“The Pre-Nup,” this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother, introduced us to The Autumn of Breakups. Barney becomes convinced that he needs a pre-nup agreement before marrying Quinn, which eventually leads to all the happy relationships in the HIMYM world taking a sour turn.
Had Barney’s pre-nup agreement not been 2,000 pages of outrageous rules for marriage, I suspect that Quinn would have agreed to a pre-nup. After all, she’s a confident woman and she’s never made it seem like she was counting on Barney’s money to support her. She said that she’d stop stripping if she got married, and although they’ve never discussed if she’d work after she “retired,” once she and Barney were in a serious relationship, she stopped trying to pry his pockets open.
Barney’s pre-nup opened a can of worms for all the other couples. While we never really had time to dig too deep into the issues of the other couples, we did get a little comedic peek at the personal peeves that each couple was coping with.
Marshall and Lily argued over Lily being “too precious with the baby” while Marshall wanted to be able to roughhouse with his infant. Lily admitted that she might have overreacted to Marshall tossing Marvin up in the air when they brought him home, but after seeing the way Marshall’s family treated their newborns, I think Lily easily won this argument.
Ted and Victoria’s new romantic bliss was being interrupted by Ted’s new house guest, the perpetually nude ex-fiance, Klaus. Meanwhile, Robin and Nick’s bedroom habits were being interrupted by Robin’s rather quirky fetish of watching herself on TV while in the act.
The issues plaguing Robin and Nick, Ted and Victoria, and Lily and Marshall boiled down to a failure to communicate effectively. Their problems were not yet deal breakers in their relationship. Unfortunately (or depending on where you stand, fortunately) the same was not true of Barney and Quinn’s relationship.
Barney and Quinn’s outrageous pre-nup agreements gave them a chance to reflect on their relationship and Quinn boiled down their problem to an issue of trust. After all their time together, Barney and Quinn were still not able to trust one another and they believed that they’d never be able to. Their breakup would be the start of a series of breakups among the group.
All of these little story lines had moments of comedy, but overall the episode was a little dull. As we move forward in this season of How I Met Your Mother, we seem to be seeing Robin and Barney’s relationship in reverse. It’s a clever way to tell us their story without having to start over again at the beginning. We know that Robin and Nick will break up at some point because we know that Robin and Barney end up in the same church on their wedding day threatening to escape out the window. Tonight we saw a brief moment of Robin and Barney, happily engaged, and Barney expressing his complete trust of Robin. We’ll have to wait and see if that trust extends through their pre-wedding jitters.