Friday, May 6, 2011

HIMYM 6.22: "The Perfect Cocktail"

“Look, I can handle you trying to prevent me from fulfilling a lifelong dream. That’s just being in a relationship.”

I found “The Perfect Cocktail” to be pretty entertaining, although there wasn’t a lot of substance to it, and the character motivation (or lack thereof) will make your head hurt if you think about it for too long. Maybe this one didn’t bother me so much because the unexplained character turns didn’t really affect Barney. When Barney is turned into a cartoon, like he was in “The Exploding Meatball Sub,” it is so extreme that it drags the whole episode down. When the other characters act somewhat out-of-character for an episode, it doesn’t have quite the same effect on the overall tone of the episode. So I was able to enjoy the laughs without getting overly irrationally angry at the episode. I especially liked that we got to see more interaction between Lily and Robin. Even though we know they’re “best friends,” it’s not a relationship we see demonstrated all that often.

The episode opens with a revisiting of Marshall quitting his job at GNB to become an environmental lawyer. Marshall’s boss promises to give him a horrible reference, but then Marshall ends up losing a job opportunity because his boss doesn’t keep his word. What happens could possibly be considered defamation and is the reason past employers usually only give very basic information to potential new employers. The fact that this legal inaccuracy didn’t bug the heck out of me tells you I was really entertained by the episode. Marshall’s feeling like doing something rash in retaliation, and on his way to GNB, he runs into Zoey, who is in the middle of a protest. Zoey tells Marshall she has the perfect way for him to get back at his former boss.

Barney is going on to the rest of the gang (minus Marshall) about how excited he is to plan the demolition of the Arcadian. He wants to make a big spectacle out of it, of course. In response to questioning from his friends, Ted explains how he and Zoey deal with being on opposite sides of an issue that is extremely important to both of them. If it ever comes up, they change the subject. That’s all going to end real soon, though. Zoey walks into the room and introduces the new lawyer she’s hired to save the Arcadian. That lawyer is Marshall, of course, looking rather sheepish. This is another legal inaccuracy that surprisingly didn’t bother me. In the real world, it would be a major conflict of interest for Marshall to represent a client with opposing interests to his former client (GNB).

This development leads to all out war between Barney and Marshall, which I found to be especially hilarious. Barney kept having one of his lackeys show Marshall disgusting pictures of anything Marshall was touching (or about to eat or drink). Presumably the pictures showed Barney doing something not especially hygienic to these items. In retaliation, Marshall messed with Barney’s game. Every time Barney would try to hit on a chick at MacLaren’s, Marshall would step in and say something to make the woman run off, such as implying Barney just had a kid. Or that he had various STDs. At the same time. It was pretty genius comedy. While the boys are fighting, Lily and Robin are feuding with a woman who keeps walking by their MacLaren’s booth, obviously trying to take their table. She’s doing the “walkby with stinkeye” as Robin and Lily put it, while they’re doing an impression of Lily with her high school friend Michelle (aka fake urban speak) for some reason.

Barney and Marshall’s feuding turns into a knock-down-drag-out fight, and they get the whole group kicked out of MacLaren’s for their trouble. To add insult to injury, Lily and Robin lose the booth to the walkby chick and her friends. This is the final straw. Robin and Lily decide they need to stop Barney and Marshall’s feud once and for all, and they’re going to do it by getting their men drunk. This is kind of like an “I Love Lucy” storyline on crack. Lily and Robin debate over the exact right types of alcohol to get Barney and Marshall to make up. They compare reactions they know the men have to different drinks, and we get lots of fun flashbacks to illustrate. For instance, Robin knows that red wine leads Barney to have uncomfortable emotional moments of clarity and peppermint Schnapps turns him into a former host of Family Feud. I think that was my favorite flash back- Neil Patrick Harris seemed to have a lot of fun with it. I like how it was shown that Robin still has a strong connection to Barney even if they aren’t dating. She knows things about him Lily doesn’t. The ladies also ask Ted if certain types of alcohol cause strange reactions for him, and they have to correct him when he says bourbon makes him an awesome beatboxer.

Ted and Zoey are going on a weekend trip, and during the car ride, Ted calls Zoey on the Arcadian issue. He wants to talk about it because, since his two best friends are fighting and they’ve all been banned from MacLaren’s, it’s really ruining his life. They end up spending the evening at the Arcadian instead of wherever they were planning to go. It’s a total dump, occupied by squatters. I thought it had been completely abandoned, but I was willing to go with the switch. The room where they try to stay is really disgusting, and everybody else living there seems to use the bathroom attached to Ted and Zoey’s room. Ted tells Zoey that if she can spend the night there, he’ll give up on trying to change her mind about the project. Zoey finally tells Ted the truth about why she wants to save the Arcadian. It turns out she lived there for a while when she was a kid and her family was broke and had just moved to New York. It was magical to her back then, even if it’s a dump now. An appearance of the elusive Cockamouse, which Ted, Lily, and Marshall discovered way back in season 1, finally drives Zoey to say they need to leave.

Meanwhile, Robin and Lily perfectly orchestrate what Barney and Marshall drink on a night out to try and stop the fight. Until the boys drink tequila while the ladies aren’t paying attention and ruin it all. They are completely spaced out. Later, Robin and Lily find them at MacLaren’s, where they appear to have made up. They’re certainly generous with the “I love you, man’s.” Carlos, the owner of MacLaren’s, lets Robin and Lily back in the bar. He used the obvious drink to fix Marshall and Barney’s fight- beer. The next day, however, Barney and Marshall are back to fighting. The ladies ordered a round of champagne to celebrate the make-up, which made Barney and Marshall forget making up in the first place. Things get worse when Ted and Zoey emerge from Ted’s bedroom, and Ted announces that he’s siding with Zoey about the Arcadian. Lily and Robin turn to absinthe to dull the pain, and they float down the street to “Gymnopedie #1.” Once they’re sober, they use Barney’s disgusting photo guy to win their MacLaren’s booth back.

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