As future Ted says, “It all started with a pregnancy test.” Just looking at the title of the episode, it was pretty clear that “False Positive” was going to have the gang believe Lily and Marshall were pregnant but then have it turn out to be incorrect. And the show certainly made it clear it was a false positive very quickly—within the first few minutes in fact. In true HIMYM form, we were presented with a scenario and then Ted backed up several times to reveal the different sequences leading up to that moment when Ted smashed his lovely Gingerbread house in the ground.
Moments before the big (and ultimately short-lived announcement), Ted, Robin and Barney had no idea their viewpoints on the world were about to change…a few times. Ted was busy trying to be a good best man to Punchy (Crush it! Peonies!!!), despite Robin’s insistence that Ted doesn’t have the forceful charge to really set the groom straight if the situation called for it (see: not preventing Marshall from irrationally shaving his head at his wedding).
Meanwhile, Ted was on Robin’s case about her deciding to take a job as a ‘Currency Rotation Specialist’ (ahem, a glorified coin flipper) in the ridiculous could-be-real-because-there-is-actually-crap-like-this-on-TV game show called “Million Dollar Heads or Tails.” I will give this fake game show props for securing the legendary Alex Trebek as host—I mean, hey, Robin could do a lot worse! And, as Robin explained, the original coin flipper went on to quite the impressive television career—The Bachelor, Biggest Loser and more (every girl’s reality show dreams)! But Ted knows Robin better than that: he encouraged her to stick to her resolution to make it as a serious journalist and take a job with World News Organization as a lowly researcher.
Finally, because it is GNB and Barney, he received a huge bonus check for the holidays and wanted to spend it on a diamond pin-stripe suit. However, everyone questions their newfound desires when Marshall and Lily arrive to share the pregnancy news. For 36 hours the gang thinks their world has been turned upside down and both Robin and Barney question “what am I doing with my life?” (while Ted questions “what movie snack should I bring to It’s a Wonderful Life?”). Robin even changes her mind and decides to take the research job, while Barney decides to spend his bonus on a gift-giving bonanza a la Oprah in a great scene called “Barney’s Favorite Things”—‘YOU get a lap dance and YOU get a lap dance!’
However, Marshall and Lily are not as calm and happy as they seem (they even have one of their great internal convos about how freaked out they are while trying to stay pumped on the outside). Once home, they really freak out about becoming parents and decide they need to do everything possible on their list…in one day. This part ventured into too much of broad comedy for me—this show can usually pull it off, but I just thought this particular instance crossed the line into excessively hokey (painting the room, knitting furiously, wrapping everything in bubble wrap etc.). When the two find out from the doctor they are not actually with child (in their matching “Barney’s Favorite Things” track suits no less!) they are surprisingly relieved. And that is when Robin and Barney back down from their more noble goals and are lured to the easy temptation of fame and diamonds.
One thing about this episode’s plot development that I did find particularly strange was that Ted was not affected enough to question his life choices, yet Barney was. I mean, the entire essence of this show—the whole reason Ted launched into his quest to meet his future wife—was set up in the very first episode when his best friends Marshall and Lily got engaged. So, I have a tough time believing that them announcing a pregnancy would not either a) freak Ted out in some humorous way or b) have him question his current status in meeting ‘the mother.’ On the other hand, perhaps this was a sign that our Teddy Westside has changed these past few years and come to a much better sense of security about his destiny. And I do feel that we have seen him evolve through his trials and tribulations.
On that note, I was happy and almost a little proud of Ted when he smacked some serious sense into his friends: Lily and Marshall were being babies themselves because all they have talked about for months was this baby—so quit freaking out and make it happen; Robin needed to stay true to her journalistic integrity and take the research job; and Barney did NOT need a diamond suit, especially when there are so many out there who just need A suit. Robin, too, was so impressed with Ted that she has already declared him her Best Man should she ever marry a man other than Ted (which would be a big mistake! Ha!).
Ted really owned his friends with a triple punch at the end, and he also even did his first official duty as Best Man for Punchy when the latter was threatened with jitters (how much do I love the Schmosby-Punchy relationship and quick shouting conversations on serious subjects!). Here are more of “Jeni’s Favorite Things” from tonight:
- “Um can boys aim?” (Lily’s response to Marshall when he wants to know if girls can aim too).
- “I know what you are thinking: I wish I was a dude!” (Ted); “I do wish YOU were a dude” (Robin to Ted after his Best Man call discussing flower arrangements).
- “When people have good news, you are happy for them…for about a millisecond. Then you start to think about your life.” (An honest truth from Ted).
- “I also said I would never make out with a garbage man…life is what happens when you are busy making plans” (Robin about doing things she said she would never do to defend her coin toss hostess job).
This was my last post for the year since it was the last new episode of a show I cover until January (unless I get ambitious and write one more post about some of my favorite TV things in 2010). On that note, I shall close with Barney’s closing Christmas Wish/Pick-up line of the night: the best gift you can give is booty, so bang someone in need.
Thanks for reading in 2010 and come back in 2011!