A review of last night’s “How I Met Your Mother” coming up just as soon as I go camping in secret…
There, that wasn’t so painful, was it?
I didn’t love everything about “No Pressure” – even after she explained it more seriously later, Lily’s attempts to sabotage Ted to win the bet made her look very, very bad – but I thought it got good value out of revisiting Ted’s feelings for Robin, and Robin and Barney’s feelings for each other, in a way that will hopefully move some of those stories forward. I have no expectation of seeing the real yellow umbrella for a while, but Ted walking through a sea of other yellow ones was a nice visual touch, and I thought all the emotions of Ted, Robin and Barney were spot-on throughout.
It’s easy to imagine, for instance, that Robin might initially respond so well to Ted’s speech, given the vulnerable position she’s in (particularly since she still knows she chose Kevin over Barney), and also that once the flush of the moment passed, Ted would recognize that this was probably a bad idea. Though, again, I kind of hated Lily in the moment as she was sabotaging Ted’s attempt to get back with Robin, I did like that she was able to point him to the realization about Barney without having to say it. Ted can be a douche at times, but he knows his friends and would figure it out if forced to step outside his own emotional needs for a minute. I also liked the various flashbacks to earlier moments in Ted and Robin’s story, and even to Marshall and Lily’s POV during the run-up to Ted and Stella’s wedding. Though that also tied into the betting subplot, the final “Not yet” of that story said that Marshall’s reaction wasn’t so much about winning the bet as believing that happiness was eventually coming for his best friend Ted. (Stella, from about her third appearance on, was clearly bad news and someone Marshall would’ve been relieved to see run off with Jason Jones.) Marshall stepping in and telling Robin that she needed to move out (which Robin already understood) was also a good best friend touch.
Much of the episode’s comedy was tied up in the betting story, which I didn’t love, but Marshall grossing Barney out to keep him from watching the sex tape(*) was very funny.
(*) Also? I still have two working VCRs in my house, but only because I have lots of old screeners on VHS of things that never have and likely never will be released on DVD (the full run of “EZ Streets,” seasons 5-12 of “NYPD Blue”).
Finally, I’m sure some of you noticed the very tall, red-headed man standing in the background of the early scenes at the bar. When Barney ran to go looking for the sex tape, he turned around and we could see for a moment that it was Conan O’Brien – who had won a charity auction for a background role on the show and specifically requested that he not be featured prominently. You either noticed him or you didn’t.
What did everybody else think?