What a difference a week makes. After a season low a week ago with “Noretta,” How I Met Your Mother bounced back this week with arguably the funniest outing in this young season, “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns.”
While the premise of Ted’s (Josh Radnor) stumbling on the identity of the slutty pumpkin, his longtime crush from a long ago Halloween party, was a tad far-fetched—Ted spotted the costume in a storefront and the owner happened to keep records of who rented what costume for more than 10 years—the pay-off was worth it; as was the oddly funny costume shop owner and his positive slant on the world:
“You’re not the first lovelorn young man to walk through that door. Three girls got proposals off my wife’s slutty artichoke costume. Two others disappeared, but I focus on the positive.”
The slutty pumpkin is a woman named Naomi (Katie Holmes), she’s obsessed with the song “One Week,” she’s a terrible kisser and somehow she even holds hands in a weirdly awkward fashion. In other words, Ted’s in love.
The slutty pumpkin story plays perfectly into everything we love about Ted Mosby: His hopeful romanticism, his undying faith in true love and his ability to weather crushing disappointment when that love turns out to be some of the strangest, most uncomfortable attempts at romance imaginable.
For her part, Katie Holmes gave herself over to the oddity of Naomi and her willingness to be the butt of the joke made the performance work. Yes, the end of the storyline felt like an attempt to compensate for having made fun of Katie the whole time but the story was funny enough to make the pat ending forgivable.
This week, Robin (Cobie Smulders) got her funniest storyline of the season when she finds out via Facebook that Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) is a quarter Canadian on his dad’s side. Fans know that Barney has trashed Canada for years and that this is a truly joyous revenge for Robin.
On a brief side note, the Facebook take down was rather spot on; my mother and most of my friends mothers are indeed on Facebook. Meanwhile, at CBS.com, the second feature on the How I Met Your Mother page? A link encouraging you to ‘like’ the show on Facebook.
Barney’s devastation combined with Robin’s gleeful torture techniques produced one funny line after another and culminated with Barney’s haunting turn as a Canadian Mountie forlornly singing “Oh, Canada.” From Robin’s garbled Canada references to Barney’s beautiful anguish, every part of this story worked, especially Barney dressed as a Canadian Mountie, which was priceless.
Meanwhile, Lily (Alyson Hannigan) has pregnancy brain and it’s made her dumber than a rock. So, when Lily’s grandparents offer her and Marshall (Jason Segal) their house as a gift (they’re moving to Florida), she accepts it despite the fact that she has previously rejected any notion of ever wanting to live in the suburbs. This leaves Marshall in a quandary; he loves the suburbs. Marshall loves the idea of a white picket fence, mowing the lawn and especially backyard barbecues.
Just like Robin and Barney’s storyline kept the jokes coming in rapid form, Marshall and Lily get terrific mileage out of Lily’s absentmindedness—Lily’s serene look of stupidity as she got lost on the way back from the bathroom at McClaren’s and ended up behind the bar; too funny—and Marshall’s stalwart unwillingness to exploit it; aside from those classy new Minnesota Vikings drapes, provided one solid joke after another.
Robin said it all…
“Right now Lily is a goddess bestowing the miracle of life. But damn, she dumb!”
- No Kevin (Kal Penn) or Nora (Nazanin Bodiadi) this week and unfortunately, they weren’t missed.
- My favorite Robin line of the night, for reasons I can’t quite comprehend:
- To Barney “You have been ripping Canada since Justin Bieber was knee-high to a snow blower.”
- Did you catch Barney saying “Classic Schmosby” at the Halloween party? I did.
- Am I the only one who thinks Ted should have been at least a little ashamed of the various things that 15 year old Ted had sex with? Do yourself a favor; do not try to figure out the mechanics of what 15 year old Ted did with that top-loader VCR.
- Marshall and Lily’s tag-team double-entendres about the house in the suburbs just kept getting funnier and funnier; especially Jason Segal’s near orgasm at the phrase “Winterize my pipes.”
- Finally, since I have not seen Superman 3 in a while I didn’t get the closing ‘Barney vs. Canadian Barney’ gag right away. Congrats to those of you who did; you are a better nerd than I.