The Condensed Version:
Marshall and Lily realize they have to face the possibility of their death – and start to plan for who would keep baby Marvin if that were to happen. Barney, Robin, and Ted all vie for “grandparent” status – and thus potential guardianship status. Fed up with the three’s antics, Marshall decides to stage a gameshow for the three to compete for the role. Robin and Ted do okay, but Barney doesn’t. He ends up getting into an argument with Marshall and Lily, accusing them of not putting effort into their friendships with the rest of the gang. Realizing he’s right, they vow to try harder. In the end, Marshall and Lily name all three of them as guardians in the event of their death.
The Extended Version:
Though involving games, songs, and teddy bears, I’d say this episode can be classified as one of the more serious ones in the series. Initially, the episode opens on a much lighter note: Marshall and Lily finally make it out to MacLaren’s to hang out with the gang again! They get Lily’s dad Mickey to babysit Marvin so they can get out of the house for a bit, supposedly to catch up with what’s been happening in their friends’ lives.
However, when they ask Barney, Ted, and Robin how they’re doing, all three remember Lily’s “8 or higher” rule [which said that the gang could only approach Marshall and Lily with a problem if it rates an 8 or higher], so no one tells them about any problems in their lives. As a result, Marshall and Lily don’t end up learning anything new about their friends before having to rush back to Marvin.
On their way back home, the two are almost hit by a Taxi, and that gets them thinking about the necessity of creating a will. The premise of “Who Wants To Be a Godparent?” is, of course, determining which of the gang would be selected to care for Marvin Waitforit Eriksen if Lily and Marshall were to die. When they broach the subject with Barney, Ted, and Robin, all three tell them they’d want to be the one to be Marvin’s guardian.
The three begin to compete with each other, and show up at Lily and Marshall’s apartment – with teddy bears and songs [well, Barney showed up with songs] – telling them reasons why they’d be the best godparent. Barney’s selling point is to basically turn Marvin into a mini-Barney by introducing him to all the women in the world. Robin thinks she would be the best option because she’s female – and also because she’s good at “tough love,” thanks to her own upbringing [would that mean Robin’s daddy issues were working to her advantage?].
Ted, who – of the three – is the only character so far to be shown with any children, would undoubtedly be a good choice. Though his storytelling could use some work [his kids are going to be nearly 20 years old and just going into middle school now that they’ve missed 8 years of school listening to the longest story ever], I think he still would seem the most logical choice of the three.
Nevertheless, Marshall and Lily decide that the best way to decide which of them should take care of Marvin in the event of their deaths would be to play a game. In this game, the three have to answer questions about how they would handle various situations with Marvin as he grew up.
Ted does pretty well at first [even with the use of a puppet to deal with Marvin’s life problems], Barney doesn’t win a single category, and Robin only wins a couple because Ted proves himself to be a complete pushover. Ultimately, Ted, Barney, and Robin quit after getting into an argument with Lily and Marshall.
Barney [rightfully so] accuses the two of them of being terrible friends now that they have Marvin because they won’t let the gang tell them about their problems unless the problem rates an 8 or higher. After the three leave, Marshall and Lily talk about making a decision – and realize the truth of Barney’s words when they find themselves unable to say a single thing going on in their friends’ lives.
At this point, Lily and Marshall ask Mickey to watch Marvin again so they can go down to MacLaren’s and hang with the gang. Ted, Robin, and Barney end up sharing all their stories that they withheld earlier, and all stay out until MacLaren’s closes down. When Marvin wakes up at 5am, Ted and Robin tell Marshall and Lily to go back to bed and let them take care of Marvin. Barney, meanwhile, wakes up and goes home – where there are no screaming babies to interrupt his sleep. In the end, Marshall and Lily make a decision – which is to list all of them as godparents of Marvin.
-While there were a few funny and quotable moments (we all know it wouldn’t be How I Met Your Mother without them), this isn’t one of my favorites. Not because of the seriousness of the episode (Robin’s “can’t ever have kids” episode was one of my favorites in the series), but because there was just something missing.
-I think the argument over who would keep Marvin was a bit out of character for both Robin and Barney. Robin didn’t want kids, really (that one episode notwithstanding), and who could ever picture Barney volunteering to keep a child for longer than a few hours?
-Basically, I’m fairly certain that HIMYM has slipped back into “filler episodes” mode already. We may have jumped ahead of ourselves a bit getting so excited about seeing the mother in the season premiere – because we’ve heard nothing about her since. The only relevant story in this episode was the fact that Lily and Marshall stopped being involved in their friends’ lives. Everything else was just sort of filler.
-Of course, I doubt anyone is going to lose interest in the show at this point – I mean, we haven’t waited over seven years to not see this through – but, as much as I’ll miss this show when it ends, I think it’s for the best this season may be it’s last.
On that note, let’s talk about next week and the Episode 8.05 “The Autumn of Breakups” synopsis: With a rash of relationships on rocky ground, Ted and Victoria find themselves at a romantic crossroads, while Robin thinks Barney’s screwy when he decides to employ a dog as his wingman. Catch the new episode Monday, Oct. 29 at 7pm CST on CBS.