embrace and kiss.
At the gala, a GNB executive proposes a toast to Ted. While Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lily are shown happily in their respective couplings, Ted stares out from the GNB building alone.
Originally, episodes 11 and 12 were not planned to be shown together as a two-part, one-hour combined episode, but the decision was made to present them together after the show was preempted because of Hurricane Sandy. Show co-creator Carter Bays said, "we knew we wanted [episode 12] to be our Christmas episode, and we were thinking of creative ways to catch up. ... Episodes 11 and 12 really felt like two halves of the same story, so we thought, let's make this our big hour-long Christmas special." Before the two episodes were combined, episode 11 was entitled "The Silence of the Jinx" and episode 12 was entitled "The Robin".
Bays said that "the idea of a long con" represented by Barney's play to win Robin was influenced by "the final run of episodes in season four of Breaking Bad" and that they "wanted a moment of, 'Ohhhhh, that's what's been going on.' Just without anyone getting blown up or poisoned." He adds that they are "not blind to the possible ickiness of how Barney went about getting Robin to say yes" but that it shows Barney's character "in a nutshell: loveable amorality."
Series co-creator Craig Thomas added that Ted and Robin's scene in the limo packed unexpected power because the script did not call for the two characters to be teary-eyed.
Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave the episode an A. She calls the episode "hilarious" and "touching". She says that the show "deftly and imaginatively" turned "Barney the womanizer into Barney the fiancé." She called making "Patrice ... part of the final play" a "brilliant idea". She adds that "nearly every character gets great material" in the episode.
Ethan Alter of Television Without Pity gave the episode a C+. He described the episode as "not good" and the storyline of Barney and Robin's reunion as "painfully drawn-out". He referred to the presence of Peter Gallagher and Seth Green as "the upside" of the episode and using the "Silence of the Lambs motif as both a comic and dramatic device" as "the downside". He describes the trip to Wesleyan as "obvious, but not entirely unenjoyable filler." He says that the reveal of the final play and Barney's proposal comes "to nobody's surprise besides Robin's."
Michael Arbeiter of Hollywood.com writes that "this week's 'big twist' that Barney was actually using his relationship with Patrice as a cover for his plan to propose to Robin is a far cry from surprising, and as such not as effective as the show might have hoped it would be." Overall, he calls the episode "one of the stronger of the season's outputs" but notes that "the show has lost a ton of its luster." He also comments that "an appearance by Ranjit can always be celebrated."
Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode a score of 7.8/10 (Good). He writes that Seth Green's "pathetic obsession with Lily and Marshall offered a few chuckles, as did Barney's sustained silence throughout the proceedings." He says that "in the second half ... Marshall and Lily's story took a notable downturn" but that it ends "with a satisfying reunion for Barney and Robin."
Sandra Gonzalez of EW.com said that the first part was "a great episode in and of itself." About the second part she commented that "the proposal ... was great because it was 100 percent from Barney's heart."
- Porter, Rick (December 17, 2012). "'How I Met Your Mother': EP Carter Bays teases 'The Final Page' and talks final-season plans". Zap2it.com. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Fitzpatrick, Kevin. "'How I Met Your Mother' Goes Hour-Long for Holiday Episode". Screen Crush. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Adalian, Josef (December 18, 2012). "How I Met Your Mother Producer Carter Bays Tells Vulture What’s Next After Tonight’s Big Episode". Vulture. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Gonzalez, Sandra (December 18, 2012). "'How I Met Your Mother' boss on the next step for Barney and [spoiler]. Plus, scoop on a big return!". Entertainment Weekly.
- Bowman, Donna (December 17, 2012). "The Final Page". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- Alter, Ethan (December 17, 2012). "Silver Linings Playbook". Television Without Pity. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Arbeiter, Michael (December 18, 2012). "'How I Met Your Mother' Recap: BIG TWIST... That We Already Knew About". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Nicholson, Max (December 18, 2012). "R.I.P. Team Tedward.". IGN. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Gonzalez, Sandra (December 17, 2012). "The Robin". EW.com. Retrieved December 18, 2012.