'How I Met Your Mother' Review: "The Pre-Nup"

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‘How I Met Your Mother’ Season 8 puts us through the paperwork in its second episode of the (potentially) final season “The Pre-Nup,” as Barney's insistence that Quinn sign a ludicrous pre-nup before their marriage leads Ted, Victoria, Robin, Nick, Marshall and Lily to confront their respective issues with their partners.

Last week’s ‘How I Met Your Mother’ premiere “Farhampton” saw Ted insisting he and Victoria return to the church to leave a note for her fiancee Klaus (Thomas Lennon), while Quinn learned the truth of Barney and Robin’s former relationship, and poor Marshall and Lily struggled to stay awake with their new parental responsibilities, so what did tonight's episode bring?  Are we any closer to learning if this is the last year for Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall and Lily?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 8 episode 2, “The Pre-Nup!”

Seeing as Future Ted remembers summer 2012 as the summer of love, with happiness between Barney and Quinn, Ted and Victoria, Robin and Nick, Marshall, Lily and Marvin, the narrator has no stories to tell.  So why not flash forward three months to October, the autumn of breakups?  It all started when Arthur Hobbs begged Barney to get a pre-nup for his wedding to Quinn, himself having lost everything to his ex-wife Darlene.

The next day, both Barney and Quinn report to their respective men and women that they’re in shock at the other, Quinn at having been asked to sign Barney’s ludicrous pre-nup, and Barney for his fiancée needing to read the document first.  Littered with sexist clauses about rights to Quinn’s lady-parts and penalties for gaining weight, Quinn has every reason to be outraged.  Nick shows up to the bar, confirming with the others the insanity of Barney’s terms, though he retorts that all of them have terms they wish they could renegotiate with their respective partners.  Though they brush it off, later in bed with their significant others they bring up that Barney has a point, leading Future Ted to reveal that one of the couples would soon break up.

The next day at the bar the ladies discuss their men's respective terms, Marshall believing Lily to be overly protective of their baby, Nick irritated that Robin needs to watch TV during sex, and Ted’s complaints about Klaus living with he and Victoria, even though he was the one to invite the down-on-his-luck German to stay with them in the first place.  Admittedly, Lily cops to sometimes overreacting, while Robin admits a creepy turn-on of watching herself on the news during sex, and even Victoria can’t say much about Klaus’ insane habits of watching German versions of ‘The Odd Couple’ in the nude, or maintaining a collection of ferrets.  All four women still distressed, Quinn has an idea.

Quinn arrives to another meeting with Barney and Arthur, adding a ludicrously sized pre-nup of her own, backed up by her gal-pals.  Soon, the men arrive to the meeting at Barney’s behest, recoiling in horror at the idea that one of Quinn’s terms involves Barney wearing a shock collar (more like a  shock…well, a word that rhymes with “shock” ring) that goes off if he looks at Quinn’s attractive friends.

Marshall suggests adding a clause about how roughly Barney can play with their child, each partner in the room projecting their own issues into Barney and Quinn’s pre-nup, before Arthur silences everyone and reminds them that they all have someone to love, someone who’ll understand the reasons that are truly bothering one another.  In truth, Marshall is worried Lily doesn’t think he’ll live up to her standard of parenting, while Ted worries that Klaus staying with he and Victoria represents an inability to escape the past.  Lily admits to having trust issues because of her own father, and Victoria cops to feeling too guilty about Klaus to tell him to leave.  Nick on the other hand has no quarrel with Robin’s need to watch herself on the news mid-coitus, and all seems healed.  Even Arthur calls his one true love to reconcile…his dog, Tugboat.

For the moment, all seems right, but Future Ted announces that that night would still claim its first break-up victim.  While all the couples seem mended, Quinn and Barney pause at the idea of throwing out their respective pre-nups, and angrily come up with further conditions.  Before long, the pre-nup is in a stack as tall as they are, as both partners realize that neither trust one another, and that a marriage isn’t supposed to involve this much complication.

Barney confirms the break-up to the boys at MacLaren’s, believing he won’t ever trust anyone enough to marry them, but takes comfort in the fact that his single life will still be legendary.  Meanwhile, a ways down the road, Future Barney tells his co-workers that his wedding will be equally legendary, no pre-nup required, as Robin arrives to greet her fiancée for lunch.

Over the credits, Victoria, Ted, and a naked Klaus watch another episode of ‘Strange Compatriots,’ appreciating it as a “big comedy” that still cares about its charagers.  Gee, wonder where we’ve heard that one before.

Another week has gone by with no official news over a potential ninth season of 'How I Met Your Mother,' meaning we should still look at the current as the last.  That said, the inevitability of Barney and Quinn's break-up takes most of the impact out of the event, though it's still a good deal of fun in getting there.  It also seems somewhat sloppy to jump forward several months, or blithely assume that audiences will embrace Nick without a shred of time spent with him, but since we know he's heading for the chopping block anyway, there isn't much reaction there either.  We're confident the current season will organize itself better as it heads toward the end, but for now at least it remains entertainingly silly.

Did you get your ‘How I Met Your Mother’ jollies from “The Pre-Nup?”  Do you think it made for a satisfying piece to the potentially final season?  What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ “Nannies” on CBS!

Filed Under: CBS, How I Met Your Mother
Categories: TV News, TV Reviews
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