6
Oct
2009
How I Met Your Mother: Season 5, Episode 3
Robin 101
Jordan
For the early portion of this season, How I Met your Mother is focusing mostly on how Barney and Robin will work in a relationship. Robin has never been very good at expressing her feelings or committing, and Barney? Well, let's just say that he tried to stuff pillows under her covers and climb out her window in the middle of the night like he would with his one night stands"¦twice. "Robin 101" does not do a whole lot for the Barney and Robin plotline. We already know the two are going to have a rough transition, and we know that they're going to try harder than ever before because they really do care about each other. The episode also accomplishes nothing master plot wise, but it's a lot of fun along the way.

Robin is growing tired of Barney's continued failures at being a boyfriend, and Barney, not willing to lose her because of his own idiocy, agrees to let Ted show him the ropes in a night class dedicated entirely to Robin. He teaches Barney about Robin's birthday, her various facial expressions, and even her unlikely erogenous zones (or at least what he thinks they are. As Barney quips, "I can't believe I'm taking sex advice from Ted Mosby. That's like taking fashion advice from"¦well, Ted Mosby."). He informs Barney that butterscotch is the Canadian woman's chocolate, and educates him in Robin's lifelong dreams. Over all the story allows for a lot of humorous lists and asides, as Barney proves to be a horrible student (while tweeting about Ted, he asks, "How do you spell blah blah? H's or no?"), but feels a little unnecessary. It's fun to watch Ted and Barney interact, but we already know Barney is clueless as a boyfriend, and didn't need this episode as a reminder.

The B-plot of the episode centers around Marshall trying to get rid of Mabel the barrel, the night stand he used until he discovered Lily was "allergic to barrel resin" (aka really hated his barrel). Marshall puts Mabel in the Bermuda Triangle, an area right outside the apartment where furniture tends to disappear immediately, but there are no takers. This seemed like a solid idea for a Marshall story, but it never really got off the ground. Sure, its funny when Marshall talks about barrel resin, and its humorous to watch him fail at getting rid of the barrel, but I expected a lot more to come of this story, no matter how thin it was. All in all, the episode was a humorous one, even if it came off a bit thin in terms of actual plotting, or even especially memorable jokes. Ted and Barney's chemistry carried the episode through much of its run time, and it was never less than entertaining, but after the first two excellent episodes, "Robin 101" was at least a slight step down in quality.

Grade: B

Notes:

-Lily tells Robin that she's a "friend, a confidante, and an occasional guest star in some confusing dreams that remind me that a woman's sexuality is a moving target."

-"What are you guys doing with barney's secret Robin notebook? Let me rephrase that. Did you two ladies lose some weight?"

-I like that both Ted and Barney answered "Fantasy Football" when Robin asked what they were talking about.

-"They said I had A-D-"¦something. Can we have class outside?"

-"Oh god, silly penguins being all fancy. What were we talking about?

-Ted and Barney's reaction to Robin walking into the classroom was hilarious.

-A breakup is the emotional equivalent of an English degree.
Tags: How I Met Your Mother
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