HIMYM season 9, episode 16 “How Your Mother Met Me” just aired and How I Met Your Mother celebrates its 200th episode with nods to some of the most classic episodes.

The importance of this episode is twofold: it was the aforementioned 200th episode of the series, a feat not to be diminished by the fact it was our first, and perhaps only, Mother-centric episode. The brief mentions of the Mother throughout the previous eight seasons were all called back tonight as we saw the stories from the Mother’s perspective.

Though we don’t know her name, we do know a lot about the Mother. Particularly that she has spent most of her 20s mourning the loss of her boyfriend and supposed true love, Max. After turning 21 in 2005, she spends the next nine years only tepidly testing the waters, and when Max gives his “permission” to move on, she declines her boyfriend’s proposal.

But then it’s St. Patrick’s Day 2008, and her friend Kelly, whom we consider her Barney, convinces her to go out to the bars with her. The Mother obliges, but grabs her yellow umbrella in case of rain. After running into an old friend who is in need of some instruments, she rushes out of the bar to give him her cello. This friend, Mitch, mistakes her act of generosity as an invitation to take a page out of Barney’s playbook and run the Naked Man on her. It doesn’t work and she’s grossed out.

Before he leaves though, they have a heart to heart and we see the Mother go through the kind of existential crisis we’ve seen Ted go through practically once a season. She declares she wants to end poverty and Mitch drops this advice on her: “Every decision you make from here on out should be in service of that.” Which brings us to…

Fall 2009: The Mother is going for her degree in economics and retelling her sordid tale to another classmate, Cindy. The Mother evidently also likes long-winded stories as much as Ted.

Ted and the Mother really were made for each other, which to the viewer could seem as a trite move by the show. We don’t want to see the two hate each other and then fall in love, of course; we want love at first sight, but the clues that Ted and the Mother are perfect-with-a-capital-P for each other feel too blatant.

The closest they ever got to each other was in January 2010, when Ted went back to Cindy’s apartment. After they break up, Cindy bemoans that Ted was in love with the Mother. But she doesn’t see how that could be possible – after all, she has a coin collection and calligraphy set – nerdy stuff!

When Cindy realizes she’s a lesbian, she moves in with her girlfriend and the Mother is on the hunt for a new roommate. Enter Darren. The last time we saw him, he was throwing a fit and nearly ruining Barney and Robin’s wedding.

There was a time, though, when Darren was merely egotistical and taking credit for the band the Mother originally helmed. While she’s luging the band’s instruments in April 2012, she meets Lewis – her Robin, so to speak, it would seem. During this scene, there’s a wall of posters explaining “Save the Arcadian.” This subtle nod to the season 6 arc of Ted designing his own building was almost better than learning everything else about the Mother.

Side note: While the Mother and Darren were talking, we realized that Cristin Milioti and Andrew Rannells are two Tony Award nominated Broadway performers and we would really love to hear a song or two from their band, Super Freakonomics. If Barney could find a way to jump on stage too, that’d be great – Neil Patrick Harris has hosted the Tonys four times.

Through a sequence of events, the Mother ends up in Farhamton to preform for the wedding when she walks in on Lewis, her then-ex, down on one knee proposing to her.

Now it’s important to realize How I Met Your Mother has been about fate just as much for her as it was for Ted. If she’d said yes to Lewis, if she hadn’t gone to school to help end poverty, she probably wouldn’t be where she is today.

After leaving Lewis and checking into the Farhmanton Inn – taking Robin’s mom’s room – she strums her ukulele on the patio, and brings us back to today, the wedding weekend as we see the various states the gang is in. And friends, it’s not good. Lily and Marshall are fighting, and Barney is drunk and sleeping on Ted’s floor.

Or, at least, he was. Ted comes in from the patio and begins to explain the Mother’s incredible voice and ukelele performance to Barney, only to learn the groom has run away!

‘HIMYM’ MVP of the week: the Mother

This isn’t too big of a shock, is it? Cristin Milioti has knocked this pivotal role out of the park as she mixes her sense of sarcasm and sincerity together to create the woman that Ted has been looking for. We hope to see her featured more in these last seven episodes, now that we’ve crossed this threshold that’s taken us eight and three-quarters of a season to get to.

Next week is a new ‘HIMYM,’ Robin and Ted reminisce about his past relationships.

What did you think of “How Your Mother Met Me”?

Sometimes “less is more,” and sometimes “three’s a crowd.” When you’re talking Captain America: Civil War, the phrase you’re looking for is, “the more the merrier.”

