How I Met Your Mother: Season 5, Episode 22
Robots vs. Wrestlers
I like a lot of things about "Robots vs. Wrestlers." I liked the idea that Ted gets to experience his inner douche, if only because a part of me is just as douchey (I totally geeked out that the show got Arianna Huffington, Will Shortz, and Peter Bogdanovich to guest star). I actually have sat around discussing Truffaut and the auteur theory (hey, I'm writing a column on it right now!) and I, too, enjoy sitting down and discussing the intellectual idea of hell. And the fact that they got all of these awesome, pretentious guest stars in the same episode in which Robots fought Wrestlers should have made it an absolute classic. It wasn't.

For one thing, the idea of Robots fighting wrestlers is much funnier than it actually is to see them fight, which was actually pretty boring. For yet another time this season, How I Met Your Mother relies on its cast to make an unfunny joke seem hilarious just because they are laughing at it. Further, the fact that there was an actual recurring gag centered around fart noises actually hurt me inside. Beyond that, this episode did just what I feared after last week's--it turned a potentially great storyline into a five minute piece of one episode. Robin leaving the group for Don makes sense, and would be a great storyline, but by the end of tonight, she was back and all was right with the world.

Further, the ending, which clearly wanted to pull our heartstrings, lost all its effectiveness because of how briefly it teased out the idea of our central group growing apart. This should be a huge deal for both the characters and for the audience, yet it plays out so lamely, with silly Barney jokes taking the place of a real conversation, that I felt basically nothing as this episode ended.

Except anger at the idea of Marshall and Lily having a baby. We all know the Barney doppelganger is coming soon, and with it, the storyline that is almost always a shark jumping moment: The show's supporting couple having a baby. How will the gang hang out in a bar constantly with a kid in tow? How will they hang at all? Will we deal with the same awful stories every sitcome does? I hope to God this was another delay tactic, a red herring meant to focus us on Marshall and Lily procreating. The show has contstantly flirted with the idea of the two having a baby, but its always dismissed it with a joke and moved on. I hoped it would keep doing that until the very end. If this show, with its awful recent track record, tries to mount a storyline that likely would've spelled doom to the show at its peak, it will kill it in its tracks. I seriously hope I'm wrong about this, but I don't think it bodes well.

Tonight was an episode that should have been a home run, but instead it was another tepid, mostly unfunny effort from a show that used to be a weekly pleasure of mine. Two episodes remain in this season. Let's hope the show figures out a way to turn this meaningless string of mediocrity into something before it ends for the summer.

Grade: C


-"Guys, I'm flattered, but I think Lily should do it."

-Nice callback to Lily's shitty British accent.

-When someone says they don't own a tv, I set my stunner directly to loathing. Perhaps someday I'll write a piece on what an intellectual cop out that is...

-I Know! You don't have to say it. You don't decant white wine..."

-Ted's doppelganger was wasted, but at least it isn't as offensive as the wasted slap earlier this season.
Tags: How I Met Your Mother
comments powered by Disqus