It’s impossible to hate this episode, for one reason alone: Goodbye, Zoey.
The character of Zoey had such potential when we first met her. The blogosphere loves Jennifer Morrison, and it was fun to see someone push Ted’s buttons. However, Zoey quickly devolved into a whiny, selfish toddler who spent every episode asking Ted (Josh Radnor) to do things for her and then getting angry with him for unrelated matters. Boring.
Plus, once future Ted (Bob Saget) revealed in his voiceover that the relationship with Zoey had an expiration date, there was little need for the audience to invest in the perky blonde.
Which is why I’m glad this episode finally broke things off, though it did little else in terms of character development or plot building.
In “Landmarks,” Ted grapples with the decision to support Zoey and her quest to restore the Arcadian or support the building’s demolition and save his and Barney’s jobs.
Last episode, Zoey had convinced Ted to support her cause by presenting a sob story about her childhood connection with the Arcadian. However, this week we find out via flashbacks that Ted’s support of Zoey has generated great friction between him and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), adding to the unpleasant feelings between Barney and Marshall (Jason Segel).
This episode is a Ted episode, with spots of Barney. Robin (Colbie Smulders), Lily (Alyson Hannigan), and Marshall all play out bit parts, but the bulk of the action is centered on Ted and his struggle to reconcile his feelings for Zoey and his hopes for his own career.
We soon find out that GNB boss Arthur (Bob Odenkirk) is ready to fire both Barney and Ted, should Ted publicly voice support for Zoe and her activist group. There’s an odd side story about Arthur’s divorce and pining for his dog. This plotline doesn’t really go anywhere or add anything to the show besides a few shots of an adorable puppy–oh wait, worth it.
Anyway, Ted’s friends try to convince him that his relationship with Zoey is doomed to failure, so he might as well save his (and Barney’s) careers. Ted also has a dream in which the architect of the Arcadian (who looks exactly like Barney) tells him it would be foolish not to take this chance to build his own NYC skyscraper.
Ted chooses his career and publicly supports the building’s demolition. Just then, Zoey pops up on stage with her recording of Ted speaking out about the Arcadian’s importance, especially in regards to its lion head stonework. (Remember that recording? Good times, “Natural History.”) With GNB’s architect’s negative testimony, it looks like the new building project proposal is doomed to fail.
Suddenly, the entire gang is back to supporting the building’s demolition, even though Marshall has no specific reason for changing sides. Lily devises a “diabolical” plan, which the group relates to Arthur.
In a move that surprises no one, it turns out that the group removed the lion head stonework, rendering the Arcadian’s landmark value moot. Zoey and Ted break up officially. Barney gets a new decoration for his bachelor pad. The end.
Not a great episode, by any means. How I Met Your Mother has done much better in the past. This episode was low on laughs and high on filler material. Hopefully, the mediocre quality of this ep will only make next week’s season finale seem even stronger in comparison.