'How I Met Your Mother': Making a House a Home

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Last week I wrote about my frustrations around the lack of plot advancement on How I Met Your Mother, and wouldn't you know it, this week something actually happens. Although one of the raunchier episodes of the season (nude paintings, graphic serenades, stoned mothers, internet porn), somehow "Home Wreckers" managed to be one of the more poignant as well, supported by strong running gags.

"Home Wreckers" was all about decisions and Ted makes a fairly rash one after realizing his life is in a stalemate—he purchases a house. Now this plot point forces the audience to accept that Ted, who we're told is a noteworthy architect and professor of the craft, would buy a house having only seen it online and schedule the inspection after the money has changed hands. But, it's a sitcom, so I'll suspend logic and go along with it because Ted's earnest vision for his future is kind of adorable—Sunday grilling, wreathes on the doors at Christmas, kids running around, and so on.

Ted's friends unsurprisingly think he's made a huge mistake. The house is a disaster, plagued with black mold, a damaged retaining wall, frayed electrical wires, a broken furnace, raccoons, a hobo, and other various ailments that Gary Anthony Williams (a rare appearance from an African American character on the show) as the solidly funny inspector lists off. For a moment, Ted agrees that maybe this decision wasn't the wisest, and the friends all have some beers and take a sledgehammer to the walls of the already dilapidated house, set to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Our House."

Of course, in the end when Ted stops by to say goodbye to the house, he finds Marshall grilling sausages, drinking beer, and proclaiming support for the decision through an impromptu housewarming. In a time lapse montage, set again to "Our House," the audience sees that this wreck of a house eventually turns into his home. However cliché, predictable, and sappy this ending might be, it's satisfying to imagine the lives being lived in that home.

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Lindsey Bahr is a writer based in Chicago.

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