Episode Reviews (10)
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Anything That Moves
We start with a four-way split screen showing four members of our five-person ensemble -- specifically Marshall, Lily, Robin and Ted -- hiding in different closets. Before you get too excited, no this isn't the prelude to another installment in R. Kelly's magnum opus, Trapped in the Closet. Neither are any of them forced to watch Dennis Hopper do unspeakable things to Isabella Rossellini in between taking hits from a gas canister. All I'm saying is that this episode would have been a lot more interesting had it been directed by either R. Kelly or David Lynch or, better yet, both of them together, Cloud Atlas style. Kelly could have taken the Marshall and Lily material, while Lynch could have helmed the Robin and Barney stuff. Lord knows that Barney is as big a sexual psycho in his own way as Frank Booth.
Anyway, why are they in these various closets, you ask? Actually, you probably didn't ask because you've hopefully wised up and abandoned HIMYM until May's series finale, but let's pretend that you asked just for fun. For the answer, we flash back a week to a typical night at MacLaren's Pub, where Lily is bemoaning the fact that Marshall's mother is coming to stay with them for a few days. Nice to know that she still has little room in her two-sizes-too-small heart for a still-grieving widow; one can only hope that lil' Marvin returns the favor one day and forces her to bunk at a hostel whenever she wants to visit him and his family. So Marshall is badgering Ted about lending them his air mattress, but Mosby refuses, on the grounds that his pals never return the things they borrow from him, up to and including his limited edition DVD of Weekend at Bernie's with tons of special features.
Nobody cares about Ted's protestations and we move onto the week's other plot point -- that Barney and Robin's work nemesis Patrice are now officially an item. She insists that it's a phony Justin-and-Selena-like romance staged only to get back at her for rejecting his advances, but Ted instead hypothesizes that it's a case of Because Barney was engaged to a woman he didn't fully trust and is now compensating for that by attaching himself to the warmest, most nurturing person around. We go into the credits off a cutaway scene that randomly involves Jason Segel doing a terrible Chris Rock impression. And you wonder why I want the poor guy to quit his day job already.
After the credits, we're in Marshall and Lily's flat preparing for Mama Ericksen's impending arrival. Robin comes barging in instead, still on a tear about Patrice and Barney's fauxmance. She reveals that she's been actively trying to break the duo up, but so far to no avail, since Patrice won't accept the idea that her "honey bear" was, just a few episodes ago, more of a "pussy Robin goes off to continue her Patrice-harassing ways and we're treated to what passes for a tender scene on the show these days, with Lily offering Mama Ericksen some advice about how to get back into the dating game. To cut to the chase, this storyline eventually results in Marshall's mom knocking boots with Lily's dad, who magically reappeared this week after a hiatus that hopefully afforded Chris Elliott the opportunity to do something more creatively fulfilling, like, say, a live reading of his original Cabin Boy script overseen by Jason Reitman. Marshall and Lily are both grossed out when they learn this bit of information and their stomachs turn further when Mama Ericksen and Papa Aldrin reveal that no-strings-attached sex is the extent of their romance. Hey, better these two than Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher.
Meanwhile, the writers continue Robin's ongoing character assassination, dispatching her to Barney's apartment on a mission to find his top-secret "playbook," which she can then show to Patrice as proof that she's dating a horrible person. After a few false starts -- and the unexpected arrival of Barney, who is planning a big night in with Patrice -- she discovers the book's hiding place in a secret ceiling compartment. Eventually, it finds its way into Patrice's hands, who is suitably skeeved out by the playbook's contents and is about to leave when Barney proves his commitment to their unlikely relationship by burning his life's work in the trashcan he borrowed from Ted. We end up back in MacLaren's where Barney lectures the gang on how nice it can be when two people searching for happiness find it together, no matter how unlikely a couple they might seem and even though he's referring to Mama Ericksen and Papa Aldrin, it's once again all about him and to a lesser extent, Patrice. Despite his flowery talk, Robin still insists on an intervention and so her friends hold one for her. Gee, with that kind of cliffhanger, next week's hour long episode is bound to be a real knee slapper.
Oh, and before I forget, here's why everyone was in a closet in the first scene. Marshall's hiding in his own closet from Mama Ericksen and Papa Aldrin so he wouldn't have to hear them talking about having gross, old-people sex; Robin's hiding in Barney's bedroom closet so he wouldn't discover her while she continued her hunt for the playbook; Lily's hiding in Barney's other bedroom closet because she's been using his apartment as her private breast-milk pumping place and didn't want to be caught in the act when he came home; and Ted's hiding in Barney's living room closet because he's an idiot. Well, that and he didn't want to be caught picking up Robin's forgotten purse before Barney discovers it. Told you R. Kelly would've come up with something better. Ten episodes down, 14 to go.moreless
This episode was another surprisingly enjoyable one, and it was actually one of the funniest episodes of the season! Some really hilarious plots, especially with Ted's items being stolen everywhere. It was ubiquitous - everything seemed to be his!
Barney's hiding places were great! I really love the character of Patricae, and particularly Robin's inteeactions with her.
A great episode!
Property of Ted Mosby
As a person who has been expecting less and less of this show I was extremely surprised of how much I liked this episode. I thought this was near perfect episode... I loved the 'Property of Ted Mosby' labels and the dramatic sound effects that came with them. I loved Robin's obsession with Barney and Patrice. I loved Ted in his red cowboy boots! The extremely disturbing 'Family with Benefits' comment.
Totally agree with AriSky: terrible episode
Man, this show is totally losing it. It's getting worse by the minute. The jokes on season 8 are so lame, the character development so poor and the plot twists so hard to believe and desperate. I almost closed turned the TV off half way through the episode as it was so boring and even annoying. The writers really are stretching it too much; they should cut the crap, tell us who the mother is (we hardly heard about any of Ted's girlfriends finish Robin and Barney's story, and finish the series before they totally ruin what used to be a great show! :(moreless
Funny, but not perfect
Not necessarily the best episode of this season but this weeks episode had great laughs, mainly from the second-half onwards. Ted being surprised to see his stuff with everyone was hilarious. It was shocking to see that Barney burnt 'The Playbook'. The book was so sacred to him. The techniques he used to hide it were a testament to this. Well, atleast he still has his 'Bro Code'. LOL.
Can't wait for next week's two-parter!!
I have to disagree completely with AriSky's review. This episode was only JUST shy of the early HIMYM days. From Ms. Eriksson ending up with Mr. Aldrin, which is absolutely hilarious to even think about, to Robin, Ted and Lilly TRYING to spy on Barney, with him knowing about it, this whole episode was fantastic.
The only reason I gave it an 8.5 instead of a 10 was that the episode felt forced - Like the writers tried to do too much in the space of one episode.
All in all, great.moreless
While repetition of themes can be a big hit for comedy, it did NOT work for HIMYM tonight. It was too easy to have Ted's things strewn about the lives of his friends. It got old before it got off the ground.
It also seemed like everything in this episode was beyond predictable. Even before Marshall's mother arrived (which she just sorta came out of nowhere), I knew she would end up with Lily's dad. And family with benefits is a no. Just no. Robin was so desperately against Barney and Patrice that the Intervention was easy to call. And Barney was so un-Barney-ly normal it didn't even seem like NPH needed to be there.
We didn't get any character development on Barney from last week. We didn't get any story progression on Ted. Lily and Marshall's story was unnecessary. Robin was so "overcorrected" that I wanted to stop watching. This was a horrible episode. I can only hope that they're showing Robin hit rock bottom (Because she didn't already last week?) so she can start to climb again.moreless