Look, "How I Met Your Mother". You can get away with a depressing twist ending once in awhile, but not twice in a single six episode span. I was already not entirely on board with "Change of Heart" thanks to a stupid sub plot with Robin's new boyfriend being a human dog, but then to throw that disappointing Barney ending in our faces? C'mon.
The thing is, the scene they showed just before the ending, with Barney finally coming to the realization that he DID want a wife and kids and all that stuff Nora had been talking about earlier, that was perfect. It was the natural evolution of the character that we've seen over the last couple seasons. It's easy to dismiss because he still throws catchphrases around and beds random women and all that, but Barney is NOT the same person he was when we were first introduced to him nearly six years ago.
I understand that it's entirely possible that Barney realized he wanted all those things, but wanted them with Robin, not Nora, but that's a copout on the show's part. It also sure didn't seem like that's what Barney was thinking when he walked away from that restaurant. Now I get the sense that we'll get a couple more episodes of Barney regressing into his "awesome" mode, but not being totally into it, then Barney admitting what he really wants, then finally Barney professing his love for someone in the season finale. And that's all well and good, but it doesn't leave me feeling any better about this episode, which just left me feeling all sad.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.