How I Met Your Mother "The Pre-Nup" Review: We're Not Playing Around Anymore, Are We?

How I Met Your Mother S08E02: "The Pre-Nup"

Over the last seven seasons, How I Met Your Mother has developed a reputation for slow-playing its storytelling. Obviously the identity of Ted’s wife is a legitimate thing to drag out, but the show does tend to tread water on occasions, kind of like how Lost did until it had an end date. For the majority of "The Pre-Nup," I thought this episode was going to be one of those episodes. Well, those last five minutes sure proved me wrong.

This weeks events were was set into motion when Barney’s boss, Arthur Hobbs, convinced Barney that he needed to convince Quinn to sign a pre-nup before their wedding. Quinn balked at the ridiculousness of the pre-nup that Barney put together, which caused Ted, Marshall, and Nick to start suggesting agreements to their significant others. Victoria, Lily, and Robin didn’t take too kindly to this, and they put together their own pre-nup for Barney to sign. Up to this point, I was pretty lukewarm on the episode. As I mentioned before, it seemed like it was lagging.

After convincing us that the four couples had reconciled, HIMYM returned to Barney and Quinn. That's when the water-treading stopped: After spending a large portion of last season getting those two together, HIMYM wasted no time ripping them apart. While gazing upon the massive pre-nuptial agreement they'd assembled, Barney and Quinn realized that they didn’t actually trust each other. And with that, the Autumn of Break-ups claimed its first victims.

The episode then fast-forwarded to “a little bit down the road,” giving us a glimpse of Barney boasting to Arthur and his Goliath National Bank co-workers that his wedding was going to be legendary. Robin then waltzed in as Barney’s fiance, and the two left for lunch.

Wow, HIMYM. We’re not playing around anymore, are we? Sure, we haven’t met the actual mother yet, but over the course of the first two episodes of Season 8, we’ve seen Ted and Victoria officially get back together and watched Robin jump into a new relationship. We've confirmed that Barney will marry Robin, witnessed the break-up of Barney and Quinn, and now received an additional peek at Barney and Robin as a couple. In the past, that would've been, like, three seasons’ worth of HIMYM storytelling.

So should we mourn the end of Barney and Quinn as a couple? I kind of liked Quinn, but we always knew she wasn’t the one for Barney. For a character who was first introduced as Karma the Stripper, did we really expect her to be around for long? Becki Newton was a great addition to the HIMYM cast, and she played the character really well, especially during last season’s "The Broath," when we learned that Quinn was just as diabolical as Barney when it came to scheming. But this is how it has to be.

So which couple will break up next? Will it be Ted and Victoria? Ted is already doing Mosby-esque things in the relationship—like inviting Klaus, Victoria’s ex-fiance, to stay in their apartment. I actually said, “You moron!” out loud when he brought it up. Stop trying to be a hero, Ted. You don’t ask the guy whose girlfriend you stole to come live with you.

Or maybe Robin and Nick will be the next ones to split? Nick seems nice, but we know his relationship with Robin isn't going to end well. If Robin and Nick’s biggest issue is that Robin likes to watch herself on the news while they have sex, they seem in good (maybe not normal) shape. But if I had to guess, I’d say say Robin and Nick are the next to go. This is HIMYM—the story hinges on Ted, so the writers will save his Autumn of Break-ups incident for last.

We need to talk about the dynamic of this group as of this episode. I first sensed that something was weird when we saw Quinn talking to the other girls. Yeah, Quinn asked Robin and Lily to be her bridesmaids, but I just don’t think of Quinn as someone they would actually hang out with. The same feeling struck me when Nick showed up at MacLaren’s and sat down with Ted, Marshall, and Barney. I know this all makes sense for the sake of the plot, but some of these people just wouldn’t be hanging out in real life. Where did Nick come from? Wouldn’t he have his own group of friends?

The biggest issue I have, though, has to do with the fact that Victoria is hanging out with Robin. Victoria would never hang out with Robin. Ted cheated on Victoria with Robin. And now, all these years later, Victoria is going to let that slide? I don’t buy it. At the beginning of last season when HIMYM brought Victoria back, the show made a huge deal out of Victoria telling Ted that not only did she find it strange that he still hung out with Robin, she believed Robin was the reason all of Ted’s relationships had failed. So now that Victoria has returned once again and she and Ted are back together, why would she allow Ted to hang out with Robin, let alone hang out with Robin herself? “Hey, Robin’s destroyed all of your relationships, but now that we’re dating again, let’s be best friends with her.” I’d like to think Victoria is smarter than that. Although, based on the idiotic version of Klaus we saw in this episode, maybe Victoria doesn’t have the best taste in men...

