How I Met Your Mother Review: “Splitsville” (Season 8, Episode 6)

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So that was the actual plot of the episode. Now on to why that was possibly the sloppiest How I Met Your Mother episode of all time.

Nick being that dumb was simply too out of the blue for me. Granted, Nick never seemed to be a genius before, but he seemed to at least have average intelligence. Tonight felt like Robin was dating Scooby again. Nick failing to understand that Robin was trying to break up with him was mildly amusing, but it just wasn’t believable with what we had seen of him up to this point. I mean, he was the one who seemed smarter than Robin at the start of the season. Far too big of a stretch to be acceptable.

As upset as I was with this egregious deviation from character, I was just as mad that they overplayed the joke so much. From the start of the episode until the end there were quips about Nick’s intelligence that were only mildly amusing. For a show that usually has no shortage of jokes, it came as quite a shock that they couldn’t think of anything funnier to throw in.

Another huge problem was Patrice. This was her fifth episode, and every time she seems more carelessly tossed in than the last. She was completely out of place when used last season, and tonight was no exception. When it becomes necessary to show a series of clips explaining why Barney’s Evite would be a problem for Robin, it’s time to think of a more fitting threat for him to use.

There was also no ripples from Ted’s recent breakup. Ted never does well with ending relationships, and even though he ended things with Victoria, he did propose to her, so he’d likely be a bit upset about things not working out. And the times he hasn’t been upset, it’s been of great concern to the rest of the group. Maybe they were all too wrapped up in their own things to realize it this week, but Ted seemed way too okay for having just gotten out of a serious relationship. Very un-Ted.

The one major moment that was consistent with character was Barney leaving as Nick and Robin began to talk about having sex and it was heard via speakerphone. Multiple times in the show Barney has left seemingly to avoid a situation he doesn’t want to be in, only to have actually left for a more important purpose. The first instance of this was when Marshall was upset over his breakup with Lily and Barney flies to San Francisco. He does it again when the video of him singing to Shannon causes him to rush out and go see her. So it came as no surprise tonight when Barney left the apartment and rushed to Splitsville in order to break Robin and Nick up.

While tonight had stray moments of humor, it was overwhelmingly a letdown, with the only benefit for the show being that the autumn of breakups is finally over and Robin, as was inevitable, is single again. In the coming weeks we’ll likely see her and Barney share a secret kiss and then dance around getting back together, before finally making their relationship public again.

Some shows slowly decline as time goes on, and others drop off a cliff. Tonight’s episode makes it feel like How I Met Your Mother is plummeting down the Mariana Trench. I only hope it can catch itself before it falls too far.

Other Random Notes

  • The funniest moment of Nick being an idiot was when he was doing the crossword. Four letter word for cut? “nick.” “What?” “nick!”
  • Nick not knowing that gypsies and dolphins are real fits perfectly with Robin and her reindeer issues.
  • Lily was drooling more than a cartoon hobo watching a pie cool on a windowsill.
  • As much as everyone wants to rag on Ted’s athletic ability, that shot was absolutely epic.
  • I certainly would not go to Madison Square Garden to see Groins on Ice.
  • Splitsville would be a great place to pickup chicks. I’m surprised Barney hasn’t been.
  • Marshall’s motivational speech was hilarious. “THE CHECK WILL BE MARGINALLY LESS EXPENSIVE”

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

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