I don’t know in real life if people take the last words someone said to them as significantly as people on the big and little screen do. I think most people take the totality of someone’s life and their individual relationship with that person as what they chose to hang their hat on. But with that said, Last Words was an appropriate, moving, and somewhat funny way for the gang to pay their last respects to Marshall’s dad. BTW, I totally want Robin at any event I am at from here on out!
This show is a sitcom, so I’m always curious how the show will interject the humor while still being respectful of the moment. There were 3 avenues they decided to go down. 2 worked and 1 REALLY didn’t. I’m not even going to count the Reverend/bully jerk. What worked: Lily being there for Mrs Erikson and Robin being there for everyone with her “Mary Poppins” bag of goodies! What didn’t, Ted and Barney. Ugh. Really, trying to make him laugh with videos of people getting hit in the balls (since that always makes Marshall laugh.) Not only was it not funny, but totally out of line. It’s one thing if Marshall lost his job, or he and Lily are having problems, or he got denied a home loan (sorry it fits with the economic climate of today.) That would be the time to take him out or try to make him laugh to lighten the mood. You don’t do that the day of his father’s funeral. I’m sorry but it just wasn’t appropriate. And after trying twice and he’s still miserable, give it up. But Lily and Robin’s situations were great. First Lily realizes that she and Marshall’s mom aren’t besties, but she was determined to be there for her. She exploded on Lily when Lily wanted to help with the cooking and she laid into her when Lily took the blame for Robin getting her 15-year-old niece drunk. After both times, Marshall’s mom then took and nap and ate something, neither of which she did since his dad died. Lily is Judy’s bitch!! At the funeral, Judy recognized what Lily was doing for her and told her how much she appreciated it. She then told her that her dress made her look like a Kansas City whore, “sorry dear, last one!” Awesome. Robin’s Mary Poppins bag was great. She was able to take care of all her friends (pills, and booze), some strangers (vodka and dirty playing cards), and at the end, Marshall (with a copy of Crocodile Dundee 3.) It was subtle but it worked perfectly.
As for Marshall, it was a tough episode for him. Everyone was remember Marvin’s last words to them and Marshall was trying to remember his to him. There were some funny moments as he kept remembering different things (like the bit about Koreans being trustworthy) in hope the last words were touching and profound. But they weren’t. They were , in fact, perfectly Marvinesque. But when Marshall realized he had a voicemail from his dad after he finished charging his phone, he debated whether or not he should listen to it. I’m glad the writers explained what happened last week? Remember when Marshall asked to borrow Ted’s phone to call his dad and we all wondered why because he should just use his own phone. We learned it was because he was having troubles charging his phone. I always respect and appreciate when writers don’t think audiences are dumb and wouldn’t notice small things like that. Kudos to them. Anywho, at the funeral, before Marshall has to speak, he goes outside the church for some air. The gang follows him and he decides he wants to listen to the message. It turns out Marvin just butt dialed Marshall. It leads into a really touching monologue about how he got robbed from God, from his dad, on not only the last words to him but for the rest of his life. Jason Segal does an admirable job with this scene. I thought it could have been a bit more emotional on his end. After last week, I thought he was really going to erupt with emotion and I kept waiting for it. But he didn’t. He was upset but I didn’t really get the anger or sheer sadness like I did last week in that very simple scene. However, what really got me crying, was Alyson Hannigan’s reaction to him. She’s a great crier. She was so heartbroken for him and I was heartbroken for her. I also was impressed with Neil Patrick Harris, Colbie Smulders, and Josh Radner on their reactions to Marshall. I think those 4 played the scene so well even though Segal could have given them a little more to play on, in my opinion. Now he didn’t need to be Sally Field in Steel Magnolias (which still makes me cry every time I see that scene) but somewhere in between would have worked a little better. But while the gang is comforting him, Marvin’s voice popped on the line having realized he must have called Marshall by accident. He then tells him what a great time he and his mom had with them and that he loves him. Yeah Marvin!!!! I was so happy for Marshall. Then he comes on again and tells him to send his foot cream because his fungus is acting up again. I loved it!!! Marshall got to hear his dad tell him he loved him one last time but the last words he heard were very Marvin!
It’s episodes like this, it dawns on you how important your friends are. You probably thought I was going to say your family, but you’d be wrong! And don’t get me wrong, family is important. But for me, if something bad goes down in my life, I call my husband and I call my friends. I love my parents more than I can express. And if God forbid, something happened to them, I would be completely crushed and I would want my friends with me the way the gang was there for Marshall. I fell blessed in knowing I have friends like that. In the way this episode effected the gang (they all called their dads after the episode) it made me want to reach out to all my besties to let them know how much they mean to me and I value them in my life. I love when a show can move you like that. And it looks like the quest for Barney’s father is on.