by Willie Clark
I've mentioned I love the Bang song right?
“How I Met Your Mother” started off, well, appropriately, with a bang. Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) is fresh out of his relationship with Quinn (Becki Newton), right? And we all know how well he deals with new-found singledom.
Thus we were greeted with a killer opening: Barney storming the bar. With a t-shirt cannon. And a newly jazzed up version of the infamous Bang song. And then he created Bangtoberfest. And Bangtoberfest t-shirts. It was a hilarious and near pitch-perfect opening bit, with Barney soon finding that his old ways of picking up women just weren't enough. Even Bangtoberfest didn't mean what it use to mean anymore (even though he just invented it, as Ted (Josh Radnor) pointed out), and Barney decided he needed a fresh angle.
And it was Barney’s antics that kept the show going strong. His new plan involved the seduction of nannies (which I’m surprised the show hasn't done before), and of course, it was just in time for Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) to start their own interviews for a nanny for baby Marvin.
The show still isn't sure what to do with Marvin: It got a few solid jokes from the couple this week, including Lily running out the poop-clock so she didn't have to change Marvin, and their nanny subplot was the best that the pair has seen this season (with guest Mrs. Buckminster (Jane Carr) and Marshall’s toy race track bits being especially noteworthy). It was an interesting twist to the same old baby stuff we usually see, at the start at least, and was a good foil to Barney’s own nanny interviews.
On the Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Ted front, both were competing in a relationship face off, each of them trying to one-up the other over just whose relationship was going better. It was a pretty flat B story line, aside from letting us know that both relations were doomed (which we knew), and would fall apart within the month (which we also pretty much knew). It at least started to sow the seed of discontent within both Robin and Ted for their current relationships. Less really was more for the pair this week.
About half way through the show lost nearly all momentum, which is a shame given just how great the opening was, and fell into predictable and not-that-funny or important territory. Lily and Marshall, in-case-you-didn't-catch-the-foreshadowing-the-whole-time decided on Lily's dad as the nanny, which I guess was supposed to be heartwarming but didn't really phase me, Barney got beat up by all the nannies (his long overdue getting what was coming to him?), and Ted and Robin saw Barney being single and decided that their relationships weren't really that bad after all (But we know they will be over soon regardless!).
It was such a strong front half of the episode (the strongest of the season) that it was a shame to see it stumble in the later minutes of the show, especially when, oddly enough, the ending bit that went on during the credits with Barney banging Mrs. Buckminster had so much potential (a wing nanny, for crying out loud) that I was surprised it was pushed to the end, where it could have stood on its own as a much stronger back half of the episode. Ah well.
With the relationship steam running out for Ted and Robin as well, I'm curious how (and if) the show can handle two more breakups before the month is out. Barney and Quinn's wasn't that well done, and both Ted and Robin already seem to be finding major faults with their prospective others. We know how everything ends though, just not how the characters get there, and I'm not sure how well the show can back itself out of the we-all-know-what-is-coming corner it has painted itself into. But if this week is any indication, it still has plenty of hard hitting laughs left in it.
Willie Clark was a noob to the world of HIMYM until last December when he magically found the strength to marathon all six and a half seasons in a few short weeks. Now, he dreams at night about finally seeing what the mother looks like (Yeah, that happened, for real, last night.) Want to share in his dreams? Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.