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Urban HIMYMs: “How I Met Everyone Else” — Tasty Sandwiches Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Posted by Yostal in Gen X&Y, How I Met Your Mother, Television, Things too long to read, TV, TV shows, Urban HIMYMs, Yostal.
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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to my season’s worth of recaps for How I Met Your Mother. Welcome, once more, to Urban HIMYMs.

So today’s Urban HIMYMs may be slightly lacking because my full first run through this episode I spent trying to solve one of the show’s great mysteries, so I sincerely hope that my detective work will make up for it.

And away we go…

Dating a girl named “blah blah”…Looking for the meet cute, the story goes that she was taking a cooking class, French fusion, and she got partnered with Ted but, oh no, they met online, there’s no stigma anymore.  Shit.  Barney reminds Ted that the only hot girls who troll the internet for dudes are crazy, hookers, or dudes and that there’s no way she is above the line on the hot/crazy scale. 

Barney goes to the charts and graphs complete with charts and graphs music.  The basic premise, a girl can be crazy, but only if she is equally hot, and what you really want is a girl above the diagonal, known as the Vicki Mendoza Line. Brilliant.  Pure brilliance.  It wasn’t a low target number joke, but I know that the people who got it deeply appreciated it.

So, Blah Blah finishes her story, and Barney gets a full on crazy in.  So we’re going through the how they mets, starting with Marshall and Lily and Marshall dropping the phrase “Spoiler Alert” as he prepares to tell the story, an of told tale and with any couple, if you have told it enough it becomes a choreographed dance.  It was Late August 1996, and as freshmen moving into Hewitt Hall, Lily needed help setting up a stereo.  And that’s when they met, it was love at first sight.  Awww…  However, Marshall’s original version was “Dude, this blackhaired goth chick stopped by today, wanna tap it.”

OK, so we have another clue in my biggest HIMYM mystery: Where did Lily, Ted, and Marshall go to undergrad?  Hewitt Hall.  Still not enough on the board to narrow it down yet.  But it’s one more piece of the puzzle. 

The more we hear from Blah Blah, its very clear, she’s crazy.  There’s no doubts on this one.  Sorry Ted.

Back from commercial and Blah Blah thinks Barney and Robin are a couple and asks how they met, and Robin goes on the immediate denial defensive.  Barney’s “Really, 16 nos?” is absolutely perfect in that regard.  Meanwhile, Blah Blah is clearly disconcerted that Robin is single and Ted’s friend.  Ted quickly tries to prevent a crazy spiral out of control by telling the story of how he and Marshall met. 

So, back to August 1996, and Future Ted must note that in order to understand this story…Wait, DUDE, is that “I am a Scientist” by Guided by Voices?  It IS!  I was so not that cool in college.  I’m not even that cool now.  Mad props for that selection to the music coordinator for the show…Marshall was doing something that a lot of college kids do.  Let’s call it “eating a sandwich.”  Wait a second Future Ted, so you’re willing to explain this various sexcapades you had with women that weren’t your children’s mother, but you can’t mention that Uncle Marshall or even yourself sparked one up?  Smoked a little of the bomb chronic?  But no, we’re going to go with “Eating a sandwich”.  Fine, I’m sure there’s a standards and practices note on this one in there somewhere.  So, after a warning that the Dean is coming, Marshall puts out his sandwich.  And that’s when Ted comes in, and notes that “Whoa, someone’s been eating a sandwich.”  You know, in college, I ate a lot of sandwiches, which is to say, I actually at a lot of sandwiches.  No, for real.  I had Jimmy John’s on speed dial.

Robin notes “Ah, college, good times” which Blah Blah interprets as a backhanded slap at the fact that she never went to college.  Barney’s little mini clap and “Oooh, here we go” is absolutely pitch perfect there.  Seriously, I love how crazy Blah Blah is and how desperately Robin is trying to play defense against crazy.  

Ted tries to save it by getting us the how Barney and Ted met story.  It was at the urinal at the bar in 2001.  Ted had the beard, scratch that, goatee.  (Geoff notes that “He looks like a live action Frylock.” And honestly, he does.)  Barney’s talking to Ted while they’re peeing, awkward.  Barney’s story about having to care for his deaf brother now was made up while he was peeing.  It’s totally going to work on the chick at the bar.  Five minutes later, “Barney, we met at the urinal”.  Lesson 2: Get a suit.  Suits are cool.  Exhibit A [points at self].  Barney uses Ted as the deaf brother, but, oh no, Audrey knows sign language, but whoa, wait, Ted’s knowledge of ASL saves the day.  That was awesome.  It’s a great story, even if it was a fake number.  Ted cops to the fact that his use of ASL actually warned her off, which gets a laugh from everyone, except Barney.

