I had to give Marshall the benefit of the doubt tonight, as my own stamp of approval has been called into question in recent weeks.
In the end, sadly, I had very little love for "The Stamp Tramp." This comment may solicit some "how dare you's" - but I'll wager that the "what is (was) that" comments outweigh the positive reactions.
Forget about the "old Marshall Eriksen stamp of approval," I just want the old Marshall Eriksen back. Jason Segel looks to be in the best shape he has been in in years, but a few extra pounds aren't the only thing missing there. Marshall is terrified of hot dog costumes? Also, while there has always been some poetic license taken when it has come to Marshall's work environment, tonight's antics were just absurd.
Marshall's boss made a comment about a female employee's appearance... at a law firm. Really?!?
I'm a big Joe Manganiello fan, but the material he was handed on his return was as hard to swallow as those muffin tops he stuffed into his pockets at his interview. Then there was his ridiculously unethical charade. Perhaps the only redeeming moment was when he called Honeywell "Bilbo."
Ted was accused of piggy-backing stamps, but I was more turned off by his recycling of jokes. The line about LeBron not being that good has been done and then some on the show, but as an added kick in the nuts the creators decided "The Decision" was still a relevant enough story that they could base Barney's entire storyline around it.
Then there was Ted's attempt to keep his secret identity as some mystery pirate radio host under wraps. I did not feel the slightest urge to Pump Up the Volume.
The concept of Barney searching for a new club to frequent was sound, but the whole recruiting side of it could have been plenty funny without the LeBron scenario hanging over. Those were also some of the lamest strip club names I have ever heard. I expected better from what I know is an extremely talented and creative writing staff.
Tonight's saving grace was Robin. I liked her fast talking scenes as Barney's agent and how she laughed about getting kicked out of the strip club for being "too handsy." She provided a few bright spots this evening - like her nickname for Barney, Stincinnati, Brohio. Her best line came while speaking to Vito at The Melon Patch and is noted in this week's best How I Met your Mother quotes.
I was so disinterested in the episode that I almost didn't catch Ted's line about Marshall's big case and how he'll "get to that later." When Ted?! No one is taking the hook, line or sinker with the bait you've been throwing at us. Also, so much for my hopes of a big Barney and Robin payoff kiss. What we instead got was Neil Patrick Harris awkwardly kissing Cobie Smulders while doing a terrible job acting as if he were drunk.
We deserve better from this show because we know it's in there. There is a reason we fans are still watching this show after so many years. I hope they just don't forget that and finish on a high note.
What did you think?