TV: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ dusts off ‘The Bro Code’

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS
Rating: 4/5

The Broken Code

Tonight’s episode of How I Met Your Mother, “The Broken Code,” once again proved that this final season is going to worthwhile for the fans. Tonight may not have been as funny as previous episodes — don’t get me wrong, there were some great moments — because instead, it focused on the relationships between the characters and came out as a fairly solid episode overall.

Last week’s episode left on a cliffhanger with Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) announcing that he saw Ted (Josh Radnor) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) at the carousel when Robin was trying to find her “something old.”

And then we all freaked out about how this could ruin their relationship, let alone the wedding.

But on Friday at 3 p.m., Ted tells Barney what happened — he was just comforting Robin since Barney wasn’t there — and Barney forgives him. But don’t be fooled. Barney then asks best man Ted to do a series of trivial tasks in retaliation.

But Ted doesn’t realize this is happening until he sees the Best Man Poker Game has been started without him… also that Barney has now brought in William Zabka — “the true Karate Kid” — as his new best man.

I love the amount of throwbacks to incredibly hilarious moments of seasons past, including the fact that Tim Gunn is now Barney’s personal tailor and would of course be at the poker game. Keep ’em coming. This is what the fans adore.

Robin yells at Lily (Alyson Hannigan) for not inviting anyone to her bachelorette party except for Patrice (Ellen D. Williams). Let’s be honest; Patrice is our favorite recurring character! Lily admits that she didn’t forget to invite “the girls,” Robin just doesn’t have any female friends, which sets forth their storyline for the night: getting Robin some girlfriends.

The main issue the duo deals with is how Robin talks to girls and how critical she is of strangers. My favorite joke was when Lily asked how Robin talked to women at the gym. Robin says  she doesn’t go to the gym because her metabolism allows her to eat ice cream and actually lose weight in the morning. And then Lily clenches her fist and holds back the fire of a thousand suns in the way we all feel when we have that friend who has the gift from God to eat whatever and whenever she wants and not gain a single pound. Seriously though, where’s the humanity in that?!

After a series of failures, Robin finally tries to comfort a crying girl and befriends her once she realizes the girl is crying over a sports team. The two hit it off, but now Lily fears that they will go off and have secret non-relationship-threatening sexual adventures together — like Lily has dreamed of for years. So, Lily immediately threatens the girl to stay away from Robin. And this shows Robin that she doesn’t need another female friend because she has psychotic Lily and that’s all she needs.

I don’t really get the conclusion to this. I understand Lily is definitely psychotic in a cute way but it’s far too obvious the writers weren’t sure what to do with the leading ladies while the guys played out their much more important storyline. It was performed very well — Smulders and Hannigan are great comedic actresses and Smulders plays tomboy Robin perfectly — but the storyline lacked substance. But I will never deny a storyline that brings back Patrice. I love her. Plus, referencing Lily’s not-so-subtle sexual advances toward Robin always makes for a great comedic moment.

tumblr_mubtu8du8K1rny9ino2_250Barney accuses Ted of breaking the Bro Code because holding hands with Robin was weird. Fortunately, The Bro Code is now being kept in select hotel chains — like Bibles — and is within reach. But the two need a third opinion as to whether or not the act was weird.

They turn to Marshall (Jason Segel) via the Marshpillow 2.0, featuring an iPad for a face so Marshall can pretend he’s actually in Farhampton.

I have to say this gag was by far the funniest moment of the night. Segel is a comedy genius and it was somehow amplified tenfold by having his face a top a pillow man. We also get a hilarious new phrase from this gag: “e-lawyered.” Puns are so fun.

I thoroughly enjoy the way the writers are tying Marshall into this season. You would think having him on a road trip for the majority of the season would hinder the chemistry, but, as I said, the comedy has only grown stronger.

Marshall rules that Ted did not break the Bro Code because he was helping Robin as a friend, which prompts the question, “Would holding the hand of any friend be weird?” So, Ted and Barney hold hands while sitting on the beach. Cue the awkward silence for comedic effect.

Barney admits that he was really mad at himself for not being there for Robin and says it would only be an issue if Ted still had feelings for Robin. Uh oh.

Ted admits he does still have feelings for Robin but says things have been weird ever since they broke up but swears on the Bro Code that he would never do anything to hurt Barney.

The two finally reconcile for real and get back to the Best Man Poker Game with Ted reinstated as best man. While that conflict may have been solved, another has just begun. Zabka is not pleased that Ted is back in as best man. Do I sense a feud coming on?

I like that they address the Ted vs. Barney for Robin issue. Ted has had feelings for her since the moment he saw her. I’m surprised it hasn’t come up in a more serious manner before. Their moment on the beach where Barney yells at Ted to “just stop” his feelings for Robin was real and needed. That feud needed to come to the surface, otherwise this wedding wouldn’t have been believable.

However, I have to say I’m disappointed that this is the second week Cristin Milioti hasn’t been featured in an episode. She owned her first performance in the season premiere and was definitely a highlight of the double feature. I don’t want overexposure and I understand there is only so much they can do to incorporate her into the storyline for now, but she made a great first impression and I want more from that talented actress.


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