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Urban HIMYMs: “Rebound Bro” — Expectations Management Wednesday, May 7, 2008

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.

So here’s the deal:

It’s AP week, so even if I wanted to go more fully into the notions of this episode, I think I am forced to stick to the ten points agenda.  Which is good, it keeps me brief.

And away we go…

1). Barney is not taking Ted breaking up with him as his wingman not well.  The calls to Ted’s parents were probably not a good sign.  The gang seems to miss Barney, but Robin raises a practical question at this juncture: Why is Ted so much more upset with Barney than he is with her?  After an interesting question of metaphysics is pointed out, Ted points out he has forgiven Robin and has outgrown Barney as a friend.  Lily thinks it’s because Ted is so happy with Stella.  There’s one small snag, and it couldn’t be more sitcommy.  It turns out that Ted and Stella have not yet had sex (hey, actual Sarah Chalke sighting.)

2). At big ol’ faceless company, Barney learns from his blog reading mail room guy Randy (played by an extra nerdy Will Forte, who looks like he was aiming for The Big Bang Theory‘s old time slot) that he is looking for a new wingman, or as Barney calls it “Vice President of Awesome”.  Uncle Barney begins the search for a new wingman, but like any single guy in his early 30s, he’s finding that the list is dwindling and rapidly, either due to marriage, bro coupling, or just sad red headed guys who deserve double hang-ups.

Meanwhile, at Stella’s office, Ted’s hormones get the best of him, and after a hilarious point about the potential weirdness between Stella and the door the next day, it turns out that Stella’s had a bit of a dry spell.  But whereas Ted has been dry five months, Stella has been without for sixty months.  Credits!

3). Marshall decides to contextualize the five year gap with random facts about 2003.  To his credit, this is exactly what I would do.  I did it for many years on TFTD contextualizing the world vis-a-vis things that happened since the release of the last Peter Gabriel album.  Stella has some trust issues, which is why it has been five years.  But Ted can respect that, even as his gaze drifts southerly.  But they decide that they’re going to do it.  How will Ted manage expectations after five years?  Meanwhile, Marshall is still rolling with things that had happened since 2003, including his belated mourning for the passing of Nell Carter.  Barney is then rejected by potential new wingmen Marshall and Robin.  So Randy gets the call, he’s moving up to the majors, and proceeds to do about thirty seconds worth of awesome celebratory dancing, earning him a 15 yard penalty and a stern talking to by Roger Goodell.

4). Ted attempts to use potato skins to lower expectations, and Stella not only executes a deft comedic triple, but then also digs for a classic GenX reset for the nicknaming of any sequel (seriously, has any not-so-bad film every gotten as much currency with as little box office receipts as Breakin’ 2?.) But Ted worries and Stella calms him down and she’s just amazing.  Ted breaks the moment by inquiring about the third part of the the triple and we learn that someone in Stella’s med school class clearly was down with OBP.

5). Randy greets Barney as “Broseph Lieberman” and Barney immediately nixes the use of the word “bro” in the name of a failed Democratic vice-presidential candidate, forcing Randy into his notebook to cross of Geraldine Ferrabro.  (How obsessive am I?  I spent most of the day trying, from memory, to come up with the other names this excludes and got Broseph Taylor Robinson (1928), Franklin D. Broosevelt (1920) (I do feel his later work disqualifies him from the exclude list), and Broseph Lane (1860, Southern Democrats).  I wanted to add Edmund Broskie (1968) to the list, but I didn’t want to cause anyone to well up.)  (I’m sorry, that was a really really long way to go for that joke, and I apologize.)  But Barney’s spirit cannot be dampened, Randy will be his next masterpiece.  Randy has a healthy amount of appreciation for Barney, he’s been reading the blog for years, but his execution leaves something to be desired.  Which is to say everything to be desired.

6). Stella makes her way to the apartment, and Ted has a nice set up to the plan for the evening, but Stella would like to get straight to it.  Lily and Marshall’s return and poor use of double entendre, however, makes Stella more than a bit upset.  She feels betrayed (and honestly begins channeling Elliot Reid directly for the first time in the guest run.  It’s not particularly appealing.)  Marshall tries to cover, but he does a poor job of it.  And we go to commercial left to wonder, did Stella ever ask Ted to not mention this?  Did Stella figure he was not going to discuss this with his friends?

7). Stella is conveying her betrayal to Ted, and she’s now worried that she looks like a freak to his friends, but it’s worth a jump cut to learn that Randy peaked really early, it’s been 13 years for him.  Back at the apartment, Stella says she has her reason not to sleep with a guy, but Ted points out that it may not be reason as much as she was looking for one, because things are getting serious and she might be getting scared.  Stella says good night without a retort, and it leaves me to believe that Ted may have been on to something.

8). Down at McClaren’s, Randy is repeating the three basic ways to pick up a woman at a bar

  • Isolate her from her friends
  • Repeat her name in conversation
  • Subtly put her down

(I realize 24 hasn’t been on in almost a year, but I swear this is the same technique Jack Bauer uses when he needs to know the location of something unthinkably horrible.  Well, this, and a hacksaw.)
Barney is pleased with his young padawan, but his first field test looks like some early footage of the rockets at the Redstone Arsenal.  Barney critiques and then starts again.  He plays off the koala approach with a woman to make Randy look good in front of a new girl, but his carnivorous tendencies towards marsupials kill that.  Attempt three will be using Robin as practice (compelled to come from Brooklyn due to worries about a sex tape of Barney and Robin popping up on the Internet), but a nosebleed ends that.  Robin explains that Randy is the rebound bro and he needs to move on.  Except Randy was a NYPD cop for three months and that is like a great hook, this rebound bro can be saved and yes, he reels one in.  Barney is the greatest wingman of all time, but he wells up missing Ted.

9). Stella comes by the next morning and apologizes because she overreacted the night before and Ted called it.  She was sabotaging the relationship.  Things are getting back on track and Stella is ready to do something big, and that is to introduce Ted to Lucy.  It’s a big sweetheart of a step.

10). But of course, the coda brings some gentle discussion and a tryst in a motel room and a wonderful kick Ted out of bed gag.

Strangely a fun episode.  We know that Barney is Uncle Barney so we know he doesn’t completely leave Ted’s life.  But how to integrate him back into the scene.  With two episodes left in the year, it should be fun to figure out, especially since Britney’s back next week.

So gang, please, take it away in the comments, and enjoy.

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. And Jennifer (aka The Yostess) for putting up with me doing 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.



1. DougOLis - Thursday, May 8, 2008

*but a nosebleed and erection ends that

I wasn’t real thrilled with this episode; it was fine but wasn’t a standout by any means. It felt like a normal crappy sitcom to me because of the main plot line and pretty everything about Randy.

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