'How I Met Your Mother' recap: Zabka-tage
Zab·ka·tage n. 1. Treacherous action by iconic 80s villain William Zabka to defeat or hinder a cause or an endeavor of Ted Mosby.
The How I Met Your Mother dictionary has a new entry! (See above.) But how did this now-iconic word come to be? That tale, friends, is but one thread in the wild web of this week’s recap…
We picked up Monday’s episode two days before Barney and Robin’s wedding. Following the death of their pastor a few weeks ago, the happy couple was still in search of an officiant. Luckily, James’s father, Sam Gibbs, showed up and saved Barney and Robin from having to get a pastor from the nearby culty church to officiate. Yay! But, at one point, Sam’s presence wasn’t totally welcome.
You see, in this episode, Barney’s dad, Jerome (John Lithgow), arrived on the scene and it marked the first time Barney’s parents had seen each other since he ran out on the family. Anticipating fireworks of a terrible nature, Barney was pleased when he saw them act decently toward one another, but this being Barney we’re talking about, he ended up interpreting their cordial exchange as a sign that the two still had the hots for each other.
Not so much, Barnes.
Despite his best efforts (elevator mood-setter!) Barney’s parents made it clear that not only was Jerome happily married but Loretta (Frances Conroy) was already hooking up with Sam (Ben Vereen)! This news pleased James but crushed Barney a bit.
Meanwhile, Ted was stressing after it appeared that his calligraphy ink had ruined a priceless signed photo of Wayne Gretzky that Barney intended to give to Robin as a gift. Rather than trying to fix the situation, Ted set off on a fact-finding mission to find the culprit. (He left the problem solving to Lily.)
The guilty party? None other than scorned former best man William Zabka, who had developed an elaborate plan to exonerate himself but was ultimately caught after being outed for scheming by a woman at the front desk. (She blew his deep tish alibi, which sounds vaguely dirty but it’s not.) Yup, Ted had been “Zabka-taged.”
After being caught red-handed and tackled by Lily (which was her second of the weekend!), Zabka admitted that he’d had hard feelings after being replaced as best man. It turns out that he’d spent most of the post-1980s being taunted and harassed by the popcorn-wielding public who hated the characters he’d played in the movies. In the end, Ted gave up the best man spot to Zabka because, frankly, that Ted Mosby, he’s all right.
Meanwhile, it looks as though Daphne’s story might finally be over. Marshall successfully got her to her daughter’s school in time to see the little girl’s speech, which turned out to be a freaky, pro-drilling Sarah Palin-inspired rant. But whatever. It was pretty sweet, and a nice way to wrap up Daphne’s story, assuming it ends there.
A few awards:
MVPs of the night: NPH, John Lithgow, Frances Conroy, and Wayne Brady — for those song-a-dance numbers, which were a fantastic treat start to finish.
Best quote: “Somehow people always had popcorn.” — William Zabka describing his post-80s taunting
Runner up: “Sometimes she says his name in bed.” — Barney re: Gretzky
Honorable mention best quote: “I now pronounce your asses saved.” — Sam
Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lilly remind us all of the joy of slap bets