Sunday, December 9, 2012

HIMYM 8.09: "Lobster Crawl"

“Now that we’ve been parents for a while, we realize that pretty much any moron can take care of a baby.”

“Lobster Crawl” was probably one of my least favorite HIMYM episodes of all time. Mostly because it utterly destroyed the character of Robin. For the one, maybe two, of you who read this blog, you know I’m a diehard Barney and Robin fan. I can recite all their great moment from “Zip Zip Zip” onward. This episode kind of makes me want to throw in the towel on them. Watching Robin demean herself in this episode just made me want to hide my face in the couch from the embarrassment squick. And to top it all off, there was a Lily and Marshall story that was such a typical new parents television story that it wasn’t even really worth the telling. The only saving grace was Barney having some genuinely funny moments and mostly acting like a human being instead of a cartoon. I’m still in disbelief, really. Maybe that means I should go watch the rest of “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” and let my thoughts settle, but blogging waits for no one!

Much of this episode takes place at MacLaren’s. The gang is sitting around having dinner and drinks (and Lily and Marshall are feeling like terrible parents for having Marvin there with them), and Robin is just plain embarrassing herself. She’s all obviously giggly at everything Barney says, and she’s constantly twirling her hair like a nervous schoolgirl. It’s ridiculous. Barney, meanwhile, is oblivious to this because a tragedy has happened. He’s gotten ketchup on one of his favorite ties. The tie is beyond saving, so he spends much of the episode in mourning and inventing something called the “Bro Bib” to try and save his other ties from the same fate. This was pretty amusing, even if bordering on cartoonish. Marshall and Lily mention that Mickey is sick, so they have nobody to watch over Marvin, and Ted, of course, immediately volunteers. His work on the GNB building has wrapped up, and the fall term at Columbia has wrapped up as well, so he has some time on his hands. Marshall and Lily are only too happy to accept the help.

Robin and Lily have a little pow wow when Robin fills Lily in on what has happened between her and Barney in the past couple episodes. Lily calls Robin on only wanting Barney because he’s shut the door. Lily compares it to the time a doctor told Robin she was allergic to lobster, and Robin proceeded to almost kill herself by gorging on lobster. This seems like it was just an excuse to get Cobie Smulders in a disgusting swollen allergy face makeup, which really isn’t all that funny. I just can’t believe that Robin Scherbatsky, who is supposed to be an intelligent woman, would do such a thing. Robin remembers that after that gorging/near death experience, she never wanted lobster again. So now she thinks that if she can just have sex with Barney one more time, she’ll get him out of her system for good. Lily doesn’t think this is an especially good idea, but Robin goes with it anyway. She does everything she can think of to win Barney back, including playing laser tag. He’s not having it, though.

Anyway, Ted babysitting Marvin seems to be going well. Lily and Marshall are thrown for a bit of a loop, though, when Ted tells them that Marvin has crawled. Lily is devastated that she missed her son’s first crawl. She starts filming Marvin and demanding that he crawl. Even when she and Robin go out to have girl talk, she tells Marshall that she’ll leave him if Marvin crawls again and he fails to film it. It’s kind of obnoxious, really. Then Ted starts taking the babysitting thing way too far. He’s signing Marvin up for swimming lessons and making a scrapbooks of Marvin’s first. The book had Marvin’s first spaghetti dinner and, most offensive to Marshall and Lily, Marvin’s first time seeing Santa Claus. They’re pissed off that Ted has taken all of these firsts away from them, so they decide they need to find another project for Ted to work on. They stage an intervention for Ted (sadly, without the official Intervention Banner) at the community pool, and they have a head hunter there to talk to him about potential future architecture projects. I don’t think that a new work project is going to fill the hole that Ted was trying to fill with Marvin, though. I think part of Ted’s behavior with Marvin was due to his own frustration at not having a family of his own yet.

Lily suggests to Robin that she catch Barney’s interest by kissing and dancing with a woman (hoping that woman will be herself, of course). Instead, Robin gets her kind of ditzy coworker Brandi to participate instead. The plan works, but not quite how Robin hoped. Barney ends up picking up Brandi, and they go to the WWN studios, ostensibly to have sex in the weather studio. I should have absolutely hated Brandi, because not only is she after Barney, she’s ditzy, but she’s played by Chelan Simmons, aka Gretchen Speck-Horowitz from “Wonderfalls” and the upcoming new Bryan Fuller series (probably not premiering until summer) “Hannibal.” I just can’t hate a character played by Chelan. She’s got the Bryan Fuller stamp of approval, after all.

Anyway, Robin decides to make one last attempt to snag Barney by going to his apartment in lingerie. Barney isn’t alone in his apartment, though. He’s on a date. With Robin’s annoying coworker Patrice. Apparently he ran into Patrice when he went back to the WWN studios with Brandi, and he ended up ditching Brandi for Patrice because they could talk with each other so easily. Their date at the moment is consisting of card games. While its clear Barney is trying to change, I really don’t think this is going to last very long. Despite the many gross aspects of this episode, the ending was kind of sweet. A “few years later,” Marshall and Lily are babysitting for Ted’s daughter while Ted and the Mother have a date night. Lily goes into evil mode as she tells Ted’s infant daughter that it’s time for them to go see Santa.

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