Newly Human And Strangely Literal

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Apr 22

Monday Night Football

The Colts won. Versus the Bears. In case you were wondering.

You know what I hate? Social obligations when I had planned on sitting on my couch. I mean, I know that their social obligation was a funeral, but setting that detail aside, that situation is the worst.

Okay, really this episode is about how the camaraderie of the tradition overrides the disappointment. But also not. Really it’s a fun filler episode before season endgame starts, structured to give maximum enjoyment from the characters being forced to act like crazy people. And that’s just fine.

Last Call:

  • Marshall was upset the first time Robin came to their Super Bowl thing because they hadn’t known her very long, and she would be in all their pictures.
  • Ted wearing the Sensory Deprivator 5000 is a guy you cross the street to avoid.
  • "Emmitt Smith! Oh thank god." "Yeah, I get that a lot."

Columns

Carl’s mustache is funny.

Ted has a tendency to occasionally be an insensitive jerk. He doesn’t do it on purpose; he just occasionally has the same sort of foot-in-mouth syndrome that afflicts Buffy Summers. Fortunately for Ted, he’s also charismatic enough to win the people back.

There’s also a very funny B-plot about a nude painting of Marshall that leads to Barney inadvertently paying for Lily and Marshall to go to Scotland. It makes sense, I swear.

Last Call:

  • Return of Bryan Cranston. That guy sure was great on this show. Wonder what he’s been up to since?
  • "Oh yes, Robin, I just love new dart."
  • "I knew this day would come." "How did you know that?" "Because I didn’t hide it very well."

Apr 21

First Time in New York

It’s kind of hard to tell, but I’m fairly certain that Robin’s sister Katie, played by actress Lucy Hale, is wearing a necklace that says “Emily.”

Because of the structure of this show, we get several episodes that function as origin stories. This is one of those episodes. Any time we get to take a glimpse into the characters’ pasts it’s fantastic, especially when those glimpses help us understand the characters better in the present day. Which these do.

Robin is the focus of this particular episode. It’s always fun to look at how extraordinarily closed off she tends to be as a person. It makes it that much more meaningful when someone breaks through that, as Ted does here. It may have an expiration date, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful.

Last Call:

  • I forget that the freeway theory is introduced this early. They reference that one all the way to the end.
  • "So every girl you sleep with feels the immediate need to shower?"
  • "You say things!"
  • "I’m her older sister. I’m supposed to teach her how to make good and responsible decisions." "It’s two o’clock, and you’ve already had three scotch and sodas." "That’s why I need your help!"

How Lily Stole Christmas

Thanks, Marshall, now I want cookies.

I really really love what this episode has to say about the relationship between Ted and Lily. On most shows, their friendship would be entirely based around and reliant on Marshall. They would be friends because Marshall really likes both of them.

On this show however, it’s much more than that. Lily and Ted are really good friends even without entering Marshall into the equation. Lily told Ted about the Easy-Bake Oven, something that she had never told Marshall. Lily leaving hurt Ted, and the fact that the show addresses this as well as the way it does is fantastic. Part of the joy of ensemble shows is the way that every pair of people has a unique relationship and dynamic. The fact that Lily and Ted have such a deep friendship is proof that really understand the importance of that.

Last Call:

  • Barney does look super vulnerable when not suited up.
  • Clint always scares me just a little bit. I’m just waiting for him to turn into a giant snake.
  • "Merry Christmas, assface."
  • "You know that calling people names is mean and hurtful. Assface."

Apr 20

Single Stamina

The reveal that James is Wayne Brady is fantastic.

Barney is the only single member of the group right now. Since that’s super hard for him to deal with, he’s called in reinforcements in the form of his brother James. Unfortunately for Barney, his reinforcements aren’t quite what he had hoped.

I see this episode as foreshadowing for Barney’s character arc. It’s recognizing that as awesome as certain aspects of Barney’s lifestyle may be, it won’t always be the thing he wants.

Last Call:

  • Barney drinks Red Bull in this episode. I think it’s the second time he’s done that. Keep an eye out for it, as NPH has an obsession with the stuff.
  • Introduced: Barney has commitment issues, but he really loves kids.
  • "You even made Tom’s dad cry. He might have been doing that because he’s a Republican."

