How I Met Your Mother's season four premiere was simply de --wait for it-- lightful. Delightful.
After the rocky recovery from the writer's strike last season and all of the hype surrounding Britney Spears' guest appearances, it was nice to see that the writers haven't lost their touch.
Though it would seem that Ted and Stella's relationship would be the focus of the episode, in light of Ted's recent marriage proposal (and Stella's acceptance!), it was actually Barney who stole the show!
As suspected after Barney's near-death experience at the end of last season, we discover that he does in fact have actual feelings towards Robin! And how!
We see a side of Barney that we never expected, or thought we'd want to see... but on the contrary- the writers did an excellent job fleshing out his character and giving him more dimensions than just the womanizer we've come to love. He turns to Lily for advice on how to deal with said feelings that he's "caught" (and he even wore protection!), and Lily agrees to help him as long as he stops sleeping around.
In a really comedic series of events we see Barney completely lose his cool as he tries to do what Lily tells him to actually show Robin how he feels.
(Barney: "She wasn't there, I left a voicemail."
Lily: "You left a voice... but it wasn't male")
Maybe it's the hopeless romantic in me, but I really enjoyed seeing Barney's character grow (while also staying true to himself - ie: cameras in apartment, bimbos he continued to sleep with, telling us his logic around booty calls etc.) and for a change have him be the one doing cutesy things for love. And the fact that Robin wondered, almost in disappointment, why he was acting so strange and untrue to himself leads me to believe she actually likes Barney the way he is.
Wow, ok so this review is starting to sound like a synopsis for a chick flick, so I will contain myself. The point is- I thought it was an excellent season premiere- and I'm excited for the rest of the season to come!
Oh, and though I'm still not convinced Ted and Stella will actually tie the knot, I think for now at least their relationship seems to work. Even if they still do have a lot to learn about each other. If Stella is willing to sit through Star Wars hundreds of times for Ted's sake, she's OK in my book.
And also? Marshall needs a job.
And thirty awesome minutes later, I am psyched to see what season four will bring! Welcome Back HIMYM!