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How I Met Your Mother Ep. 9.07 “No Questions Asked”: a thoroughly unpleasant half hour of TV

How I Met Your Mother Ep. 9.07 “No Questions Asked”: a thoroughly unpleasant half hour of TV

HIMYM S09E07 promo pic 2

How I Met Your Mother Season 9, Episode 7 “No Questions Asked”
Written by Stephen Lloyd
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Airs Monday nights at 8pm ET on CBS

Can we get to The Mother already? The longer How I Met Your Mother holds out on its central story, the more it undermines its main characters with over-the-top antics and horribly written subplots that bring out the absolute worst in everybody. Although “No Questions Asked” doesn’t quite stoop quite that low to get laughs, it’s attempts at humor are sloppy and random, gleaning a half hour of ‘comedy’ out of the titular joke – a joke that’s run its course by its second appearance, ten minutes into the episode. More so, it just feels like a complete waste of time, ending the episode without budging the plot forward an inch, leaving its two main couples dangling in the same awkward, uncomfortably contradictory positions they’ve been in all season.

As long as Marshall’s in that damn car, he’s going to be a waste of time: it’s impossible to maintain any kind of emotional connection between two people who haven’t been in the room together all season (even in many flashbacks, something that really sticks out thanks to this episode’s big gimmick).They can’t hash these things out over the phone, which means we’re in for another dozen or so episodes of Lily and Marshall forgetting they have a strong relationship for 95% of the episode, putting the Big Talk about their future (and inevitable last-second drama to stem from it) on hold for another week. For fuck’s sake, this episode ends in the exact same place that “No Questions Asked” did, finally giving the audience the response it expected tonight’s episode to open with. It took us twenty-three minutes and a really lame set of ghost-in-a-hotel jokes (seriously, the Halloween “edge” is so shoehorned in) to get to Lily making Bitch Face at nobody over the phone: a visual cue as to how important the events in the preceding 21 minutes of the episode are.

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I’m also getting quite tired of Robin questioning her relationship with Barney in each episode, pointing out how they don’t really work together. We know how this story is going to end, so playing around with these things over and over only makes Robin seem more paranoid (and by the same token, Barney less reliable as a possible life partner to her, given his sudden waffling on things). Not only does it feel contrived, but doubly so whenever it reaches the clumsy resolution that comes out of nowhere, as seen when Robin and Barney suddenly decide that it’s totally cool they haven’t made any attempts to become a little less independent or open with each other – and only realizing it 40-something hours before their wedding, to boot (when we’ve all seen it for numerous years).

As has been the case in recent weeks, there really isn’t a lot to say about “No Questions Asked”: it’s not funny, it wastes Rhys Darby as the hotel night clerk, and it features way too many flashbacks that feel like a collection of completely random, out of character jokes (Robin in full body spandex that she carries around the country with her? what the hell?) held together by the weak glue of Robin and Barney’s relationship, and a short-lived reconciliation that happens over the phone (again). But this has always been the case with How I Met Your Mother when its treading water (Victoria 2.0 anyone? How about Zoey?), so until we see The Mother in a couple weeks, there may not be much to see here.

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Other thoughts/observations:

– ok, “Priority Male” was kind of funny.

– “We don’t work well as a unit”??? Who the hell would actually say those words while calling themselves human?

– Cobain and Love jokes? Really?

 

— Randy