This week on How I Met Your Mother, Zoey and Ted admit that they are in love. And although this has been fairly evident to the audience for quite some time, romantic comedies, sitcoms, multi-episode dramas, and Lifetime Movies have dictated that simple attraction can never be enough. In this world of scripted relationships, writers assume that there must be tension, complications, twists, epic monologues about what one character hates and/or loves about the other character, grand kisses, and community involvement in order for an audience to feel connected to a romance. The "will they/won't they" trope is a classic one, and in spite of how divorced it might be from reality, it remains fun to watch.
It's explained that after his father's sudden death, Marshall decides to stay in Minnesota for a bit to take care of his mother. Craving some sense of normal, he begins to rely on the phone for updates on what's happening in New York. The writers are too smart to fall into conventions, and instead of a linear narrative, they frame the episode around this series of phone conversations, with a remote Marshall acting as the anchor and the wisdom, piecing together the details from his friends' accounts to arrive at the truth. Though the episode doesn't exactly achieve narrative brilliance, the experimentation in storytelling form was interesting enough.