Monday, November 7, 2011

How I Met Your Mother: 'Disaster Averted'

Quick Review: Easily the best episode of the season so far.

Episode Synopsis: The friends recall their memories of Hurricane Irene; and Barney tries to get out of wearing the ducky tie. -tvguide

Spoilers ahead, so watch the episode before you proceed.

Best Episode Moment: Barney's Indiana Jones style story about why he lost the tie.

Worst Episode Moment: Negotiating who stays and who goes. It got grating, especially with what Ted did. (more on that in a moment)

Best Character Moment: Kevin figuring out why Barney really wants to be rid of the ducky tie.

Worst Character Moment: Ted's willingness to abandon his friends for a girl he met. (Even if Barney approves. In fact, especially.)

Best Character Interaction: The Slap Standoff

Worst Character Interaction: Codependent Marshall and Lily.

Best Character Progression: Marshall drawing a bath for Lily after realizing how much he's hurting her being so codependent.

Worst Character Regression: Barney and Robin making out in the back of the cab. Here we go again.

Best Callback: Anything involving a slap is always the best callback.

Best Use of a Real-Life Event: Incorporating Hurricane Irene into the narrative via flashback.

Best Running Gag: "So, boogie-boarding."

Best Worst-Case-Scenario: Marshall attacked by a bear.

Best Use of Blush: Barney painting a target to tempt Marshall's hand.

Best Provocation: Lily, as narrated by Barney, explaining how she's been sleeping with Barney and Marshall's mom.

Best Reveal: We find out that baby Erickson was a Hurricane Baby. (Just wait until Ted's kids find out where they were conceived, because you know he's going to tell them.)

Best Thing to Look Forward to Besides The Wedding and The Mother: Marshall's now got two slaps left.

Any hint about The Mother? No, but let's just hope that Ted's more loyal to her than he is to his friends.

Any hint about The Wedding? Given what Barney and Robin are up to now, if Nora is the bride, there's going to be trouble.

Do we like Ted this episode? For the most part, Ted was his usual self, being the boy scout and prepared for the worst. You always need a friend like that in a hurricane. But then when he wants to ditch his friends for a girl he met, sadly that makes him less than lovable, even in those pink rain boots.

Overall Opinion of the Episode: Episodes like these are why I don't give up on this show. It was funny, well-plotted, and featured both a hurricane and a bear. Plus, we got to learn a valuable lesson about why you sometimes don't play it safe, as both Ted and Marshall found out. I call it a win, and I do hope to see more like this in the future.

I liked how they brought in a real-life hurricane. Granted, they had to tell it via flashback, but the story framing device worked very well for the episode. In the present Barney had to negotiate out of the tie, while in the past, they had to negotiate their way through a hurricane. Both plots were entertaining, even Marshall's weirdness about not being on insurance. His character is naturally over-dramatic, so it made sense for him to go all Edgar Allen Poe.

Let's talk about Ted. I thought this would be a great episode for him to take charge and be everyone's dad. After all, that's where the show is going. For the most part, that's what we got from the boy scout, but then he pulled a classic Mosby and, once more, alienated his friends because he's chasing a girl. I really want to like Ted, and the only reason I'm forgiving on that little plot point is due to the strength of the rest of the episode.

I loved how the ducky tie saga comes to an end. Like all good drama, the resolution came at a price, namely that Barney got slapped twice, and Marshall now has two more. If the ducky tie was merely a plot device to give Marshall more slaps, I approve. Such an arc gives me hope for the rest of the series.

The humor in this episode was top notch, such as Barney's Indiana Jones moment and the bear attacks. Both were ridiculous fantasies perfectly in keeping with the characters. This show has been hit-and-miss with the screwball comedy lately, and I'm glad to see they scored a string of hits. (Including two to Barney's face.)

I also liked the subtext of Robin's protestations that the hurricane was nothing to worry about. It was a clear defense mechanism to seeing everyone else get concerned calls from their parents. While Barney's fake call seems cruel on the surface, it did finally crack her defenses and allow for a moment of vulnerability later on. She seems to be dealing with her father issues this season, and it's an arc I like.

Of course, Robin's on another arc now, one that involved both her and Barney cheating on their significant others. This moment was inevitable and not much of a surprise, as lately this show hasn't exactly been subtle about telegraphing its moves. Right now all we know for sure is that they made out in the cab, and we'll have to wait a week to see just how far events transpired. I don't know if I'm a fan of this plot line, since I like the character developments I'm seeing in both Robin and Barney, Barney especially. I'd hate to see all that get thrown away because the writers don't know how to develop a character, so we'll see.

Despite my misgivings and concerns, this was a fun episode and I had a blast. Let's hope this is a sign of things to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment