How I Met Your Mother "Lobster Crawl" Review: You Always Want What You Can't Have...

How I Met Your Mother S08E09: "Lobster Crawl"

Is How I Met Your Mother back? After spending weeks adrift while either introducing new characters we never connected with or ruining old favorites that we'd already connected with, HIMYM seems to have found its rhythm again. "Lobster Crawl," this week’s episode, not only pushed the series’ story ahead, but it also managed to right a few of the wrongs committed earlier in the season.

After Barney told Robin he was done pursuing her in last week’s episode, Robin found herself now wanting the very thing she couldn’t have. Lobster. Er, well, that too, but in this case: Barney. As Lily explained, Robin was suffering from the classic lobster situation. Like the time Robin’s doctor told her she was allergic to lobster and couldn’t eat it anymore, Barney had made it clear to Robin that they were never going to happen, making Robin want just one more taste of the Barnacle.

Barney was oblivious to Robin’s advances, missing her school-girl flirting while his attention was focused on the more pressing matter of a dying tie. (Rest in peace, Cornelius.) Robin realized that if she were to ever get Barney out of her system, she needed to sleep with him one final time. Launching an all-out offensive to capture Barney’s attention, Robin turned to a multitude of schemes. She asked Barney to come to her office since she needed help installing a heavy printer. She tried to make Barney jealous with other guys. She showed up at laser tag dressed like Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. She even spent an evening flirting with her coworker, Brandi, at the bar. Nothing worked.

Brandi and the infuriating Patrice showed up to help Robin carry her printer. Barney was more interested in promoting Bro Bibs, his newest creation, to the guys drooling over Robin (who, in fairness, comprised a key market segment). Robin became collateral damage in a laser tag match that counted toward Barney’s league score. And Barney was more interested in bringing Brandi back to the newsroom than hooking up with Robin.

Or was he?

It turned out that Barney didn’t wind up having sex in 17 states on the weather map with Brandi, realizing that even though he didn’t want to do that, he wasn’t sure what he wanted. The next day at the bar, Barney shared with Robin that he’d had the revelation since breaking up with Quinn, he'd been lost. Everything he's been doing over the past few months—bringing Brover to bars, hooking up with nannies—it was all a cry for help.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how the HIMYM writers appeared to have no idea what they were doing with Barney as a character. He was erratic, his desires swinging from one episode to the next. Well, it looks like those guys had a plan after all. Barney wasn’t supposed to be moving in a straight line. He was supposed to be all over the place. That’s what happens when you’re lost.

Robin decided to make one more big play for Barney, showing up at his apartment and dropping her coat to reveal lingerie. “It’s okay if you don’t know what you want in life,” she told Barney. “As long as you know what you want... tonight.” Barney swung open the door to reveal that Robin’s coworker, Patrice, was there, and that they were playing Crazy 8s. After turning down Brandi the night before, Barney ran into Patrice in the newsroom. The two began talking and were, in Barney’s words, “on kind of a date.”

I want to take a moment to point out how far Barney has now developed as a character. In the Season 4 episode "Shelter Island" (the one where Stella left Ted at the altar), a dejected and alcohol-carrying Robin showed up at Barney’s hotel room with the intention of sleeping with him. Barney rejected her then because he was sleeping with another woman. Actually, two women if you count the fact that Stella’s sister showed up after Robin left. Four seasons later, Barney once again rejected a vulnerable Robin, only this time it was because he was on a very domesticated date, a date where all he and his ladyfriend were doing were talking and playing cards. Barney may think he’s lost, but it looks like he’s finally on the right path. Now if only Robin could get there, too.

Of course, Robin immediately left after seeing Patrice at Barney's place. While the rest of the main characters on HIMYM have generally happy lives, Robin can never seem to catch a break. Her father wanted a son and has a strained relationship with her, she’s lost numerous jobs, she's lived in many apartments, she can’t have children, and just about every one of her romantic relationships ends poorly. I really hope the HIMYM writers aren’t planning on pulling the rug out from under us and revealing that Barney doesn’t actually go through with marrying Robin.

