No, "The Bro Mitzvah" is not a good episode of television. I dreaded watching the episode for a week. Barney's one of the top seven worst characters on television. HIMYM's gone to the Barney well often this season. Nothing changes about the character. Change in the character's only a trick and then undone when convenient for the story. Barney/Robin scenes are off. Fans of the show love the characters together, but their impending marriage makes little sense. Robin worries his mother won't think she's good enough for her sweet son. Of course Robin's night out with his mother is completely staged, so I doubt I should even write about the B story at all. I'd like to think the set-up of a horrible bachelor party so that it'd turn out to be effective had its roots in personal issues with Barney. Ted angrily leaving the van after Marshall's kidnapped could've paid off. Ted and Barney had a confrontation, albeit minor, about Robin that suggested it wouldn't be dropped the following episode. Put your money on that bit of nonsense coming back in the finale.
Lily uses the set-up to overtly flirt with surprise guest star Ralph Macchio, but the writers never delved into issues the gang might've brought to the set-up. Quinn uses the failed engagement against Barney; Ted seems pissed in the van. Resolution happens fast in Act III since the first half of the act is a rehash of the previous two acts. Barney's at first dismayed and then totally blown away by his friends’ generosity. Yeah, thinking you blew your marriage, 80 grand, ruined an ex's life, got Marshall's hand chopped off, and so on, is really an idea of a good time; however, Barney's a psycho and a sociopath. He's the only character who'd admire the effort into making his bachelor party the worst night of his life. Unfortunately, Bays and Thomas thought the viewers would be as accepting. I'm always in the minority of HIMYM fans. I think the majority of the episodes are terrible. I'm expecting an outpouring of praise for the brilliance of the episode. Why not? Our culture's at a place where folk describe James Joyce's work as 'junk' while praising the Red Dawn re-make. Yes.
There isn't anything under the A story than what's on the surface. Barney gets his memorable night that Robin planned. I suppose Robin's involvement in the bachelor party planning further solidifies their coupling. Robin's accepted Barney's ways and now she's successfully planned a night without women. She controls the night. The episode doesn't emphasize Robin's role in the party in that way. What you see is what you get in "The Bro Mitzvah." The gang shows their love for Barney by following the checklist he created for his big bro bachelor mitzvah.
The story is a complete failure, but there are little bits of scenes that are decent, such as anything revolving around The Karate Kid, plus the call-backs to Barney's fandom for all the villains in movies. The marriage storyline has been a drag this season. I want it to end though I'm certain nonsense awaits. I don't know what else to write. I could rant some about the show using tired sitcom tropes and then justifying the use of the tired sitcom tropes with its terrible ending. I'll just end the review here and direct your attention to the Beach College episode of Boy Meets World below.
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