How I Met Your Mother, “Glitter” (6.09)

“So sue me! Like the producers of the Milky Way Mathletes tried to…” – Robin Scherbatsky

Finally, what seems like the final step for Robin Sparkles. Does it live up to its predecessors?  More on the episode, written by Kourtney Kang and directed by Pamela Fryman, after the jump…

That was adorable.

The show continues its winning streak, and if “Glitter” wasn’t the funniest episode of the season, it continued the trend of giving the show a good dose of heart. Robin and Lily’s friendship has been a big part of the show since season one, and its nice to see that acknowledged.

Was I alone in feeling Robin’s vibe about Lily’s baby obsession? It feels almost like a comment on the show’s early babyfication this season, which they’ve nicely toned down without eliminating ever since the idea of a Cradle List came up at the end of “Subway Wars” (6.04), which has made the arc much more palateable. And smacking Robin’s distate with kids (dating back to season three) with Lily’s hopefully-impending motherhood was nice, as was the callback to Robin’s past.

I was also happy to see Punchy return from “Sandcastles in the Sand” (3.16), as I’d always been pretty curious about that friendship as it developed inside of that one clip. In fact, this episode was pretty much continuity porn, which only occasionally felt out-of-place.

The only part where I felt the episode could have expanded was Marshall, who was mostly relegated to supporting Lily and giggling with the boys. I think it would have been fun if the somewhat-innocent Marshall had sided with Robin on the case of Space Teens, and it would have felt appropriate. There was a bit of that at the end, where Marshall was the first to defend the song, which was nice.

What I’ve liked is that they’ve never used Robin Sparkles just to tell a Robin Sparkles story. “Slap Bet” (2.09) was really about how Ted and Robin communicated as a couple; “Sandcastles in the Sand” (3.16) was about how people change over time; and “Glitter” (6.09) was used to show a natural development between Lily and Robin in the face of Lily’s baby journey. It also had a nice broader theme, looking at what exactly brings friends together and tears them apart. I liked the reminder that, while Punchy is obnoxious to Ted’s crew, I expect his nerdiness and know-it-all attitude would be just as judged by Punchy’s gang back in Cleveland. Everybody’s got ‘that thing’ that makes them annoying to people who don’t love them, even our gang.

I also liked how, bubbling in the background, were the series arcs. Of the three big ones, only Barney’s father was untouched; we both got a nod to the Baby Journey for Lily and Marshall, and the Mother with us finally seeing a clue towards the wedding shown in “Big Days” (6.01).

Ever since I started reviewing the show, I’ve been taking a glance at the writer of each episode. I’m glad I looked at Kourtney Kang‘s How I Met Your Mother resume, because it seems she has a memory: the bulk of the callbacks here are to some of her strongest episodes. To recap:

  • The saga of Robin Sparkles began in “Slap Bet” (2.09)
  • Marshall’s Joey Buttafuoco pants were referenced first in “Stuff” (2.16)
  • Robin’s distaste for children was introduced in “Little Boys” (3.04)
  • Punchy was introduced as a one-off joke in “Sandcastles in the Sand (3.16)

In fact, there was only one major reference I noticed to another episode: a nod to Chuck Tatham‘s “Little Minnesota” (4.11) with the heartwarming conclusion at the Hoser Hut. Definitely an episode that rewarded longtime fans. What did you think?


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