Barney gets his revenge by just saying online, online, online.  Blah Blah overreacts but Ted points out that no one sees a stranger across a crowed room and meets them, except in the movies (or on TV shows), but wait Barney points out how he and Robin met… 

So now Blah Blah is wondering about the fact that Robin and Ted dating and Robin tries to help and digs DEEP.  DEEP.  And another wonderful Blah Blah.  And at the half, she’s getting much crazier, but no hotter, which crosses the Mendoza diagonal and takes her dangerously close to the Shelly Gillespie zone.

Blah Blah is upset, but it’s only because she and Ted don’t have a good story like Lily and Marshall, but Ted points out that, well, Lily and Marshall’s story actually has a missing element.  Blah Blah ups the ante on the hot scale, and Ted starts to spill. 

The night before Lily and Marshall met, there was a party where Ted met Lily.  Ted’s being ultra-hip freshman dork whom I really just want to kick the crap out of.  I sincerely hope that I was never, ever, that pretentious. 

Wait, we have another clue.  The banner in the background says “Go Cardinals”.  Could this be Ball State in a loving nod to CBS’s own David Letterman?  The Cardinal, fiercest of the robin sized birds!  OK, another clue in the mystery. 

While Marshall’s off doing a keg stand (So to be clear on the stories, Future Ted is OK with sex and underage binge drinking, but not pot.  Wow, that’s a crazy set of standards you have there Mr. Mosby.)  Ted is macking on Lily with some cute lines, but then gets some Descartes line in.  Oh goodness, I was this pretentious in college.  I am so so sorry to everyone who lived in Bursley in 1996-97.  I’m sorry.  The short version of this is that Lily came over looking for Ted after they made out the night before.  And Blah Blah threatens to tell the real story if he doesn’t, and remember folks, she’s crazy

I just want to mention, there’s a LOT going on in this episode, so I may have missed some things as we’ve gone, but I’m already at a page and a half of notes, and we’re not even to the third act yet. 

Blah Blah raises the question, how did Lily and Ted meet? Lily thinks Ted doesn’t want to tell the story because Ted was weeping over his was a long distance relationship (and reusing the Descartes line) and is bawling into the telephone and then threatens to go to the computer lab to send his girlfriend an “electronic mail” which is a nice, if overstated touch for 1996.  By the way, I am pretty sure that I had Ted’s microwave in college.  Blah Blah claims that that isn’t the story, and Lily is called over for a private conversation, and Ted tries to get Lily to know his version, but Lily isn’t biting.  Blah Blah tells Lily Ted’s version, and Lily says that she only had made out with one other guy in college and that was Too Much Tongue Guy.  Oh no, Lily just figured it out. 

Meanwhile, back at the table, Barney asks Robin is he’s every heard the story of how he met Marshall, and Robin says five or six times.  Back in 2001, Barney claims that Marshall’s only sleeping with one girl is lame, those kind of stats are only OK if you’re 11.  Marshall is confused and Ted claims that “He’s kind of a jackass.”  Barney claims to be Broda.  He’s going to use Force, because that sounds wrong.  Barney tells Marshall he should score with the hottie who just walked in, and of course, it’s Lily, and Barney doesn’t know that.  Oh man Allyson is smoking the Willow look there. Hot damn.  Red hot damn there.  Wow.  Anyway, Barney tells Marshall that “Believing you can do this, even though you probably can’t.”  Barney takes pity on Marshall, claiming that the “Poor guys gonna crash and burn.”  Barney does a spittake and claims that “That man is a GOD!” 

Lily comes back and asks to talk to Marshall in private, but Blah Blah spills with a slam directed at Robin, who is just confused, and Ted confesses to being Too Much Tongue Guy and Lily to being Unreasonably Small Mouth Opening Girl.  Barney labels them the “Worst Superheroes Ever.”  Marshall, however, seems unfazed.  He was at that party, and sure it was dark, and granted, I had eaten a lot of sandwiches, but Marshall claims that neither one is the other. Wow, Marshall saves the day.  Way to go. This, however, is the final straw for Blah Blah, who goes off on one last crazy ass, telling him to avoid her the next time he is online playing World of Warcraft.  The Online Roleplaying Game. 

