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Urban HIMYMs: “The Platinum Rule” — Doing Unto Others… Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Posted by Yostal in Gen X&Y, How I Met Your Mother, Television, The Bad One, 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.

Wait a minute, just when I thought I was done, they pull me back in. Not that I mind, it’s like a three chambered peanut, it’s an unexpected surprise. It’s just thrown my schedule off a bit is all.

And away we go…

OK, no kidding, this thing needs a flowchart. It’s a great episode to watch, but a nightmare to recap, so you’re getting the outlined form, with snarky commentary interwoven throughout.

So, if you remember Ted’s “Panama City License Plate” from the first episode of the season, he has decided to get it removed. Which, I mean, I don’t blame him. But, yes, clearly, this is what gets our ball rolling tonight. Ted is getting the Tramp Stamp removed by Dr. Stella, whom he is also taking out to a movie that night. This brings jeers of derision from our four partners in crime, which seems odd, because I mean, who among us wouldn’t want to date a doctor with mad laser skills? But no, that’s not the issue, because, well, “don’t poop where you eat.” In this case, Ted should not date someone he will need to see on a regular basis. But Ted is dismissive saying it’s different. Barney, however, disagrees and clearly, has thought this through. Barney asks Ted if he has heard of The Golden Rule: Love thy neighbor. Ted corrects him, saying it’s do unto others as you would have them do unto you, you know from The Bible. Wait, I thought that was the basic premise of My Name is Earl? Barney politely asks Ted not to kill his buzz on this, OK? Barney says that while the Golden Rule of “Love thy neighbor” is important, there is one rule above it, the Platinum Rule: “Never, ever, ever, ever, love thy neighbor.” Ted dismisses this, but Robin and Marshall point out they had bad experiences in this realm and think Barney may be on to something, each citing examples in their own lives. Ted says he doesn’t have time for this (apparently he’s from the Nick Saban school of dating) and will be out the door as soon as he’s done finishing his hair, allowing Barney to get in a great meta-joke. Barney says it’s a story older than time and it always plays out in the same eight steps. I will now recap those eight steps for you, in outlined form with T for Ted in the main story line, B for Barney, R for Robin, and M&L for Marshall and Lily

Step 1: Attraction

B: Barney’s story begins with Wendy the Waitress at the pub in November of 2005. Clearly, there is some minor flirting going on here, and truth be told, she’s really pretty attractive.

M&L: Marshall and Lily’s story begins with their new neighbors, Michael and Laura (Hey, M&L too! Funzies!) in December 2006. They ask about brunch. Well, we know where this is going.

R: Robin’s story begins with the new sports guy at work, Kurt “The Iron Man” Irons, a former hockey player. Because, you know, in case you forgot, Robin’s Canadian and Canadians love hockey. They just all love it.

T: “The attraction is instant and undeniable. But you know better, you’ve seen your friends make the same mistakes before, you’ve laughed, smugly, at them. Idiots! But still, you think, this is different! The Platinum Rule doesn’t apply to me! (Oh my goodness Ted, your hair is fine. Get over it! Seriously, this is why I have had a razor based cut since I was 14, wet it, comb it, good night. Plus, you know, when you’re seeing the first real signs of balding at 29, well…”) anyway, all of the convincing leads to

Step 2: Bargaining

R; She declares that she has a little crush on the sports guy, which leads to the same reaction we just saw earlier from the rest of the gang. She can’t help it, he’s a hockey player. But they try to talk her out of it. Need they remind you, Robin, of…

M&L: Their burgeoning new friendship with the Gerards across the hall? (Wow, Lily is going through a lot of hair styles and hair colors in this episode.) Ted calls this out as a bad idea, due to the fact that this is New York City, where you don’t get close to the neighbors. And, need Barney remind you, Marshall and Lily, of what happened with…

B: Barney’s decision to seduce Wendy the Waitress. All are opposed to this, but Barney’s query as to what rule says it can’t or shan’t be done exists, and amazingly, Robin and Lily are stunned that Barney doesn’t already have one with a catchy name. But, Barney, the gang LOVES the bar. If Barney screws things up, he will KILL THE BAR. And not in the way that Davy Crockett did back when he was only three. But Barney thinks it will be OK…

M&L: But Barney admits it was a huge mistake…But Marshall & Lily think it will be OK…

R: But they admit, it was a huge mistake…But Robin thinks it will be OK…

T: But, she admits, it was a huge mistake. But Ted thinks it will be OK…

[Credits] (Oh my goodness, I’m at almost 1000 words and I haven’t even hit the credits yet. I mean, how long is this going to take?

But no, the gang still opposes this, but Ted is still is adamant. If it gets weird, he’ll back off. But no, because that’s where we get

Step 3: Submission

B: Barney’s on his way out of the bar, but Wendy stops him and asks him for a hand in closing up…and now they’re making out…and now they’re making out on top of the bar…and then they emerge from behind the bar in post-coital disarray and Wendy notes Barney’s interesting use of the beverage gun…and Barney makes what may be the dirtiest joke in HIMYM history. (I honestly am surprised the censors let that one by…) Wendy is just thrilled beyond, Barney’s well, Barney.

R: Hey, center ice Rangers tickets! And now they’re watching the game, and they’re making lovey eyes at each other…and now they’re making out…

M&L: The Gerards’ kitchen stuff hasn’t arrived yet, s, woo hoo, cooking party with Marshall & Lily…and isn’t cooking so much fun when you’re a couple…oh and look, now they’re playing charades!…

T: Ted notes that Barney probably didn’t pay for that G&T, but Barney replies, but he did…Ted thinks that as his doctor’s boyfriend, he could get a discount on treatments. Yes, because skimping on medical treatment, that’s a good plan. It’s right there with Budget Brakes.

Step 4: Perks

The initial upside.

R: Sharing a cab, standing lunch date, and locker room privileges to meet Mason Raymond of the Vancouver Canucks. (Hey, a former college hockey player. Good deal!) Barney wonders what’s the opposite of name dropping with that story, but hey, I’m impressed.

M&L: They’re right across the hall! Brunch double date…BOOM! Dinner Party…BOOM! Charades…BOOM! Across the hall.

B: Free nachos. Barney’s killing the bar…They’re insistent! Hey, Marshall’s wearing an old school UConn t-shirt. Barney insists that it’s fine…

M&L: But it wasn’t…Marshall and Lily insist that it’ll be fine…

R; But it wasn’t…Robin insists she’ll be fine..

T: But it wasn’t… Which brings us t

Step 5: The Tipping Point

R: Iron Man is upset because Robin didn’t call him back the night before. Like, really upset. Turns out the Iron Man is a gigantic softie when it comes to relationships.

B: Barney attempts to send champagne to a PYT blonde at the bar…through Wendy as he was apt to do…shit. Killing the bar…Killing the bar…Killing the bar.

M&L: Marshall and Lily are headed out the door, when the Gerards are RIGHT THERE to intercept for Fiesta night. Oh and it turns out that Charades is a sometimes food…

(An aside here: Basically, the tipping point comes down to that each party is too clingy for the tastes of the storytellers. Isn’t Ted’s primary thing that he, himself, is clingy, and thus would have absolutely no issue with that. The Bad One’s point is a sound one here…But I should repeat to myself “It’s just a show, I should really just relax.”)

At this point, all three have understood that the pivotal moment of failure has quickly come and gone and they were thus powerless to stop it.

[Commercial and I feel like I have run a marathon. Seriously, I did not realize this was going to take my entire Tuesday evening. I had things to do. Who am I kidding…No I didn’t.]

Which brings us to Step 6…Oh, wait, Ted’s leaving…except Barney messes up his hair to save Ted from himself. (We had to destroy the village in order to save it…except, you know, about hair…)

Step 6: Purgatory

All three of them realize they were idiots.

R: Robin’s getting post-it love notes from The Iron Man and proceeds to headtable and proclaim herself an idiot…Marshall and Lily know the feeling.

M&L: The Gerards are always there…waiting for them. Even when Ted is out as a scout…boom, waiting….headtable…declaring idiocy…Barney knows the feeling.

