How I Met Your Mother Review: “The Pre-Nup” (Season 8, Episode 2)

Of course, the biggest relationship problem of them all is the one that directly leads to the episode’s only relationship demise. Barney and Quinn have broken up.

The problems all begin with Hobbs warning Barney that even when you love and trust someone, time can change even the closest of couples, and you can get screwed over if you aren’t prepared. Barney takes that ideology and makes up a ridiculously extensive pre-nup agreement, with some hilarious clauses. My favorite was the breast tune-ups every 5 years or 50,000 honka-honkas, whichever comes first.

Of course, Quinn is absolutely insulted by Barney’s demand and plots her revenge, which consists of a pre-nup of her own. She presents her forms with the rest of the girls, causing Barney to call the guys, and leaving disaster inevitable. Her ludicrous pre-nup includes her gaining custody of the suits in a divorce so she can “just sit around and watch them go out of style,” and a shock ring, worn in a very sensitive spot, to keep him away from her friends.

At this point all hell breaks loose, with every couple shouting at each other until Hobbs apparently changes his mind about love, and puts everything back in perspective. Three of the couples use the honest, underlying reasons behind their disagreements as a way to move past their problems, yet Barney and Quinn never take their turn.

Later that night, with everyone else gone, Barney and Quinn both refuse to throw away their pre-nup forms, and by doing so realize that they can’t trust each other. Neil Patrick Harris’ best acting shines through in Barney’s raw, honest moments, such as the one tonight when he admits that he doesn’t trust Quinn, and she admits the same. Once that is realized, there’s no way the two will stay together and they’re officially done, breaking off the engagement.

Honestly, I’m sad to see Quinn go. Becki Newton has been a wonderful addition to the show, and the ever-scheming Quinn will be greatly missed. There was a small part of me that wished Barney and Quinn would actually end up together. I was happy after his proposal. Even though Robin was his first girlfriend, and he put in the most effort for Nora, Quinn truly broke Barney down in a way that neither of those previous girls (or the other 200+ he’s slept with) have. It would’ve felt fitting had they ended up together.

I did feel that this break-up slightly lacked emotion. Suddenly they were just done, and there was no time for the audience to really feel the characters’ pain. I guess that’s because there really was no pain from the characters. They knew as soon as Barney considered the pre-nup they were doomed.

In a final bar scene, Barney shares that he’s actually okay, and that the experience with Quinn has made him realize he’ll never trust anyone enough to marry them. Plus his single life is so “legen…”

“Dary!” I thought they might just leave this episode alone without leaking any future relationships, but alas, we again get teased with Robin and Barney in the future, this time seeing them together, engaged, sometime shortly before their wedding, just after Barney has informed his coworkers how awesome his wedding is going to be. This constant, slow reveal makes me wonder how many episodes they’ll actually be a couple, or if the show is just going to slowly work backwards until the current story, giving us most of their relationship that way.

Other Random Notes

  • One is very neat, the other is very very neat. I’m going to have to start watching German sit-coms. “Ludwig has started to polish the doorknobs, but Wilhelm has already completed this task!”
  • I liked the hint of narcissism in the last minute of the show. Big comedy, but you still care about the characters? Stop talking about yourself, How I Met Your Mother.
  • It’s always a treat when Marshall’s obsession with myths comes into play, and we got a ton of it in this episode. A sasquatch hunt with cryptozoologists (yes that’s real, it’s the study of hidden animals), and a toast making ghost? Hilarious.
  • I’m still not used to the apartment changes. I don’t know that I’ll ever get accustomed to seeing Ted in any apartment other than “the apartment,” and seeing Lily and Marshall having a family away from their Dowisetrepla home.

Check back next week for my thoughts on the third episode in the eighth season of How I Met Your Mother.