In Defense of Last Night’s HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER


In his critique of Monday night’s HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, Time Magazine’s James Poniewozik took the writers to task for delivering a Barney-centric episode that has “decided to simply wipe out a major character arc [Barney and Robin’s relationship] and grant itself a do-over.”

Our take: We’re okay with that.

For unlike many critics — who earlier today took to the internets to express their disdain for last night’s tour-de-force/Emmy winning performance by one Neil Patrick Harris that had Barney opening up his “playbook” by revealing the many scams, flim-flams and bamboozles that he has employs to lie, cheat, and steal his way into a women’s heart (for one night only) — we loved every minute of it.

Sure, in theory Barney and Robin as a couple was a nice idea. But if Homer Simpson taught us anything, it’s that in theory, communism worked. In reality, said stable relationship turned Barney from the sleazy womanizer we love to well, love, into a boring average Joe. And do we really need another Ted?

What noted television critic Alan Sepinwall called an episode that felt like, “[Showrunners] Carter Bays and Craig Thomas were overcompensating for the return of Barney Stinson.” We call a welcome turn of events. Seriously. As someone who spends a lot of time watching story-lines go nowhere or disappoint for months on end (see: Izzie’s ‘Denny’ hallucinations on GREY’S ANATOMY, the DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES fiasco that was season two thank-you-very-much Betty Applewhite, and 50% of DOLLHOUSE), there is something to be said for two showrunners righting a wrong, and fast! Plus, after delivering four seasons of almost flawless comedy, if there is one thing the writers of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER deserve, it’s a do-over.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have to get back to designing our new line of HIMYM-inspired clothing which may-or-may-not include an “I’m with Smoron” tshirt and “WWLVMD” (What Would Lorenzo von Matterhorn Do)

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  • I can see where the critics are coming from, because it’s openly admitting to a fault in a way, but I can appreciate the speed and courage of righting a wrong.

  • Ace

    It did seem a little fast for Barney to just be moving on, but the show was getting kind of boring so I don’t fault them. The writers just weren’t sure what to do w/ another couple on the show; which is another reason we shouldn’t find out who the mother is until the end of the show. Plus I liked that they showed that Robin was a little upset that he was acting that way. I’m sure the fall out from their relationship will come back in some way.

  • I am appalled (in relative internet terms) that you would equate Robin and Barney’s relationship to Ghost Denny. Seriously?

  • Ken

    I usually defer to IGN for reviews (though they have had some terrible reviews this season, I still go to them first) and they gave this ep a 9.6/10, which I thoroughly agree with. The Bobin arc wasn’t done to perfection, but I don’t think that’s any reason to think it’s the end of it. Barney’s been aware of the emptiness of his pursuits for a while now (at least since the 200th), and just because he’s put this facade back on doesn’t erase the character development over the past few years. This episode wasn’t a mistake in any way, shape, or form. It was wonderfully written and executed. One of the classics of the series.

  • Javi

    I LOVED LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE!!! It truely felt like the “old” HIMYM.

  • Myles,

    My mention of Ghost Denny wasn’t so much a comparison but rather to point out how certain story-lines that fans detest continue far past their best-before date. In contrast to the Barney/Robin relationship which ended quick enough as to not make this season’s legacy that of the failed relationship.

  • I agree with every word. Barney & Robin work best as friends, there’s no way to put them together and keep the Barney we know and love.

  • I enjoyed this episode, but I understand where the critics are coming from. For me, it wasn’t so much that it seemed like Barney and Robin never happened, but that Barney seemed hurtful for the first time. The way he was flaunting right in front of Robin seemed almost cruel.

    I also don’t think Robin or Barney had to lose any of what made them both awesome to do a relationship storyline. I think the writers squandered a lot of potential with respect to Robin/Barney. If they’d handled it better, I think a lot more people would have been upset about their breakup. Instead, it was a relief.

  • John

    This was a funny episode, and can we please give the show a little more credit. I don’t feel like they’ve just completely abandoned the Barney-Robin thing, they just showed the characters trying to get past it by getting into their former selves. HIMYM is the king of continuity with all its flash forwards and backs, so if these critics really think the Barney-Robin relationship is 100 percent evaporated, they clearly don’t know this show.

  • Josh Emerson

    I can’t believe there was criticism of last night’s episode. To me, it was easily the funniest one of the season.

  • Captain Inappropriate

    My girlfriend and I enjoyed the show. The end was seen coming from the beginning, but it was fine. Would I have liked to have seen a little more from Barney with feelings before he reverted? Maybe, but this episode was great.

    And I really don’t think the writer’s “gave up” on the relationship because of critics or it “not working.” I think that this was all part of the plan. This was probably always the first arc of the season.