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How I Met Your Mother- Episode 9.04 "The Broken Code" Review- My expectations were far too high

Last week I was caught off guard by Barney’s line at the end of the episode: “I saw you and Robin at the carousel” and this week’s episode starts from where it left off, with Ted and Barney having a face off. Back in the summer, when I knew there was an episode called “The Broken Code” I held such high (and maybe ridiculous) expectations for said episode; I thought it would be as good as, let’s say “The Final Page”, which is my very favorite HIMYM episode. The results? It was a good episode, but not that good. When I first saw it I was so disappointed that I was thinking on grading this episode a C, but that’s not fair, because I was the sole source of my disappointment by expecting the episode to be more than it needed to be. Take my stupid high stakes for the episode aside, and you get a wonderful time of good gags, some very predictable moments, but also with the heartfelt touch of any great HIMYM episode.

We learn that Barney actually showed up to help Robin back then in the carousel, which most of us already predicted by Barney’s final line last week and Ted says that he was there to help her as a friend, and even though Barney says it’s cool and that he believes him, it’s quite evident that he’s not ok with it and that he is going to take it on Ted, punishing him in every single way until Ted snaps. But before that, there’s plenty fun to cover.

As Marshall is still on his way to Farhampton, Lily decides to use his Marshall pillow surrogate and upgrade him using a tablet with skype. It’s a fun device; it worked great when The Big Bang Theory did something like this back in season 4 (with the Shelbot) and it works great here too with Pillow Marshall, and it’s a creative way to make him interact with the main cast.
The plot now slices into two parts: we have Ted being punished by Barney and Lily pushing Robin to make other female friends. Let’s talk about Ted and Barney first.

As I said above, Barney is angry at Ted, but he subtly hides it and he makes Ted change room’s with her inexistent aunt (to some kind of dungeon), store pigeons in said room, and finally being replaced by Billy Zabka as best man and he is kicked out of the poker game. At this point Ted finally snaps and he asks Barney to accept that he is upset with him, which he does and he tells Ted that he has broken “The Bro Code” (which can now be found in hotel rooms, airplanes and Germany), but Ted insists that he hasn’t done such thing, so they call an impartial third party guy who can settle this: Marshall.

Now, so far this storyline was pretty predictable, so I wasn’t very amused by the whole penitence Barney pulled on Ted (nor the fake related bro code flashbacks, which the show has done before), but once Marshall is involved in the whole thing the storyline soars as we get some very funny bits with Ted and Barney holding hands in the beach to determine if Ted actually had a moment with Robin or not. This results in a good comedic moments and good characters moments, with Barney admitting that he was mad at himself for not coming to Robin earlier and Ted admitting that he still has feeling for Robin; and he is completely honest, he can’t shut them off and he probably won’t be able to until he meets the mother, because as of right now, Robin has been the closest Ted has come to meeting the girl of his dreams, so it’s close to impossible to shut down those feeling when, deep down (as seen in “Band or DJ”) he thinks Robin should be with him. But he is a nice guy, and a good friend and he would never dare to actually hurt Barney, so he decides to do his best to keep those feeling to himself. And that’s hard; Barney realizes Ted is telling the truth (and probably how hard it is for him to try shut down those feelings) and so he forgives him, they play poker and Ted is once again the best man. Still, more conflicts are to arrive for sure, and until Ted meets the mother, some more tension is to be created.

Now with Lily and Robin’s storyline: Robin is mad (at first) at Lily for being unable to throw her a big bachelorette party (in which Patrice ended up showing up) to which Lily replies that she couldn’t throw a better one as Robin hates women and women hate Robin. Even though it has been established that Robin was raised as a boy I never realized that she didn’t have many girl friends, possibly because she spent so much time with Lily that it was hard to notice, but she doesn’t have any other female friend other than her. So Lily worries that when she leaves to Italy Robin will be in need of another friend. And the quest for searching that said friend starts, and it’s quite funny.

Lily spots some possible candidates so that Robin can bond with, but either one has bangs (which mean she won’t shut up about her troubles, ugh), uses comfortable shoes (it’s five o’clock! Put on some heels!) or she is just disgusted to think of bonding with another woman. Finally, Robin attempts (and fails at first) to bond with a woman by hugging her while she is crying, and she finds out that said woman is actually crying because her hokey team lost, which happens to be the same one Robin likes. And so they hit it off, but as Lily sees them bonding she starts imagining how easily Robin could forget her (and let this new friend of her do intimate things with her without jeopardizing their respective marriages) and she scares her off. At this point Robin tells Lily that she doesn’t need other friend other than her psycho friend. It’s not really relevant to the wedding theme in particular, but it’s fun to watch. And, oh! Did I tell you Patrice is back? As Robin and Lily hug by the end of the episode, Patrice tries to join in, and Lily stops her by yelling her “BACK OFF, PATRICE!” which can only ensure laughs.

In the end, this isn’t the groundbreaking HIMYM episode I was hoping for, but it was quite funny, and I shouldn’t judge it for what it wasn’t, but rather for what it is, and that’s pretty funny, just not quite memorable.

Grade: B

Stray Observations:

-“Thank you Linus”, I still love this recurring gag, and will probably enjoy it all season long.

-Marshall via skype: “It’s beaut…!” *screen freezes*
Barney: “Wait for it.”
Lily: “Yesterday the exact same happened at the worst moment. I was taking off my panties…” *Lily freezes*
Robin: “I think Lily’s face just froze”.

-The beach scene was pretty good; I laughed a lot with this:
Barney: “Marshal this is stu…!”
Marshall: “Accept the comforting!”

-Patrice brings a lot of gifts to the wedding! I’ll make a memo to invite her to my wedding (if I ever get married).

-The poker table includes the following members: Barney, Ted, Pillow Marshall, Ranjit, Billy Zabka and Barney’s personal tailor Tim Gunn. The next episode “The Poker Game” should be quite interesting with these players.

-Billy Zabka’s reaction to being dismissed as best man: “You’ll pay for this Mosby”.
Future Ted: “Ok there was one slight hitch”.

There’s gotta be a really good pay off of the Zabka v/s Ted thing later in the season. I won’t hold as much expectations as I did for this episode though.

-Ted and Barney recreate “Weekend at Berney’s” with pillow Marshall. It’s always fun to watch these guys love for that movie.

I'm currently studying Psychology while also writing fantasy books (one already published in my home country, Chile, you can check it out on the facebook icon). I watch many different types of shows, including my favorites Revenge, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time and about 23 more. Currently writing articles and some reviews as well

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