My review of last night's episode of How I Met Your Mother is after the jump.
I have very mixed feelings about this episode. Some things worked very well and were very funny, while others really didn't work very well at all.
The subject of the mixed feelings was the Barney plotline. I liked the conceit behind it, explaining all of the arrhythmias from Barney's heart monitor really worked as a basis for telling the story. It made for a fun first half of the plotline which had great moments. Anything involving Lilly and Barney at the heart doctor (who I recognized as the doctor from Modern Family but you might have recognized her from something else) was completely hysterical. Lilly and Barney are a very underrated pairing on the show and her constantly smacking Barney made for some very funny moments. The group's reaction to Nora in general worked very, very well. I tend to find people reacting to Barney's behavior funnier then the behavior itself, this was a strong case of that. Pretty much all the Barney moments from the first half of the episode were great and genuine. It's clear that he has feelings for Nora and in the first half of the episode it played really well.
The second half (particularly the last act) of the Barney plotline was what I had a problem with. It felt like a complete missed opportunity for significant character growth. When he lies to Nora, I was ready to throw my hands in the air and scream "YOU WANT HER". Yes he's afraid of commitment, that's a part of the character, but him going to that level really just annoyed me. The final scene of the episode annoyed me even more. He wanted to visit Nora in the restaurant, that's clear, but he didn't. He just walked away looking like he didn't care. The character has grown to a point where he could like a girl and possibly get married to her. I know that that would mean losing all the outgoingness of Barney's character but it's a necessary step. The show has clearly hinted at the wedding being Barney and Nora's and I was hoping that that was the case. I guess that this is me being angry that this relationship didn't work out, but still the show should have taken the step for Barney. It seems like he's done with Nora for good and I was hoping for more out of this.
The B-plot with Scooby (*) was very, very funny. The whole person as a dog concept seemed mean as a concept but in execution it was perfect. I greatly enjoyed the plot because it was played to be very, very silly and worked like a charm. When he pulled out the "sandwich" the plotline turned from good to almost screamingly funny. The "search" for Scooby worked very well as comic relief and it was very, very good. (Especially how the found him, with the fire hydrant).
(*) Yay for the possible Buffy reference!
Overall, I might not have liked part of the Barney plotline but the rest of the episode worked very well and was very good.
What did everyone else think?