Saturday, September 24, 2011

HIMYM 7.02: "The Naked Truth"

“Robin, get me my legal pad. It’s pros and cons time!”

CBS just had to go and make my schedule even more crazy by airing two episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” this week. Thankfully, it was at least a very good episode. And, to my surprise, Ted’s plot was what I liked most about it. Now I’m not a Ted hater, I’m just more entertained by Barney’s antics, so I tend to like Barney plots the best, as long as they aren’t too cartoonish. And that was just a whole lot of hedging for one sentence. Can you tell I’m a lawyer? Anyway, I liked Ted in this episode because his douchiness (more like dorkiness in this case) was channeled in a direction with which I can identify. Yay pros and cons lists! And the surprise appearance of an old favorite character at the end of the episode was great, too. I’ll discuss this character more at the end of the blog post to give those of you who read the blog and don’t want to be spoiled (is there any such person out there?) a chance to stop reading. I didn’t enjoy Barney’s plot because Nora needs to go away ASAP (for obvious reasons), and I didn’t especially love Marshall’s plot because I just don’t have sympathy for people who do things that incredibly stupid and use alcohol as an excuse.

The episode begins with the gang back in New York recovering from Punchy’s wedding. Marshall is still very hung over (because he was “drinking for two” until he and Lily decided to reveal the pregnancy), and he makes a “sweeping declaration” that he’s not going to get drunk again. Saget!Ted (and a kicky montage) inform us that this is not the first (or the last) time that Marshall will make a sweeping declaration about drinking. Barney manages to change the subject by hobbling into the apartment in a cast. He figured it would earn extra sympathy points from Nora, and thankfully the gang convinces him it’s a really bad idea. They don’t convince him that a neck brace isn’t a good alternative, though. Setting up another plot of the episode, Ted tells the gang that he used the New York Magazine cover to pick up two women at the newsstand. Well, it caught the attention of more than two women, but they’re the two finalists, and he’s got dates with both. After this story is told, Marshall receives a phone call from big time environmental lawyer Garrison Kootz. He is interested in hiring Marshall, but he needs to do a background check first.

So let’s start going through all those plots that were just set up, shall we? First, Nora meets up with Barney at a diner. Anybody know if it’s the diner he always went to with Robin? If it is, I’ll be pissed. Nora totally sees through the neck brace gag and calls Barney on it by telling him there’s a well-endowed woman behind him. When he cranes his neck to see, he blows his cover. Nora’s not happy that Barney is still lying, and she starts to leave the diner. Barney begs Nora to stay, telling her that he’ll never lie again. Nora proceeds to test the limits of this promise by grilling him about lies he has told women to get them into bed. And lo and behold, Barney tells the truth. After several hours of this, Nora starts getting tired of hearing Barney’s creepy stories. She leaves the diner, telling Barney he’s a sociopath. Barney persists in trying to get Nora to stay, refusing to leave the diner until she agrees to a second date. Nora leaves anyway.

Meanwhile, Ted still can’t decide between the two women he picked up at the newsstand. One of them was charming and funny and smart and had compatible life goals with ted. The other reached for the check after dinner. There’s only one way Ted can solve this dilemma. He asks Robin to bring him a legal pad so he can make a pros and cons list. And the rest of the group cheers! To make things even more complicated, Ted’s been invited to the Architect’s Ball. He thinks this is the greatest thing ever, and he really wants to take one of the two women to the event. This means it’s time to make a color chart! Ted mentions that “Lenny Kravitz” is going to be at the Architect’s Ball, and all of a sudden Robin thinks it would be a really great idea if Ted took a friend to the ball instead. She even puts on a fancy dress (which she bought to go to a funeral with Ted way back when) to make her point. So Ted makes his color chart, and the first woman is ahead of the other in everything but “reached for the check.”

Meanwhile, Marshall has been Googling himself to figure out what unflattering information Kootz might find. Most everything is pretty tame, but then Marshall finds a video of him streaking as “Beercules” in college. He was pledging a fraternity that at the time he didn’t realize was fake. Marshall goes to visit Pete, the guy who ran the fake frat and shot the video (and put the video online). He’s playing a game called “Edward 40 Hands,” which involves having massive bottles of alcohol taped to his hands. Marshall asks Pete to take the video down, but Pete’s not really interested. He thinks Marshall has turned into a bummer. Marshall tries to tell Pete that he’ll feel differently when he has children, but Pete already has children. He says, however, that he’ll take down the video if Marshall beats him at a game. He wasn’t thinking of Edward 40 Hands, but Marshall thinks that’s what’s going to happen, and Pete goes with it. Marshall ends up getting drunk yet again and making yet another “Beercules” streaking video.

Marshall, Lily, Ted, and Robin are talking about the video at the diner, and Lily makes a threatening call to Pete trying to get him to take down the video. Barney’s at the diner, too, because he’s still waiting for Nora. This makes Robin rather angsty, which is understandable. Ted realizes that he wants to feel about someone the way Barney feels about Nora, so choosing between two women is no good. He’s going to take Robin to the Architect’s Ball. So about that diner, I’m wondering if this is an attempt to start transitioning the group to a new hang out location. Hanging out in a bar all the time is going to seem kind of strange once Marshall and Lily have their baby. It’s a little “Seinfeld,” but it could potentially work, I suppose. Oh, and Nora does eventually come back and is happy to see that Barney’s still at the diner. And that’s all we’ll say about that.

Marshall gets a call from Garrison Koot. He’s seen the Beercules videos, but he doesn’t mind. He gives Marshall the job. Just after he gets the job, Marshall gets a call from Pete, saying he’ll take down the video. At first, Marshall wants his child to see how fun-loving his father was. Then he comes to his senses and decides Pete should take down the video. And did I mention that Pete’s a surgeon. That was kind of a lame gag, but it was sort of funny. Meanwhile, the Architect’s Ball is not all Robin hoped it would be. Leonard Kravitz is not the musician, but a really old architect who is going to give a lecture. Meanwhile, Ted looks across the room and sees none other than first season ex-girlfriend Victoria setting up cupcakes. I’m pretty excited about this development. Victoria has pretty much been the most tolerable of Ted’s placeholder girlfriends, and I’d be happy to have her around again for a bit until Ted finally meets the Mother.

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