March 1, 2011

Quick Thoughts: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, "A Change of Heart"

I was extremely frustrated after watching "A Change of Heart" because it was an example of How I Met Your Mother at its best, but I was also bummed that it fooled me once again, and the show insists on jerking the audience around.

I've said if before, and I'll say it again: I'm not a fan of Barney and Robin as a couple and I never will be. I've always felt that their relationship was forced and was based on a fluke. Part of me will always believe that Barney was just supposed to be a tiny roadblock on Robin's journey towards Ted, but Cobie and NPH had such great chemistry that the shippers went wild and the writers had to hook them up. I also feel that the characters are more interesting a part then they were together.

This mini-rant comes from a place that is irked because I saw "A Change of Heart" as the first step towards really putting these two back together and Nora was just a plot device, which would really bum me out because I genuinely like her as a character. I also believed that Barney would fall for Nora, and if he does end up with Robin then this whole mini-arc was a giant tease to add to all of the other giant teases that this show has given us.

The thing is, I really liked this episode on a base level. HIMYM can really serve up some good character development when it's not too busy coming up with witty sayings/Barney-isms, and "A Change of Heart" was a perfect example of this ability. I truly believe Barney needs to grow up, and settle down, and I'm glad that the character is starting to feel the same way. There will be some resistance to Barney in a committed relationship, but I think what makes him special is his sense of humor/lack of shame rather than his womanizing ways. I'm sure there's a way you can have him in a healthy relationship without altering his innate characteristics. If this episode was the first real step towards this version of Barney, them I'm all for it; I just hope Robin/Barney is not the end result.

I even liked the whole Scobby sub-plot more than I should have because I'm usually not a fan of the more sitcom-y versions of the show, but the gang really brought the funny with their string of dog related puns and saved what could have been a horrible premise. Sure, the bit got stale towards the end, but at least it was worth some serious laughs at the start.

Another great by-product of the episode was the re-teaming of Lily and Barney. These two characters really bring out the best and the worst out of one another which usually leads to comic gold. Oddly enough, Lily is at her least annoying when she's paired up with Barney because she doesn't come off as bossy/shrill but that's probably because she's reacting to him and his man-child ways are usually amped up and she seems more reasonable.

So, while I'll admit that "A Change of Heart" was one of the better Season 6 episodes, and one of my favorites in a long time, I cannot shake my annoyance. Just have Barney man up and realize that he's ready for an adult relationship; just as long as it's with someone besides Robin.


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