22 January 2013 10:45 AM, PST | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

With each passing episode of How I Met Your Mother, next year's ninth season seems like a more troubling idea. What comes after running on fumes? Last night's episode had a few cute moments — like Marshall and Lily getting hot for each other's terrible outfits — but the borderline-creeper romance with Barney's half-sister felt hollow and needlessly cruel. (Also, hipster jokes.) More distressing, the episode recycled its premise from season-one episode "Sweet Taste of Liberty." In that episode, it's Lily who discovers that once-doting men treat her differently now that she wears her engagement ring; seeing Robin have the same "revelation," without any kind of acknowledgement that the show had already covered that idea, was sort of a letdown. We're not against Himym going back through its archives, though. In fact, we kind of hope it does. There are lots of stray plot points, one-off characters, or weird theories »

- Margaret Lyons

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