Spoilers for the "How I Met Your Mother" season five premiere coming up just as soon as I remember to call you on Tuxedo Night...
The later episodes of "HIMYM" season four had to tread water because the writers wanted to end the year on Robin and Barney getting together, and because of the complications created by Alyson Hannigan and Cobie Smulder's pregnancies. Lily's back full-time, Robin doesn't have to spend every episode in the booth at MacLaren's, Robin and Barney are a couple of sorts, and so we can all get on to business, funny and otherwise.
I've reached the point where I no longer care about clues to the Mother's identity until we reach the point where we hear Bob Saget say, "And that, kids, is how I met your mother." So the Mother apparently being in that Econ lecture hall doesn't matter to me. On the other hand, I like that the writers (including basis-for-Ted Carter Bays) have embraced the character's inherent douchiness and have turned it into a conduit for jokes. Ted-as-professor is a bit of a retread of Ross-as-professor on "Friends" (also featuring a character with a high smugness quotient), but if it gave us Ted with a bullwhip, and Marshall egging him on to whip stuff with it, I'm on board.
The episode's highlight, though, was the dynamic duo of Barn-Man and Robin, and their attempt to be casual sex buddies een as Lily tried to insist they were anything but. That storyline offered us Barney's attempt to apply the rules for the safe handling of Mogwai to sexual conquests, Robin going all Canadian at the Rangers game, and Barney cowering in fear after sucker-punching Brad. Neil Patrick Harris (who rocked the Emmys, even if he didn't win one) and Cobie Smulders just work together, but in a way that's not going to disrupt the comedy.
Solid start to the season. What did everybody else think?