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I’m still expecting the usual How I met Your Mother style episodes... a visit to a local spot, a gag by Barney, quirky Marshall/Lily interactions, a Canadian Robin recap and an obsessive Ted, but that was not the case. It really feels like the cast came together in a last minute sign on and not because they were all in—no questions asked. I understand, it did come together in a last minute decision, but the show is obviously losing a lot of steam. With that said, episode five opens with 48 hours to nuptials and the gang is exactly where they were last week.
Marshall still on the road (let's just hope he gets to Farmhampton before the season is over. I know he signed on to this season, but please let's not make it that obvious), bummed over Daphne’s refusal to make a pit stop in Chicago for Gazzolo's pizza and Barney’s poker game still in full swing. During the poker game, Lily realizes Ted never sent Marshall and her a wedding gift, but managed to get Barney and Robin three gifts. We then flashback to Marshall dropping a series of hints on Ted to realize he forgot to get them a gift. Later we learn Ted did in fact get them a coffee pot, but other sly guests claimed it as a gift on their part.
Ted points out he never received a thank you note from the couple and dropped a few of his own hints.
Back at Barney’s poker game, Robin realizes James is still wearing his wedding ring, despite his divorce and wins his “attract gays at the gym” ring in the game. Robin refuses to return James’s ring hoping he will move on and realize it’s better to be in a relationship with one rather than many. Barney and James’s mom gets involved insisting Barney force his bride-to-be to return her beloved sons ring.
From this point, the story line continues as Robin questioning Barney’s loyalty to her as his future wife (she wants someone who will take her side) versus his family. In the end, Barney takes Robin’s side, realizing she has a point and it is better to be in a team than dating several random girls and in turn does not return James' ring.
It was nice to see Barney come to that sweet realization of how much he adores Robin and the overall value of being in a team, but this is supposed to be about how the mother of those poor children who have been sitting on that couch for years, was met! This has quickly become, how Barney met his wife. Sweet story, but doesn’t have the same ring.