How I Met Your Mother Closes its 6th Season
How I Met Your Mother finally ended, and nothing new really happened. Zoey (Ted's awful ex-girlfriend) was brought back for the finale for no reason at all but to help show, in a weak way, that "new is better" and that the show is ready for season 7 and all its "newsness." Barney was limited by the episode's focus on his more sentimenal, nostalgic side (he, it's been turning out, wants what the rest of them want: a house, family, kids, stability, etc.). He and Robin momentarily consider – with indirect exchanges and sly glances – reigniting their brief and disastrous romance. Ted was almost nowhere to be found, with the exception of a short (and funny) flashback series of how easily he is sucked into returning to old and failed relationships.
Barney will most likely spend next season chasing after one girl (the British Nora) – with hopefully some "legendary" detours – instead of being the womanizer we love him to be. The episode concluded with the news that he's to be getting married, which was not really a surprise given how toned-down his womanizing (and general disrespect for conventional romance) has become. Marshall and Lily found out they were pregnant so that'll be their new challenge, which I think can be done with some comedic value by the talented writers. Meanwhile Robin will continue to be the lovable semi-eccentric, probably still lusting after Barney (and possibly getting him?), and Ted will date more girls until the series' last episodes, when we'll finally meet that mother.
Nothing of this was great television, but moderately fun and still very watchable. I just hope that these "new" scenarios (some of them still seem old) will be done with more of the great gang comedy and creative narration that initiated the show and carried it throughout its first five stellar seasons. Letting Barney loose, pairing up the gang in odd ways (and in odd scenarios), and mixing things up with Ted are among several of the things that have really worked for the show.
I look forward to next season, hoping that it has learned from its own mistakes from this past one.
Game of Thrones Still Strong
Game of Thrones offered up a great episode, possibly the strongest so far. I love how the show always ends with a long, strong "set-up" scene that in itself does much to drive the plot and develop its characters. This one gave us a long-awaited clash between Ned Stark and Jaime Lannister, both defending the "honor" – and power – of their families. It ends with Ned's people all dead, a guard's spear in the back of his leg, and Jaime, without a scratch, hopping on a horse and going who knows where. Next episode promises to pick up the pieces of this brutal encounter.
Ned's wife has captured Jaime's brother and taken him to her sister's kingdom, where nothing but the utterly creepy is to be found. The first disgust I felt at this show was seeing the snobbish and sheltered adolescent boy sucking at his mother's (the sister's) teet, while she sat there in an sort of dazed rage. Lady Stark hopes to find justice for the attempt on her son's life, which she believes to be attributed to Tyrion (Jaime's brother, the intelligent and cunning dwarf). He will survive the trip, no doubt, but the show creates much appreciated suspense in putting them in this difficult, uneasy situation.
The political side continues to be developed, with more subplots and hushed conversations. Arya, a growing favorite, cannot esape the cruel, cryptic world to which her father has brought her, as she overhears a plot to kill her father while chasing cats as part of her sword-training. She is turning out to be a mystery in herself, keeping us in suspense as to how important she'll end up being in terms of her family's security and power.
Great series. Moving on to another above-average new series...
The Killing Strolls On
The Killing continued to explore the broader implications of one girl's murder in last night's mostly uneventful episode. We learn that the FBI is working on a terrorism case that may have links to Rosie's death. That being the situation, Linden and Holder would no longer be investigating her murder. But we know that's not going to happen, that our heroes will tread on in their efforts to unravel the homicide, so we can expect the FBI to go away soon or Linden to prove her case merits its own, separate investigation.
We also learn that Linden's young son leaked horrifying images of Rosie's dead, tortured body, that are now being shown on news programs and distributed among students. Linden's lack of parenting skills and perception as to the needs and feelings of her son are becoming more and more apparent, as is the absence of control in her relationship to her fiance, who is handling wedding preparations with another woman (who answers his phone, apparently). Her world seems to be falling apart, as Holder attempts to put his back together, regularly meeting with recovery groups and his personal sponsor. The ironic part is that Linden has been following him around to unearth some dark secret when in reality it's she who has the dark secret – her son acting out (against her) by leaking investigation files.
On the Rosie Larsen front, there is still very little progress. Her family is losing its faith in its mother, who has lost almost all self control and self-awareness. And Bennett continues to be a suspicious character, now alienating his wife so that she is becoming more and more of a police ally.
So nothing really "new" but we get exposition on the disintegrating Larsen family dynamics and the detectives' personal lives. + Campaigning Richmond is losing his integrity and starting to play dirty politics. Another ghost haunting the lives of The Killing folk: his dead wife whose "killer" pleads for his forgiveness. Growing ever darker and mysterious, this new series, while still thrilling to a certain degree, needs to pick up the investigation pace if it wants to keep these interesting lives relevant.