2
Oct
2012
HIMYM: Season 8, Episode 2
The Pre-Nup
Chris
This might be one of the strangest episodes of HIMYM I've ever seen, and we're talking about a show that featured a spontaneously combusting bee keeper last season. Last week I said that this show needs to start barreling through it's chronology if there is any hope of hitting all of the beats that fans have been promised. Well, last night I got my wish, as The Pre-Nup speeds up the clock in what is essentially a piece moving episode that manages to squeeze in a lot of laughs by not being afraid to get a little weird.

The Pre-Nup begins a few months down the road from where we left off. For the first time ever, each member of the gang is in a stable relationship. This comes off as somewhat of a surprise as it really seemed like Ted had realized that Victoria wasn't the one at the end of last episode. But lo and behold apparently he decided not only to stick it out, but ask her to move in with him as well. And while it was always kind of odd when a significant other would begin hanging out with the gang, having three new faces thrown into the mix on almost equal footing (thanks to the time jump) makes this episode feel like an almost completely different show.

We flash forward past what is described as a blissful summer of love to the Fall where everything falls apart. And while there may have been a few stories to tell of each member of the gang being in a relationship, HIMYM is long past the phase where it has time to spare. The Pre-Nup revolves around a fight that rages between each of the four couples regarding the behaviors of their partners, spurred by Barney asking Quinn to sign (you guessed it) a pre-nup. And while most of the conflicts attempt to one up each other in terms of silliness (From Klaus (Thomas Lennon) and his pet ferrets moving in with Ted & Victoria, to the outrageous demands of Barney's Pre-Nup) each has a fairly heartfelt concern and explanation at it's core. Except for Robin & Nick's fight. That one is just weird. Weird and really, really funny.

A lot of the humor in The Pre-Nup comes from the excellent performances of guest stars Bob Odenkirk and Thomas Lennon. Bob Odenkirk and Neil Patrick Harris's hilariously melodramatic interplay in the opening sets the tone for the rest of the episode. These two essentially take the viewer by the hand to let us know that things are going to get a little weird but that will be ok. Odenkirk plays the bitter divorcee attorney so well that he steals almost every scene he has, especially the ones in which he is allowed to wax nostalgic about the beloved dog he lost to his wife in the divorce. Thomas Lennon returns to reprise his role as the fiance whom Victoria left for Ted. And while Ted & Victoria agreeing to let Klaus move in with them is more than a bit implausible, Thomas Lennon sells the nudist, ferret loving, depressed Klaus so well that I'm willing to let it slide. Here's hoping it takes them awhile to evict him.

The episode ends with the dissolution of Barney & Quinn. The couple chooses to split for the same reason we all knew it wouldn't work from the beginning: Bob Sagget told them it wouldn't. Wait, no. Neither Barney or Quinn really trusts each other based on the circumstances of how they met and got together. And while its a conclusion that the show had hinted at and had ample opportunity to arrive at before, I'm just happy to be done with this plot line as it suggest that the show will be moving along at a (relatively) faster pace.

Usually piece moving episodes feel like filler as characters are put through predictable and necessary paces to position them for the next big storyline, but the writers took a chance here by really dialing up the absurdist comedy, and I think it paid off. Slightly recycled and foregone conclusions to storylines were disguised by big over the top gags to result in a flawed but surprisingly enjoyable late life episode of HIMYM

Grade: B

Notes:

"Kids the summer of 2012 was the summer of love"┬Ževeryone was happy as can be, which means there are absolutely no good stories." When has that stopped you before Ted?

"I even lost out with the kids, full custody, I got full custody of those kids." "Your kids are horrible." "The worst!" -Bob Odenkirk is always welcome.

"I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE YOU DARLENE!"

"And just like that, one of these four couples would break up the very nest day! "┬ŽOk it wasn't Lily and Marshall."

"I get turned on watching myself do the news during sex." This line worked EVERY time. Every time.

"My ferrets will be so happy they have been living in an airport locker for weeks!"

"The red head with the baby. What's her situation?"

"Hello Darlene? Put Tugboat on the line. Hey buddy! Hey, it's the man!"


Tags: How I Met Your Mother
comments powered by Disqus