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How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother is a comedy about Ted Mosby, a New York architect who wants to get married and start a family. Future Ted is telling the story of how he met their mother and we see his past story set in the present day and the adventures he has with friends Marshall, Lily, Barney and Robin. CBS 2005-???


Episode 17 - The Goat

10 June 2012

Synopsis: Barney and Robin wake up together and agree to pretend that nothing happened. Barney feels really guilty for sleeping with Ted’s ex. He channels his guilt into how he has broken the Bro Code and hires Marshall to be his lawyer and find a loop hole which absolves him from blame. In the end Ted finds out and tells Barney he doesn’t want to be his friend anymore. Meanwhile Lily rescues a goat from being killed.

The Good: Ted telling Barney he doesn’t want to be friends anymore hits the right serious tone. Sleeping with Robin is definitely enough justification for Ted to feel that way. The punch to the groin is also justified and Ranjit cheering Ted on is kind of funny.

The Bad: I really think the main plot of this episode is fine. It makes sense and it demands viewers come back to see how Barney will repair the damage. But the way they get there, the attempts at humour and the entire goat sub-plot are pathetic.

First we have the writers obsession with writing awful, laboured, unconvincing double entendres as Barney overacts badly in the bar. Then we have all the details of the Bro Code. The book looks almost as thick as the Bible and so there is no part of you that believes Barney actually filled it with rules. A simple prop change could have saved that. Then we have the silly scene in 1776 which is equally unconvincing. It is clearly not meant to be true, so why is Barney telling that story to try and make the Bro Code sound important? Marshall points out the truth which is that Barney is trying to find a way around his guilt. Well the writers are trying to fill time until Ted finds out and they do a poor job of it.

The humour throughout is either really silly (Ted pretending to be a pre-op transsexual, Ranjit’s anger at Barney) or so implausible as to knock any reality and therefore any humour out of them (Barney reaching the bar to see a fight in a few seconds, Floyd Mayweather fighting a grisly bear).

The characters keep mentioning Stella (313) but we never see her. We know why she can’t appear (as she is busy playing Elliot Reid in Scrubs) so mentioning her name without seeing her is irritating.

Speaking of which, the entire goat side plot is really annoying. Even without the ending it would have been a waste of time. Most of the show is told in a linear fashion, this week is a perfect example with Barney and Robin’s actions from last week having consequences this week. The writers seem to think that the audience will be amused by older Ted screwing up the narration and placing the goat story in the wrong year. Well rather than be funny it makes us question the whole narrative. If the goat wasn’t there then why did all the characters react to it within the context of Robin and Barney sleeping together? At the end Ted remembers that the goat can’t have been there that year because Robin wasn’t living with them until the following year. The writers may be being cute and in a year Robin will be staying over while looking for a new apartment. But the first thing which comes to mind is maybe she and Ted will get back together. I think the former is more likely and the writers are just trying to use that trick to get the fans talking.

Comic Highlight: I am stretching here because there is almost nothing which is funny. Lily tells Robin that she knows she slept with Barney. She acts disgusted and then asks a series of amusing personal questions about him. Her curiosity is funny and plausible.

How I rate your episode: Ted finds out. Ted tells Barney he doesn’t want to be friends anymore. That’s all you need to know. To be honest we all know Barney and Ted will be friends again so even that story is not very interesting. The fact that the other 95% of the episode is filled with poor jokes and stupid plots is, I suppose, just a “bonus.”



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  • Like all the how I Met Your Mother episodes, I find this episode hilarious and interesting at the same time.

    However, having been reading quite a few of his reviews on HIMYM and Big Bang Theory, I've noticed the tv critic has a problem with which I don't have, which is why I enjoy them more than he does.

    The TV critic's problem being that he expects far too much out of How I met Your Mother and other comedies than he really should.

    He expects deep, engaging storylines and fully fleshed out characters with consistent characterization, and not to have each episode fire off jokes every 5 seconds. However, It's a COMEDY, it SUPPOSED to have the direct opposite of the aforementioned characteristics the TV critic wants, in fact, they're supposed to mock shows that do have those things. If he quit taking these comedy shows so seriously he would have a much better time watching them.

    Viewer score: 90 / 100

    Posted by immortalfrieza, 10/06/2012 12:47am (7 years ago)

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