Happy Slapsgiving! Well, maybe not so happy for Barney — or for How I Met Your Mother viewers, for that matter, because the deployment of Marshall’s final slaps marks the sitcom’s impending finale. But fret not: One slap and 10 episodes remain.
Also, to ease your pain: Boyz II Men sang “You Just Got Slapped,” guys! Someone please upload that to YouTube, ASAP… (UPDATE: Here it is!)
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves: “Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmara” follows season 3’s “Slapsgiving” and season 5’s “Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap” as Marshall makes good on his Slap Bet with Barney and cashes in one of his final two slaps. The episode sees Marshall telling his Tarantino-esque (and Barney-esque, in terms of complete implausibility) tale of mastering the Slap of a Million Suns, during which he traveled to Shanghai for a year — just play along — to study under Red Bird (a Robin doppelganger), White Flower (Lily), and The Calligrapher (Ted).
Under the Cruel Tutelage of Red Bird, Marshall learned to overcome the great Slapping Tree (he later got freaky in the forest with White Flower and the hardwood, in what Robin dubbed a “tree-way”). Under the Punishing Scholarship of White Flower, he discovered that his slap could gain power by absorbing the anger of those who hated Barney. How? Marshall needed to get slapped by Barney’s scorned lovers — which led to a string of familiar faces, including Stacy Keibler, Eva Amurri, and one of Barney’s only serious girlfriends, Nora (Nazanin Boniadi).
His training came to an end under the Some-Might-Call-It-Nitpicky-But-It’s-Really-Just-Thorough Schooling of The Calligrapher. Marshall learned that he had mastered the strength but not the accuracy of slapping when he tried to save The Calligrapher from choking and instead smacked his heart right out of his body. But The Calligrapher was able to stay alive just long enough to share his final teaching, and Marshall was finally ready.
He promised early in the episode that Barney would be slapped beneath a willow tree next to four women and a tiger, so when Barney ran into the Farhampton Forest and came upon just such a scene, he knew he was screwed. Marshall got in one seriously slow-motion slap — but that was hardly the payoff.
Boyz II Men emerged from behind the trees and sang the Marshall-penned slow jam “You Just Got Slapped,” backed by a montage of the previous seasons’ slaps. Check out Marshmallow’s original version here:
One slap remains! Where will it be deployed, PopWatchers? It almost has to be on Barney’s wedding day, doesn’t it? And will an even bigger band cover “You Just Got Slapped” for the occasion?
In closing, let’s give the episode’s many slap puns a round of slappause:
+ “I wasn’t being held slaptive.”
+ “You have shown great slaptitude, young one.”
+ “She lives atop Slap Mountain. … It’s the highest of the Slappalachian Mountains.”
+ “I’ve just got a Slappetite for Destruction.”
+ “Forever, I shall remain a mere slapprentice.”