It’s October on How I Met Your Mother and months of summer happiness doesn’t breed good stories. “The Pre-Nup” fast forwards to the fall to highlight the shift in Barney, Ted, and Robin’s relationships. One of their union’s ends and the others aren’t far behind. Scroll carefully, there are spoilers ahead.

The Players:

  • Director: Pamela Fryman
  • Writers: Carter Bays & Craig Thomas
  • Cast: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Bob Saget, Ashley Williams, Becki Newton, Thomas Lennon, Michael Trucco, Bob Odenkierk, Suzie Plakston, Bill Fagerbakke, Blake Bertrand, Gibson Sjobeck

Episode Title: “The Pre-Nup”

Barney and Quinn come up with prenuptial agreements for each another, spurning a battle of the sexes.

The Good:

  • Snap Crackle Pop: Barney has a host of opinions on how men should behave with and towards women. Generally Marshall is the married touchstone; an example of how to treat a woman with respect and still be the man of the house. Anytime their ideals match up, the moment is a perfect storm of awesome. Last night, that moment was when the gentlemen named their significant others’ lady parts. It’s amazing how something that should be offensive is pure comedy.
  • The Autumn of Breaking Up: The season claimed its first victim; Barney and Quinn are no more. Fans have known since May that these two were just expiration dating. Ending it quickly while keeping viewers invested was a stroke of genius. It was evident that they didn’t trust each other once they couldn’t let go of their respective pre-nups. Now it’s just a matter of whose relationship will bite the dust next. (Hint: It won’t be Lily and Marshall.)
  • Artillery Arthur: Barney’s boss might have been the powder keg that started the battle of the sexes, but he also ended it. Forcing all the couples to confess their real feelings saved three relationships, and helped one end with dignity.

The So-So:

  • Lennon Lacking: Last week, Thomas Lennon was heart-warming as Klaus, Victoria’s jilted fiancé. This week, he was relied upon heavily for humor, but he didn’t bring the charm. His role as a boundaries-crossing house guest is the predictable plot that viewers have come to loathe. Lennon’s naked shtick may have gotten a chuckle out of a few, but it felt forced. Since it seems Klaus will be sticking around, let’s hope he gets better over time.

The Quotable:

  • “Rich people and celebrities put this kind of stuff in pre-nups all the time, and those are the marriages that last.”
  • “I didn’t realize it took 44 inches to keep you satisfied.”

Overall:

HIMYM returned to the roots that made it a Monday night staple. Viewers got the silliness it’s known for, while feeling a slight tug on their heartstrings. Thank goodness How I Met Your Mother is back!

Rating: 8/10

How I Met Your Mother airs Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. on CBS.
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