“How I Met Your Mother” “Bro Mitzvah” — which aired April 29 on CBS — was billed as a story about the night Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) life fell apart, according to Future Ted.
But that’s just “HIMYM” doing its thing: misdirection. After all, how can the bros give Barney a memorable bachelor party, when every single one of his nights out are legendary? Make it the worst night ever, that’s how. That idea comes not from Marshall (Jason Segel) and Ted (Josh Radnor), but the real “bro” in Barney’s life: his fiancee, Robin (Cobie Smulders).
Of course season eight, episode 22 doesn’t spell that outright from the beginning. First, the show attempts to make the viewers sweat. Barney abandons Robin when they’re supposed to have dinner out with his mom Loretta (who thinks Robin is still a virgin). Ted and Marshall take him to the worst motel room ever — just outside Atlantic City — and then bring in the worst entertainment ever, including a mime clown and Quinn (Becki Newton) as the stripper. To make things even worse, they invite his arch-nemesis, Ralph Macchio (because Barney thinks the real hero of “Karate Kid” is the villain, William Zabka).
It’s pretty clear early on that something is afoot on “How I Met Your Mother” “Bro Mitzvah.” Because while Ted and Marshall might not be as “awesome” as Barney when it comes to planning crazy nights out, they know exactly the kind of night Barney wants. Not only has Barney laid it out for them months ago when he was originally engaged to Quinn, but after eight seasons, even they’re astute enough to know that watching an “Inconvenient Truth” isn’t Barney’s idea of fun. Even if they pulled a “Ted Mosby,” they would never accidentally create such a horrendous night out for Barney.
And alas, they didn’t. In the prelude to the final act, Quinn demands payment from Barney in front of Robin, and Robin gets so mad that she throws her engagement ring at him. Not only has Barney lost his friends by night’s end on “HIMYM” — for putting up Marshall as collateral during gambling — but he’s lost his fiancee. But then it all culminates in one big surprise party, and Barney declaring that “The Barney” play organized by Robin is most definitely “awesome.”
So does this make Robin and Barney’s relationship stronger? Or less so? They’re clearly willing to play with each other’s feelings with abandon, and that can be a dangerous game to play. But, at the same time, that’s just who they are, and who else would they end up being with, if not each other?
There’s just two episodes left in “How I Met Your Mother” season eight, and for now the question remains: will Barney and Robin really get married? As for Ted and his future wife, if any hints — or reveals for that matter — occur, then that’s just icing on the cake.
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