Urban HIMYMs: “Shelter Island” — Gimme Shelter Tuesday, October 21, 2008Posted by Yostal in Gen X&Y, How I Met Your Mother, Television, TV, TV shows, Urban HIMYMs, Yostal.
Tags: Gen X&Y, How I Met Your Mother, Television, TV, TV shows, Urban HIMYMs, Yostal
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to my season’s worth of recaps for How I Met Your Mother. Welcome, once more, to Urban HIMYMs.
You know the drill by now, so instead I will say, for the love of criminy, if you hate spoliers, run away! Be gone with ye! All that can harm you lies inside.
Good, I feel better.
1). The immediate appearance of Sarah Chalke means this will be a Stella episode. In this case, Stella’s little sister is stealing her dream wedding from her on Shelter Island. Stella’s slamming drinks down, and Ted stands up for omnivores everywhere in the face of vegan sanctimony…except it turns out her hippie dippy sister was dumped by her fiancee (and is now back to being a ravenous carnivore) and we learn the dangers of unspoken communication between the bethrothed (something, admittedly, that the Yostess and I have not yet tried. We do have a fantastic set of hand signals though. Not ASL or anything, just a small short hand, no pun intended.)
2). For you see, the telepathy thing, whereas Ted wants to pick up dinner to help out Stella’s sister because she’s going to take a bath on this wedding thing, Stella wants to pick up the whole wedding…in three days. (OK, this isn’t sitcommy at all. No…No…No…)
3). Ted isn’t sure this is a good plan, but Stella thinks it is, particularly that Tony, Lucy’s dad, was “never ready” for marriage. I enjoy that Future Ted lays out the ultra important moral of this story at the beginning: “Don’t EVER, EVER, invite an ex to your wedding.” Ted’s working the phones trying to get Robin to come home from Tokyo, her first week on the job in what only can be described as Japanese newscast hell. (There’s a giant fan, a monkey, and marshmallows.) (Just a note: I love Robin’s last name, but I have a hard time believing that she would not have changed it for a stage name.)
4). Lily finds Barney’s lack of commitment to the “war on marriage” to be out of character (but let’s face it, at this point, all we really know is that Barney was supporting Ted’s bachelor party, which was in character, but I digress.) Barney claims that he knows a hopeless cause when he sees it, and it’s actually in his best interest for his current “hugely important question”, one which Mr. Stinson has been poring over for days in his office (complete with some new GNB swag) in front of a white board, (including some wonderful call backs in the overlay, including, but not limited to the Crazy/Hot scale, the Relationship free way, ez=(gin+tonic)^4, 3x–>hi5, suit(arrow pointing upward), and fish roughly equal to women among several others.) Namely, how can Barney have sex with Robin again? And then, it hit him, get her drunk at Ted’s wedding. It’s honestly kind of beautiful in a weird sexually cryptographic way. Lily cannot believe or support this plan but worries not because she doesn’t think Barney will be able to pull it off.
5). Stella and Ted make their way out to Shelter Island, with the rest of the gang (sans Robin) not far behind, in a car/ferry/car sequence. It turns out the wedding is going to be held at a yoga collective that has no alcohol and no meat, thus bringing down the spirits of Lily and Barney, and Marshall respectively. It also puts a severe cramp in Barney’s master plan. There’s a great Spin Doctors reset but
6). Ted comes in telling the gang that there’s a little problem. Stella’s not exactly happy about Robin coming, I mean, she is Ted’s ex-girlfriend. There’s a great fantasy sequence (and in a wonderful touch, in Stella’s mind, she up plays Robin’s Canadian accent) and the end of the whole issue is that Stella is just not sure because having exes around bring up all kinds of unresolved feelings. Ted doesn’t help his cause in the conversation, but Stella is fighting it. Stella says that she doesn’t want Tony there, but Robin is a close second. So what is Ted going to do. Robin is leaving her important job. Marshall is siding with Stella, slamming the Seattle Mariners in the process, but Ted points out that Robin is his best friend, which earns a rebuke from all three, and he clarifies, best female friend, and Lily attempts to rebuke but points out that she really doesn’t care so why fake it. It’s a great little sitcom moment that is turned upon its head ever so slightly. With the decision deadlocked at one apiece, Justice Aldrin gets the tie breaking vote and she guides a middle path like John Marshall deciding Marbury v. Madison. Barney tells Ted he will handle Robin and though he reaches her before she gets on the plane, Barney says “whoops” she’s already on her way.
