‘How I Met Your Mother’ Recap: ‘The Over-Correction’

“The Over-Correction” didn’t fulfill its promise almost immediately. After its initial ten seconds of four of our heroes on the phone with one another seemingly hiding out in different tiny spaces, we were all praying to Rufus that a twenty one minute parody of R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet was about to flicker in front of our faces. Initially I was as disappointed as you were, but after thinking about it for more than a second it became clear that outside of the abstract it would be a terrible idea. (Besides, this show has already had their musical episode.) Nonetheless, you shouldn’t tease people like that.

Instead, we had Robin trying to sabotage Barney and Patrice’s nascent relationship by showing her his infamous playbook, revealing him to be the biggest womanizer in the world so Robin can be the one with the biggest womanizer in the world. Huh.

So why would Barney be with Patrice? Ted, without being nice and giving a perfunctory “no offense to Patrice but” beforehand, explained that Barney is “over-correcting.” Barney was engaged to Quinn, a stripper he never really trusted, hence warm and nurturing Patrice. Lily shed light on the fact that after Teddy Westside broke up with sweet and innocent Victoria, he was with a not so nice young lady from prison. And it is not just exclusive to relationships, as evident by the flashbacks of Marshall fixing his hated dumb fish joke set by performing it in the style and cadences of Andrew Dice Clay and Chris Rock.

So “over-correction” is a thing, okay? Okay.

Robin didn’t care about the science, and just went ahead and told Patrice about The Playbook, but Patrice didn’t believe her. You’re going to make this hard, aren’t you Patrice?! Robin broke into Barney’s apartment and tried to steal the book, and that was when the hiding and scheming adventures started and took up a sizable chunk of the episode. She discovered via a hidden button and a liquor bottle the whereabouts of The Bro Code and David Lee Roth’s autobiography before Barney came back from Christmas tree shopping. Trapped in the cloooooset, Robin called Ted to get her out of there. In exchange for the return of Ted’s DVD and a trip to the Weekend at Bernie’s 5 day fan convention “Bernie Man”, Ted distracted Barney by coming over and insisting that Hugh Hefner was downstairs. Robin found The Playbook, but got stuck in the cloooooset again when Barney returned to his door, wondering how Ted can confuse Hef for a black guy (“I guess I don’t notice that kind of stuff.”) Robin drew Ted back into the mess when she discovered that his missing red boots were in Barney’s closet, when Stuart (!) of all people had been accused of never returning them the entire time. Ted failed to convince Mr. Stinson that this time Jon Bon Jovi was downstairs, literally standing next to the janitor’s sign “Slippery When Wet.” So Ted did the only thing he could and snuck into Barney’s apartment without permission and ended up having to hide in the living room cloooooset.

Declaring Ted useless, Robin called for Lily, a.k.a. “The Wolf” for help, but it turned out she was already in Barney’s apartment, not “trapped” per se but hanging out in one of the clooooosets because she can pump milk for Marvin at his place in peace (we’ll get to that kind of.) Robin finally made a big move, leaving The Playbook on Barney’s bed when she knew Patrice was about to see it. Patrice did, and Barney confessed to being the author. We got possibly the final glimpse ever of one of the tricks mentioned in the book, when Barney explained “Two Can Play at that Game,” in which Barney knocks on a random door, tells the woman that his wife is having an affair with her husband and wonders out loud if there is any way they can make it right. Unfortunately for the Barnacle, the woman suggested murder. He’s had better plays, but he’s had worse. In front of Patrice, Barney burned The Playbook, eliciting wows from Ted, Robin and Lily from the living room closet. R.I.P. The Playbook?

Robin remained unconvinced at MacLaren’s, and demanded that the group stage an intervention for Barney to get his mind off of Patrice. But instead they began to have one for her. Harsh!

