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HIMYM/House Watch: I Have Half a Mind…

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Larry Watson/FOX

Larry Watson/FOX

Quick spoilers for How I Met Your Mother and the season finale of House coming up after the jump:

Fairly forgettable episode of HIMYM last night, which I’m going to try to forgive in light of the fact that (1) the show needed to vamp to fill time until the finale, because the two cast pregnancies monkeyed with the production schedule and (2) the season finale, which was shot while Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan were still available, is next week. The problem with last night’s episode was not just that it overemphasized Ted’s search for the mother and his already-over relationship with Stella—basically, trying to give us closure on a story for which we didn’t really need further closure—but the straight comedy misfired. The Jason Jones storyline strayed too far into out-and-out wackiness (even at its weirdest HIMYM follows certain rules of realism, such as the notion that someone might call the police upon discovering a “murder house”), while the traffic-ticket storyline had too little payoff (except for the delightful moment of Marshall seductively using the tempting power of a beer-soaked bratwurst). On to next week. 

As for House, I’ll admit that I’ve never been invested in the show enough to either care about its ongoing storylines or get upset by them. As much as I’m an evangelist here for serial storytelling, House is my exception. I want to watch it every few weeks or so, when I feel like it, and watch a cantankerous misanthrope make wiseass remarks and solve confounding medical mysteries. Period. I don’t much want him to progress or care about whom he sleeps with.

That said, the ending twist regarding his sleeping-not-sleeping with Cuddy seemed like a cheat even to me. But considering I was really only in the episode for the fine storyline about the patient whose right brain was fighting his left, it’s a cheat that I’ll be glad enough to overlook (if not forget altogether) by next fall. More-passionate fans should feel free to weigh in here.