We’ve come a long way, How I Met Your Mother fans. Is it odd that I’m starting these reviews near the end of the sixth season? Possibly. But let’s carry on.
This season has been particularly dark, with all of the characters maturing, save Robin. Poor girl has really been short-shrifted in the character development range this season. I miss the whisky-swilling, shooting range afficionado of seasons past. More and more, Robin just seems to exist as the Future Mrs. Barney. I digress.
This week’s episode was sentimental as always. The A plot: Barney reconnects with his father and invites him to a night out, hoping that the lure of alcohol will bring out the hard-partying man his father used to be. B plot: At the club, Robin and Ted argue over wandering eyes in their previous relationship. C plot: By trying to get/give numbers at the club, Lily and Marshall compete to see who would do better in an open marriage.
Let’s go in reverse.
C plot: Barney concocts new identities for his friends, in an effort to make his father find them more interesting than they really are. Marshall and Lily purport to be in an open marriage and begin arguing, in classic HIMYM style, over who would pull more in this fictional open marriage. Naturally this escalates to a betting contest. If Marshall wins, they have sex in the bathroom. If Lily wins…they have sex in the bathroom. Result? Everyone wins! A silly, inconsequential C plot here.
B plot: Robin runs into a man she had eyed previously, while still together with Ted. Ted remembers this and ruins her chances with him. Robin then reminds him of an instance where he had been attracted to another woman during their relationship. We see the history behind the dreadful red boots. (I love HIMYM‘s call-backs and little motifs.) Near the end of the episode, we find out that Robin’s “secret crush” will be a repeat guest star. Eh. No feelings either way regarding this development. I’m still pretty sure we’re going to get a Robin/Barney wedding in the series finale.
A plot: How badly does How I Met Your Mother want Neil Patrick Harris to win an Emmy? I love NPH like any good kid who grew up with Doogie and was of age to actually find Harold and Kumar funny. However, Barney, as a character, is beginning to show signs of wear. His melodrama makes straight drama scenes ring false, and the maturity lessons have been a little obvious these past few seasons.
Nonetheless, Barney’s romp with his father was at least entertaining, when it wasn’t overly maudlin. Barney learns that it may be time for him to start settling down, and obviously, this means we’re back to the Robin romance angle. Fine. I like that plot well enough, but it’s getting tiresome. Then again, I generally am not a fan of Will They or Won’t They couples. I’d rather the show just put them together and dust off their hands already.
Overall, not a great episode, but watchable. John Lithgow is still, as always, spot-on. Good job casting that one.