Sunday, March 3, 2013

HIMYM 8.18: "Weekend at Barney's"

“If you count the voices in her head, it’s plus five!”

“Weekend at Barney’s” was a sort of filler episode, because it went over emotional ground for several characters that I thought we had already covered. We thought Barney had already destroyed the Playbook, but nope, that was just the “Ceremonial Playbook,” and the fact that the original still exists causes him some trouble. Meanwhile, Ted finally decides for realsies that he’s done with dating and wants to settle down. Hasn’t that pretty much (except for a few isolated lapses) always been what Ted wanted. He’s mister I want the destination and screw the journey. He’s the guy who happily pretended to be old for a few days as a challenge from Barney. The only plot in this episode that really rang true to me was the Marshall and Lily plot because it was just very adorable and very them. They support each other in every aspect of their lives, and that is nice to see.

The episode opened with a rather odd “Weekend at Bernie’s” homage sequence that gave the episode its title. Barney had a play in his Playbook called “Weekend at Barney’s,” and he keeps dreaming about it. This upsets Robin quite a bit, mostly because Barney keeps waking her up because he’s upset about it. He plays it off like it’s Playbook withdrawal or something. The next evening at MacLaren’s, Ted hand delivers his wedding invitation response card to Barney and Robin because he’s too cheap to buy stamps anymore now that they’re 46 cents. Anyway, Barney and Robin are rather horrified to see that Ted replied that Jeanette would be his plus one. They really, really don’t want her going crazy and destroying their wedding. Which is completely understandable.

Ted goes home to find that Jeanette has trashed his apartment yet again over something stupid (an e-mail subject line that turns out to be spam). That’s not enough to make him break up with her, though. She’s the one who ends up breaking up with him. When the gang hears the news, they all rejoice. Barney and Robin even crack open a bottle of champagne to celebrate that their wedding won’t be ruined by Jeanette’s presence. Ted, however, has other plans. He wants to win Jeanette back. Barney stops Ted in the elevator in Jeanette’s building though, and he (unsuccessfully) tries to physically restrain Ted. Barney says that he’s going to teach Ted some of his best plays so he can find a new plus one for the wedding. After all, Barney’s one rule is “new is always better.” Sigh. And the cartoon-ness begins.

Even though he’s living with Robin, Barney still seems to have a lair where he keeps the Playbook and all his old roleplaying paraphernalia. And Barney says they’re going to need all of the props and costumes to do this right. Ted is going to be wearing an earpiece so Barney can feed him the lines. A regular Cyrano he is…or not. Ted runs some plays at MacLaren’s, and they all fail horribly, mostly because they involve Ted saying some horribly cheesy pick-up line that refers to his penis. He also freaks out some of the ladies when he starts arguing with Barney over the comms over the pick up lines. If you didn’t know Ted was talking to Barney, it would sound like he was just randomly yelling about his penis. I don’t know about you, but that’s not really a trait I look for in a guy!

Back at Ted’s apartment, Robin sees the Playbook on the couch, and she gets really pissed off. She sees it as a sign that Barney’s just going to keep lying to her. She storms out of the apartment, and Barney rushes after her. On Barney’s CCTV screen, we see Ted trying to run another play when Jeanette steps into frame, slaps Ted’s target, and then starts making out with Ted. Outside, Barney catches up with Robin, and she yells at him about going back to all the lies. Barney points out that lies are kind of what he does. Even the chain of events that led to her accepting his proposal were his own manipulations and lies. He points out that under all those lies, though, there is one truth. He does love Robin. That and some fake flowers that he pulls out of his coat are enough to calm Robin down, surprisingly.

We’ll break here for Marshall and Lily’s plot, which was the part of this episode I liked the most. Lily has to go to a gallery opening as part of her new job working for the Captain, and Marshall happily tags along with her, bringing along a massive bag of Skittles. Lily goes and stands by the artist in hopes of getting to talk to him, and Marshall is left to fend for himself. He thought he would be okay with that since we was voted “Most Outgoing” in high school, but everything he says seems to offend the other gallery patrons. The icing on the cake is when the Skittles start falling out of Marshall’s pocket just as everyone is supposed to be having a moment of silence for the artist’s deceased grandmother. Marshall manages to right the ship, though, when he makes a comment about the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles to Lily (they were all named after artists), and the artist hears him. The artist is pretty young, and he also happens to be a huge TMNT fan, so he and Marshall really hits it off. Marshall takes the opportunity to introduce the artist to Lily, and it looks like the night will be a success after all.

Back at Ted’s apartment, Jeanette sees the Playbook on the couch too, and she’s so offended by it that she starts trashing Ted’s apartment yet again. The rest of the gang finds Ted sitting on the stoop as Jeanette hurls all Ted’s stuff out the window. He really ought to press charges against her. Cop or not, her behavior is just atrocious. Jeanette hooks up some fireworks to the Playbook and threatens to blow it up. Barney says she can go ahead, and the gang sits on the sidewalk as flaming paper swirls around them. As he surveys the destruction, Ted says it’s time for him to stop dating and settle down, and Narrator!Ted says this is the first time he ever truly meant it. And like I said in the introduction, I call bullshit on that. It’s an interesting sentiment, but it’s not Ted at all.

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