Last night How I Met Your Mother took a dive for no apparent reason. After keeping a great rhythm with the first two episodes, “Nannies” brought back the disappointment of drawn out proceedings. To be fair, there were a few laughs to be had. But it wasn’t enough to mask the worry: Is this what the rest of the season will be like?

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, Michael Trucco, Chris Elliot, Jane Carr, Kim Shaw, Francesca Capaldi, Marie Pettit, Daisy Faith, Carom Herman, Melissa Christine, August Maturo, Ely Uettwiller

Episode Title: “Nannies”

Thanks to Barney, Marshall and Lily have trouble finding a nanny. Meanwhile, Robin and Ted argue over whose relationship is more serious.

The Good:

  • Hey Nanny Nanny: It’s a real website that warns against the dangers of Barney Stinson. It lists a few of his aliases and several of his claims to fame. The internet isn’t brand new anymore, so stunts like this aren’t as remarkable as they used to be. The site’s still worth a chuckle or two though. Check it out and celebrate some poor PA’s hard work.
  • Bangtoberfest: If there’s one thing HIMYM can be relied on for, it’s creating words that should have already been invented. The awesomeness of Bangtoberfest is undeniable. Plus, it gave fans a chance to hear the song “Bang, Bang, Bangity, Bang” again.
  • Ha-Aloha-Burn: The best plot point of the night was Robin and Ted’s burn-fest. Their competition to see who had the most serious relationship turned into whose partner is the most annoying. In case you didn’t keep track, Victoria’s tampons at Ted’s house trumps Nick’s package singing abilities, just like Nick’s crying trumps Victoria’s dirty dishes. It would have been nice for one of the flawed unions to come to an end; it’s The Autumn of Breaking Up after all.

The So-So:

  • Nannies: To be clear, we love the show’s commitment to keeping Marvin a part of the storyline. Too many shows inject a baby into the proceedings only to put he/she on a shelf until a special event rolls around. But our love of Marvin is for the innovative, not the predictable. Things like having his first outing at the bar is what we want to see. From the second Lily’s dad showed up, it was obvious he would become the Erikson’s nanny. But first viewers had to endure a predictable round of nanny picking follies. That was followed by Lily’s even more predictable separation anxiety from Marvin. There were still good points to the plot; Lily having to change her favorite insult mid-sentence was particularly enjoyable.
  • Barney’s Rut: The story wasn’t a total loss; it brought us the already celebrated Bangtoberfest. But it would have been nice to see Barney in an actual rut. Imagine him in a cashmere robe, with a bottle of champagne, writing The Brocode for Breakups. That might not be the best musing, but the writers could do it better if they tried.

The Quotable:

  • “I spent $7,000 on merch; this is happening.”
  • “For eight dollars an hour you can do whatever you want to me.”
  • “You son of a …itch-bay.”

Overall:

What a difference a week makes.  The fast paced, fun, and hilarity from the first two episodes was nearly lost on the third.  Why are we wasting time on meaningless dribble? If you’re going to put plot advancement on the shelf, the very least you could do is make every moment hysterical. This episode survived on a few good one-liners and a superb, though sparsely featured B-plot.

Rating: 6/10

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

What did you think of this episode?