While Robin spent the episode pursuing Barney, Ted was busy babysitting Marvin... and ticking off Marshall and Lily in the process. With the GNB headquarters completed, Ted found himself with some free time and volunteered to watch Marvin while Lily’s dad couldn’t. In typical Ted fashion, he completely overstepped his boundaries. Marvin crawled for the first while Ted was watching him, which caused Lily to break out in tears. Ted took Marvin shopping for winter clothes, even buying him a Cleveland Browns shirt... which caused Marshall to break out in tears. When Marshall and Lily found “Ted’s Book of Marvin’s Firsts” (first spaghetti, first visit to Santa), the couple relieved Ted of his babysitting duties, eventually opening his eyes to the fact that with the GNB building done, Ted was without a baby of his own and had moved in on Marvin.

Marshall and Lily are back in my good graces. Please, HIMYM, don’t ever bring back the idea of Marshall trying to find his inner diva or whatever awful storyline that was. These two are the best when they’re scheming together and often acting as the slightly off-kilter voices of reason for the group.

Ted ended the episode by meeting with a headhunter, something that will hopefully help him find his next project in life. Now that we’re about a third into this season, I’m assuming Abby Elliott’s guest stint should be coming up—maybe she'll be Ted’s next project.

Maybe HIMYM isn’t running at the same high level it was once was, but the past few weeks have shown that the series still has some life in it. With superfluous characters like Victoria and Nick gone, HIMYM has remembered that its greatest strength is the relationships between the five main characters share. Thankfully we’re back to spending some time with these guys.



NOTES & QUOTES


– Marshall and Lily have started bringing Marvin to the bar—er, restaurant that also happens to have a bar. It was only a matter of time.

– How long should a building take to build? It seems like the GNB building wrapped up pretty quickly. I’m not an architect, so I really have no idea what the timeframe is on that kind of thing.

– While it was sad to see a good tie die, Barney’s attempts to save Cornelius were classic Swarley.

– Cornelius the Tie to Barney before he died: “I’m getting too old for this shirt.”

– Robin’s terrible flirting with Barney: “Oh my god, you’re such a good folder. That’s, like, Gap good.”

– Post-lobster swollen Robin was frightening.

– Lily explaining to Robin the dangers of pursuing Barney: “Once you learned you couldn’t have lobster, you became obsessed. Barney’s the same thing, and this is gonna blow up in your face... just like the lobster blew up your face.”

– It was nice of the voice in Robin’s head to apologize for calling Robin a bitch. Or was it the other way around?

– Lily trying to make Marvin crawl: “Do it. If you ever wanna see these boobs again, crawl, you son-of-a-me.”

– Robin explaining to Lily why she had to sleep with Barney one final time: “When that doctor told me I couldn’t have lobster, and I did it anyway, it almost killed me. But here’s the thing—I never wanted lobster again. So the solution is obvious. The only way to get Barney out of my system is to get him into my system one last time. It’s brilliant, right?” Lily: “Not brilliant at all.” Robin: “Thanks for being on board.” Lily “Not on board.” Robin: “It means a lot.” Lily: “Big mistake.” Robin: “You’re my girl.”

– Robin, after Patrice showed up to carry her printer instead of Barney: “Nobody asked for your help, Patrice!”

– Um, Cobie Smulders dressed up as Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider might be one of the best moves HIMYM has ever made. You’re a lucky man, Taran Killam. Speaking of Killam, last week I made a joke about Smulders’ husband appearing on HIMYM as the mother, but as a few commenters pointed out, Killam has been on HIMYM before, playing Blauman in a few episodes. Sorry for that error.

– Barney on why Bro Bibs couldn’t have dinosaurs on them: “Bro Bibs are for grown men wearing bibs, Ted. I don’t want them looking like idiots.”

– Marshall to Ted at the pool: “You’re half naked. You're not a parent to any of these children. Don’t offer them candy.”

– Robin to Patrice after seeing her in Barney’s apartment: “Nobody asked you here, Patrice!”

– Patrice to Barney in the newsroom: “Whenever I see someone unhappy, I get the urge to give them cookies. And I really wanna give you cookies right now. Cookie?” Barney: “Lame. No thanks.” Patrice: “You sure? They’re heart-shaped. Sorry... a couple of them are broke.” Barney (crying): “I know how they feel! I’d love one!”

– I love that Marshall and Lily got their revenge on Ted by taking his daughter to see Santa for her first time a few years later. I also love that Marshall and Lily have the swords from the apartment hanging in their future house.

