How I Met Your Mother “The Poker Game” Review


HIMYM Epi 5 4

Bobby Kaleel ’15
With the fifth installation of the final season of How I Met Your Mother, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas disappoint again. The episode picks up deep into the Bachelor poker game with many of the players getting knocked out, including Lily and the pillow that represented Marshall.  The conflict of the episode is presented when James, Barney’s brother, is stuck on convincing Barney and Robin to not get married because of his recent divorce. Robin gets so sick of the constant slights at marriage that she bets her wedding ring against James’ wedding ring, and she wins.
The light of the episode shifts to the gift dilemma between Ted, Marshall, and Lily. In the beginning Ted boasts of the wedding present he has got for Barney and Robin. This infuriates Lily because Ted never got his best friends (Marshall and Lily) a wedding gift “supposedly”.  Lily relays the message to Marshall, who is still in the car on the way to the wedding, and he is so disturbed he calls Ted.  The audience views all the hints that Marshall has given Ted about not giving him a wedding present, going to the extent of ruining his couple Halloween costume to drop a hint. When Marshall calls, Ted explains that he got them a coffee maker, that Marshall loves, and the audience is shown all the hints Ted has dropped regarding not receiving a thank you note.
Back to the Poker game, Robin has been challenged by Barney’s mother to win her son’s (James) ring back. After time has passed we are presented an image of Barney’s mother who has lost her blouse to Robin as well. The question is presented how the Stinstons keep on losing? Robin admits her strength is how all Stinsons say “bluff” in some way right before they make a bluff bet. An example would be when Barney talks about how he wants a “bluffberry muffin”. Barney then demands that she gives the things back. Robin is upset and wishes her husband would support her, but gives back the stuff to return to his family.
The gift argument takes another turn when Marshall calls Lily to explain that Ted gave them the coffee maker. She responds saying how Stewart and Claudia gave them the coffee make (old friends of Ted). Marshall is enraged again. Lily confronts Ted, and Ted explains how he believes he gave them a gift, but is disgraced when Lily explains he did not. He is disappointed because he has put shame to the Moesby gift motto of “wrap it before you tap it”, meaning wrap the gift before you tap the person who you are giving the present to on the shoulder. Ted sets out to make things right, and give a bigger better present, while Lily goes to Stewart to find out the truth, because he has just checked into the wedding hotel. Lily finds out that Stewart is a cheapskate, and Ted was the one who really gave the coffee maker right as Ted shows up with a new gift. Both sides of the argument apologize.
The show moves to the scene where Barney is about to give the possessions back but instead realizes he needs to back up his wife. He takes it a little too far and disowns his brother and mother, and states how he doesn’t need them now that he has a wife. Barney expects Robin to be ecstatic about the news about his family, but she is not. At the end of the episode she tries to reconcile things with Barney’s mother but she tells Robin “you have won the battle, but you have started a war”.
After the conclusion of this episode I couldn’t stop thinking the same thing? Why is this important? Nothing in the big picture of the show has moved forward. The conflicts are just small issues within the wedding. With every uneventful episode the show loses excitement for the wedding and the ultimate outcome of the show. The writers need to have something further the plot with regards to all nine seasons, not just the last one.