Marshall and Lily once again take center stage tonight, as they decide who in the group is worthy to be baby Marvin's godparent. The search for a godparent begins when Marshall and Lily confront their own mortality, realizing that they haven't made arrangements for Marvin in the event of their death; this brings out the gang's competitive streak.
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While Ted, Robin and Barney initially try to win the position through escalating gifts and costumes, Marshall ultimately decides that the matter is best decided through a home-made game show called "Who Wants to Be a Godparent?" The spectacle of the game circumvents Lily's death-planning panic attacks, while allowing Marshall to present relevant scenarios that a potential godparent might face.
Naturally, each of the friends has their advantages and disadvantages as a guardian -- Ted wins points for introducing a puppet named Professor Infosaurus to help Marvin grapple with his parents' death, but loses points when reviving the character as a rapping dinosaur for the sex talk.
The game ultimately falls apart, as none of the contestants is able to adequately fulfill Marshall and Lily's expectations. The two new parents take some heat as well, though, as Ted, Barney and Robin finally unload about how distant they've been. Lily and Marshall realize that even with their new set of responsibilities, they still need to make an effort to maintain their friendships; they ultimately decide to name all three as Marvin's guardian.
While the multiple instances of direct camera mugging were a bit much, I thought the elaborate game show setup was largely a success -- many of How I Met Your Mother'
s best premises take real life scenarios just over the border into Crazytown, and that's very much the case here. This episode does
continue the trend of placing Marshall and Lily at the episode's center and slightly cartoonizing the rest of the group, but it wasn't a problem tonight; we'll just have to see how the season fares when Ted's search for the mother returns to the fore.
(Image courtesy of CBS)