Now that it’s full-speed ahead for HIMYM, what should we expect next? A few more break-ups? How will Barney and Robin reunite? Will Alan Thicke be involved?



NOTES & QUOTES


– Now that I’m a complete Breaking Bad addict, seeing Bob Odenkirk as GNB’s Arthur Hobbs is kind of bizarre. Apparently Saul Goodman helps write pre-nups when he’s not teaching Walter White how to launder money.

– Arthur Hobbs talking to Barney about his divorce: “I even lost out with the kids. Full custody! I got full custody of the kids!” Barney: “Your kids are horrible.” Arthur: “The worst.”

– Arthur reading Barney’s version of the pre-nup to Quinn: “Ms. Garvey’s breasts must be enhanced every five years or 50,000 honka-honkas, which ever comes first.”

– Victoria’s hair is shorter. Did that distract anyone else?

– Lily to Marshall, regarding things she won’t let him do: “Marshall, you are not going on a Sasquatch hunt in Oregon with a bunch of loonies.”

– Bringing back Bill Fagerbakke as Marshall’s dad is a quick way to our hearts. Those episodes dealing with Marvin Eriksen are still rough viewings.

– Lily to Marshall: “Marshall, this morning you thought a ghost made your toast.”

– Nick to Robin after realizing that she was watching TV while they were having sex: “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it took 42 inches to keep you satisfied.”

– It’s interesting that Robin is the one watching TV in the bedroom, considering her objection to Ted putting his TV in the bedroom when he was going to move into her apartment back in Season 2. Is this an error, or does Robin just make an exception to this rule when the TV in question is showing her doing the news?

– Lily when the guys showed up at GNB: “What are you bitches doing here?” Marshall looking at baby Marvin: “Lily!” Lily: “Oh, he’s napping. It’s the only time I get to go blue.”

– Barney, after Quinn explained his shock collar: “Wait, I’m confused, if it’s not around my neck, where is the shock collar?” [The girls nod toward Barney’s nether regions.] Barney: “Oh, god...”

Comments (30)
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I don't like this episode at all. I really liked barney and Quinn together. I also loved how the last half of the last season was all about bringing them together. Barney's proposal to Quinn was one of the sweetest I've seen in television. I thought they were perfect. I'm just so mad that the writers would break them up so easily! It's just unrealistic that barney would even want those things in a prenup! I agree to the person below who said Barney's character seemed to have returned to his character in season one, the immature barney.. It's like the last seasons of him being sincere didn't even happen. I just hate this episode! It's too bad.
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I really enjoyed this episode, but maybe it's because I haven't seen HIMYM in a long time, so it was just good to watch again. Robin's storyline was hilarious.
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Crappy episode.... Ok, we got a glimpse of Barney and Robin, but that was about it. Not only was Victoria out of character (hanging out with Robin so carefree) but they ruined Klaus! He had given such a beautiful heartwarming speech about "the one" in the previous episode and now they turned him into a cartoonish character. Why would have Victoria even considered dating such a douche? And the group dynamic was all wrong! I hope they don't ruin Barney and Robin for me, I really wish the writers will find a believable and charming way to bring those two back together.
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I said last week that despite being tired of the show, I was going to continue watching this season. It's now one week later, and I'd like to retract that statement and say that I'm quitting now. This episode was really bad. I didn't laugh at all during the premiere, I didn't laugh at all this time around. I'm starting to hate all the characters. I'll probably return for the season finale (which is hopefully the series finale).
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this episode was THE WORST. Oh my god, it was painfully unfunny.

This should have been a serious episode-Barney proposed to Quinn, they had a serious relationship, but the show broke them up with almost no warning and proceeded to laugh it off.

Victoria and Nick also felt shoe-horned in at the last minute. This was one of my least favorite episodes of HIMYM ever.
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man, do I hate shows with character inconsistencies, thanks for pointing a few of those out .. if I didn't want to see who the bloody mother was, I would have stopped watching this show 5 seasons ago. Very disappointing.
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I don't get this show at all it suppose to be about a father who tells his kids how he met their mother and yet we never see her for 8 seasons ???

