Monday, March 19, 2012

How I Met Your Mother: "The Broath"

Quick Review: Slash-fic writers get some pretty awesome fan-service. The rest of us get a pretty decent episode.

Episode Synopsis: The gang try to break up Barney and Quinn after learning that the couple plan to move in together. Meanwhile, Ted and Robin argue over subletting her apartment.  -tvguide

Spoilers ahead, so watch the episode before you proceed. Of course, you are free to proceed without viewing the episode, but then don't whine to me about spoilers. If you do, you'll regret telling me your middle name.

Best Episode Moment: Julius Caesar fighting ninjas. There is just too much awesome in that sentence.

Worst Episode Moment: Every time Marshall tried to tell crazy sex stories.

Best Character Moment: Quinn, deciding to have a lot of fun at Barney's friends expense.

Worst Character Moment: Ted and Robin being focused only on getting the apartment, not on Barney's (albeit fake) crisis.

Best Character Interaction: The kissing.

Worst Character Interaction: The kissing.

Best Character Progression: Robin, apparently taking a healthy break from Ted.

Worst Character Regression: Marshall, returning to his insecure self about having only had sex with Lily.

Best Sagat Narration: "We wouldn't see each other for a long time, but I'll get to that."

Best Callback: Ted telling the story of him and Robin to the Ted, Marshall, and Lily college doppelgangers.

Best Running Gag: "Quintervention"

Best Guy: "Monk Guy"

Best Growth Spurt: Marshall in Peter Pan

Any hint about The Mother? No, but from the looks of it, Robin might not be around to interfere with Ted meeting her.

Any hint about The Wedding? Barney might marry Quinn to get her to stop stripping, possibly sooner rather than later.

Do we like Ted this episode? Yes, especially seeing that Ted's habit of telling long stories about his relationship history is nothing new. His poor kids.

Overall Opinion of the Episode: This episode had its moments, especially the twist that Barney and Quinn were faking was amusing, turning a serious breach of trust into the perfect setup. Watching Barney manipulate his friends is always amusing, but this time we have Quinn be the puppet-master. Again, this invites comparisons to Nora, and Quinn comes out ahead. She's Barney's match, more than a willing partner in crime, the instigator.

In many ways, this episode answers many of the problems Kevin raised in the episode "Mystery V. History" when he pointed out the gang was too close. (Though thankfully that's been dialed back a bit.) When given the first opportunity to interact with Quinn, they dive into her personal life and try to break her and Barney up. Of course, Barney knew this and he and Quinn had some fun teaching them a lesson. I liked that plot twist, because it makes Quinn part of the gang, and makes her a very likely candidate for "the bride."

Barney was in full-on Bro form tonight, and I've missed that. His fake history lesson was, as usual, fantastic, as was his new "Broath" ritual, giving a Bro Oath. As this was just an excuse to put everyone in a compromising position (though Lily didn't seem to mind) it's just that much more fun. I like seeing Barney still in top form even when in a monogamous relationship. As we're seeing, having a partner in crime won't dull or diminish your awesomeness, it can make it that much better.

Sadly, our other partners-in-crime, Lily and Marshall, didn't fare so well. While their antics are usually funny, this week's crazy sex story attempts fell flat. Not only did the joke get old rather quickly, it's one they used already. Lily turning the tables on Marshall with not so great stories helped a little, and the Peter Pan story gave us some cute images, but in the end it wasn't up to the show's usual standards.

Ted and Robin, meanwhile, are struggling to move on. I did find Ted crashing in the college dorm amusing, but I would have liked to know how he got there. Was he bunking with a student? If so, that could have been a lot more entertaining than Lily and Marshall this week. Robin with her temporary roomie could have had more screen time as well, but I suppose they played out Robin the house guest last time.

The real development, though, is the fact that Ted and Robin will be taking a long break, addressing Victoria's concerns made back in "Ducky Tie." I like that their cycle is finally broken, and I hope we get to see more of them at their jobs. Ted is still designing a building, I believe. And Robin is now a co-anchor to Sandy Rivers again, so we better be seeing more of him. (And I'd love to have a scene with him and Lily in it before the show ends.) Seeing them at their jobs can still be funny and help move the show out of its rut.

Tonight was hit and miss, but more hit than miss. It's not an instant classic, but it bodes well for the series, as we're seeing some healthy changes in the status quo. I'm now looking forward to the next episodes, eager to see what happens next. Perhaps the show will make a brave move and have "The Wedding" happen at the end of this season, because seven years is enough. Let's meet The Mother already. We promise we'll still watch.


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