How I Met Your Mother Recap – Mystery vs. History

Season 7, Episode 6
Mystery vs. History 

HIMYM has a strong history of running with separate storylines and bringing them together at the end for a heartfelt punch. Heck, we are only a few episodes into this season and tonight’s Mystery vs. History along with the other week’s Ducky Tie each offered strong dual-plots that came together in wonderfully mysterious ways.

I really have no complaints about this episode (other than why a pregnant woman would be exposing herself to paint fumes). So, tonight everything is my ‘Smile and Tell’!

  • Smartphones, Facebook, Technology…Yes, they really have taken the mystery out of everything. This may not be the newest revelation, but I still appreciate how this show tackles everyday social life, and I loved that even the dog had a profile. Robin and Barney apparently have a history of ruining the mystery for Ted on all his potential dates—cut to them acting like bookies and gathering the stats. And for Ted, a deal-breaker could mean a girl is a prostitute or that she only kind of likes Annie Hall. That’s why the big mystery of Ted’s newest girl, Janet McIntye, was a hilarious reveal—she was amazing. Basically, she is a child genius like NPH’s Doogie Howser, and also a wonderful humanitarian who happens to be incredibly wealthy. Oh, and she loves Annie Hall. Naturally, Ted totally blows it when he succumbs to the pressure to check out Barney’s research. Seeing her incredible history reduces him to a blubbering idiot. He really took a *&%^2! on that relationship!
  • It’s a Boy! Marshall and Lily try convincing themselves that they do not want to know the sex of their baby. The also try convincing their friends to help them paint their nursery through false promises of tapas and sangria (don’t kid about that stuff Lily and Marshall!). Of course Barney and Robin manage to get a look at the slip of paper with the baby’s gender (Marshall and Lily should have known better than that too!). But before they can sneak a look, the paper flies out the window. But, in a little twist of fate, Ted returns from his failed date with the paper stuck to his shoe. Hoorah for a Marshall Jr.! He really will be a little Marshmallow.
  • Putting the “fun” in dysfunctional! I loved everything about the sub-plot in which Robin’s new therapist boyfriend, Kevin, gives in to the temptation to analyze the gang’s group dynamics. This actually reminded me of Friends when Phoebe dated Roger the therapist. They all loved Roger at first when he helped them with their individual problems, but they ended up hating him when he started calling them out on their issues. I HOPE that Kevin can survive the group dynamics long enough to become something serious with Robin. A part of me wonders if Kevin is ultimately the key factor in changing the group, as hinted by Future Ted earlier this season when he said Victoria was right—the Robin-Ted-Barney relationship was not stable or healthy.

A few favorite lines and moments from this great episode:

  • “A certain Mr. Footer, first name Frank” (Marshall’s vote for most popular food in America).
  • “Pancakes with maple syrup!” (Robin’s Canadian thoughts on most popular food).
  • Marshall’s Green Bay Packers joke that gets met with silence, but would have ‘killed in a sports bar.’
  • Robin’s flashback to her 14th birthday gift—getting dropped out of a helicopter into the wilderness by her crazy dad, played by the awesome Ray Wise. I still wonder how on earth tomboy Robin morphed into Robin Sparkles, except that it must have been the ultimate rebellion against her father.
  • “What started out kinda creepy ended up kinda sweet” (Janet); “That’s kinda my move” (Ted)
  • Barney’s impromptu powerpoint presentation about why it is necessary Marshall and Lily learn the sex of their baby before their shower: you don’t want your baby stuck in a “hermaphroditic burlap sack.”
  • Ted realizing he has lost the ability to talk to girls without the internet. However, Ted totally would find menu font fascinating to talk about regardless!
  • Every flashback to the dysfunctional yet amazing group relationship our gang exhibits: Separation anxiety (Ted and Marshall talking lovely-dovey on their phones from across the room); Inappropriate behavior (texting symbols of their bowel movements); Denial (Barney thinking they are fine). Kevin just hasn’t seen the physical violence…but little does he know about Murder Train!
  • “You gooder than me no make difference” (Ted can’t handle the truth about his date).

I actually think the title of this episode perfectly expresses what I love about this show: we get the mystery of wondering how it all works out in the grand scheme of life and love for our beloved gang, and we also get to share their awesome (and slightly disturbing) group history of friendship.

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