Review: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ – ‘The Poker Game’

Senior Television Writer
10.15.13 73 Comments


A review of last night’s “How I Met Your Mother” coming up just as soon as I take a sewing class to work on my Halloween costume…

Guys, I’ll be very quick with this one, because “The Poker Game” was pretty dire. With each passing week we spend on Robin and Barney having a major argument on their wedding weekend, the more toxic their entire relationship seems. I would almost wonder if the writers were leading us up to a breakup, but we know from various flashforwards – including the one in this episode, where a bleached and cornrowed Barney got kicked by Lily after the honeymoon – that they do get married and stay together for a long time, so this is just part of the larger latter-day “HIMYM” problem of making the characters seem both likable and human. It’s spread everywhere, from major characters like Ted and Marshall (engaged in a years-long war of passive-aggression rather than acting like the communicative friends they’ve always been) to minor ones like Stuart (stealing everything in sight, and cheating on his wife) and Claudia (giving up on her understandable plan to leave Stuart entirely because he “bought” Marshall and Lily a nice gift).

Bring back the Mother and do more episodes set predominantly away from the claustrophobic environs of the Farhampton Inn, and please hurry. Because even with winks to continuity like Marshall’s post-wedding hair or a digitally-inserted Katie Holmes as the Slutty Pumpkin, my pre-existing affection for “HIMYM” (and whatever boost the premiere provided) is dwindling rapidly.

What did everybody else think?

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