When I first saw the show I thought Robin was the mother and Ted and her were the perfect fit but than I find out later that she is the aunt and even worse I find out that they made it clear from the very first episode.

I would have stopped watching right from the first episode if I known that why

make a show with Ted and Robin has such great chemistry and not let then end up Together
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I think we're missing the point here. Sure How I Met your Mother is slow but so was Friends and many other sitcoms with romantic storylines. The problem with HIMYM is not that it's slow, it's that it hasn't been funny for years now. It has recycled the same kind of jokes for 8 years now. It used to be one of the most creative and smart sitcom ever made but now it became a caricature of itself and it doesn't even try to get better or funnier.
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Isn't this the last season?

Did anyone notice that the first episode went down 4 flashback levels?! Amazed at how these people get away with it. It was more like Inception meets Snatch.

I agree with some of the comments, this needs to end ASAP.
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This episode was awful! I couldn't buy that Barney would go through that whole thing with the pre-nup, apparently he's gone back to season 1 Barney. And I also don't understand why they're all hanging out together without their respective partners. But that last part, though, had me forgiving what happened before.
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whats the music at the end? while barney and quenn sit down chair?
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Damien Jurado - Museum of flight
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This was possibly the worst episode of the series for me, everybody was out of character, the script was stupid, and the pairings just didn't work at all.
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this show just sickens me! it's not even trying to be funny anymore. i need ted to meet the mother and end it NOW!
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Next thing to happen will be Ted's homelessness. With Barney and Quinn breaking up, she'll want her apartment back. Where will Ted go?!
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This episode was great! It cracked me up, especially Barney's lawyer, and the shock collar scene. If short hair distracts you, you might have bigger problems than Victoria. Also your reference to Robin's aversion to TVs in season 2 puzzles me. Do people not change after 6 years?
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! <3 Thomas Lennon, please keep Klaus around for a while!
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Victoria's hair was wierd, thanks for pointing that out.



I think Ben & Kate might be cancelled soon, now that Becky Newton is free, she can make Goodwin Games, or would it be too soon to air it as a replacement?!
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Ted's been telling this story to his(?) kids for over 54 hours now. (7x22x21 minutes)
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You seem to forget that all of this happened after the summer. So the new characters hanging out with the main ones and Victoria's hair being shorter can be understood
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So Arthur Hobbs would be the perfect match for Robin since they both consider getting custody of the children as losing.



Hopefully there will be no more scenes from the Eriksen family. They really are a loathsome bunch. The fathers death was a good start. Now axe the rest of the family please.
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do you have a family...or the better question would be do you legitimately have a soul?" How can you not love a family as close knit as they are...Two of the hardest episodes to watch were when Marvin died....maybe his brothers are a little rough with him..but thats how brothers are...and his mom with Lily, thats just in-laws being in-laws"..



Another solid article on an episode that took awhile to make an impact
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I couldn't DISAGREE with you more.
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The big problem with the episode is that they did the usual summer fast forward after the first episode of the season. Granted it means faster conciser storytelling and Ted getting to the point. However, it does mean that the dynamic complained about above is just sort of dumped into our laps without any explanation at all. I was shocked to see that Ted and Victoria were already living together then I remembered it must have been four months since the wedding, still not enough time for a move it but better than the next day. That four month gap needs to be filled in by our imaginations and somewhere in that time the crazy ass dynamic of everybody hanging out happened
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TL:DR - Asking for happily ever after is asking for an ending."

Here's the thing. When everyone is happy and there are no problems that makes for boring television. No one actually wants to watch an average person on an average day doing average things (no matter what Pomos say). That's why stories end with "and they lived happily ever after..." because after that point you won't be interested anymore.

Now shows/writers walk an interesting line. They have to dump on their characters because if they don't people will stop watching, but if they dump on their characters too much or too quickly without any kind of resolution/reward thrown in people will begin to hate the show as well. It's a fine line writers have to walk.
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They could have done with another episode explaining what happened during the Summer of Love.
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Agreed, build these relationships a bit so that it actually means something when they end
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I don't think they want us to get that attached to the summer love relationships.
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There's no point. These relationships are unimportant.
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Considering that Ted isn't the most reliable narrator, I think we can assume Klaus wasn't quite that bad. And about the characters hanging out, we are given the impression that some time passes, but Ted doesn't want to talk about it because it was boring. In that time, they could technically have made up or put their differences aside. Especially if they are all very happy with their significant others.
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