S06E16: After three weeks of exceptionally good episodes, it's no surprise How I Met Your Mother hit a little slump this week. It’s not that this was a bad episode, it was perfectly fine. But if you compare this episode and the past three, it’s not even close. HIMYM is, after all, a sitcom. And sitcoms always have to return to normal at the end of each episode so they can do something else next week. But HIMYM stretched this abnormality (Marshall’s dad’s death) over four episodes and this episode basically had to reset everything. It was a transitional episode with no guest stars, no big plot advancements, and surprisingly no playing with the story telling.
"It’s time to get back to real life. It's time to grow up. Mom!" -Marshall
The big story this week was Marshall leaving Minnesota. He had stayed for extra time to take care of his mom. This causes Lily to miss him and when she surprises him she finds that he has basically reverted back to being a teenager, much to the dismay of his mom. Lily is shocked that Marshall would do this, especially since she had been missing him so much, but eventually tells him he has to grow up and leave his mom alone.
In Marshall’s defense he was unsure of what to do without his dad. There was the overly metaphoric flashback of his dad driving down a dark road that kind of explained everything, but it was a little too on the nose. Then again, HIMYM has never been one for subtleties. When it came back after Marshall and Ted decided to drive back and his dad reappeared I hoped for a little LOST reference, but alas, it was not to be. The thing with this story line was that not only did it represent Marshall going back to normal, it was the show going back to normal as well. While I'm appreciative of this, after three weeks of really good episodes, why would we want to go back to normal?
"They’re called British morning socks" - Ted
I like the story with Ted. The big reveal from last week was Ted and Zoey getting together. The euphoric feeling both of them experienced waned a little as Zoey admitted she was ready for an extremely long term relationship. This causes Ted to get nervous and he rushes off in retreat to Minnesota with Marshall. So once again we have Ted whining about wanting a serious relationship, then running when one winds up at his door.
So yeah, Ted is back to being annoying and whining about his slippers. I will give him this. The discussion about baking cookies was really funny, but again, it was saved by the other cast members.
"*Predator noises*" -Barney
Barney and Lily saved the show (as usual). Lily does it with her dates with Marshpillow. Alyson Hannigan is seriously becoming one of my favorite comedic actresses. The rest of the cast needs to get on her level. Her delivery is pitch perfect. The way she dissolved from talking about baking cookies to a sex dream about Marshall? Magnificent.
And then there was Neil Patrick Harris doing his thing. I’d be worried if they ever gave Barney his own show because he is insufferable in big doses, but I’d still watch it. But did Barney actually find someone worthy of his time? Robin’s friend was after all British (so she’s classy), smart (saw right through his moves), and loves laser tag (the greatest sport of all time). It would be smart of the writers to introduce this in a seemingly insignificant manner, but we’ll see if she sticks around until next time.
Finally, let’s end on my latest theory: the pictures in the theme song will be taken the day/night when Ted meets the mother. Of course since he’s supposed to meet her at a wedding, I could be wrong, but I’ve seen some wild weddings; it could happen.