'How I Met Your Mother' recap: Platonish (plus Bryan Cranston returns)
We’re just 31 hours to the wedding — but for most of this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother, we were back at MacLaren’s, and I don’t know about you, but I was missing the old neighborhood and appreciated the change of scenery.
This week had several homages to the romantic comedy holy grail –- When Harry Met Sally — so that means we must be getting close, with Ted coming to terms with his true feelings for Robin and Barney having a major breakthrough… Plus the return of Hammond Druthers, a.k.a. Bryan Cranston!
We start off in Farhampton, where Robin’s still crying over her mom bailing on the upcoming nuptials, and Barney accepts the challenge of making her stop. To help him out, Lily recalls the “diapers and samosas” challenge of yore and the gang flashes back to a night at MacLaren’s a while ago.
It’s shocking it’s taken the friends this long to bring up the age-old question: Can men and women just be friends? Barney is firmly on the Harry side of things here, that “no two single people in the world are ever platonic.” But it turns out two exceptions to his rule are right in front of him, and it’s true. Marshall and Robin would never get together, even if Lily had a bomb strapped to her and the bar would be blown to bits if they didn’t make out.
(Although you guys, Joey and Rachel DID try it out on Friends, so never say never!)
While the girls think up challenges for Barney, Marshall and Ted are at a Generals’ basketball game, discussing life, relationships, et al (another When Harry Met Sally nod…). Marshall’s hard set on getting Ted to admit he still has feelings for Robin and put on some grand gesture to get her back – all in the name of winning his $5 bet with Lily, of course. After this chat, I’m finally convinced Ted really is over Robin – he just seems really done with it all, blue French horn or no blue French horn. Proud of you, Ted!
At the game, Ted gets a call from
Walter White Hammond Druthers, offering him a job in Chicago, which he (for now) turns down – although the offer of tweeting at Ted like crazy must have been hard to pass up.
Meanwhile, Robin and Lily are mid-explanation of diapers and samosas, leading Barney through a series of challenges, ranging from the absurd (“get a girl’s number while talking like dolphin”) to the more absurd (“you can’t use the letter E”), culminating in running errands for the ladies when they ask him to pick up diapers, samosas… and a girl’s number.
And so it happens at the drug store… Barney meets The Mother. Fortunately NOT in the diaper aisle, because then we’d likely have a very different finale on the way.
The Mother is everything you’d want to write into the perfect woman to join the gang – she’s sassy, she calls Barney out on his crap, and clearly her heart’s in the right place, i.e. on her sleeve. “This is the big one, diaper man,” she tells Barney after he opens up to her on the bench outside the store. “You gotta do it right. You can’t be picking up girls in drugstores.” And so in true Doogie fashion, Barney opens up the playbook to write The Robin.
And all to the melodramatic, earthy tones of The Magnetic Fields song “It’s Only Time.” Sigh.
The shoutout to my personal favorite joke of all time on HIMYM: The Private Joke!
“Clooney, DiCaprio, Zabka, Ryan Reynol-Philli-Seacre-Gosling!”
“Then we could haunt the bar for eternity like we always planned!” (aww!)
“Yeah, ’cause it’s 1994 and I’m going to pick up the phone without knowing who’s on the other end.”
“Do you know who you are? You’re Nicholas Sparks!”
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Were you glad to see the gang back in the city for a bit? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.