7). Ted just decides that he’s just going to need to tell Stella she’s going to have to deal with it. Lily points out Ted needs delicacy because brides are under a lot of stress. Lily points out she held it together pretty well, but Marshall has a comedic triple waiting in rebuke. Lily points out that if Ted can wait for the next crisis and solve it, he’s a hero and will get him the Robin thing, no problem. Honestly, that makes a ton of sense in the real world. But this is sitcom land, and that is just setting up a plot point. Not that I mind, mind you, I’m just saying. Sure enough, the next crisis is right on the heels, Tony was supposed to drive Lucy up tomorrow, but he instead decides that he’s not going to do so. (Query for you New Yorkers. Is Shelter Island “up” from NYC? To me, it looked like it was out on the end of Long Island, which, to an outsider, I would have described as “driving out”, but this is just me.) Meanwhile, Stella’s sister is trying to blot out the pain of this not being her wedding by launching a come on to Barney so powerful, Duracell used it in its next ad campaign. Lily says that Barney will never make it.
8). So Ted drives back to the city to get Lucy, and we meet up with Tony, who is wearing a karate uniform and he’s wistful in his reminisence. Ted tries to convince Tony that he needs to take Lucy, and Ted’s empassioned speech wins Tony over. He’s a wee bit emotional, and Ted, in his moment of weakness, invites Tony to come to the wedding. This was a bad choice. Epically bad.
8a). Stella’s sister continues on her Barney prowl, more aggressive that before, and Lucy and Tony walk in to the center, which goes poorly because, in sitcom land, it supposed to be a smoothed over moment, but Stella’s right there, and Ted has to deal with the fact that Stella’s “no exes” dictum is slamming headlong into itself with not only Tony, but Robin showing up. It’s also a perfect act break.
9). Ted attempts to dig out of his hole with a “to be fair”, but it doesn’t work. Stella asks Ted to talk to Tony, she’ll even volunteer to be the bad guy, and she’ll talk to Robin so that she knows it’s nothing personal. There’s a wonderful reimagining of the entire series in this next moment, but Ted doesn’t do it. Ted wants to flip it, he’ll talk to Robin, Stella should talk to Tony. Robin puts on a brave front, but in the end, when Ted tells her she can’t come to the wedding, a wave of relief washes over her. It’s weird, as she points out. Ted disagrees. Robin has her fantasy receiving line moment to counter Stella’s from earlier (and it’s funny to hear Sarah Chalke hiss “suck it bitch, I win” which rolling the wedding ring in front of her face.) Ted doesn’t get it. Robin points out that the break up wasn’t that long ago and that if she ever changed her mind about marriage or kids, Ted would be there (like a safety school, Ted rejoinders in a wonderful throwaway line). Ted wonders why this is coming up now, there’s nothing between them now, Robin disagrees, she doesn’t think it will work. Robin points out that she quit her job because she wants to go back to her real life, and she thinks Ted should go back to his. Robin has an absolutely beautifully passionate speech which Cobie totally sells, particularly because what she wants is the best ending for Ted. Ted disagrees, he loves Stella.
10). Which leads to Robin heading over to a half-dressed Barney’s room, offering duty free scotch and hoping to crash with Barney, except um, he’s inflagrante. He was so close, so so close, and yet, we learn, it wasn’t even Stella’s sister, it was the front desk clerk. Robin gets back on the ferry, but we learn that the story does not end as we suspect it would. Ted thought, at the time, the question, the story was whether Robin should be at the wedding. The real story is that Tony and Stella are on the ferry with Ted, leaving Ted with a Dear John note card as we see the replay of the foreshadowed clues in this episode. I do wonder how Stella and Tony are going to get home from Shelter Island, since both rode up with Ted, but this is just me.
So, this is sort of a to be continued, but wow, there was a lot of ground covered. I thought this episode did a really nice job of bringing the Stella thread towards a logical conclusion, but now this kind of means that Robin needs to pay off somehow. I don’t know how it’s going to, but it needs to pay off.
So that’s all from me this week. Please, take it away in the comments as usual, and my general thank yous to The Yostess and The Bad One for their help and insights. So just chill, ’til the next episode.