The first Avengers movie shocked us with a team-up film that worked in ways we hadn’t thought possible before. It just hadn’t really been done, and we were all surprised that it worked as well as it did. In Captain America: Civil War, The Russo Brothers trump The Avengers without even trying. They aren’t telling a team-up story, they are telling us a story about friends that don’t agree. It just so happens that their disagreement gives us one of the best Marvel movies to date. Without even trying, they raise the bar the Avengers set in more ways than one, presenting us with not one team, but two.

Like any film, Captain America: Civil War has its weaknesses. No movie is perfect, even if this one does seem damn close. Our Civil War review dives into all of it.

Strengths

First Impressions

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Prior to the film opening, one of the fandom’s biggest concerns regarding Captain America: Civil War was the never-ending list of characters that would be making appearances in this movie. Not only is the crazy number of superheroes present for this civil war not a hindrance, it’s one of the movie’s greatest strengths. Seeing Ant-Man and Spider-Man battling alongside Avengers we’ve loved from the beginning is one of the highlights of the film, not to mention the insane joy you feel watching the quippiest fight scene in the history of cinema. Listening to our brand new Peter Parker (Tom Holland) deliver line after snarky line while handling whatever is thrown his way is better than any moment in any previous Spider-Man movie.

Civil War delivers on every promise made in the dozen or so previews we’ve anxiously watched over the last year. The stakes were high, expectations were even higher, but Captain America: Civil War exceeds both.

A Few Fresh Faces

In addition to handling the sheer force of this gaggle of superheroes, Captain America: Civil War introduces us to two new characters that we’ll be seeing solo films from in the near future. Introducing them in a film as large and unwieldy as this one is a definite risk, but it pays off in spades. We couldn’t be more excited to see where their individual films will take these two new shining stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Spider-Man

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Spider-Man was beginning to feel like the third rail of comic book heroes. Despite being a thoroughly entertaining and engaging character, Peter Parker’s story was starting to feel dull and lifeless on screen. Maybe it was because we had been treated to his origins in two different incarnations a mere 10 years apart, but his introduction in Captain America: Civil War is anything but dull. His quirky sense of humor plays nicely off Tony’s snarky wit, and we were instantly charmed by his innocent and silly nature. Next year’s Spiderman: Homecoming will be a welcome addition to the MCU now that we’ve met and fallen for the newest incarnation of the wily webslinger.

Black Panther

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If you walk away from Captain America: Civil War without any Black Panther feelings, we’re not sure we want to know you. All the marketing regarding this character set him up to be a worthy Team Tony member, sporting a suit made of the most durable substance on the planet. We didn’t intend to find out that behind his badass black armor was a man dedicated to his people as well as his family. Seeing the birth of this character within the confines of Civil War allows even the most casual of comic book fans to fall in love with this powerhouse. The Black Panther movie will be released in 2018.

A touch of comedy

Putting aside the team-up aspects of this film, some of the most deliciously entertaining moments are when Falcon and Bucky are forced to share space. Seeing Cap’s two greatest allies bicker like school children is both delightfully unexpected and unexpectedly delightful. We can’t wait to see what the Russos have brewing for the next time we see Cap’s squad in action.

Also, the subtle flair and dry wit of Scott Lang is a perfect fit for the role that Ant-Man played in this movie. The character brought so much to the story as well as the entertainment factor. We would happily sign a petition to keep him involved in all things Marvel and Avengers from here on out.

Weaknesses

Let there be a villain

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While Captain America: Civil War has so much going for it, there are a few things that don’t work as well as we would have liked. First and foremost would be the villain, Zemo. Yes, that’s right, the feuding inside the Avengers ranks may pit one side against the other, but no one is truly right or wrong. This movie needed an external villain to focus on after all the infighting was done. The story couldn’t be over until some threat was vanquished, or at least put away with no hope of escape. Zemo is played well by Daniel Brühl, but the character himself is lacking.

Zemo’s story just isn’t the main player in this one. He masters the art of distraction, and uses it to keep all the heroes busy while he furthers his own agenda. Zemo is a fine foil for the ultimate showdown, but he just isn’t as dynamic or interesting as Marvel villains have been of late.

A few missing players

The roster for this movie is massive, and they didn’t really need to add anyone, but it is a little sad to see this group minus two of its biggest personalities. Thor and Hulk do not make an appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and while their absences are easy to explain, it would have been fascinating to see where they stood on the battle lines. Hopefully we will learn all about their thoughts on the Sokovia Accords when they’re back for Infinity War, but until then, we’ll just keep theorizing and postulating endlessly, as any good fan does.

