There was a lot going on in Monday's episode of "How I Met Your Mother", even if it seemed that the entire episode was a big set-up for the "reveal" that Zoey isn't the mother -- a fact pretty much everyone who watched the show figured out on their own a long time ago.
Still, despite the ending falling relatively flat, I enjoyed "Garbage Island" for a few reasons, not the least of which was Kyle MacLachlan's over-the-top portrayal of The Captain, Zoey's now ex-husband. I never really liked him on "Desperate Housewives", but I'm starting to get the sense that was more due to the character and not the actor, and The Captain seems to mock everything Orson was, which is pretty awesome.
For the two male leads aside from Ted, this episode was about growth: Barney's personal growth and Marshall's professional growth. We'd gotten hints in the past that Marshall was going to re-embrace his environmental roots, and this episode continued that theme, while drawing its title from it as well (oh, and FYI, Garbage Island is a real thing... kinda makes you sad, right?). Plus, anything to put off Marshall and Lily having a kid is good in my book, because that's gonna be a show-killer when it happens.
Meanwhile, there's Barney's continued evolution into a not entirely horrible person. I loved the back-and-forth with him and Robin, and his continued excuses for not calling Nora led to one of the greatest lines in television history: "With great penis comes great responsibility." Spider-Man reference FTW! Also, "We’re exes, we’re probably due for a backslide — or we could do it the normal way." was pretty damn good. And in the end, Barney made the right choice! Yay for him!
Was this a great episode of "How I Met Your Mother"? Not really. But it was good, and the way everyone's story tied into how Wendy the Waitress met her husband -- then how she didn't have time to listen to Ted's story in the future -- seemed to be a nice self-aware dig at the show's rambling format itself. Plus, Zoey is OFFICIALLY not the mother, so hopefully we can dump her soon and move on to bigger and better things.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.