Spoilers for How I Met Your Mother coming up after the jump:
Robin’s Canadianness has always been a reliable source of humor for How I Met Your Mother, and “Duel Citizenship” may well have been the motherlode. (Just a few examples: Robin throwing a chair at the Hoser Hut, the term “garburator”—that’s some Advanced Conversational Canadian there—and the references to the country’s “board game” money.) And has Tim Horton’s ever scored a sitcom product placement before?
But leaving aside the fact that Robin could easily have opted for dual citizenship right off the bat, it was also the best (maybe the only?) episode also to play off her national identity seriously. Jokes aside, Canada actually is different from America, and it was good to see Robin seriously considering whether her stay in the States had changed her, and if she wanted to be changed.
And there’s no better person to define Americanness for the world than Barney Stinson: “Let’s go buy something that’s bad for us, then sue the people who made it!” Not to mention his saluting Robin for becoming American, exemplified by the fact that “not only are you wrong, but you are belligerently sticking to your guns and insulting me in the process.”
In the process, the episode actually got us to see Barney and Robin interact as a couple, in a way that wasn’t about their being a couple—not about whether they were a serious boyfriend and girlfriend, but simply about them working through a problem together in a way that played up their similarities and differences.
The Ted/Marshall/Lily road trip, meanwhile, went over some familiar ground for them, but it did so amusingly enough. And in the process, probaby gave as good an example of the American spirit as anything else in the episode. Tantrummmmmmm!
Quick hail of bullets:
* Anyone else impressed/relieved that they didn’t go the citizenship-wedding route with this story?
* I’m sure I’ve said it before, but why does Ted Mosby in 1999 have the hair of The Cure’s Robert Smith in 1983?
* It must take some effort to maintain Barney’s raunchy Barney-isms now that he’s tied down, but that was a nice bit about how every term for studying is also a euphemism for sex.
* Finally, who knew HIMYM could be topical? Capitalist Barney Stinson himself got in a plug for the Canadian health care system. As Quebecer Sam Roberts sang in “The Canadian Dream” (because this is the only excuse I’m ever going to get to mention the song on this blog), “S.O.C.I.A. / L.I.S.M. is here to stay”: