4
Dec
2012
HIMYM: Season 8, Episode 9
Lobster Crawl
Chris
I tried to hold out as long as I could, but I think my time in the trenches of HIMYM criticism is starting to cause some real psychological damage. I wake up depressed on Mondays. And it's not the typical work week blues. No, the depression gets worse as the clock ticks closer to 5, and almost unbearable as we countdown to 8.

I talk to myself. Or more accurately, I scream at the TV. Much in the way Ted tells stories to a couch where somehow (probably contact syphilis contracted from Barney) he sees children, I lecture my TV, scolding it for the inanities it has just shown me.

Worst of all, I really think my standards are lowering. I find myself grasping for something, anything that reminds me of the glory days of HIMYM. I just need encouragement to continue the slog through to the end. This week's episode wasn't very funny, but it made me laugh a lot. It probably shouldn't have, it's probably "any port in a storm" mentality, but I did laugh, so I've concluded this week's episode was ok (even through it really wasn't).

Lobster Crawl divides the characters into two story lines: Robin's infatuation with Barney now that she knows she can't have him, and Marshall and Lily's frustration with Ted experiencing all of Marvin's firsts now that he is filling in for Lily's dad as babysitter.

After Barney's attempt to normalize his relationship with Robin last week, Robin finds herself acting like a teenage school girl anytime he is nearby. While Barney is focused on his new business venture (Bro-Bibs, stylish bibs for adults) Robin tries to seduce him for one last fling, just to get him out of her system. And while Robin's increasingly ridiculous plans veer off to cartoon character territory, they do manage to elicit an occasional laugh (most notably when Lily gets involved).

After all else has failed, Robin goes for the direct approach, showing up at Barney's apartment wearing nothing but a trench coat and lingerie. She arrives too late, as Barney has come to the realization that his break up with Quinn has effected him more than he thought, and Robin's arrival interrupts a rebound date between Barney and her annoying co-worker Patrice.

I don't understand writers Bays and Thomas's reasoning behind having these two continue to dance around each other. The will they/won't they loses a lot of luster when we know for a fact that they will, and the journey to that point isn't exactly a comedy goldmine right now.

I don't think we've ever seen Robin stoop to the lows of desperation that she did during Lobster crawl, and as damaged as he is by the termination of his engagement, I find it almost impossible to believe that Barney would go on even the most platonic of dates with Patrice. Either keep their reunion on a slow and steady burn (please don't, I'd like to spend some time with the mother!) or stop stalling and get these two together, because their current trajectory doesn't ring true for either character.

The Ted as Marvin's babysitter sub plot actually worked a lot better, as it set up a lot of great one liners for Marshall and Lily. In fact one of the best moments the show has produced in a long time came out of Lily threatening baby Marvin to recreate a milestone first so that she could see and capture it on camera. However jokes aside, the plot line falls flat because of an ending that just doesn't ring true. It turns out Ted is going overboard in his role of Uncle and babysitter because he is dissatisfied with work. This was such a missed opportunity for Bays and Thomas, as an easy alternative would have been Ted is going overboard because he really, really wants to be a dad, something that should be a focus now more than ever as the show considers it's endgame.

While I had many problems with the plot lines of this episode, I can't deny that it made me laugh at points. Maybe that's all I can expect from HIMYM this late in the game. Maybe I should accept the fact that each week will be an onslaught of frustration and be grateful for the few laughs I get. But, in reality, I'm probably just gonna keep screaming at my TV.

Grade: C

Notes:

-"For someone who survived numerous beatings from loansharks, he has a surprisingly delicate constitution."

-"Yeah, you got this. I'm sorry I called you a bitch."

-"Lily I really need advice!" "Ok, invest now!"

-"Do it. If you ever want to see these boobs again, crawl you son of a me!"

-I will always laugh at Robin yelling at Patrice.

-"Cuz you both don't even care! It's just stupid and fun. Just stupid, stupid and fun." I'm really starting to buy Sam's HIMYM is a secret Buffy spinoff theory.

-The tag was very funny.


Tags: How I Met Your Mother
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