The only relevant thing in Marshall and Lily’s lives on How I Met Your Mother recently has been their son, Marvin. While I appreciate that he’s the only important thing in their lives at the moment, this has also played a role in why Marshall and Lily seem kind of boring this season.
“Who Wants to be a Godparent” starts off being yet another parenting-centered story line for Lily and Marshall. After a brush with death, Lily and Marshall resolved to find a guardian for Marvin who could care for him in the even that they both passed away unexpectedly. After exhausting their short list of potential family guardians, the competition began between Robin, Barney, and Ted.
Given her general attitude towards children, Robin was more enthusiastic about wanting to be a godparent than I would have expected. The same might be said for Barney, but I got the impression that the two of them were more wrapped up in the spirit of competition and a desire to spend some relevant time with Marshall and Lily than they were actually considering being guardians. Ted probably had a little bit of that competitive spirit pushing him as well, but his desire to care for Marvin in the event of Lily and Marshall’s passing seemed more genuine.
For how seriously Marshall and Lily had approached their parenting outside of this silly game show set up, it seemed strange that in the end they would write down a complicated guardianship between their three single friends. Were they expecting Ted, Robin, and Marshall to decide among themselves which home Marvin would live in? Whose family he would become a part of in the event that any of them married? Who he would live with if one of them decided to move across the country?
I understand that the moral of the story was that Lily and Marshall had let themselves get out of touch with their dearest friends, but Marvin’s guardianship didn’t need to factor into how they would strengthen their friendships. Ted, Robin, and Barney seemed to be happy just to have that “8 or higher” restriction lifted off their casual conversations – the guardianship could have been left completely off the table.
That’s not to say that this episode of How I Met Your Mother wasn’t funny. On the contrary, everyone had moments that made me laugh out loud. Robin in particular seems to be getting some of the best comedic lines this season and she really stood out tonight. Everyone seems to be throwing out plenty of hilarious lines, but once the episode is over, there’s nothing very memorable left. What has been missing is a solid story that lets us tie all those comedic elements together in a meaningful way.