barney how i met your motherConsiderate, emotional and kind are not exactly traits that one might use to describe HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER’S Barney. But last night, he exhibited all of them as we discovered the surprising secret as to why Lily and Marshall got back together.

Turns out during their summer hiatus, it was Barney who flew to San Francisco and asked Lily to return to New York. With a plane ticket in hand, Barney showed up at Lily’s door and told her what we as an audience already knew — that they belong together.

It was a nice moment, a very SCRUBSesque (read: emotional J.D.) scene for Barney. Yet in this TV Addict’s opinion — completely out of character for the legen—DARY Barnicle.

The great thing about Barney (or so I thought) was that he has little or no emotional depth. Beneath the strippers, poker, pick-up lines and brilliant one-liners, there’s well, more pick-up lines, one night stands and a few genuine cuban cigars. With Barney, what you see is what you get, and frankly that what makes him so brilliant.

Barney is the equivalent of the foursome from SEINFELD or Dr. House. Through nine seasons, did Jerry, Elaine, George or Kramer ever exhibit any personal growth? Has Dr. House improved his bedside manner? Certainly not. For if those characters evolved, SEINFELD and HOUSE wouldn’t be the same show.

Simply put, Barney should remain Barney. If we need emotion moments and ‘personal growth’ — there’s more than enough Ted and Marshall to go around.

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  • I totally bought it and it doesn’t lessen any of Barney’s id. The fact that he has some hidden depth doesn’t make him any less hilarious or charmingly bad? Plus he already showed some human emotion in the flashback to how he became Barney in the first place so we know it’s there.

  • I agree with Vance. I think the fact that Barney has a moment of emotional depth doesn’t lessen his character as a whole — he’s still the same guy, as attested to by the “In your FACE, LOSER!” comment to Ted directly after learning that he would be best man.

  • Vance, Carrie… good points.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still love Barney, but am curious to see if this new found revelation about Barney changes his character in the coming episodes. Stay Tuned…

  • I believe creator Carter Bays recently touched on Barney’s season-ending character development in an interview… “In the last few episodes of this season, we’re going to see more growth from Barney than we’ve ever seen, as far as humanity and depth. In Season 3, I want to neutralize that and just make him a cartoon character again. It’s more fun, more insane. Neil loves playing that part exactly that way.”

    So, I guess nothing to worry about it. I think we saw the basis for that in his response. He was initially annoyed with Lily because of the praise he was getting for showing depth, but then when he realized that he got what he wanted (to be best man), he was happy again. To the extend that Barney has depth and development, the character doesn’t want anyone to know. As long as they keep that in mind and have these moments be very judiciously used, I have no qualms about it.