This post contains spoilers, especially concerning a MAJOR twist if you haven’t seen tonight’s episode
After a damn good episode last week, we venture forth to the usual HIMYM tradition of Thanksgiving. Before we get to the season’s first break in 10 weeks, we got the idea of bro-parenting, a moving decision that we knew was coming, and a shocking cliffhanger. But, how was the episode as a whole?
While I had my own problems with the episode, including how it compared to last week, and not to mention the bizarre feeling of it all, I felt it was still a consistently funny outing. We finally get some Barney/Ted bonding time, though it wasn’t the kind I was expecting, and we also get a Marshall/Lily plotline that actually held up great. The inclusion of Robin felt both a bit selfish, but very much like an embodiment of the fans. While the conveyed warmth and comfort may have been a bit askew, it still felt like a classic episode of the series we all know and love.
Let’s start with the bro-parenting session? Done over a drunken night at the bar, Ted and Barney come up with the idea to adopt a kid. Future Ted consistently tells the audience that they both were in a horrible place, and were unaware of just how bad this idea truly was. But, it still provided for very humorous and amusing instances. From the drunken banter between the two, Barney’s horrible father ideas, and even when the playboy arrived with a real life baby, it was a story that kept growing.
Last review, I had said that Ted and Barney needed some kind of bonding, because the two had little to no one-on-one interaction at all this season. The only exception of that is the Field Trip episodes, of which the duo’s tour was one of the best aspects of that whole episode. But, was this the best bonding experience for them? Half the story was them drunk, and Barney’s insane kid ideas. Don’t get me wrong: it was funny. But, it wasn’t quite the heart to heart that either truly needed right now.
Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily were trying to figure out what to do with their wedding gift in the form of the house given by Lily’s grandparents. Obviously the two choose to keep the house and move in, but not without some resistance from Robin. Robin “needed them more than they knew”, and we figured that was some moral support (But more on that later). There were funny moments, such as the shrunken apartment, and Marshall’s Ghostbuster encounter. Quite honestly, this may have been the best of the duo’s “couple issues” storyline this year.
However, there was one big problem that both stories shared jointly: their oddities. The whole “we’re going to adopt a baby” story was a bit more believeable than the incredibly shrinking apartment. What even hurts more about the apartment is that viewers are left to wonder just which apartment is the real version? Has the one we’ve been seeing for years now just an illusion, or was the small apartment actually the illusion? Combined, it made the episode just a bit less grounded, and one that I couldn’t quite take too seriously.
Wayne Brady’s James, who has been having perhaps the shortest cameos this season with two brief appearances, had a great impact in the bro-parenting storyline that I really appreciated. He actually brought the plot down to earth, was able to give it a bit more of an impact in the overall story, and even the heart. In a storyline that seemed just joke after joke with a sprinkle of substance, both James’ advice and Ted’s outpouring perspective gave us plenty to reason with the plot.
And then finally, the biggest thing of the hour, that gave the baby storyline even more substance. Robin and Barney spent the entire episode separated, which makes an unbelieveable amount of sense after the heartbreaking ending to last week. Barney and Robin reconcile after the events in Lily and Marshall’s bathroom, just simply talking.
Barney talks about the baby stuff, and how crazy it was. Here, the expected response was something just sort of heartwarming such as “I don’t know. I think you’d make a great dad.” Wrap up the episode easily, and end it on a high note. That is until Robin drops the bombshell. “I’m pregnant” she replies. Without a doubt the biggest cliffhanger that the series has produced since Barney being the groom, or Marshall’s father dying. Who’s the dad? Barney or Kevin? And what will happen now?
It’s here where the genius writing from series creators Bays & Thomas kicks in. The duo was able to take an otherwise fantastical premise of the bro-parenting and was able to weave it into multiple concepts, with James and Robin’s reveal. God knows if this Robin reveal may have Lily and Marshall staying in the city, but it’s pretty unlikely. But, the writing was filled with great dialogue, strong plots, and it felt what the series is like at its core.
While Thanksgiving wasn’t exactly focused on here, the holiday’s concept was: family. Kids galore, moving, and the overall concept of doing what’s best to each individual family was simply a testament to the writing once more. Sure, it wasn’t a Slapsgiving, but it was still a formidable effort at the least.
Overall, “The Rebound Girl” has the incredibly hard task of following “Tick, Tick, Tick…”, one of the season’s best episodes. But, it still held its own. Something just felt a bit off, and I’ve voiced those in the individual problems I thought the episode suffered. However, it was laugh-filled, made you think, and had a great shocker not just sweeps but for the mini-hiatus we’re about to endure until the calendar switches to December. HIMYM shows tonight that any concerns I had in this hit-and-miss season are starting to drift away as the writing and episodes become a bit more stable.
4.25 Stars out of 5