HIMYM: Season 8 Episode 23
Something Old
The latter half of season 8 of HIMYM has become a sort of multi-episode clip show bringing back old beloved gags and plot lines all in a hope to keep those wheels spinning and to at least keep the show in the good graces of that segment of the viewership that rushes out to Best Buy every time their favorite band releases a new Greatest Hits Album. In this episode alone, we get a "Robin's Dad wanted a boy" flashback, Ted & Marshall arguing over what happens to their old stuff, and the curb triangle, and of course, the Ted/Robin/Barney love triangle. Now HIMYM has been running for so long you may have actually forgotten that some of this material is well tread territory. However the Ted/Robin/Barney sub plot has been used to often these past few seasons, it has become the show's "Freebird," (though I honestly don't know who is still shouting for it).

Marshall and Lily are moving to Italy, but are having a hard time deciding what to take with them, or what to throw away. Given that they are only going to be gone a year, and still own a house in the suburbs, I don't really get why this is a point of contention. They bring Ted in as a packing consultant, and it does not take long for the whole affair to turn into the latest of Ted's recent string of calls for help. The main problem with this story is that we've seen it before, and it isn't very funny this time around.

Next up, we have Barney spending some quality time with Robin's father, played by the inimitable Ray Wise. Barney has become so close with his father-in-law to be that the pair have their own nicknames and are spending the day crushing kids in laser tag. This was a natural pairing, as Wise's character always wanted a son, and Barney always wanted a dad, however, again the jokes just aren't there. Yes it's fun to see Ray Wise intimidate 11 and 12 year olds, but I don't think this sequence ever really made me laugh. This might have been a funny on paper concept but it really felt like the writers were struggling to mine actual jokes out of the premise.

Finally we have Robin searching for a Locket she buried in Central Park when she visited New York as a teenager, hoping to find it and wear it at her wedding as her something old. Robin's deteriorating mental state as she dug hole after hole without result was the closest the show came to eliciting a genuine laugh. However when the writers choose to cap this sub-plot with a hint of a Ted Robin rekindle relapse, they lose any good grace they were building too. I've said it in these reviews time and time again, returning to this plot is not only lazy, but it completely undermines the premise that made HIMYM so unique in the first place. Furthermore this was a missed opportunity to push Robin and Barney closer together, as if there was a through line for this episode, it would have been the lingering effects of daddy issues.

HIMYM continues to limp towards its season 8 finale, propped up by appeals to its former glory. While this episode may have started out as bland, it definitely earned a negative grade by once again returning to the poisoned well that is Barney/Robin/Ted. Unless Ted knocks up some other chick but raises the kids in a polyamorous relationship with Robin and Barney (Barney could finally get the belt, see, I can do it too HIMYM), it is well past time to move on. Oh, hey, next episode we meet the moth-ahahahahahahahahahahahahah ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahaha. Oh man, I really thought I could get through that with a straight face. Of course we're not going to meet the mother.

Grade: D


-"Please Queen Kong, be gentle." Marshall & Lily's weird sex life always gets a chuckle from me.

Tags: How I Met Your Mother
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