How I Met Your Mother: Season 5, Episode 13
Part of becoming a big hit comedy on television is an increase in name recognition. Along with that, a show that reaches a mass audience generaqlly begins to generate enough buzz to grab some higher tier guest stars. Further, the little show that could, when it finally does, often ends up selling out in order to appeal to its mainstream new audience. If all of this is true, How I Met Your Mother may have arrived, ladies and gentlemen. While the last point has yet to be proven true (and I really hope the show hasn't given up on its original claims to awesomeness), Amanda Peet's appearance as the titular character tonight does indicate that this show is big enough to get a get for a guest star.

Peet plays Jenkins, a prankster and co-worker of Marshall's who ends up playing an "important" part in a storyline that feels like just so much filler. Marshall discovers that he is the reacher in his marriage, while Lily is the settler, and this unhinges him. Partially because of a recent visit to the college bar where he is king due to his skeeball prowess (he is known as Big Fudge), and partially due to Lily's non-reaction upon finding out that Jenkins is a woman, Marshall sets out to make his wife jealous, and ends up kissing Jenkins. Worry not, however, because really she kissed him, and Lily doesn't believe him anyway. Once Jenkins herself comes clean about the incident, however, Lily goes Miss Piggy all over Jenkins, removing her jewelry and stepping up to kick her ass.

In a B-plot that felt just as filler-tastic, Robin discovers that Ted's students watch her show and becomes fairly arrogant about it, until Ted realizes they watch her as a drinking game. Ted, still desperate to be accepted by his students, joins them for the game, but Robin gets the last laugh when she plays into their shenanigans in order to ensure they are all incredibly hung over (though, frankly, I think Ted gets the real last laugh because Robin has just shown what a terrible journalist and on-screen presence she is).

Nothing about "Jenkins" is at all offensive to my How I Met Your Mother sensibilities. There were no lapses in continuity, nothing insanely out of character and none of the plotlines were duds. In fact, the episode was solidly humorous for most of its run time, even if it rarely made me laugh out loud. Rather, the episode failed me (if it did at all) by playing into my ever-present fears this season that the show I love has past its prime, that its writers have lsot their way, and that it is doomed to drag on until it has squeezed all the money it can out of one of the more original premises for a sitcom in recent memory. All of what I just elaborated has yet to definitively come to fruition, but an episode like "Jenkins," as inoffensively mediocre as it was, does little to convince me that we are not headed down that dark path toward mediocrity.

Grade: B-


-Jenkins peed out of the window of a cab. Impressive.

-Amanda Peet even gets naked on HIMYM. She has quite the track record.

-Lily and Marshall have been playing Risk for 3 years. The winner gets to decide their future pet (Cat or monkey).

-Marshall's reaction to his kiss with Jenkins was the only real laugh out loud moment from the episode, but somehow Jason Segel screaming is never not funny.

-"It happened! Do you have any...split pea left?"

-"I'm going to go get started on Step 2!"

-"...And Oprah tried everything?"
Tags: How I Met Your Mother
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