This episode, entitled “Subway Wars,” was about what it means to be a “real New Yorker.” The gang competes to see who knows NYC’s transportation options the best to make it to a restaurant to see Woody Allen, as reported by Marshall’s friend (and as Ted would say, more on that later). Ted’s voiceover, meanwhile, explains why each of them really could use a win that day. In my book, this entire episode was a win, and it continued the winning streak that is this season of HIMYM!
This episode definitely went for more of the silly slapstick humor, and I am totally fine with that because this show is all told through older Ted’s exaggerations. Also, how great was it to see our old friend Ranjit again?! Any episode with the lovable cab/town car/limo driver Ranjit is a winner in my book.
Ted and Barney had the lightest storylines—Ted out to prove himself because of only one bad teacher review and Barney just being arrogant Barney (I love when he yelled to the girl at the bar, “stay sad, I’ll be back!” before taking off on the race). Meanwhile, Marshall believes he can run the full 7 miles to get to the restaurant and uses a motivational folk song about himself to give him the willpower (and I loved that Jason Segel was the one actually singing this hilarious song “Marshall Versus the Machine”). Lily, on the other hand, believes that the subway can get her there fastest. Ha—at least she understands ‘conductor speak’ so that she can interpret the delays being announced. I also enjoyed her running to catch trains and leaping through the open doors just in the nick of …well, nothing, since the trains kept sitting there (this is relatable to anyone who rides a metro system on a regular basis). Turned out Marshall and Lily really needed a win that day because both were feeling inadequate and stressed over not being able to get pregnant yet. But by the end of the episode, both decided to relax and just enjoy the ride.
The real heart of this episode, though, was Robin. I will say it again—I have loved these new sides of Robin we have been getting this season. Cobie Smulders is doing an awesome job and the writers are really moving her character emotionally forward this year. In her quest to get to the restaurant first, Robin finally experiences several incidents that classify her as a true “New Yorker”: stealing a cab from someone, crying without caring on the subway, and killing a cockroach with her bare hands. Robin is starting to get pretty down on herself after her rough year—a heartbreak and now an overly perky new co-anchor (basically, Robin’s worst nightmare, and mine!). Seeing an old poster of her and Don on the subway brought up these inner-struggles again, and it is Barney who recognizes that Robin is the one who could really use a win that day…so he makes it happen.
The big question is, did Robin only win the race to the restaurant, or did she also win a new love interest in the form of Marshall’s buddy that she is seen talking with at the end of the episode? I guess we will find out!
The hilarious race to the finish line included some great gags:
- “Face” –that’s Barney’s best nickname for boobs yet! (Ted)
- Marshall claiming, “I can beat a bus or a cab or a train!” and Robin responding, “Anyone else craving green eggs and ham?”
- Ted realizing HE is the crazy person on the bus, after discussing architecture to everyone and anyone within earshot.
- Maury Povich’s many background appearances, including Marshall’s friend thinking he is Woody Allen.
- Marshall waking up on the street to a guy dressed as a calculator and his scream of horror: “the machine has won!”
What were some of your favorites? Which character’s storyline was a winner for you?