B: Barney asks how THEY could let him date Wendy the Waitress. Barney regrets now that he cannot even work in his own preferred environment now. Headtable. Barney’s extended lion metaphor falls apart. They love this bar. Marry her if you have to…but don’t kill the bar.

Step 7: Confrontation

I’m no good dealing with confrontation, so I am skipping this step. Robin’s is nice. Marshall and Lily’s is nice. Barney’s is utterly direct.

Step 8: Fallout

As you might expect, Fallout is incredibly emo.

R: Iron Man’s down. He points out that the Knicks lost. They had a shot, and boom, out of nowhere, it all fell apart. Why? Personally, I blame Isiah.

M&L: They’re trapped in the apartment by the Gerards. Even though Ted wants his keys, they just can’t open the door. They climb down the fire escape…Oh crap, they’re right there.

B: Wendy does the mature thing, says she just wants to be friends, but Barney’s paranoia gets the best of him, dumping drinks and slapping hamburgers out of the way because Wendy the Waitress is trying to poison him.

T: Robin calls Barney on the fact that there was no real Fallout from the relationship…Ted’s leaving, Barney ruins the hair. Barney runs through the rule again, but Ted says screw the rules, he’s going to try.

And we get some “Ooh Child” as we learn that the date wasn’t a date, because it turns out there’s a rule that says Ted can’t date Stella. Barney claims Stella reads her blog, but Ted says no, it’s the AMA. But that was the end of Ted and Stella…for the time being…(Because Ted will eventually have the tramp stamp removed, meaning that he is no longer her patient. Nice touch there Older Ted.)

But there’s a ninth step:

Step 9: Coexistence

The moment when you realize the anger and resentment isn’t worth it. And we move on with our lives. Except Barney, but you know…

For all of my complaints about the episode to physically recap it, it’s actually a great episode because it’s one of the single most real episodes of the year. Our friends want to save us from the harm that has befallen them through the years, they tell us stories designed to convince us not to do something, but in the end, we’re smarter, we know better, and in the end, they may be right, they may be wrong, but the only way wisdom can be achieved is through our own experience.

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 (whenever that might be).



1. DougOLis - Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I liked that when Robin asked Kurt if he was a former athlete his response wasn’t “yes” but “hockey.” It’s like they even know they’re not real athletes.

(question: Should Robin have been in Barney’s flashbacks? Was the timing right?)

Dude, did you read the story (on tWWLabout how some 5-year old descendent of Davy Crockett just killed a bear? How awesome is that?

I found Marshall’s charades stick of “across the hall” to be quite good and animated.

I know M&L and R’s breakups were “nice” but they were “faux-nice,” kind of like a backhanded compliment. Barney’s breakup was brilliant. So damn good. What phone/pda was he using? Was it a Treo back then?

It was awesome seeing Mel from Flight of the Conchords in a slightly less crazy role as Laura.

Who else thinks that Stella is the yellow um-ber-ella? I kind of had that feeling through the whole episode and then the end gave me tingles.

2. AlexisFromFrance - Thursday, December 13, 2007

What’s the song during the “step 3: Submission” ????

3. JB* - Sunday, December 16, 2007

Having rewatched the full episode tonight, Lilly went through a different hairstyle in every one of the sideflashes… but Ted is always pictured with his current cut, which I am reasonably certain was not this big/high/unruly in past seasons.

In the dvd commentaries, Bays/Thomas talk about how obsessive they are about continuity and the “little glimpses” they show which backshadow/foreshadow events. Seems odd that would escape them… or again, I need better things to do in hotel rooms.

4. AlexisFromFrance - Sunday, December 16, 2007

Please, the song during the step 3 ???????????????????????????????

5. JB* - Monday, December 17, 2007

Alexis – sorry. a review of imdb.com also refers to it as “Unidentified Song – Submissions”, and the music guy there is pretty on the ball.

6. AlexisFromFrance - Monday, December 17, 2007

Thanks JB for the information …

7. Yann from France - Monday, January 25, 2010

Anybody knows what is the music at the very beginning of the episode (in the dermatological doctor’s waiting room) ?

8. B lach - Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hey, anybody knows who the “Pretty young thing at the bar” is? Feels like i’ve seen her somewhere before, and it drives me crazy not knowing her name :]

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