Comments (27)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Can someone explain to me what is going on with Ted.I have been watching all the episodes and last time I remember He was a professor at the college and he got fired from GNB. How is he back to making building for GNB?
Reply
Flag
Pretty sure that it was Ted's house given the yellow umbrella. Having said that, it was a strong episode. The only downside for me was that Barney was on a date with Patrice who is not in any way his type. Kind of seems out of character although the dude's a mess so who knows. Good episode nonetheless.
Reply
Flag
Pretty sure that it was Ted's house given the yellow umbrella. Having said that, it was a strong episode. The only downside for me was that Barney was on a date with Patrice who is not in any way his type. Kind of seems out of character although the dude's a mess so who knows. Good episode nonetheless.
Reply
Flag
Crawl is what this show has been doing all these years just to get us to the present!! Finishj it for gods sake!
Reply
Flag
Pretty sure that was Ted's future house.. below the swords was the yellow umbrella the Mother is supposed to have, Marshall and Lilly were both wearing coats like they'd just got there and when they asked Ted's Daughter "Who's ready to meet Santa" Marshall was grabbing her hat and coat from the wall hook also beneath the swords on a hutch.
2
Reply
Flag
I have mixed feelings about this episode. I did enjoy bits of it, but they really are exaggerating it in a way they never did before. Robin's jealousy in the earlier seasons when Barney was with Nora was exaggerated, but not excessively so, and that's why it was funny. This was a little bit too much. Even Marshall and Lily's storyline was funny, but Lily crying is always kind of annoying.
I don't think Barney and Patrice were on a date, but I did like the fact that he spent the evening with her instead of Brandi. You go, Barney.
Robin post lobster swelling was actually really traumatizing XD
1
Reply
Flag
Totally missed the sword thing. That's awesome!

I agree the season is stepping up it's game but this whole Patrice thing has got me a little - let's say displeased. Okay... so.... what Barney is going to be with Patrice and realize he wants to be with Robin and then dump sweet Patrice for no reason? I mean Robin is alreayd super mean to her and there is nothing wrong with Patrice. At least nothing to warrant all the screaming Robin does at her. Maybe they writer's will turn her into some kind of evil scheming witch but talk about doing 180s on a character. It works sometimes but sometimes it doesn't.

Or Barney is going to leave Robin on the day of their wedding for him to be with Patrice (didn't even consider that possibilty Bill). The writeres could do that but man talk about doing horrible things to Robin. She has had it rough in the romance department and this isn't any better.

The writers have set an expectation and now they have to move towards it. This doesn't feeling like it and I'm worried the movement forward will be something that will leave fans with a bad taste in their mouth.

Other than that great episode. Laughed a lot! Loved the "video of Marin crawling" was actually of Ted. LOVED Lily & Marshall's revenge on Ted.
More+
1
Reply
Flag
I did like how this episode and the last, they toned down the Marshall and Lily bits. Sure, they're still obsessed parents but at least they're acting a little closer to their regular personalities than the beginning of the season.

I wonder if Lilly will ever get that make-out session with Robin that she's been pining over for the last X seasons

As for Barney, as the reviewer said, I'm glad the writers acknowledged that Barney was out of control this season and that this was all leading up to his self-realization and perhaps self-growth.

So, everyone took a step forward in their own way... except Ted. Who just repeated that he likes kids and needs to fill the hole in his life with "something"
1
Reply
Flag
It's kind of ridiculous at this point. I get that the mother should probably be introduced to the show closer towards the end than the beginning. But that doesn't mean we should have to wait until the series finale to meet her.

There are other intro bits. Recapping the close calls from HER point of view (at the apartment, and that St Patty's Day party, etc). Getting to know HER, and why she and Ted work so well together. The beginning of their relationship to prove that they work together. etc.

