“The Broken Code” – How I Met Your Mother

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 10.29.03 AMLooks 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

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2 thoughts on ““The Broken Code” – How I Met Your Mother

  1. Even if it wasn’t the perfect episode, many shows are nit picked at for not being up to standards to a handful of people while to others it’s perfect to them. It could have all gone differently, but I wasn’t disappointed. I still love them and love watching this show. If it’s a disappoint to others…don’t watch it maybe. The loyal viewers will still be happy no matter how bad other critics make it out to be. I’ve been with this show since it came out and it’s one of my favorites, just like I bet it is for tons of other people. Just an entire season to go yes…..but if that makes you sigh in grief….don’t watch it.

    • Hi Alicia,

      That’s actually a great point, and sometimes we do toy with the idea of just quitting. But there’s always something that pulls us back in. HIMYM has this knack of always positioning the perfect episode right at the point where we’re on the verge of saying ‘okay, that’s enough for us’. We’ve loved it from the start, too. All we’re saying is that it’s nowhere near as good as it was at the start. It’s relying a little too much on winky in-jokes and recycling old lines. But if you read our old reviews, you’ll see that there’s a lot we love about it, too. The relationship (and sometimes stark emotional honestly) between Ted and Lily, Barney’s no-holds-barred love for Robin… there have been many great moments over the years. They’re just not coming as often as we’d like. We keep watching because we really want to know how everything works out for Ted (we’re rooting for him!) and how the Mother finally comes into the picture, but also because we will always have a soft spot for the show. We have always had a tendency to pick out the worst of an episode – maybe because it’s a little easier than quantifying the good – but that doesn’t mean that we hate it, or that we think it’s irredeemable. We probably should try a little harder to get that across.

      Thanks for reading (and commenting)!

      K

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