Slap Bet

And on this day, a legend was born.

Robin is sort of a badass. She’s also a super private person. As it turns out, there’s a reason for that. Robin of the past was less badass. She was a Canadian teen popstar. Pretty much any time Robin’s past (or Lily’s past, but that’s not the focus here) is brought up it’s going to be hilarious, and this episode is an all-time classic.

Another legend also arises in this episode, and it is from this that the episode takes its name. That’s right. The slap bet. Five (well, not exactly five, but we’ll get to that) slaps for the rest of eternity. Ted was right, Barney should have taken the ten. But from the audience perspective, this is way better.

Last Call:

  • "Found out you were Canadian at a mall?"
  • It makes sense that Barney and Robin, the two most impulsive of the group, would both vote for the five slaps for the rest of eternity. It has to do with temporal discounting. I won’t lecture.
  • Masteress
  • I keep trying to convince my friends that slap bets should be a thing that we do, but they’re oddly resistant to the idea.
  • "Oh my god, Robin’s rapping. Guys, Robin’s rapping!"

Atlantic City

I’m super hungry, but it’s sort of the middle of the night.

It makes sense that Lily would want to elope after everything that happened over the past six months. It’s not like she really fit in with Marshall’s family in the first place, and now they have reason to actually hate her. Can’t be easy.

Of course, that’s exactly why an actual wedding has to happen. The first one got called off because Lily ran away. Eloping here would just be another form of running away. For Lily to put all that behind her, she has to suck it up and face Marshall’s family.

Last Call:

  • Kate Micucci!
  • Introducing: Barney’s gambling problem
  • The scene in which Lily proposes to Marshall is probably the most adorable thing ever.

Swarley

About damn time.

Lily and Marshall are back together. This is very good news for the world as a whole. And all it took was Lily going completely and totally insane. Shockingly, I don’t have a lot to say about it.

I suppose the important thing about it is that Marshall had a choice. He could have returned to his date. Lily had the summer to find herself. Marshall had to do the same before the could get back together. Once they both figured out who they were outside of the relationship it was finally possible for them to reunite. I’m very happy.

Last Call:

  • I’m pretty sure that that coffee shop is an actual place where Joss Whedon’s actors work when they’re not in his shows or movies.
  • You can’t tell me that Carl didn’t know what was going on.
  • Swarley’s list of Roland puns is actually pretty great.
  • "Plan B is called ‘Chloe’s Accident.’"

Apr 17

Aldrin Justice

Robin doesn’t have much to do in this episode, but her reactions in the background are hilarious as always.

The reason that Lily and Marshall broke up was that she needed to figure out who she was outside of their relationship. As of this episode, she has done that. She’s a kindergarten teacher.

There’s also the introduction of Aldrin Justice, which is just fantastic. I love any time they remind us that Lily is……I’m not sure what adjective to use that fully captures goth Lily, stoner Lily, flashing campus tours Lily, and most of all, petty larceny Lily.

Last Call:

  • Things Lily and her father have in common: Failed beekeeper.
  • Bryan Cranston!
  • "That’s a penis!"
  • evilandskanky┬áis a firm believer in Aldrin Justice. Actually, she might just be Lily.
  • "The youngest person to ever design a building over seventy stories. Probably!"

World’s Greatest Couple

Jason Segel and Joe Manganiello are the only people who can make each other look like normal-sized human beings.

Lily and Marshall were in a relationship for nine years. Relationship is their natural state. Breaking up was probably good for them as people, but in this episode they both find themselves still trying to live in relationship world.

Marshall finds a brunch buddy in the form of Brad, which leads to much hilarity. Lily finds herself living as Barney’s pretend wife, which actually leads to character development for Barney more than it does for Lily, but the fact is that in the absence of the real thing, Marshall and Lily both find themselves imitation relationships.

Last Call:

  • Ted and Robin hilariously fill the role of a Greek chorus for Marshall in this episode.
  • Multiple high-fives
  • Lily gets a place to stay, plus she gets breakfast after scaring that girl off.
  • Barney’s comically large TVs.

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