Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Matchmaking, new relationships, and lots of phone calls on HIMYM

Rabbit or Duck
How I Met Your Mother: Season 5, Episode 15

When I watched the Superbowl this Sunday, I told my friends--who are also HIMYM fans--that since the game was on CBS, there had to be some sort of commercial featuring Barney. Sure enough, he appeared holding a sign that read what's pictured to the right. For those lucky enough to get through on the line, they heard a pre-recorded message about meeting Barney at McLaren's bar on October 12, 2016 at 3:45a.m. Currently, the line is a busy signal.

Of course, the writers found a way to tie this into the show. After holding up his sign, Barney's phone won't stop ringing with calls and texts, which is good--at first, until Barney realizes that there's always someone better than the girl who's on the other end of the line. Cue a string of girls that Barney brings back to his apartment but is unable to seal the deal with because the phone keeps ringing, even after Barney tosses it into the garbage. This was funny for awhile, but the incessant ringing got annoying. Then again, I laughed at the ringtone for 'do your ears hang low?' which later switched to a Western tune, which was particularly appropriate since Barney had hidden the phone in Ted and Robin's piano.

Everyone else was busy setting up dates, too. Ted asks Marshall and Lily to set him up with someone--after hearing Ranjit's tale of arranged marriage--while Robin thinks she agreed to a date with co-anchor Don while on live TV. When Robin reveals that Don actually asked her to a party, the group agrees that Robin doesn't really hate Don, and that she, in fact, likes him and wants to date him.

It's the whole rabbit versus the duck conundrum, Ted explains. He shows off an optical illusion, explaining that at first you see a rabbit, and then you see a duck. This, of course, is compared to relationships: at first you think it's someone/something you hate--a rabbit--only to later realize it's someone/something you love, a duck. This sets off a huge fast-forwarded argument, but eventually, it's agreed upon that ducks are more lovable. Talk about a crazy relationship theorem, more bizarre than most on HIMYM.

Moving on... before Ted's double date, Robin asks him to go to the party with him. He claims he'll "duck out" if it looks like something might happen between the two duck--er, lovebirds. Robin opens Don's apartment door and--voila!--Don is trying out the Naked Man, which fails to win over Robin, effectively turning Don into a Playboy bunny, aka a rabbit.

Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily forgot to set up a date for Ted. Lucky for them, they get their hands on Barney's phone. Fortunately for Ted, it's the girl who can put her leg around her neck and open a beer bottle with her foot. Unfortunately, she needs a visa... and Ted found and became addicted to Barney's phone. Luckily for everyone, a fight over the phone results in Lily tossing it into a pitcher of beer.

The episode wraps up with Ted and Robin sitting in a darkened living room, watching TV together. This moment seemed like it might turn into another re-return with Ted and Robin, but thankfully it didn't.

Overall, I thought this was a pretty funny episode--but notice how much they've used plot devices from previous episodes?
- Fast-forwarding through a discussion, a la trying to figure out the best candy metaphor to describe what single-life is like in NYC.
Barney: Yes! It's like being in a candy store! You just walk right in and grab yourself
some Whoppers! Yeah! ... Is Whoppers the best one?
Ted: Mounds.
Barney: Milk Duds. (Season 2, Episode 2)
- Ranjit appearing to help Barney out in meeting all his women. He first appeared in Season 1, Episode 1 as a cab-driver. Later, he was their limo driver on New Year's Eve (Season 1, Episode 11), and he's appeared sporadically in other seasons as well.
- The Naked Man. Duh. This was one of the best episodes of a lackluster Season 4.
- Lawyered! Originally spoken by Marshall in Season 1, Mary the Paralegal--and used sporadically throughout HIMYM since, but this was the first time Ted used it. Thankfully, he asked Marshall's permission.

There's nothing wrong with using and doing stuff that's been done in earlier (better) seasons and episodes. In fact, I like that they keep things continuous, and what better way to pull off a great episode then using things that worked well before?

Then again, this episode ushered in very little progress for yet another week. Barney, as usual, acts the player part. Ted still struggles to have a normal date. Marshall and Lily act as cute matchmakers and realize how hard the single life is. But then there's Robin.

At the end of the episode, Robin is startled to see that Don is wearing pants, because he knows that she deserves a great co-anchor. And Don is back to being a lovable duck, bill and all. Progress on the Robin front!

What did you think of the episode and the latest relationship theory? Do you think Don and Robin's relationship will go anywhere? What crazy shenanigans will Barney be up to next? And will Ted ever date again!? Share your thoughts below!

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