What’s your idea of a perfect Valentine? Someone who makes you laugh…someone who has a good heart…someone who is there for you? Well, How I Met Your Mother was pretty much a perfect Valentine tonight, and on top of that gave us an extra holiday: Desperation Day.
There was a lot of storyline movement on all fronts in this holiday-themed episode, and yet they nicely intersected and showcased the theme of ‘taking new steps.’ Marshall was still in Minnesota because, according to him, his mom desperately needed him. Lilypad, meanwhile, desperately needed her Marshmallow to return to her so they could keep up their Valentine’s tradition of watching Predator (don’t ask). She was missing him so badly that she created Marshpillow—dressing up a large pillow in Marshall’s clothes and having lovey conversations with him (set to romantic music no less). Robin declared that she would be spending her Valentine’s Day with her fellow single co-workers (ahem, “trolls” according to Barney) dressed in purple to protest the abundance of pinks and reds. Ted was trying to figure out his new relationship with Zoey now that they expressed their feelings for one another. And Barney…well, he was ready to become the ultimate predator for the peak of single women desperation: February 13.
On the Marshall and Lily front, Lily decided to make a last minute trip to Minnesota to see her husband during this difficult time, but then is surprised to discover that his mom is doing remarkably well. Marshall, on the other hand, had regressed even further from what we saw last week to truly become a video-game playing boy begging his mom for snacks. Marshall was hilarious running up to his room to keep his awesome game going and convincing himself that his mom likes waiting on him hand and foot. And Mrs. Erickson was equally hilarious begging Lily to please get Marshall out of her house and back to NYC. Who else was reminded of Will Ferrell in Wedding Crashers screaming, “Mom! Meatloaf!” when Marshall would call downstairs for goodies. Lily eventually bailed on Marshall and simply asked him to please get himself together and return to their home.
Ted was confused about how to proceed with Zoey—clearly they are both really into each other, but she is also just going through a divorce. When Zoey invited Ted over to bake cookies, Ted didn’t understand (until his friends told him) that “baking cookies” was the classy girl way of setting up a booty call. Cue Ted arriving at Zoey’s door with an overnight bag. Oh, and British Morning Socks—NOT slippers, according to Ted. Only Ted would arrive at a brand new girlfriend’s door with a ridiculous set of overnight supplies—which is amazingly awkward and amazingly hysterical. Zoey was so thrown off by his presumption (even though it was totally true) that she kicked him out. When Zoey later apologized and said she was ready for a real relationship with him, she ended up sounding a little too gung-ho and heavily committed. So, it was Ted’s turn to freak out and run away to Minnesota to “help” Marshall. I love Ted and Marshall bonding time, especially in this case because Ted reverted alongside his buddy (revertigo, anyone?). It took Marshall lecturing Ted about not being afraid to face reality and take those big steps into a new relationship with Zoey to make him realize that he needed to return to reality too. What started as a funny gag of these two friends asking for juice and playing Super Mario Kart turned into a heartfelt moment of each best friend helping the other—and the beginning of Marshall moving into his next stage of grief. Ted and Marshall decided to drive all night to New York and get back to life…but not without some PB&J sandwiches made by mom first (Crust on! They’re men!).
Lastly, Barney spent most of his Desperation Day using his predator skills (and Smoke monster-esque clicking noises) to hunt down desperate women to sleep with the day before Valentine’s Day. Robin’s single girlfriends from work are too desperate and unappealing, except for one late arrival—the feisty Nora. It has been announced that this Brit girl Nora will become a significant love interest for our Barney, and I for one am quite excited about this prospect. I truly enjoyed her character’s no-nonsense banter with Barney and they had definite chemistry. Plus, up until now, we have only seen Barney in two legitimate relationships—one was only told through (further) flashback because it was the woman who turned him into the suit-wearing womanizer; and the other was Robin. Having Barney in a real relationship coupled with his efforts to meet his father should mean some major growth for our favorite pick-up artist.
I do wonder how Robin will feel with this development. In this episode she not only seems OK with Barney and Nora spending time together, but she even sets them up to play in the laser tag tournament we heard about a few episodes ago. In fact, this laser tag date turned out to be Barney’s first-ever date on V-Day! But will Robin continue to be comfortable enough with Barney getting close to another woman?
There were many, many delicious Valentine’s treats in tonight’s episode. Here is just a small sampling:
- Lily has more kindergarten couples who move faster than Ted, “although their home lives are pretty messed up.”
- “Private Booty reporting for duty” (Lily agreeing that Zoey’s invitation to Ted was definitely a booty call).
- The entire enactment of Barney’s story of how Desperation Day came to be thousands of years ago, from St. Valentine’s bro “St. Desperatious” to hitting on girls who are more smokin’ than Pompeii (High X!). Ted was impressed that Barney’s story actually started off with the true tale of St. Valentine, but wait…there’s more.
- “We said you were going to have sex, not bring a carry-on” (Barney teasing Ted about bringing an overnight bag to Zoey’s).
- Robin introducing Barney to her friends as a “high functioning sociopath”
- Robin getting pissed off that her troll co-workers found “White Urkels” as dates and split on her.
- Barney not able to admit to Robin he likes Nora: “No I don’t, YOU think she smells like rain.”
- Lily trying to end her relationship with Marshpillow: “We both knew this day would come.”
Were you also in love with this episode? I am loving this entire season of HIMYM. Not many shows can have such a create renaissance at this stage in a series run. This just tells me that HIMYM will always have a special place in my heart.