For the third episode in a row, the How I Met Your Mother writers dish up a major life change for at least one of the major characters at the 21 minute mark. Two weeks ago, it was Robin’s breakup with… oh man, what was his name again? Bevin? Devin? Beats us. Anyway, that was followed by Ted’s earth-shattering, vomit-inducing confession: “I love you, Robin.” And then last week, the episode ended with the duo opting not to rekindle their romance and Robin moving out. In the final moments of “Karma,” Ted follows his ex out the door of his enviable two-bedroom Manhattan pad, turning the place over to Marshall and Lily and their impending bundle of joy. It was a genuinely sweet moment, the kind that’s increasingly rare to see on the show these days. Clearly, the writers are on a roll when it comes to crafting memorable endings. It’s just the rest of the 22 minutes that they have trouble filling.
Rewinding back to the top of the half-hour, Ted’s alone in the apartment, pondering what to do with the extra room he’s been gifted with in the wake of Robin’s departure. Personally, we’d go about transforming that space into a screening room/arcade by buying the biggest TV we could find as well as a pair of plush armchairs and then hooking up a PS3 (plus a Nintendo Wii for the new Zelda game) and only emerging from that cave every other day to shower and maybe eat something besides Hot Pockets. Of course, even though this arrangement sounds like heaven to us, it’s extremely unlikely for Ted given his Cro-Magnon taste in home entertainment set-ups.
Instead, ol’ Mosby alternately transforms the spare room into a smoke house (for his meats), a wood shop (for his poorly made furniture) and a potter’s shed (for his terrible pottery). Anything but a guest room, which, as he tells the ghost of Robin that still inhabits that space, would just be a “room devoted to reminding me that I’m still alone.” (Geez, even in spectral form, poor Robin still has to put up with Ted’s whining.) It takes an innuendo-loaded conversation with the flesh-and-blood Scherbatsky to plant the notion of handing the place over to Marshall and Lily in his mind. When they take him up on his invitation to hang out in the city one evening, they arrive to find an apartment completely devoid of possessions and furniture, save one thing: a crib in the guest room. Of course, since it’s a crib that Ted made it instantly falls apart. This is why he just designs buildings instead of physically building them.