Especially since the show is running out of steam. Even if they do get renewed, I don't see them lasting more than another 1-2 seasons. And you can have THAT part set aside for the "getting to know you" part of their relationship.
1
Reply
Flag
Horrible episode.. HIMYM definitely has lost it's way. Lily is completely annoying but that's nothing new. Robin acting the way she did? BLEEEGH. Come on you guys could do so much better. Only good thing about this episode were Barney's Bro Bibs! He is also the only character who really developed this past few seasons. Why do i still watch this crap?? Oh yeah that's right, i wanna know who the mother is.
6
Reply
Flag
Yes How I Met Your Mother is back atleast for this episode.
Reply
Flag
I didn't enjoy the episode. Stop dragging everything out HIMYM writers, give us the answers we all want!
3
Reply
Flag
Am I the only one who thinks that Barney and Patriice WEREN'T on a date? I think it will be later revealed that they were actually coming up with a plan for Barney to get Robin back....
Also, really loved the way Robin screams at Patrice, really made me laugh!!
5
Reply
Flag
I don't think Barney at this point is scheming to get Robin back, I think he's just finally scraped the bottom of his soul and wanted something normal, playing cards and having a nice time with a person who he wasn't trying to bang. If they play it convoluted, it'll undermine everything. If they play it straight, it could work - Patrice is just a buddy hanging out, not meant to mess with Robin at all. Then again, you could be right, Barney is a consummate schemer.
Reply
Flag
I was thinking the same thing. I bet Barney will get Patrice and Brandi to help him with a grand romantic gesture/marriage proposal at WNN. Live on the air, maybe?
Reply
Flag
I'm glad that they're making some sort of progress toward the Barney and Robin story line, but I still feel like Ted's story this week was just sad. Yeah, I get that he really wants kids, but we've known this for about four seasons now. Hopefully, the appearance of the headhunter points to other non-mother/kids related stories for Ted. And it hurts me a little that Victoria has now become a "superfluous" character when she started off as one of Ted's great loves. Now she'll be remembered as that girl who can't be bothered to pick up her clothes.
3
Reply
Flag
I missed the swords in the house. Nice one! Cornelius's death scene was great, and I loved the details of the bro-bibs. Especially Teds, which looked exactly like his shirt.
1
Reply
Flag
Barney and Patrice ? Doesn't make any kind of sense .
4
Reply
Flag
Baby steps. Re-learn how to just have a friendly casual date instead of a bang-fest like he's used to. How to talk to a girl without his mind going to the "how do I seduce her" place.

She was being quite a supportive friend for him so at the office. And no offense to the actress, but character-wise it's probably easy to start with someone like her than the typical model-class girls. I think she's pretty in her own way.

Or, as someone else suggested, maybe it was a semi-lie and they were just talking about stuff. Including his feelings for Robin and how he should proceed.
Reply
Flag
Maybe , and maybe Patrice is the one that gets Barney and Robin to be together again , good point
Reply
Flag
Actually it kind of does. If Barney's trying to learn how to deal with women as people and not as targets to "bang", then it makes sense that he would start out with interacting with one that wouldn't have much appeal in the "bang" category.
Reply
Flag
I really enjoyed this episode as well. Barney has definitely stolen the show, but I'm perfectly okay with that. I'm interested in where they'll go from here and how that will translate to Robin and Barney at the alter.
1
Reply
Flag
I'm really liking the Robin and Patrice dynamic actually. I think that Robin has traditionally been the least funny of the main characters, so it's nice to see her get some laughs.

Also, I totally missed the swords in the future house. Good eye!
1
Reply
Flag
I'm starting to like Robin a whole lot more. I would say she (along with Ted) is one of the characters they've done the least with, but they've come on strong with her in a lot of ways recently. The Tomb Raider thing was inspired.
Reply
Flag
I don't think Robin is the least funny, in the first seasons she had a lot of laughs, her teenage years as robin sparkles were hilarious with "lets go to the mall" and "sandcastles in the sand".. man good times, but I think lately they have shown us sadder storylines for her like how she can't have kids and how her relationship with barney hasn't worked yet so yeah it's refreshing to see her funny side again.. those screams at patrice and her attempts to win over barney had me laughing!
1
Reply
Flag
I like a lot of the Robin bits. Falling in cow poop, her gun-crazy + cigar-smoking ways, Canadian cultural differences, Robin Sparkles, etc.

She just has her phases where she's kind of in a sad place, but all of the characters have that.

Reply
Flag
I've always thought as Ted as the least funniest, him being the everyman character. The funniest moment for me on HIMYM was when Robin after breaking numerous lamps in Lily and Marshall's apartment eventually screams, 'Have you never heard of overhead lighting?!'
1
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook