How I Met Your Mother: Season 4, Episode 20
Ted starts his own architectural firm, except he does everything but call potential clients, and Robin starts sleeping with Ted's assistant, P.J., who makes sure everyone - including Robin - signs out the bathroom key. Meanwhile, Marshall tries to make himself irreplaceable at GNB, with a bit of help from Barney. And, Lily, well, she disappears.
At the very beginning of the show, Lily storms out of the bar in disgust after hearing Barney tell a "boy-funny joke." According to Future Ted, after that joke, they don't see her for four weeks. While the writers most likely did this because they were unable to hide Lily's pregnancy anymore (Alyson Hannigan gave birth in March), it ended up working to the benefit of the show... we saw more of Marshall & Barney's friendship.
Finding a "Thing"
With the recent layoffs at GNB, Barney tells Marshall that he needs to find a "thing," something that will distinguish him and make him irreplaceable. The jobs of "food guy," "toy guy," "You Tube guy", the creepy "back-rub guy," and "fantasy guy" are already taken, so Marshall becomes "sports guy" and heads up the fantasy baseball league for the office. With $18,000 that he has to keep track of, he starts feeling the heat and wonders how he's going to juggle his actual work with keeping track of the league...
My current most-favorite storyline: Barney's unrequited feelings for Robin
Barney was obviously distraught upon learning about Robin sleeping with Ted's assistant.
"She's the greatest woman on the planet! I'm getting off topic. You're an idiot," Barney declares to Ted, while crushing peanuts on the table, and storms out of the booth before he admits his feelings for Robin. This plot was somewhat like the one in "Benefits," when Ted and Robin slept together, to the dismay of Barney; yet, this time Barney didn't smash TVs to vent his frustration. Instead, he needed someone to talk to, and with Lily away, he turned to Marshall.
Barney's confession to Marshall, about his love to Robin, is riddled with "wait for it"s in classic-HIMYM fashion. With Barney unable to spit out how he feels, Marshall admits that he already knows about his feelings for Robin, because Lily told him. In another cutesy moment, Marshall also admits that he and Lily try to sit on the same side of the booth, so Barney & Robin can sit together. Awww.
Ted's revelation (finally!)
With Ted going on "wisdom walks" and "corporate retreats" instead of actually working on growing his business, Robin asks Ted if he ever expected to be where he is now. She admits that she didn't expect to be where she was today, and she never imagined that she'd settle for a guy sitting in her apartment.
"I used to describe my ideal guy as funny, smart, passionate, challenging," she says. Isn't she describing Barney, really? And she just hasn't realized it yet?
Ted admits that he's worried about failing. "What if I forget about the books?" he asks, and explains that an architect once built a beautiful library - but failed to account for the weight of the books, causing the library to sink. Ted finally decides to give his dream a real shot and finally stops having a staring contest with his phone.
Ted's evolving! This episode proves that Ted doesn't have to be pretentious in order to be an interesting character. We saw a bit more of his optimistic side, of his worries but his aspirations too, and it was good.
So, how does the relationship between Robin and the assistant ultimately end? Marshall hires P.J. as a "paralegal," who is in charge of the fantasy baseball league. Everyone ends up happy, and Barney can put off admitting his feelings for Robin to Robin for yet another day.
A good chunk of this episode appeared to be set-up for the last few episodes of the season. Robin is, officially, the only one who doesn't know about Barney's feelings. Ted is making progress with his career - perhaps he'll make some progress in his love life next?
Other Favorite Parts:
- Barney, thinking P.J. is a chick, sends him a "very confusing card" and a "garment."
- Barney explaining why he needs Lily's help: "Lily is a diabolical puppet-master, subtly manipulating every situation to get exactly what she wants. She's pure evil, Marshall. You've got a good one there; hang on to her."
- When P.J. calls in late to work, claiming he's on top of the Empire State building, Ted realizes the call came from inside the apartment; cue the "scary" music.
- When Marshall is walking down a NYC sidewalk with $18,000 cash (from the fantasy league) in his pockets, he thinks, "Oh no, the baby is on to me. Babies can smell money; everyone knows that!"
- The montage of guys that Robin meets after getting off work at 5:30am: newspaper delivery guy, guy who not only lives with his mom but cuddles with her, and fantasy guy from GNB.
- Robin's terrible attempt at a breakup with P.J. "It's just not... really... x-nay..."
- The tag, with the ninja roaming the halls, his sword drawn. "He doesn't work here," Barney says. "I think we should leave the building... this has happened before." Marshall and Barney bolt out of the conference room.
Did you like the way they got "rid" of Lily for a couple weeks? Is Marshall Barney's new wingman? How do you think Mosbius Designs will fare? Will Ted find a new "office" other than the one in his apartment? Do people in your office have "things"? How will Robin find out about Barney's love for her? Share your thoughts!