The slap counter is at 4. On last night's How I Met Your Mother, Marshall bequeathed the fourth slap of the five he gets to use on Barney to Ted and Robin. It was Thanksgiving at Marshall and Lily's place, their first one in their own apartment, so it was natural that physical violence should be a part of the celebration. It was especially fitting that the fourth slap was ultimately administered by Marshall, just when Barney thought he was safe. Now that there is only one slap left, it feels like an epoch is winding down. Back when there were multiple slaps left to be administered, everything felt carefree—slaps were plentiful and therefore not that important. But with one free slap left, it takes on a great significance. The final slap needs to be the most psychologically and physically devastating, and the most memorable. The fifth slap should be the impetus for Ted meeting
his mother your mother his wife.
I don't yet know how this will happen. Perhaps the Mother witnesses Marshall slap Barney and comes to his defense, perhaps she is a doctor (as well as a business student at Columbia, with a yellow umbrella, who got drunk on St. Patrick's Day, and all the other pointless hints that we've been given over the years that will never possibly all fit together) and puts Barney's brain back in his skull after Marshall slaps it out. Whatever, I'm just thinking big picture, the writers can take it from here. If the last slap doesn't have some unifying significance, then all will be for naught. Sure, slapping people is funny. But it's also mean. And you shouldn't do it, unless it can help your friend finally end his story and get his poor kids off the couch they've been sitting on for the last four and a half years.
How do you think the fifth and final slap should go down?