This week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother did little to further the plot, but it at least didn’t completely flop like many recent episodes did. For the first time in a long time the episode picked a joke and ran with it through the entire episode, with the little moments building up to actually be quite funny.
The Over-Correction begins with Marshall asking Ted if he can borrow his air mattress since Marshall’s mom is coming to town. We then find out that Ted frequently lets his friends borrow his things and rarely gets them back. He even ended his friendship with Stuart over not getting back his red cowboy boots. When Judy gets in town she informs Lily that although she doesn’t think Marshall is ready to know, she’s at the point where she’s looking to get back into dating.
The main plot in this episode is Robin’s struggle with Barney and Patrice’s relationship. Yes, they’re still together, and things have actually gotten decently serious. Robin, however, still doesn’t believe it’s anything legitimate. She thinks everything Barney is doing is an attempt to get back at her for rejecting him, ignoring the fact that he rejected her more recently.
Robin takes things such as Barney asking Patrice if she’s ready for lunch as a direct shot at Robin. She attempts to find a way to get Patrice to break up with Barney, with the main plan being the reveal of The Playbook. Patrice doesn’t believe that her “honey bear” could ever do anything like have a playbook, so Robin comes to the conclusion that if Patrice is to see the playbook she must steal it.
Robin then breaks into Barney’s apartment (with a drill labeled “property of Ted Mosby”) and searches for the playbook. She finds a series of elaborate triggers that reveal The Bro Code and David Lee Roth’s Autobiography (signed “to the best wingman ever, we’ll always have Panama. Love, Diamond Dave”) but still no sign of The Playbook. Before she can search further Barney comes home, and she scampers out of sight to his suit closet.
Robin is trapped so she resorts to calling Ted. He gets Barney to leave his apartment by saying Hugh Hefner is in the lobby of his building. Robin leaves the closet and falls into the stormtrooper costume, causing The Playbook’s location to be revealed. Barney returns home before Robin can leave and thus she is trapped again.
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When Ted reluctantly agrees to help her again he is unable to get Barney to leave, despite the promise of Jon Bon Jovi standing next to a slippery when wet sign. Ted sneaks back in, grabs the purse, but then has to hide when Patrice shows up. Now we have two characters in two closets, or so we think.
Robin calls Lily for help, but she hears Lily’s ringtone. It turns out Lily has been using her breast pump at Barney’s for some peace and quiet, but her earlier session was interrupted when Robin broke in, meaning we have three characters in three closets.
Robin leaves The Playbook on the bed where she knows Patrice will find it. When Patrice does, she’s incredibly upset and wants to break up with Barney. After a bit of arguing Barney does the unthinkable and burns The Playbook to show his commitment.
While this is going on, Marshall has the horrible experience of walking in on his mom having sex. However, his experience is even worse than that would normally be since she’s having sex with Mickey. Marshall reacts to this like any good elementary-schooler would and locks himself in the closet. When Lily eventually makes it home and he tells her the news, that not only is Judy out there again, but she’s out there with her Dad, they both end up in the closet.
Marshall and Lily agree to reluctantly give their parents their blessing and tell the couple that it’s okay if they date. It turns out that they had no intention of dating; the relationship was all about sex. Mickey ends with the awesomely disturbing line “We’re family… with benefits.”
The recurring theme of Ted’s stuff being borrowed without being returned was hilarious. It was nice to see them take a joke and carry it throughout the episode, properly adding comic relief in more serious moments without requiring any additional setup.
The concept of Barney overcompensating was an interesting one, and it would certainly explain why he’s with Patrice. But on the note of overcompensating, if Ted really did have a rebound and date a prison chick, why are we just getting a glimpse of it now? The show is supposed to be about Ted’s relationship. If he has dated girls since Victoria, we need to know about it.
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At this point it almost seems like Barney and Robin have no chance of getting together. Robin is acting absolutely insane, and Barney seems happy not being with her. This would cause a lot of tension if we didn’t already know that they end up having a wedding. While that reveal provided an awesome ending to season 7, if the writers really wanted to keep the audience interested in Barney and Robin they probably shouldn’t have shown that. As it is, enough is enough. We know they end up together, so spending all this time where Barney is dating Patrice is just pointless. There’s no emotional response to Barney and Robin right now, and it isn’t funny, so there’s really nothing gained by wasting all this time.
The biggest problem I had with this episode is the Judy and Mickey relationship was an excellent opportunity to again revisit Marshall’s feelings about his dad dying. Some of the most emotionally memorable episodes were the ones where Marshall was struggling with the death of his father. It may be a bit cliché to have Marshall and Judy talk about how although Marshall isn’t ready for it, she wants to meet someone else, and just because she meets someone else, it doesn’t mean she’s forgotten his father, and so on, but it should have been addressed somehow. Marshall is upset because his mom is sleeping with his father-in-law, yes, but he’s really most upset because his mom is sleeping with someone who isn’t his dad.
It was obvious that Judy and Mickey were going to get together when Lily complained that with her dad around all the time it was going to be too crowded, but maybe that’s just because the episode preview featured Judy stating her intentions. Either way, the inevitability didn’t disappoint.
Overall, this week was a below average episode for the show but an above average episode for the season. It didn’t completely tank like some past weeks have, as the Ted’s labels plot was a nice humorous thing to resort back to, and Cobie Smulders was actually believable as the psycho ex, but it certainly didn’t have many laugh out loud moments or anything to really propel the plot forward.
Other Random Notes
- Ted has become a lot more proud of Cleveland this season.
- Duluth Streetwalkers got style. And would be very cold if they actually dressed like Lily.
- Great line from Ted when he says how he confused Hugh Heffner with a black man “I guess I just don’t notice those things.”
- Is Bernieman a real thing?
- “The know-how from Lethal Weapon 2 to pop that shoulder back in”
- “A trout with a daughter has one job. One job. To keep her off the fishing pole!”
- Marshall’s bladder is as big as Mickey’s betrayal.
Check back next week for my thoughts on the next episode in the eighth season of How I Met Your Mother.Previous