‘How I Met Your Mother’ Review: “Who Wants to Be A Godparent?”
‘How I Met Your Mother’ Season 8 has some tough decisions to make in its fourth episode of the (potentially) final season “Who Wants to Be A Godparent?,” as Marshall and Lily hold a game show-style competition to choose a guardian between Ted, Robin and Barney, though the proceedings end up isolating the three contestants from husband-and-wife team.
Last week’s ‘How I Met Your Mother’ episode “Nannies” saw Marshall and Lily struggling to find a nanny for Marvin, Barney tried to get his mojo back and Ted and Robin shared important realizations about their respective relationships, so what did tonight’s episode bring? Are we any closer to learning how the last year for Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall and Lily plays out?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 8 episode 4, “Who Wants to Be A Godparent?”
With Mickey Aldrin now officially their nanny, Marshall and Lily enjoy their first night out with the guys at MacLaren’s in five months. However, their previous “8 or higher” rule when it comes to problems makes it difficult for Ted to talk about Victoria’s father making him pay for the wedding, Robin’s disappointment with Nick’s new motorcycle, or even Barney’s latest underwhelming sexual conquest. Time is short however, as Marshall and Lily quickly leave the guys behind to spend some time on their own, but find themselves concerned about the deathtrap of New York City after nearly being hit by a cab.
Back at their apartment, Marshall and Lily sign online forms to create their wills, despite Lily’s discomfort with the idea, but find themselves stumped at the guardian section when they rule out any available family member. The duo relay their dilemma to the others, who quickly step over one another believing they’d make the best possible guardian for little Marvin. Over the next couple of weeks, Ted, Robin and Barney ply Marshall and Lily with gifts and songs, before the couple decides they’ve had enough. What better way to sort this out, than to test their friends godparent aptitude, game show style?
With a great big wheel in the living room “Who Wants to Be a Godparent” begins by testing the group how they’d explain Marshall and Lily’s deaths to Marvin. Barney explains that he would pretend Marvin’s parents were called away to space forever on a secret mission from the president of the world, while Robin would do as her father did, bluntly revealing the gory details rather than sugarcoat the boy. Ted wins the round with his answer however, revealing his idea for a “Professor Infosaurus” dinosaur puppet that gently explains death to the young boy.
Next up, Barney’s idea of discipline is to take away Marvin’s expensive and fashionable belt, while Ted’s claims of issuing firm discipline quickly cave one after the other, allowing young Marvin to get away with whatever he wants. Robin relays her idea, sending Marvin to British Columbia Military School for Boys as her own father had sent her, causing Marshall to give her the point out of pity.
Next up is explaining the birds and the bees, which Robin again wins for flattering Marshall and Lily, as opposed to Barney’s sex trip to Amsterdam, and Ted’s rapping incarnation of Professor Infosaurus. Following that is the lighnig round, where the gang runs through first words and first heartbreak, though no one seems to develop a distinct edge.
The game quickly devolves into a shouting match between the three contestants, as Marshall and Lily come to the bitter realization that none of them know what it means to be parents. Ted fires back that Marshall and Lily have forgotten what it means to be friends, this being the longest time they’ve all spent together in 5 months. Robin and Barney chime in that their “8 or higher” rule makes them difficult to talk to as well, but Marshall and Lily stand together that their child takes precedence over silly problems and nights at MacLaren’s, causing the three to walk out in disgust.
Later, Marshall and Lily commiserate that the others are being selfish, before realizing that not listening to their friends’ problems meant they would have left their child in the care of people whose lives they no longer know anything about. Deciding their friends were right, Marshall and Lily make the effort to spend the night at MacLaren’s with their friends, revoking the “8 or higher” rule. The night seems just like old times until Robin, Barney and Ted are awakened at 5:13 a.m. to the sound of Marvin’s cries, electing to take care of the baby themselves while Marshall and Lily go back to sleep.
Later, Marshall and Lily finally settle on a guardian, placing all three of their friends’ names on the form side by side.
Perhaps we're imagining things, but the most recent run of 'How I Met Your Mother' episodes has felt more cartoonish and confined than usual, which are rarely among the series' strengths. Certainly, it also doesn't help that the episodes are still dragging out the Victoria and Nick relationships, though we know they'll disappear in a matter of weeks. This is even the second episode devoted to Marshall and Lily's efforts to make Marvin less of a story-sucking burden, though the repetition is somewhat redeemed by the tense conflict between the five friends by the episode's climax. "Who Wants to Be A Godparent" certainly isn't our favorite, but it does get some additional obstacles out of the way at least.
Did you get your ‘How I Met Your Mother’ jollies from “Who Wants to Be A Godparent?” Do you think it made for a satisfying entry into the potentially final season? What did you think about the episode? Join us in two weeks for an all-new episode recap of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ “The Autumn of Break-Ups” on CBS!