Monday, October 3, 2011

How I Met Your Mother: 'Stinson Missile Crisis'

Robin attends court-ordered therapy and recounts what led to an assault charge.

Quick Review: It has its moments, a few good laughs, but character assassination isn't funny.

Best Episode Moment: Barney's fake company sponsoring Survivor.

Worst Episode Moment: The flashforward to Lily giving birth. The "husband isn't there for the birth of his child" trope is just too predictable and played out. They've done better.

Best Character Moment: The therapist (he'll always be Kumar), constantly questioning why Robin's story had a B plot.

Worst Character Moment: Lily not caring as much about her baby as Ted. "Just a little bit" of wine and sushi could still cause problems. I thought she wanted this baby. Seems to me that Ted cares more than she does.

Best Character Interaction: Ted and Marshall at the birthing class, a very Turk and JD moment if ever there was one. (If you've ever watched Scrubs, you know what I'm talking about.)

Worst Character Interaction: Ted barging in on Lily's doctor. Despite meaning well, you just don't do that.

Best Character Progression: Ted leaving the sock on Marshall and Lily's door, giving a subtle hint that he's growing up and becoming less clingy. It's a cute moment that gives me hope for Ted still being worthy of The Mother.

Worst Character Regression: Robin's constant moping and drinking under desks and tables betrays the strong character she used to be. There's a way to have Robin pining for Barney without destroying her character. (Though her fighting the woman at the end was amusing, as was the second charge levied against her.)

Best Sagat Narration: It was pretty Sagat free this time around.

Worst Sagat Narration: His "we'll get to that" is starting to get old.

Best Callback: Sandy returns once more to declare that he'd like to "have sex" with Nora.

Any hint about The Mother? Nope, unless Ted was right about her being a slut.

Any hint about The Wedding? Well, Barney is dismantling all his "bimbo delivery devices," so this means he's serious about settling down into a respectable man. It's still unclear whether Nora will be the bride to be.

Do we like Ted this episode? At first, his enthusiasm about "our" baby was annoying, but it was understandable. Plus, he had a point; the doctor's indulgence could have been harmful. His gesture at the end, leaving them alone, was a step in the right direction for a more mature, less clingy Ted.

Overall Opinion of the Episode: I admit, this episode made me laugh. The meta-commentary from the therapist and Barney's outrageous plans made it fun, and thus easy to ignore how much I was disliking what they did to Robin and Lily.

First, Robin used to be strong and independent. Even when she was with Ted, she had some dignity. Is character progression for her about making her more and more pathetic? This season so far she's done nothing of note except pine for Barney, and it's just hard to watch. Don't they have any other plotlines for her?

Then there's Lily and Ted. First, why is Lily taking such cavalier risks with her pregnancy? Didn't she spend a whole year trying to get pregnant and stressing out about it? Wouldn't she at least consider giving up risky behavior to make sure her child is healthy? Then there's Ted, who on the one hand is getting really annoying as the third wheel. On the other hand, he apparently is the only voice of reason regarding Lily's baby, and he hasn't been that way for a while.

This episode might be marking the beginning of both Ted and Barney growing up, becoming better men, worthy of their brides. I'd like to see this show take some risks again. They have two years left, a clear end date in mind, and there's no need to play it safe, nor is there a need to destroy these characters and not allow them to grow up. It's been six years, we're ready for people in their thirties to act like they're in their thirties.

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