This week's How I Met Your Mother was one of the series' rare missteps. Robin and Barney's relationship is becoming increasingly emasculating for Barney, as he is becoming nauseatingly sweet and doting towards Robin, detracting from his usual obnoxious and chauvinistic hilarity. His decision to take a class on the subject of Robin, instructed by Ted, exhibited his willingness to go much too far by his former standards in pleasing a woman. In fact, the old Barney didn't even know the meaning of the concept of "pleasing a woman." The character himself is now more wholesome, which to sanctimonious viewers will be more gratifying, but for the majority of HIMYM viewers, it is Barney's nefarious tendencies which keep us tuning in every week. I know I speak for the latter when I say I don't like the looks of where this is headed.
All of this wouldn't have been so bad if there had been some sort of redemptive plot aspect with the other characters, though alas, this wasn't the case. With Robin, Barney and Ted consumed with the main aspects, the sideplot which usually runs through most HIMYM episodes was left to Marshall and Lily. Surprisingly, Lily essentially had no role in the unfolding of the episode, and we were subjected to a rare occasion of fumbling by Marshall. As HIMYM viewers know, while usually a funny character, Marshall occasionally gets involved with some utterly imbecilic diversion that is in no way funny or entertaining. This episode, we had the agony of watching Marshall attempt to donate his treasured barrel to the residents of New York, to no avail. The idea was extremely one-dimensional and didn't offer much more to an already suffering program.
Let's hope that we are reconciled next week when Ted unwittingly becomes a host for a series of beautiful women who abstain from sleeping with him.
Hmm, but... the whole premise of the show is where the characters--Bob Saget, the mother, Aunt Robin, Uncle Barney, etc.--end up. So if we don't have Barney growing and changing, but rather staying a simple womanizer for all eternity, then there is certainly no hope of EVER meeting the mother.
That said, it wasn't my favourite episode ever either, but not for the same reason. It wast just kind of flat.