Looks like HIMYM is settling back to its standard level of quality. Unfortunately, that’s not very high. There were some nice moments – Marshall playing judge and Ted and Barney in the rain, recreating the carousel, for example, or the bro code’s bizarre prevalence – but, by and large, it was a disappointment. The episode was clearly meant to be a display of the friends’ friendships and how they can outlast anything. Mostly it just felt like one big missed opportunity.
Central issues aside, wouldn’t it have been much better, in the midst of an episode about Robin’s inability to make friends with women, to have her making friends, not with crying girl, but with The Mother? Wouldn’t that have been a perfect opportunity to show how perfect The Mother is, not just for Ted, but for the group? It could have been a fleeting acquaintance, like Lily on the train, but even a hint at a beautiful friendship to come could have done wonders. We know the point of crying girl was to cement Lily and Robin’s friendship, but they could have done that some other way. This felt cheap, and uninspired.
The other friendship arc followed on from last week’s ‘cliffhanger’. Barney saw Ted and Robin at the carousel. HIMYM dealt with that strand fairly well (though, of course, not without largely annoying attempts at humor – Billy Zapka, Tim Gunn). Barney torturing Ted with wedding duties and, ultimately, dropping him from best man duties felt believable. Where this arc fell down was after that. Dragging the bro code into it, dragging Marshall into it, then giving us that far too easy conclusion? That didn’t work at all and dented any good writing that went before or could have come afterward. Seeing Ted working for Barney’s forgiveness and perhaps not getting it at all, we feel, would have been a far better episode. More grown up. More honest.
But we should know better than to expect that from this show. Just an entire season of this to go… Hang in there, folks. – K
Quoteworthy: “I was raised as a boy. I don’t get along with women.” – Robin. It’s not much, but it’s all we’ve got