Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How I Met Your Mother: "No Questions Asked"

Quick Review: A silly episode that comes together nicely at the end.

Episode Synopsis: Lily receives a troubling text message from Marshall's traveling companion, Daphne, so he recruits the rest of the gang to help get the message removed before his wife sees it. -tvguide

Spoilers ahead, so don't continue forward if you haven't seen the episode. Of course, whether you proceed forward is entirely up to you. I'm not the boss of you. I'm just here to offer some friendly advice and then step back so you can make your own decisions. I won't judge you, no matter where your choices take you. Even if it means dressing in a blue leotard, because if that's what you have to do, I'm behind you. I just won't be under you, because I probably lack the upper-body strength to catch you if you fall, and that's not the time you want to find out.

Full Review: It's nice to see that How I met Your Mother hasn't forgotten about it's theme-of-the-week episodes. This one was fun, the "no questions asked" favor among friends. This led to some of the episode's best moments, finding out what said favor was. My personal favorite was Lily's Lord of the Flies classroom, but they were all good. The episode's real weak point was explaining how Ted got stuck in the mail box. It was better when we didn't know.

At first this silly plot seemed to be the writers killing time, which is something I've detested about this show. However, it turns out that it served to bigger purposes. The first being that Robin and Barney got to confront the fact that they are two lone wolves, and that's not good in a relationship. Only this show can take dressing in a blue leotard, firearms, doves, and ducts and turn it into a serious relationship-building moment. It's nice to see Robin and Barney start to figure out what it means to be a couple, and that alone made this excercise worthwhile.

There is a bigger moment, though. As it turns out, Lily didn't know that Marshall was a judge, which is why Marshall spent the entire episode calling in all his "no questions asked" favors. I like that the show didn't take this revelation out of Marshall's hands, as we were led to believe last week. Instead, we got to see Marshall confront the fact that he was keeping a big secret from his wife. After all, that's why he missed his flight in the first place, and it's continuing to cause him problems.

I loved the moment when Marshall realizes why he can't call in a "no questions asked" favor with Lily. After a montage of crazy Marshall adventures, we see that Marshall never kept any of those incidents from his wife. She knew about his arrests, raccoon bites, the robot, and much much more. He doesn't keep secrets, and when he realizes this, he understand that he needs to tell her then and there. And he does.

It's a great moment. We see that while Marshall isn't perfect, he will eventually do the right thing because his marriage comes first. Then we get to understand the fact that telling the truth doesn't necessarily get you out of the consequences of making a major, life-altering decision without giving your wife a heads-up before you commit.

Next week, I expect to see Marshall and Lily's biggest argument ever. I also hope that this gives us another chance to see Ted and The Mother together. What better way to talk about Marshall and Lily's fight than to flash ahead to Ted and his future wife arguing about something stupid that Ted no doubt did? (Because it's going to be Ted's fault. I don't know what the fight is about, but I'm taking his wife's side.) Even if Lily and Marshall wait until they are face-to-face, I want to see that future argument.

Overall, this episode had a fun premise and a great payoff. It's still a strong season and I can't wait until next week.

Episode Breakdown

Worst Ghost Show: True and Real Ghost Stories of the Supernatural

Best Bird Name: Courtney Dove

Most Unromantic Gesture: Bringing blanks to a wedding

Worst Celebrity to Tackle: Russell Brand

Best Double Entendre: Bobbing face-down on a frigid creek

Best Callback: Marvin's night-night song, which Ted will never be allowed to sing to Marvin again.

Best Sagat Narration: "Ninth, as I found out later, but I won't go into it."


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