On How I Met Your Motheryou just can’t have everything. “Weekend at Barney’s” answered a few lingering questions about Robin and Barney’s union, but not without leaving a void. Ted found time to complain about the price of stamps, while Lily and Marshall made their first foray into the art world.

The Players:

  • Director: Pamela Fryman
  • Writer: George Sloan
  • Cast: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Bob Saget, Abby Elliot, Weston Anderson, Irene Choi, Maliabeth Johnson, Shaun Rylee

Episode Title: “Weekend at Barney’s”

After Ted and Jeanette break-up Barney attempts to find him a new girl using the not-so-destroyed Playbook. Elsewhere Lily tries to make a good impression at a gallery opening.

The Good:

  • Bodacious: When planning an homage to a pop culture institution, less is more. Even though Weekend at Bernie’s is insinuated, opening with Barney’s dream scene was better. Especially when Robin’s around to poke holes in the merits of “being an alive person, pretending to be a dead person, pretending to be an alive person.” And while a snippet of Weekend at Barney’s was enough, we wanted to know where that rigor mortis joke was going.
  • Fireworks: So Ted and Jeanette’s relationship didn’t dissolve how we envisioned.  He ended up sitting on the curb amongst his former possessions, but the flying flaming bits turned out to be The Playbook. Finally seeing Barney’s life’s work destroyed—again—was for the best. The success of the plays hinge on the ability to deliver the line, “my penis,” without being immediately rebuffed. Ted’s disastrous attempts only proved that it’s a feat only the Barnacle can manage. Oddly enough, that’s a comforting thought.            

The So-So:

  • Utter Malarkey: Since a play was the highlight of last week’s episode, seeing The Playbook so soon felt redundant. At least it addressed what some believed to be a glaring issue: Barney’s swift change. While we relished the moment he committed to Robin, others doubted his sincerity. Dropping his bad habits after eight years is a hard sell, so finding out The Playbook never met its end wasn’t a big surprise. Barney’s admission that lies brought him and Robin together was honest. But building on that feels wrong. They’re going to have to make this work. Barney and Robin’s happy ending is a forgone conclusion at this point. We just need it to make sense.
  • Taste the Rainbow: Lily and Marshall’s adventures at the gallery threw us for a loop. On one hand, The Eriksons continued support of one another strengthens their bond. Lily doubted herself, Marshall floundered, but when they united they found commonality with Strickland Stevens. He’s also known as Johnny Ascot, through bad puns and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As much as we love TMNT, the humor of their story escaped us. Dropping the Skittles was predictable and didn’t even rate on our laugh-o-meter. Even Marshall’s usually amusing bad puns didn’t land—save the, “Van blogh me” gem.

Overall:

“Weekend at Barney’s” was all about choices, and not good ones. When you have to choose between humor and heartwarming moments, whatever’s left out will be sorely missed. With only six episodes left, this isn’t the time to forget the formula for quality.

Rating: 7/10

How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

What did you think of this episode?