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'How I Met Your Mother': Maybe baby

May 24, 2010 | 10:23 pm

Two weeks ago, Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) decided to leave things up to fate. In “Doppelgangers,” Marshall revealed that he was ready to be a father, but he and Lily had agreed to wait for a sign from the universe. When they saw the fifth and final doppelganger, they would start trying to get pregnant. The pair thought the time had come when they spotted dark-haired cab driver Barney (Neil Patrick Harris).

“Put a baby in my belly,” Lily declared. But the doppelganger was actually Barney on a quest to bed a woman from every country. Dressing up as a cab driver and waiting outside the United Nations was a part of his plan. Lily didn't even think the doppelganger looked that much like Barney even though it was really him. Marshall took this as a sign that Lily wasn't ready for parenthood.

Ted's (Josh Radnor) romantic storyline took a backseat in the finale, letting Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Don's (Benjamin Koldyke) relationship pick up the slack in the love department. I still find it hard to be invested in the relationship due to Don's lack of screentime, so it was nice to see the two working together and being affectionate, however briefly. They were such a great duo onscreen and off (so says Future Ted; we haven't actually seen much of that ourselves), that the station had them hosting the children's puppet show “Monty & Moo-Moo.”

Robin was catching more than just Moo-Moo's eye. A television station in Chicago fell in love with her and offered her a job as a lead anchor. Robin's career vs. romance debate was oddly similar to Robin's decision to move to Japan. There wasn't a boyfriend in the equation then, but the group was once again dealing with possibly losing Robin. Even though it seemed a bit like covered territory, Robin sought the advice of the most sensible person she knew: Ted.  But he couldn't give her any objective advice because he didn't want her to leave. Robin was prepared to take the job when she spotted a picture of her and Don and turned down the offer. Don, however, did not do the same when the station then offered the gig to him.

I really wanted to give Robin a hug in that moment. Our career-minded gal finally took a gamble on love and lost. But Ted reminded her that five years ago, Robin would have chosen her career over romance. She'd come a long way and was now even more amazing. The pep talk led to an almost kiss, but thankfully, Ted's horrendous blond hair did something good and broke the moment. With the number of close calls these two have had in the past two seasons, I'm wondering if they should even be roommates anymore. Still, it was touching to see how upset Ted and Barney were at the thought of losing Robin. It's nice to see that Robin's ex-boyfriends are some of her very best friends and their affection for her goes beyond just “someone I dated.”

Barney's fear of losing Robin even got him to warm up to the idea of Lily and Marshall having a baby. He dressed up as a red-haired Estonian street performer to push Lily and Marshall forward. They, of course, caught onto him and, though touched, continued to wait for the real doppelganger, who Lily spotted four months later. The rest of the gang didn't think food cart vendor Barney looked much like the real Barney, but Marshall telepathically told them to keep mum. Lily was finally ready.

Other brief thoughts:

-- The flashes of the gang back in Season 1, along with Ted's explanation that we all eventually become doppelgangers of ourselves, “completely different people who happen to look like us,” reminded me of how much the characters have grown and changed. But it also made me wonder if the doppelgangers quote was a way to explain away some of the more out-of-character behavior.

-- As it has for much of this season, except for the 100th episode, Ted's love life was on the back burner. The baby question had to be brought up and it was nice to see Robin at the center of a romantic dilemma, but the snail-like pace of the quest for The Mother is starting to get frustrating. Some readers have indicated in the comments that they'd like the show to just introduce her already and follow her and Ted's relationship. Do you like that option or do you want to see her revealed in the series' final moments?

-- I enjoyed the return of the gang's telepathic communication, but correct me if I'm wrong ... Wasn't it limited to just Lily and Marshall before?

-- Best line of the night? “Why is Ellen DeGeneres in our bedroom?” Ellen is way better looking than blond Ted, but that still made me laugh.

Readers, what did you think of the finale? Was it enough to leave you satisfied until fall? Do you think Marshall and Lily will really have a baby next season? I'm betting on a season of trying to get pregnant.

-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)


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Photo: Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) meet Barney's (Neil Patrick Harris) doppelganger. Or do they? Credit: Monty Brinton / CBS