Part of a show’s success is suspension of disbelief. Our ability to tune into a show and a slip away into its world. How I Met Your Mother doesn’t really succeed at this with enough consistency.
There’s some funny lines and gags here, but I’m at the point where I just don’t care.
Lily is an art consultant. But what is the point of her and Marshall visiting an art exhibit? In what way does it advance the plot of Lily’s career or her relationship with Marshall? If it were just a story about 30-soemthings growing up and it felt true to real life, than it might be passable, but that’s a different story, and a type of plot the series has shied away from lately.
Ted breaks up with Jeanette, but what’s the point of watching Barney coach him (terribly) using the Playbook. There’s some amusing failed attempts to use the schemes, always ending with Ted offering to show his penis. However, we know Ted’s not going to end up with any of these people and it doesn’t service a forward direction towards meeting the mother. Jeanette had already broken up with Ted, and her return felt needless. The end where Ted’s stuff lies in ruins from Jeanette going crazy was a cop out. It (unsurprisingly) didn’t add up with how explosive and big the show suggested it would be.
Robin is missing for most of the episode (enough so that I was starting to question the decision), but it pays off in one of the better scenes from the episode. After discovering that Barney hasn’t actually destroyed the Playbook, Robin storms out. Barney’s reminder that their relationship is built on lies made me consider temporarily why these two are together; when you think about it, it’s fairly unstable foundation, one only upheld by Barney’s love for Robin, and it’s a fact the show should play around with more. Of course, Neil Patrick Harris plays this all too sincerely and charmingly not to be won over just as much as Robin is.
The Robin-Barney scene was the only scene where I was drawn in, sucked in to the point where I forget “Oh yea, I’m watching a tv show”. It’s a great moment, but elsewhere this episode just doesn’t have the heart or the feeling of purpose that earlier seasons had in abundance.