Season 8, Episode 3
Going only from this week’s episode title, I assumed that the episode would focus on Marshall and Lily. The initial assumption was correct and the majority of the episode focused on the new parents and their search for a nanny for baby Marvin. The rest of the episode focused on the newly single, post-Quinn Barney and it also (barely) featured Ted and Robin and their new relationships as we learned that they are hanging on by a thread.
Barney celebrates his new freedom, and really it’s nothing new as we’re reminded to when he split with Robin and jumped right back into the game and dusted off the playbook. I choose to believe that Barney is not as happy as he wants people to believe he is and his eagerness to rebound with as many women as possible is just a defense mechanism of sorts. We see nothing new as far as Barney is concerned in this episode. It all feels like a retread of stuff we have been seeing for the past 8 years. You think Barney would be past this by now, and I do think that inside Barney is ready to settle down for good as of course we know that it is not too far away. In the meanwhile, we see Barney hit a new low as we find out during the end credits that he hooked up with the old, plump nanny. It was so unnecessary and to be honest, somewhat disgusting. It’s one thing being told that Barney will hook up with an old lady, as seen in the season five episode, The Window, however, it’s another thing altogether to have to watch the two actually in bed. Poor, disgusting Barney.
So, let’s check in on Ted and Robin. It turns out that Robin’s boyfriend Nick isn’t as awesome as I initially thought he was. It turns out the man is quite emotional and knowing Ms. Scherbatsky, that does not sit well. I believed that the two had something good going, but well, Robin and this episode told me something else entirely.
At least we saw Nick this week however, as Victoria was noticeably absent. I’m guessing that Ashley Williams who plays Victoria was not available this week, either that or they just didn’t want to waste her on about fifteen seconds of screen time. Victoria enters Ted’s apartment and initially I got excited. It’s no secret that I’m a huge Victoria fan and any glimpse of the beautiful woman will garner some sort of excitement, but we never actually got a clear glimpse of her face, so I assume that a body-double was used. I could be wrong but I doubt it as it would have been an extreme waste if it was actually her.
Anyways, let’s get to the actual characters and relationship on the show. It turns out that Ted and Victoria aren’t really doing so great either. Initially, Ted and Robin attempt to out-do each other and brag about how much better their relationships are than the other, but then that doesn’t really turn out to be the case as we find out that both couples will break-up within the month and aren’t really strong at all. The problem between Ted and Victoria? Well, it turns out that Victoria is quite the slob. Ahhh, I get how that can be some sort of turn-off, but really, come on Ted. I hope that’s not the actual reason they break-up and will instead be over something that you know, actually matters.
So, now let’s discuss the main story-line of the episode. Lily is ready to go back to work, and needs to find a nanny for Marvin. As the show begins, Lily’s father Mickey arrives and well, I groaned. I don’t know if I let this be known before, but I’m not really a fan of Chris Elliott, nor his character of Mickey. I won’t go into all of the reasons why I dislike the man or his character, as that would take too long, but mostly I’ll just say that I do not find him funny at all. It’s quite evident by the laugh track that we are supposed to find some of his actions weirdly funny, but really, I’ve just never seen it and instead find myself shaking my head at him. Mickey is the equivalent of a buzz-kill and each time he appears he runs the risk of single-handedly destroying an episode.
I got a little side-tracked but, I’ll just finish by saying that Mickey works best when his appearance is limited; say he is introduced then disappears into the background. The whole thing with the nannies was pretty much just to get to what happened towards the end of the episode when Lily really couldn’t let go of Marvin and let a random stranger take care of her baby. It’s a problem that every mother has as I also found myself wondering how she could just leave her baby, her very young baby, with just anybody, even if she did have good qualifications and maternal instincts.
Well, this is where even I have to admit that Mickey’s character redeemed himself. I initially felt that the show was trying too hard when Mickey pretty much kidnapped young Marvin and took care of him through-out the day while Lily caught up on some sleep. It turns out that Mickey is actually competent with babies, and reveals that when Lily was too young to remember, he was actually a good father to her. It was played for comedy but I found it somewhat heart-breaking seeing where it all went wrong for Mickey. I’ll sum it up quickly: Mickey drops off Lily at kindergarten and has no idea what he’s going to do until he has to pick her up at three, so he decides to go bet on the horses. Needless to say, it all went downhill from there.
I felt nothing forced however, about how Mickey saved the old album of himself and Lily. I felt it was a beautiful moment and was especially beautiful when it transitioned into the pictures of Mickey and his grandson Marvin. Watching baby Marvin grow through-out the years was surprisingly touching and was a great way to end this very funny and poignant episode. I chose to believe that the photo album montage was the actual ending and hope that I can erase the actual ending of Barney and that old woman from my mind. How I met Your Mother is on quite the roll, and already I can’t wait to watch all of these recent episodes again.