Thursday, December 8, 2011

HIMYM 7.08: "The Slutty Pumpkin Returns"

“I want Scotch. American Scotch. From Scotland!”

“The Slutty Pumpkin Returns” was a follow-up to a beloved episode (“Slutty Pumpkin”) that could have threatened to kill my love for the original. “Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap,” I’m talking to you. While some aspects of the episode certainly did sink to that level, the episode was saved by a hilarious Barney and Robin subplot. It was a reminder of why they work so well together as a comedic duo. Throw in some classic HIMYM Canadian jokes, and this particular plot was right up my alley. On the other hand, I was kind of disappointed to see that the HIMYM powers that be once again felt the need to sink to stunt casting. The Slutty Pumpkin is kind of iconic in HIMYM mythology, and I was so disappointed when I learned she would be portrayed by Katie Holmes. Holmes wasn’t terrible in the role, but she wasn’t spectacular either, and because of that, the show didn’t really accomplish anything creatively by finally introducing us to the woman inside the (hilarious in description but kind of lame when you actually see it) costume.

The gang is all hanging out at Ted and Robin’s apartment, and Robin reveals something awesomely hilarious that she learned by being Facebook friends with Barney’s dad. It turns out Jerome’s mother was Canadian, which makes Barney ¼ Canadian. Barney doesn’t take it well at all. He has a bit of a freak out and ends up leaving the apartment in a huff. This definitely made me chuckle. Robin spends the rest o the episode torturing Barney about his heritage, which was amazingly hilarious and so something I’d expect Barney to do in a similar situation. She has a bar maid deliver Canadian whiskey to him instead his usual Scotch, and that’s only the beginning of the torment.

Meanwhile, in the main (kind of annoying, mostly because of Katie Holmes) plot, Ted is walking down the street and sees the infamous Slutty Pumpkin costume in a shop window. He gets the shopkeeper to look in his records and find who rented the costume in 2001. It’s a woman named Naomi, and against his better judgment (and mine), Ted soon shows up at her door. I find this plot kind of disappointing, mostly because the Pumpkin was funnier when its sluttiness was left to the imagination. “It was carved in strategic places” is hilarious. The actual costume? Not so much.

The final plot of this episode centers around Lily and Marshall. Lily’s grandparents want to move to Florida full time, and they give Lily and Marshall their Long Island house. Surprisingly, Lily, always the city girl, is kind of happy about it and potentially wants to move there. Later, Marshall discusses this with Robin, and Robin warns Marshall that Lily’s change in opinion about the suburbs is likely due to “pregnancy brain.” I really found this whole plot to be kind of ridiculous and borderline offensive, honestly. As soon as Robin makes the pregnancy brain suggestion, we see Lily looking like she’s barely able to function or string together a coherent sentence.

Ted and Naomi go on a date, and while it’s very well planned by Ted (he arranges dinner on the apartment building rooftop where they first met at the Halloween party), the date ends up being incredibly awkward. Even hand holding and cuddling on a lounge chair on the roof his horribly uncomfortable. Unfortunately for Ted, Naomi seems to be really into it. The second date is even more awkward. Naomi tries to come on to Ted by singing the Barenaked Ladies song “One Week,” which was popular when they first met in 2001 (oh how I miss 2000-2001 era music). I approved of the singing and of Naomi declaring it their song” because I first really got into music in 2000 and 2001, so the song has some nostalgia for me. Ted, however, thought it was just really strange and awkward, and he runs into the bathroom of Naomi’s apartment to escape. The bathroom has a pretty awesome lavender and black color scheme going on, by the way. Must file that away for when I actually own my own place someday.

Lily finally claims to agree with Marshall that now is not the best time to make any major life decisions like deciding to move to the suburbs. She says she’ll call a Realtor to start looking into selling her grandparents’ house. When she takes Marshall out to the Long Island house to meet the Realtor, though, she ends up having been manipulating Marshall all along. She arranges for super cute Trick-or-Treaters to show up to the door in a bid to convince Marshall that he really does want to move to the suburbs immediately. Lily continues to try and convince Marshall to move, even though he’s staying strong. Eventually, Lily realizes that she really shouldn’t be making big life decisions while pregnant when she accidentally gives objects that aren’t candy (like a stapler) out to some Trick-or-Treaters. The fact that the candy-less Trick-or-Treaters proceed to egg the house doesn’t help, either.

Leading up to the big rooftop Halloween party at Ted and Robin’s building, Robin and Barney make a deal. If Barney wears a Mountie costume to the party, Robin will drop the Canada jokes at Barney’s expense. Also, Ted shows up at Naomi’s apartment and tires to break up with her, but she’s wearing the Slutty Pumpkin outfit and has made him a Hanging Chad costume. Instead of saying they need to break up, Ted pulls a classic “Schmosby” and says he loves her. This, of course, results in the relationship very much continuing, as much as Ted doesn’t really want it to.

Of course, Barney can’t show up to the Halloween party in a Mountie costume. He ends up going as far in the other direction as possible- shirtless with American flag shorts and an Uncle Sam hat. It’s rather glorious, in typical Barney fashion. Robin, dressed in a Vancouver Canucks uniform, isn’t quite so impressed. Ted and Naomi show up at the party as well, and Robin and Barney are very surprised to find out they slept together, considering Ted wanted to end the relationship. Robin keeps checking both guys with her hockey stick when they say stupid things, and I found that very amusing. By the end of the night, Naomi ends up breaking up with Ted. She had been feeling things were awkward, just like Ted had been, but she had been too nice to say anything before getting a little tipsy at the party. And so the legend of the Slutty Pumpkin has reached its rather disappointing conclusion.

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