Last week we worked a Fleetwood Mac reference into our recap headline; this week, it’s Heart. Can we possibly keep the streak of semi-relevantly referencing female-fronted rock bands from the seventies in our recap headlines alive? You’ll have to tune in next week to find out!
Which is, to date, possibly the only thing you’ll be tuning in to find out. Last night’s episode was another of HIMYM’s countless installments in which some manner of emotional maturity and adulthood acceptance is very explicitly displayed by the gang. Usually, having sitcom characters that grow is a good thing. The problem here is that these arcs almost never happen over the course of a season: Instead, the thorny situations are presented in the top of the episode — in this case, Robin working on getting over Don, and Ted being fearful of quitting his teaching gig to go design the Goliath National Bank building — and are all neatly tied up by the end credits. It’s the trademark HIMYM faux-impactful one-episode arc, and it’s not all that satisfying.
And with that said — last night’s episode was about a million times funnier than last week’s, huh? The setup is that Ted’s afraid of quitting his easy, fulfilling professor gig just to have his architecture dreams crushed once again, so Barney has to apply his lady-getting moves to talk Ted into it. Seeing as we’ve seen some variation of a breakdown of Barney’s moves — ignore the girl, pay her backhanded compliments, touch her hand while she’s eating jalapeño poppers, etc. — a million times, it’s nice to see the writers pulling off another twist on the old standard. And, of course, with the help of wingman Marshall, Barney gets his man: By the end of the episode, Ted’s throwing caution to the wind, dodging portentous city buses, and taking the Goliath job. Bonus: It all ends in a nice, respectful, and romantic Barney-Ted dinner.
Elsewhere, Robin freaks out after catching ex-boyfriend Don on TV, so does the only sensible thing: gets blasted and leaves awesome threatening voice-mail messages. (For the record: “I’m flying to Chicago, killing you, putting your face on a deep dish pizza, and then eating it” was fantastic, but “This just in! Is what I’m going to say when I’m stabbing you” can’t be touched.) Resident disciplinarian Lily forces Robin to delete Don’s number from her phone, which leads to a trite bit about how we’re all holding on to some alternate version of ourselves that will never come true (Lily’s karate classes; Marshall’s all-lawyer funk band, The Funk, the Whole Funk, and Nothing But the Funk). It also leads, incredibly, to a funny “whazzup” joke. We wouldn’t believe it either, but we witnessed it with our very own eyes.
One last thing: Ted’s vest. Discuss.