The eighth season is when even the loyal viewers start to fade away, ready to remember the names of the children that they have been ignoring for watching their stories. So while Barney and Patrice are starting to date, and the show seems to be dragging their feet and biding their time before the inevitable Barney and Robin marriage, and the Ballad of Ted Mosby and his Completely Feminine Red Boots inexplicably continues to play, there’s bound to be some impatience. Which is why it is a little bit brave of the show to being pulling off a long con - I believe that Barney and Patrice aren’t dating, but instead setting Robin up for her to get jealous and to see for certain that Barney is ready to settle down. There were just one too many suspicious things from this episode: The look on Barney’s face after he closed his closet door for the first time seemed to be the face of a man who knew he just threw something at a human being hiding in a closet; Patrice would believe anything Robin said, yet she refused to believe her when she mentioned the late Notebook; Barney kept looking at Robin when he said he thinks everyone deserves to be happy to convince Marshall and Lily that their parents having sex was just fine and dandy. The plot cannot be judged accurately for the moment, because if I am correct than the grade for this episode is a lot higher. (Let’s pretend that I give out grades.)

In regards to Marshall’s mom and Lily’s dad having sex: That started when a visiting Judy indicted to Lily that she was ready to be with a man again after Marvin Sr.’s passing. Lily’s suggestion of throwing out any giant sweater with a horse on it and letting the “Minnesota Twins” out every once in awhile worked, which we discovered with Marshall overheard on the baby monitor Judy telling Marvin that he seemed “really excited” and asking who in fact was a big boy. Damn baby monitors. No one can fool around on the sly on television because of baby monitors. Enough with the damn baby monitors television. In the end Mickey and Judy assured Marshall and Lily that they wouldn’t be brother and sister and they were just messing around. “We’re a family…with benefits,” Mickey painfully added, resulting in Marshall and Lily to return to their safe place: the closet.

The funniest aspect of “The Over-Correction” was the running gag of everyone borrowing Ted’s stuff. As the episode progressed we discovered more items being in the hands of the wrong, commandment breaking people. A nice touch was a quick thump sound effect that played whenever “PROPERTY OF TED MOSBY” was revealed to be labeled - with Ted’s stolen label maker - on the item. The complete list of the misappropriated items: Cleveland, Ohio Chamber of Commerce mini cooler (Lily had it); Limited Edition DVD of Weekend at Bernie’s (which includes the making of documentary, “How Bernie Avoided the Gurney: A Cinematic Journey”. Robin admitted to having it); the cowboy boots (Barney had it after Stuart told him to give them back to Ted); pocketknife (Barney had it in his closet, so Robin threatened to use it to ruin Ted’s boots); Rudolph (Barney had Patrice steal it); label maker (Barney); garbage can (Barney); Christmas ornaments, including one that read “Teddy’s First Christmas” (Barney); and of course, the “Vote for Ted” hoodie from high school, the hoodie of choice for a pantsless man that just fooled around with his son-in-law’s mother.

Things to Say to Akron While Its Back is Turned

Robin, after Patrice fought a potential purse snatcher to get Robin’s purse back: “YOU SCRATCHED THE LEATHER! CAN’T YOU DO ANYTHING RIGHT PATRICE?!”

There was also: “WHY WONT YOU LET ME HELP YOU PATRICE?!” I love it when that adult woman screams at that innocent adult woman for no real reason.

“Mrs. Gooding said my concession speech was ‘full of grace.’” Ted didn’t win high school treasurer, but he won a moral victory. Before being beaten, probably.

“How’s my favorite architect? Other than well-endowed.” Ted’s relationship with his mother needs several interventions.

David Lee Roth’s note to Barney in his copy of Crazy from the Heat: “To the best wingman ever. We will always have Panama. Diamond Dave.”

“Please tell me this is about my drinking.”

Things to Ponder While Stealing Ted’s Air Mattress

How weird was Stuart’s pronunciation of “Halloween”? And why didn’t he just say he gave the boots to Barney to give to Ted? I think he wanted to be written off the show.

Good to hear that Claudia is still around and kicking, dressing as Wonder Woman for Halloween

How many times has a character on this show been offended before asking what was meant exactly by the phrase just assumed to be an insult?

‘How I Met Your Mother’ Recap: ‘The Over-Correction’