What did you think of Katie Holmes as the Slutty Pumpkin?

By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated August 03, 2020 at 06:47 PM EDT
Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
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There was so much to love about How I Met Your Mother‘s “Slutty Pumpkin Returns” episode — but oddly enough, a lot of it had nothing to do with the Slutty Pumpkin. You see, last night was another one of those weird HIMYM episodes that draws me in because I’m excited about one thing and I end up loving something else entirely.

In this case, we were all, obviously, excited about the return of the Slutty Pumpkin, that girl who ten years ago escaped Ted’s grasp, leaving him only with the memory of a scantily-clad squash with a gift for drink mixing. But upon finding her, Ted was less than thrilled with the chemistry they shared. In fact, it was downright awkward. Hand-holding, cuddling, and even kissing came unnaturally to the pair. Well, to Ted, at least. Naomi (she of the Slutty legend) seemed to be into it — key word: seemed.

We later learned she was putting up a very good show. She, like Ted, had built up the idea of this mystery man who got away. For her, there was a Mr. Right out there, and his name was Chad — hanging chad. And even though a series of misunderstandings had led Ted to thinking otherwise, she felt every bit of strange non-chemistry as Ted did. Luckily, they cleared the air and parted ways.

I thought all of this was well conceptualized. I especially loved the deeper message that this episode held for Ted, the perpetual dreamer. It was a reality check, and a reminder that dreams, while lovely, are just concepts. I think the episode helped open Ted’s eyes to the present instead of living in past ideas and dreams. Ted’s growing up. Or maybe your recapper Sandra went out on Halloween night and had a few too many Tootsie Rolls. Tootsie Rolls make me reflective.

Where the Slutty Pumpkin episode went wrong was casting, I’m sorry to say. Don’t get me wrong, Katie Holmes definitely had her charms — particularly after we found out that Naomi shared Ted’s feelings about their lack of chemistry — and she wasn’t bad at all. (We’ve seen much worse!) Just miscast, in my opinion. Before she took on the role, I, like Ted, was romanticized by the idea of the Slutty Pumpkin. I rooted for them to find each other and was convinced they’d click. Then, suddenly, I didn’t want any of that. I, in many ways, wanted it to go sour. When it did, it was satisfying in an ugly way. I felt bad for rooting against their success.

But while some of the Pumpkin storyline was a bust, this week’s subplot about Barney and Robin well made up for any disappointment I might have felt. Early on during the episode, Robin discovered via Facebook, where she is “friends” with Barney’s parents, that Barney’s grandmother was from — wait for it — Canada! Yup, Barney was one-fourth Canadian.

NEXT: The week’s best lines!

Much to his horror and our delight, Robin spent much of the episode reminding him of this. She tricked him into drinking Canadian booze, switched his money for Canadian “loonies,” and called him things like “Canucklehead.” This, my dear Ted, is chemistry. Whether you are for Barney/Robin or not, you gotta admit this was a great part of the episode, right? I find their gentle ribbing heartwarming and, romantic chances aside, very sweet. I hope you agree. Or else we can’t be friends. Kidding. Or…

Last but not least, Marshall and Lily spent much of the episode dealing with Lily’s “pregnancy brain.” It seemed a little early in her pregnancy for her to be dealing with that, but don’t take my word for it. The only thing that’s ever lived in me for an extended period of time is Taco Bell (gross), so I won’t nit-pick. Anyway, Lily’s hormones (yes, let’s talk about them like they’re a separate being) told her that it was best if she and Marshall lived in the suburbs. This was an idea that got into her head after her grandparents gave the couple a home before making a move to Florida. Marshall loved the idea of raising their child in a safe, spacious area — and a pin-ball machine — and he almost gave in. But they, of course, decided to put off major decisions until after thinking it over — after the hormones chill out.

So, readers. What did you think of the episode? What parts (if any) did you like about the Slutty Pumpkin? Whose storyline was your fave this week? And are you, too, still recovering from teen Ted’s TMI about his intimate connections with various household items? Pass the brain bleach, please.


“Three girls got proposals off my wife’s slutty artichoke costume. Two of them disappeared but I focused on the positive.” — Costume shop man

Robin: If you let her move to the suburbs, it would be like taking advantage of a helpless drunk chick

Barney: What? Where?

Lily: …just because my body is growing a fungus…

Marshall: Fetus

Lily: …doesn’t mean my metal factories…

Marshal: mental faculties

Lily: …are in any way funicular

Marshall: [Pause] no idea

“You have been ripping on Canada since Justin Bieber was knee-high to a snow blower.” — Robin

[Ed note: So…yesterday?]

“Look at how happy and sweet and unarmed they all are.” — Lily, re: trick-or-treaters

“It’s fascinating — almost like your body was accustomed to low temperatures after generations of adapting. Canadaaaaaaa.” — Robin

“Ted, have you tasted her Tootsie Roll?” — Barney

Ted: Where do you look during sex?

Barney: Um, into the hidden camera at future me watching it.

“Yes, I’m coming….to terms with this decision.” — Marshall

Ted: I…

Naomi: [thinking] Where you going with this buddy?

Ted: Love…

Naomi: [thinking] Nope. Too soon. Say Basset Hounds. Pretzel crisps. ANYTHING but…

Ted: You

Follow Sandra on Twitter: @EWSandraG

Read more: Previous coverage of ‘HIMYM’ season 7 on PopWatch


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