Ted firmly believed that it was Lily, but at the 20th college reunion, when he ran into Alexa Leskys, and 

Boom, we have it!  Wesleyan!  Middlebury, Connecticut.  A fine liberal arts college and the Connecticut Northwestern for Hollywood!  It all makes perfect sense now.  It also makes perfect sense as to why Ted doesn’t care at all for college football!  Of course! By the way, the alumni list for Wesleyan is pretty impressive, which is to say, crazy impressive.  Even the football names are impressive, even if it’s just in the coaching ranks.

The story is confirmed by Alexa, it was her.  So he is not too much tongue guy…Alexa begs to differ.

The epilogue shows that Marshall confiscated a nice “sandwich” from some kids, which the three of them take turns “eating”, but Lily can’t handle her sandwich like she used to.  Marshall asks if they can grow sandwiches behind the garage, and Lily says “We’re 42!”  Ted then asks where his wife is, which is a wonderful way to hang the lantern on the issue, because if you have ever been to a reunion, you know that it’s pretty much a joined at the hip issue in most cases of non-alumnus significant others. 

I thought this was a solid return to form episode, I liked getting some back story on the gang, there were a lot of good lines, a lot of established premises, and I just the overall tenor of the episode.  I also enjoyed the continued tease of a Barney/Robin relationship, the fact that Robin actually was trying to help Ted in his new dating life, and that there’s a wonderful sweetness to Lily and Marshall’s relationship, even if it is memory enhanced over time.

Once again, I’d like to thank my pal Geoff (aka The Bad One) for his witty and insightful comments as I worked on this.

So, that’s all I have for this week’s edition of Urban HIMYMs. With that, this is Yostal reminding you to just chill, ‘til the next episode.

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Comments»

1. Peter Cavan - Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I thought they went to college in Ohio. Last season, in the episode where Marshall and Ted drove home in Marshall’s car, I thought they were going somewhere in the midwest. I could be way off.

Also, I freeze-framed the shot of the hallway outside Marshall and Ted’s dorm room door, and the poster for “The Testostertones” show says the band is playing on Feb. 26, but the events in the show are supposed to be in August. Either someone in the set dressing crew screwed up, or they meant to make it look like a college dorm where signs stay up for months. Except this is the beginning of freshman year, so that would mean a dorm free of old posters. I’m confused.

2. DougOLis - Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We got a little bit more teasing of a Robin/Barney coupling this episode.

You’d think Barney would know better than to talk to another dude at the urinal.

Ohhhh, Descartes, that makes a lot more sense. I thought he was saying “Dick Clark,” which would have been far more random and an odd thing to use (can’t hear him saying it). That may have actually been funnier though and made Ted seem even more faux-pretentious.

I will now insist on my friends calling me Broda. Hell, I may change my DS name.

3. Yostal - Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Peter,

I believe that Marshall was driving home to Minnesota and offered Ted a ride to his home in Ohio on the way back last season.

DougOLis, if you do change your name, you will need to make sure that your avatar suits up.

4. JB* - Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Yost –

Truth. I just got the S2 DVD and watched that Fiero episode. Ohio was on the way home to .

That seems reasonable with a drive from Middlebury?

5. JB* - Thursday, October 25, 2007

And for what its worth, in “Where Were We?”, Robin leaves Ted’s room wearing a shirt reading “Wesleyan” – gray with red/maroon lettering.

6. MoL - Thursday, October 25, 2007

I remember seeing Wesleyan at least once before and JB* seems to have figured that one out.

I like pretentious Ted, trying to be all suave drinking wine and quoting Descartes. Although who as a freshman drank wine that didn’t come out of a box and actually used a wine glass for it? We had the 2nd appearence this season of “old” Marshall — I’m digging the combover look for him. It just smacks of being middle-aged and losing your “coolness” from when you were younger. When will we get middle-aged Barney? I could see him being the exact thing with the caveat that he is only dating 20-somethings.

7. Yostal - Thursday, October 25, 2007

JB,

I should have put it together sooner (as I learned, apparently each of the character’s MySpace pages had it listed for them.), but yes, good catch.

It would also explain the lack of college football love.

8. JB* - Thursday, October 25, 2007

Yeah, I guess MySpace pages may have provided the data. I didn’t even give thought to it until I was watching the DVD last night after reading your recap (which Mrs.JB* loved, b the w), then the shirt jumped out at me.

9. jennie - Thursday, December 29, 2011

Middletown, CT not Middlebury two totally different towns. ;) Thanks for the info.

10. todd - Sunday, February 5, 2012

In S4E8 Marshal is in his office and you can read his diploma on the wall. It states Ohio Wesleyan University.


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