Thursday, February 16, 2012

HIMYM 7.14: "46 Minutes"

“Enough! I am sick of you two wallowing in sadness instead of doing the healthy thing and pretending anyone who leaves you never existed in the first place.”

“46 Minutes” marked a new phase in the lives of the HIMYM gang and in the show itself. Lily and Marshall officially moved to Long Island. I don’t see how this turn of events can be reversed (even though Marshall and Lily don’t strike me as a suburbs-dwelling couple at all), and I appreciate the need to switch things up after six-and-a-half years, but I’m wondering if the show is going to be sustainable as the characters all start to move on to the next phase of their lives. As much as it pains me to say it, since I love spending time with these characters, I think next season needs to be HIMYM’s last. That being said, that particular episode was highly enjoyable and funny, although I wouldn’t really place it among the upper echelon of HIMYM with episodes like “Slap Bet” and “Slapsgiving.” Watching the gang flounder without Marshall and Lily was more funny than sad because the situations they got into were just so ridiculous. It’s definitely a good thing that by the end of the episode, Barney decided he shouldn’t be group leader anymore- it probably would have gotten them all killed!

The episode opens at MacLaren’s, where Kevin is asking Robin, Ted, and Barney why they seem so down. And it just occurred to me that at the table currently is Robin and three guys she’s slept with. Awkward! Kevin asks why the rest of the group looks so down, and they explain that Marshall and Lily just officially moved out to Long Island a few hours ago. We flash back to the final group meet-up at MacLaren’s where they all still live close to the bar, and Lily tries to console the group with the fact that they will only be a 46-minute train ride away. This doesn’t really do much in the way of consolation, but it’s time for Marshall and Lily to leave anyway. After they leave, Barney declares himself the new leader of the group, complete with retooled theme song and main title sequence. This gag was used several times in the episode, and it was always really funny.

Out on Long Island, Mickey (Lily’s dad) has decided to stick around for a little while to help Marshall and Lily adjust to the house, considering it’s the house he grew up in and all. And he probably has nowhere else to stay. It seems like a kind gesture on the surface, but he starts really pissing Marshall and Lily off by bossing them around about every detail about how the house should be. He corrects every little thing they try to do to the house. Eventually, Marshall has had it with Mickey’s intrusiveness, and he tells Mickey that he needs to leave the next day. Then Marshall accidentally trips a breaker by having too many electrical devices running on the same circuit. It’s a problem only Mickey, which his detailed knowledge of the house, can solve. Too bad he’s pissed about getting kicked out of the house and is acting like a whiny child about it! He does a really creepy voice over the intercom as Marshall struggles to get down to the basement and find the breaker box.

Back in Manhattan, Barney, as self-described group leader, has decided that the gang should go to a strip club. It’s an idea Lily always shot down, so he’s very eager. Ted’s down for the idea since he’s single and doesn’t have anything better to do. Robin and Kevin, however, take a little more convincing. We get another typical naming of a social phenomenon, as Robin and Kevin engage in a bit of “new relationship chicken.” They both want to seem really interesting to each other, so they act like they’re totally cool with going to a strip club, even though neither of them really are. The gang heads to the Lusty Leopard, of course, and none other than Lily’s doppelganger, aka “Stripper Lily” is up to perform. Barney declares her “Better Lily,” and when her rather large, imposing boyfriend shows up, Barney dubs him “New Marshall.” They are going to be official new members of the gang, and we get yet another version of the theme song and opening credits. This one’s Russian themed, because new Marshall and Lily are Russian. Ted goes along with Barney’s proclamation because he’s pissed that Marshall isn’t answering his phone calls. Turns out Marshall just doesn’t get good cell phone reception on Long Island.

The stuff on Long Island with Marshall trying to get the power turned back on is really seriously creepy. It was filmed in a rather Blair Witch Project style, with it looking like Marshall’s wearing a night-vision camera pointed at himself. Mickey is just generally an ass, refusing to help and taking delight in every time Marshall hurts himself in the dark. Lily eventually can’t take it anymore and tells Mickey that a good father and grandfather would try to help. Properly chastened, Mickey gets back on the intercom and guides Marshall through the maze of a basement to the breaker box, and Marshall is eventually able to get the power back on.

Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, New Marshall and Better Lily are causing some trouble for the rest of the gang. They go to a shady underground poker game, and everyone else joins. Ted is really obnoxious at the game and is winning everyone else’s chips. Since the gang is really playing against a bunch of thugs, this is rather dangerous. Just as somebody’s about to hurt Ted, the gang runs away. Better Lily says that they’re going to a party in a slaughterhouse next. Ted is the only one who wants to go, and he drags the rest of the gang along. Oh, and if things couldn’t get any worse, New Marshall is a former patient of Kevin’s who apparently “stabbed a bunch of prison guards.” New Marshall and Better Lily end up only being interested in stealing from the rest of the gang (the party was a fake, including the massive cover charge). The gang decides they’re better off going to visit the real Marshall and Lily, and they hop on the train. The gang arrives in East Meadow just in time for breakfast. Mickey has made pancakes, and the gang realizes that they don’t need MacLaren’s to be a cohesive, supportive group of friends. They just need each other.

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