In the whirlwind of how dreadful Ted and Robin’s plot is, it’s almost easy to forget that the story with Marshall and Lily is nearly as ridiculous. In what world did Marshall become a terrible husband? He agreed to take a job as a judge without telling her, but at no point has he been about “winning” the marriage. That aspect of their argument is completely out of left field, and a huge character deviation. He may not always be the perfect spouse, but he’s certainly not terrible and entirely at fault like this episode made him out to be.
The only quality part of this episode, especially the second half, is Ted’s rant in the park. For all the problems with how he has been written recently, Josh Radnor’s delivery has been as spot-on as the early seasons. His monologue is actually a well-written one, but the emotion with which he delivers it is what makes it special. It’s not on the level of Cristin Milioti’s speech to the sky last week, and it certainly isn’t enough to make up for the rest of this episode, but it’s a quality scene from Radnor.
It’s so frustrating to watch this show go to the polar extremes over the few years. I’d argue that How You Mother Met Me is one of the five best episodes of the show. Then, a mere week later, we have to suffer through something this ridiculous. If How I Met Your Mother could make it 44 straight minutes without screwing things up, I would be so relieved. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that’s possible any more. I only hope the pattern plays out in a way where the final episode isn’t on the downswing.
Other Random Notes
- The first time all season that an episode leaves off with a cliff hanger and picks it right up the next episode. That was a refreshing change of pace.
- Of all the reappearances in this episode, none was more welcome than Bill Fagerbakke as Marshall’s dad.
- “I’m sorry, is this a costume party and you’re going as 1994?”
- “I’m sure Barney’s got a whole thing about bro hell.”
- Who sits on the beach with their backs to the ocean?
- “Imaginary women right?”
- Robin’s ranking of Ted’s girlfriends wasn’t that far off, but I stand by mine.
Be sure to check back next week for my review of the next episode in the final season of How I Met Your Mother.