'How I Met Your Mother': 'The Poker Game' and the problem with real time

The moments in Monday's (Oct. 14) "How I Met Your Mother" that either were not set at or not directly about things happening at the Farhampton Inn were pretty enjoyable. The ones that were, though, signal what could become real issues with this final season.So, the good parts of "The Poker Game" first. The B-story with Ted, Lily, Marshall and the mystery wedding gift from six years ago fulfilled a number of the things creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have said they want to do with this season. It filled in some previously unseen bit of the gang's history and called back to some well-remembered past moments, including their roles in Stuart and Claudia's relationship and Ted and Marshall's road trips to Chicago for amazing/awful pizza.And based on what we know of Ted and his love of the correct way of doing things, his gift-giving fetish -- and horror at thinking he didn't actually...



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