Ahhh!!! Carrie Underwood was on How I Met Your Mother last night!!! As this catapults our recap to whole new levels of popularity on the wings of American Idol obsessives, anti-Swift country-music fans, and the extended Underwood clan, we promise to be accommodating to all the new readers. So, how was the episode?
Decidedly not terrible. It centered around another one of HIMYM’s made-up but sort-of-on-point-we-guess dating terms: “hooking,” defined as being kept on the back burner by a member of the opposite sex as an insurance policy if nothing else works out. (They also introduce the term “bait,” something used solely to lure women back to your apartment. Turns out Marshall used a “rap poster” because Lily was “really into the Wu-Tang Clan” the first week of college. Eh.) Underwood’s character Tiffany has poor Ted on the hook, though he doesn’t want to admit it, leading everyone else to recount their “hooked” stories and to the glorious return of young flashback Marshall’s rattail. (Also: “Um, who’s buying canned chili and not eating it immediately?”)
Lily reveals that her ex-boyfriend, Scooter, who’s still holding out hope, works at her school. Marshall’s upset that she didn’t tell him before, but she says he did; turns out Marshall thought “Lunch Lady Scooter” was an actual device to transport the tired lunch ladies. (This was funnier than it reads). By the way, we looked up the actor playing Scooter to see if the producers have brought the same guy back every time. Turns out, they have, and it’s David Burtka, Neil Patrick Harris’s boyfriend! What a world. Anyway, Marshall makes Lily promise to take Scooter off the hook for good, and makes her practice on a teacup pig so as to be resistant to Scooter’s cute, sad eyes. (This was dumber than it reads).
Meanwhile, Barney and Ted are at the bar waiting to meet Tiffany. She brings her friends! They’re hot! ‘Cause they’re pharmaceutical sales reps, which is the hottest profession of our time! (Yes, Barney breaks down the history of hot professions; see video below). The next day we find out that Tiffany ended up at Ted’s apartment, but he just made her chocolate cake and rubbed her feet, which is apparently what hookees do to their hookers? (Ted and Robin both have ones, too, Henrietta and Mike, but Robin’s is funnier because it’s an older cameraman from her TV station that also does her laundry.)
Ted thinks everything’s changed when Tiffany invites him to an out-of-town wedding, but no! It hasn’t. Her ex-boyfriend is there, they get back together, Ted storms out sadly … but not before screwing up the courage to explicitly take himself off Tiffany’s hook. Success! Then he goes back to Henrietta, accidentally proposes, then painfully takes her off his hook. You’re doing the right thing, Ted. Lily also takes Scooter off her hook, too, but then Marshall shows up, feels bad, and puts him back on the hook because, hey, David Burtka’s got to eat, right?
We enjoyed this Barney line the best: “Last night I was hooking up with a pharma chick so hot that you should call the doctor if you don’t have an erection that lasts four hours.” Also, after the show ended we left the TV on and saw some of Rules of Engagement. The characters were having a mean-spirited conversation about the validity of texting. We turned it off.
The AV Club felt it was “a little bit like the second string getting a chance to come on and do their version of HIMYM; the beats were too obvious, the structure familiar in outline but just the slightest bit shoddy in execution.” Also, they remind us, next week bring’s J. Lo!
The Shame Index weighs in on Carrie Underwood: “The Index actually thought she was fine in the part; the Index is just getting tired of all the cameos this season.”