HIMYM: Season 8, Episode 6
Well, it took six episodes but head writers Bay and Thompson have finally gone for the hat trick and jettisoned all three of HIMYM's dead end couples. Splitsville is an episode packed full of a lot of little jokes and at least a couple moments of actual momentum for the over arching plot. And while the pacing might feel a little frantic at times, it's hard to find fault with it given the season's agonizingly slow start.

I think what made Splitsville work as well as it did was Bay and Thompson presenting some fresh spins on a few old favorite running gags while making a couple new additions to the mythology. Splitsville, a restaurant deemed the perfect break-up spot by its patrons, is a hilarious locale that I hope is revisited or referenced in whatever remaining life the show has left. This week's episode also treats the viewer to the return of extremely competitive Marshall, sex crazed/borderline deviant Lily, and the gangs' charming fascination with e-vites.

After a pulled groin prevents Nick from having sex with Robin (and from playing on Marshall's Midtown Professionals Basketball team), Robin starts actually talking to Nick and realizes he isn't very bright. She contemplates breaking up with him, much to Marshall's dismay as Nick is his star player and Marshall's usual competitive streak has been amplified to 11 (to the tune of him doing pull ups with baby Marvin strapped to his chest). Barney issues Robin an ultimatum: break up with Nick before he can have sex again and she is distracted from the flaws in the relationship, or he will send a party e-vite to her most annoying co-worker.

Robin takes Nick to Splitsville, however she is distracted by Nick's announcement that his doctor has cleared him for sex. Barney steps in at the last minute to declare his undying love for Robin and thus end the relationship, however he later denies that he meant what he said (a lie that could only be believed by Ted, who somehow still thinks that he will find true love and have kids someday).

The Robin & Nick pairing was the most superficial and least developed of the three couples the show started season 8 with, so I'm glad that Bay and Thompson didn't try to inject any pathos into the relationship at the last minute. The break up is easily played for laughs (especially given how easily Nick picks up a rebound threesome) and nicely sets Barney & Robin on track to the wedding that we know is coming soon.

The whole affair is sped along at a nice clip with great sides moments of Marshall work out sight gags, hilarious asides of Lily's sexual fantasies, and cut aways to Ted's Basketball team of super nerd Architects. All in all this was a great later life episode of HIMYM. It's not quite as good as the show was in its prime, but it vindicates those of us who have stuck with it through the dark years of frustration and misdirection. The show can still bring the laughs, and all the pieces are finally in place to begin the endgame.

Grade: A-


-"Oh my gosh, guys we have to rush Robin to the hospital, because somehow she swallowed her vocal cords and they got lodged in her rectum, because she's talking out of her ass!" I love how Marshall covers baby Marvin's ears during that last bit.

-"It's kind of funny imagining people icing their groins, first they'd be all cold, then the ice would star to melt, things would get all wet"¦and steamy"¦"
"Okay Lily"¦"
Ted's reaction to Lily is priceless.

-Nick didn't know Gypsies were real. Or dolphins.

-Having recently joined a Social Sports league, I understand Marshall's enthusiasm.

"Now they're probably gonna have to pay full price for that meal!"

-"So we can probably start having sex again."

Tags: How I Met Your Mother
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