Too many subplots

The only true criticism we have regarding the inclusion of so many characters is that it forces the film to spend time giving each and every one of them motivation and time to share their thoughts on the matter. We had subplots for Wanda and Vision, Sharon Carter, Spider-Man, and Black Panther, to name a few. Those subplots always course-correct back to the central theme, but taking the time to develop all those characters detracts from time they could have spent on the film’s focus: Cap and Tony.

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Ultimately…

Everything we wanted it to be

Civil War does not disappoint. We wanted it to be a Captain America movie, and we got that. We wanted it to show both sides of the accountability debate, and we got that. We wanted to be able to see things from Cap’s perspective, but not be completely alienated from Tony Stark, the man whose movie started this whole amazing journey into the MCU — and we got that.

Captain America: Civil War tells the story that we needed to see. We needed to see that Cap and his friends are not wrong for wanting to continue to live and fight freely as they have been from the start. We needed to know that Tony saw Cap’s perspective while vehemently disagreeing and needing the accountability that the Accords provide for himself. While the Civil War raged, we knew that this wasn’t about either side winning.

Captain America: Civil War is about both sides seeing heroism in their own way and realizing that disagreeing isn’t the be-all and end-all.

It’s also important to note that while nobody loses this Civil War, nobody wins either. Neither side comes through completely unscathed, and some scars are more than just superficial. There’s a lot left unsaid, and more than a few non-physical wounds that’ll need time to heal. Both sides have a long road to travel before our heroes can walk the same path again, and hopefully the films we will see between now and Avengers: Infinity War – Part I will show progress toward that cause.

A few stray thoughts

  • It wouldn’t have been a Captain America movie without Peggy Carter, and she impacts this story in a way we didn’t expect.
  • Who knew a string of random words could elicit such horror?
  • We could definitely watch a feature length version of that Scarlet Witch vs. Vision battle.
  • We are more invested in Rhodey’s future than we ever thought possible.
  • We can’t help but wonder how Vision’s part in this war will affect him going forward.

What did you think of ‘Captain America: Civil War’?

Hit the comments and vote in our poll to discuss!

New ‘Power Rangers’ movie costumes revealed

The suits for the ladies are... questionable.

12:30 pm EDT, May 5, 2016

Can we morph into a world where female super heroes don’t have to wear high heels?

EW.com has exclusively revealed the first look at what the new Power Rangers costumes will look like when they hit the big screen next year. Check them out below.

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The new suits are explained as “alien” according to costumer designer Andrew Menzies. “It’s tricky finding a new language for a superhero costume. Ours is an alien costume that grows on them, that’s not man-made. You can’t win everyone over, but we are trying to appeal to a more mature audience and gain new fans.”

Noticeably in the picture, both the Pink Ranger and the Yellow Ranger’s costumes feature full busts and even wedge heels. Haven’t we learned anything about last year’s Jurassic World protests!?

This photo comes after the previously released photo of Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa which also featured a brand new look.

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What are your thoughts about the new Power Rangers suits? Should they have stuck a little closer to the original concept from the hit ’90s TV show?

Power Rangers hits theaters March 24, 2017. The cast includes Becky G as Yellow Ranger Trini, Ludi Lin as Black Ranger Zack, Dacre Montgomery as Red Ranger Jason, Naomi Scott as Pink Ranger Kimberly, and RJ Cyler as Blue Ranger Billy.

Veronica Roth’s upcoming science fiction novel is titled Carve the Mark, and hits store shelves on January 17, 2017.

An official website (complete with a countdown clock!) launched Thursday morning. It reveals the cover (above) and synopsis for Carve the Mark, which will apparently appeal to “fans of Star Wars and Divergent.”

The cover is interesting, as it appears to show cuts made in stone, with something like gold seeping out of the openings. “Honor has no place in survival,” the book’s tagline reads.

Here’s the full synopsis:

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

Intriguing! I’m liking the sound of these currentgifts and their influence on this science fiction world.

Previous reports have described Carve the Mark as the first part in a duology, with part 2 getting a release in 2018.

This will be the first book published since Roth wrapped up the Divergent Series. Although Allegiant was released in 2013, a book with short stories about Four arrived the following summer.

You can pre-order Carve the Mark here. Do you think you’ll be reading it?