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September 2, 2014

Review: How I Met Your Mother - The Window

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 7th 2009 11:29PM
Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan in How I Met Your Mother(S05E10) I'm really starting to think that Carter Bays was telling the absolute truth when he told Mike Ausiello that the writers threw the Barney-Robin relationship into the trash heap. He wasn't being coy about a future plotline; I get the feeling that the writers wanted Single Barney over Relationship Barney and wanted to make sure they got there as quickly as possible.

Why else would we see an entire episode of Barn trying to get laid while wearing Marshall's old overalls? Here's the problem, as others have mentioned: we've seen how much of a good guy Barney can be. So seeing him back to his old tricks seems a bit emptier than it used to, doesn't it?

Either way, the overalls gag kind of felt played out pretty quickly, though I did like Robin's attempts to thwart his efforts by telling farmer jokes. "Challenge accepted!" They're so alike, it's not even funny. "I actually dated that guy." That seemed to be the only acknowledgment that the first third of this season even happened.

Anyway, on to the other two plots. Neither really did much for me this week. I loved seeing a fifteen-year-old, rattail-sporting Marshall write to his thirty-year-old self, but for some reason, thought that the plot would have a better payoff. In the past, every time Marshall had a emotional crossroads about his law career, it led to a big development. All it led to here was him not being able to dunk, even after Lily lowered the basket by a foot, and Lil about to go to town on him on the roof. Big whoop. The most fun thing was seeing Old Marshall (who, for some reason, looked more like 75 than 60) send his young self some wings.

Ted's lurch through "the window" to try to finally land Maggie, the woman of his dreams, was equally unsatisfying. Not because it didn't resolve well -- that second-greatest love story montage was very sweet -- but because it was mostly unfunny. And I need to call a penalty on Bays and Thomas for the blatant underutilization of the charming and adorable Joanna Garcia. All she did was look cute and said a few lines here and there. She could have done more to show us why she was the "ultimate girl next door" who was such a guy magnet that even Robin was no competition.

If anything, the plot served to open the door for Ted to finally "get back out there," at least as far as his search for "the one" is concerned. He again wants what he had with Robin and Stella, but hopefully he'll be less pathetic about it this time around. It would be nice to see Ted take some charge and not be the romantic sap he's been in the past. His students encouraged him to do it, so that should be enough, right?

More fun stuff:

  • "What's in the box?!" Either Robin's Brad Pitt in Se7en was horrible or pure genius. Not sure which.
  • It would figure that a kid who called himself "Vanilla Thunder" would listen to "Informer" by Snow, the whitest rapper of all time. And he'd listen to it on a 45, no less (did they still have 45s in 1993? I think the last one I bought was in 1990).
  • I don't want to see a photo of dogs doing it "people style" at an erotic pooch photography exhibit. I don't even want to think about it.
  • The Best Barneyism this week was when he compared his need to get laid in the overalls to the long-term crushes of Ted and Maggie's buddy from work.
  • Does Barney doing Mrs. Douglas just to complete his challenge means he's all the way back? If not, then it's close. Still not sure if he'll ever completely be the Barney of old, though.

[Watch clips and free episodes of HIMYM at SlashControl.]

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alk02g

I actually really loved this episode. It was so "Ted" to have the old lady neighbor call him, and for him to make sure she comes in contact with no men... his telling Marshall to make sure a Firewoman was available was funny. And the three of them running to her apartment was great. I thought the Marshall storyline was kinda disappointing... but they can do more with "boxes" in the future, that could be fun. Robin had some good moments, but I screamed at the screen when she sent Maggie home because the guys were "acting like vultures" toward her.

December 13 2009 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dannyb0y

Can anyone tell me what lilly says to marshall when he is on the roof? I can't tell if she actually says something funny or if she's just mummbling random words and letting the viewers minds fill it in.

December 12 2009 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
beergas

Robin is a doll. Funny and game. Liked the doggie art show and her attempts to stall the indifferent guy (as if!).
Ted's scenes in classroom broadened out the show. Couple of the class people played bits well.
Overalls part was weak. Just too much of a stretch.
And yes the 'girl next door' thing wasn't fleshed out. Not convincing nor side fact that they made her man crazy rather than man magnet. Robin is the only man bait.
Marshall & Lily getting little stale tho they are a key element?
At least show is trying to widen range given the obvious limits of the genre. It's like watching The Closer after CSI: Miami to get idea of what can be with a change in TV slots.
Anyway giving Mother few more shots, just for Robin. Show after it not worth my half hour so rough time period to hang for 9-10 pm comedies.

December 08 2009 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sid

Now that we know the "mother" was in that economics class at the beginning of the season, as soon as she said she was a biologist I knew it wasn't going to be her.

Is Wendy the waitress out of contention to be the mother? She could have been in that class, who want to be a waitress forever?

December 08 2009 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tara

What?! I liked this episode a lot although you made two good points that I didn't think of--one being that Barney being old Barney seems more empty now and two being they didn't fully show that Maggie was the ultimate girl next door more than just saying it repeatedly.

However, the whole "window" concept is so neat. Because it's so true! Everyone can relate. Ted was great in this episode. He wasn't just an observer like he is in a lot of episodes this season. And Marshall's letter to himself was awesome! Two words. Rat. Tail.

December 08 2009 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Guess Who

In the end Barney and Robin will likely end up together - it's sitcom 101. Sure we may have to wait till the end but it will happen, but I agree now is not the time for "relationship Barney". Otherwise they have to introduce two new characters good enough to pair Barney and Robin off with - and make us care about them...which is a crap shoot at best.

I'm still miffed that Joey and Phoebe didn't end up together on "Friends" even though they hinted at it for a almost a decade. If there was not a "Joey" spin-off I think it would have happened.

December 08 2009 at 5:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Guess Who's comment
Davide

Phoebe got married in season 10, so even without the spinoff we knew they were not meant to be together...

Back to HIMYM, I kind of liked the episode. It was fun (how can you not laugh hearing "Challenge accepted!", even if it was predictable), Maggie was lovely even without talking too much, past and future Marshalls were both great (I loved the final gag with the letter for future marshall) and Ted's class was simply awesome:
"Is she hottie?"
"Yes James, she's very attractive"

I don't see why Barney being Barney is such a problem to you. I mean, the breakup episode was almost a month ago, and this is a sitcom, not a drama like Grey's Anatomy or Lost where stuff like this has ripercussions all over the show. You just have to let it go, knowing that in the end they would probably end up together anyway, much like Ross & Rachel. But for the moment, it's just better to keep them separated, because Relationship Barney is simply a loser compared to Single Barney. That's just the way it is...

December 08 2009 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

No mention of Make Adjustments, Go Get It Energized!? Hilarious.

December 08 2009 at 2:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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