'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Subway Wars': The taking of Scherbatzky 1-2-3
A quick review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I speak conductor...
Some other work kept me from getting to "Subway Wars" right away last night, and some of my Twitter followers seemed to be warning me that it was a bad episode. (Said one, "So when does the statute of limitations expire on that #howimetyourmother stuff-will-happen promise?") Having been displeased with last week's outing, I went in expecting the worst and was very pleasantly surprised.
"Subway Wars" wasn't a big arc episode, though it did deal with Marshall and Lily's fertility problems in a way that managed to find laughs in the situation, with Lily threatening to pee on the imaginary, leprechaun-voiced Marshall on her pregnancy test. It was an example of another kind of episode the series usually does quite well, and hasn't turned to in a while: an Only In New York story.
The good versions of this episode - which "Subway Wars" was - do more than just fetishize life in Manhattan, but instead use Big Apple-centric details to illuminate the characters' stories. Though I still don't care about Don, I did care far more for Robin in this episode as she cried on the subway than I did through all of her inappropriate calls last week, and I appreciated how Lily and Marshall's need to win the race of course tied back in to the pregnancy issue. (And though I love my kids dearly, I have to say I kinda wish we'd thought to do a pre-parenthood bucket list.) And Barney's good deed for Robin at the end was one of those noble moments the show needs to give him every now and then to allow him to be a loveable d-bag the rest of the time. Heck, they even turned some of Ted's more insufferable traits to their advantage by having him turn into the crazy man on the bus.
I want to see them really get going with the big arcs, soon. But the problem last year wasn't just the lack of forward momentum, but the absence of entertaining standalone episodes like this one to make up for that.
What did everybody else think?