Quick spoilers for last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I get you to call me A-Sep...
It's interesting: when Ted and Robin were together in season two, the show occasionally did stories about the state of their relationship (particularly towards the end as they were doomed). More often(*) it felt like just a fact of life, while the stories usually focused on other characters, or on Ted and/or Robin stories that weren't specifically about them dating.
(*) With the usual caveat that it's been a while since I've watched most of those episodes, and that memory can re-write history to suit your whims. And in some cases, it's a gray area; the Robin Sparkles plot from "Slap Bet" was partly about Ted's concern that his girlfriend was keeping a secret from him.
Season five, on the other hand, has been checking early and often in on how Robin and Barney are working as a couple. And for the most part, it's worked. With Ted and Robin, the issue was that they were a couple who wanted different things, which is only funny to a point. With Barney and Robin, it's two people who don't really want or know how to be in a relationship, but who like each other too much to not be in one. So the potential for comedy about it has been much greater, and paid off well in an episode like "Bagpipes," which put them in contrast to ultra-functional Marshall and Lily.
"Bagpipes" had a lot of distinctly "HIMYM" comic touches - Future Ted substituting bagpiping for sex (plus, bagpipes often just sound funny), a throwaway Slap Bet between Ted and Marshall (paid off immediately so that Thomas and Bays don't have to answer even more questions about future slaps), Barney imagining himself as Lily's husband (and then Marshall's epic fail at restating Barney's imagined argument) - and would have worked for just being silly. But I'm also curious to see what basic relationship hurdle the writers place in front of Robin and Barney next.
What did everybody else think?