As evidenced by the number of times it's discussed on this blog, 'How I Met Your Mother' is one of my favorite sitcoms. Of course, when I say that I'm talking about the early years; the magic of Robin Sparkles, the joy of the slap bet, the novelty of watching entire relationships unfold and then fail (hey Robin and Ted!) or shockingly succeed (hello again Robin and Barney!). I can't remember exactly when HIMYM began to lose its spark, though I am completely willing to rewatch the entire series to find the answer. I love it enough to watch it all over again, even as I'm frustrated by what it is today. I do remember, and I think this is evidenced by my blog posts, that I found season eight very uneven. For me that season was plucked out of obscurity by the last couple of episodes. In particular "The Final Page", the season finale that finally felt like HIMYM again. Barney manipulating people by being simultaneously cruel and hilarious, with just the right amount of heart? That felt like HIMYM. Robin being typically indecisive, torn between her desire and her head and her past traumas? Yeah, that's HIMYM. Ted Mosby whiny and dissatisfied? HIMYM. Lily and Marshall inseparable and ridiculous? Ditto. But then there was season nine.