'How I Met Your Mother' - 'The Broken Code': The best man is on it

how-i-met-your-mother-broken-code.jpgWhat's on screen Monday (Oct. 7) on "How I Met Your Mother" works reasonably well -- at least the main story involving Ted, Barney and the Bro Code. It also speaks to both the advantage and some of the pitfalls of telling a story in real-ish time.

On the upside, Barney's dramatic "I saw you and Robin at the carousel" delivery at the end of last week's episode has to pay off pretty quickly. That's a good thing.

Feelings may swing back and forth again over the course of the season/wedding weekend -- and given the flash-forwarded cold feet from past seasons, chances are they will -- but having Ted and Barney talk it out now is far better than trying to write around it for several episodes/hours. Marshall's e-lawyering, the Bro Code discussion involving Ted's mom and the "Weekend at Bernie's" shout-outs were nice touches as well.

On the other hand, telling a story in this way means that we've now spent two of the three weeks this season without seeing the Mother. Having a series of near-misses with Ted all season/weekend long would really stretch plausibility, so her absence makes sense. But "HIMYM" scratched a big itch in fans with her introduction in the premiere, and her absence since then is making the lesser moments of the show stand out all the more.

Lesser moments like, say, pretty much the entire B-story with Lily and Robin. The show has wrung some genuinely funny bits from Robin having been raised as a boy and her dudeish nature, but this was A) territory covered many times before and B) a demonstration of how much of a pretzel the show has made of Robin the character. Lily tells Robin that "You hate women, and women hate you," and it's hard not to hear that as "The show kind of hates you by this point too." Blech.

What did you think of "How I Met Your Mother" this week?
Photo/Video credit: CBS