HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: 9.05 “The Poker Game”
If I haven’t told you lately, thank you for reading Raked. It really means a lot to me, as well as my other writers here on the site. The fact that you come back to read about your favorite shows, check out a Christmas challenge, or enjoy a crazy vent makes my day. I greatly appreciate it.
Did this episode make anyone else want to write a thank-you note? Clearly, it did for me (as well as give me a slight bit of guilt for the pile that I still have left to do on my coffee table). So if I haven’t yet said thank you, please see the note above. Sure, it’s not handwritten or mailed, but let’s be honest: We’re on the internet here.
I will admit, it seemed so fitting that Ted would be someone who would go out of his way to get great wedding gifts and expect a thank-you in return. And it seemed completely fitting that Marshall would be raised to write thank-you notes. What a great storyline to include in this odd little season. We were no longer dwelling on Robin. We weren’t focused (completely) on the wedding or the ride to the wedding. It was something you could almost see being discovered over the table at McClaren’s (does anyone else miss McClaren’s?). Kudos.
Meanwhile, we had the poker game. First and foremost, I was disappointed that we didn’t get more of Tim Gunn after the last episode. But it was still entertaining. What I was more disappointed with is something I’ve been lamenting for a few episodes now: how this season has destroyed James. James was such an upstanding guy, and here he is, talking about how he can get guy after guy — it all just seemed out of character. It’s almost like the writers think we need that now that Barney has settled down. I would have just preferred a happy James. But given that he was so upset to lose his ring, maybe he’ll turn around by the end of the season. (Who knows? I really shouldn’t dwell.)
As for the Robin/Barney back-and-forth, eh, it was ok. I feel like since we’re stuck in an hour-by-hour long weekend, we’re stuck facing every milestone in a long-term relationship: sex life, doubts, and now supporting each other. True, it’s something that you need to face as you bring someone into the family. And Barney has been rather attached to his mother all these years, so it’s not surprising that he’d have trouble choosing between the two. As for how it played out, well, it was fine. Not all that surprising, but fine.
What I do think this introduces that could be thoroughly entertaining is the dynamic between Robin and Barney’s mother. I hope that tension continues in upcoming episodes. Their last scene together shows just how well the two actresses can play off each other, and it just looks fun.