Season 7, Episode 8
The Slutty Pumpkin Returns
Ted has been waiting 10 years for this Halloween…and we have been waiting for six years—since season one—to learn the identity of the one and only Slutty Pumpkin! Unfortunately the surprise was not much of a surprise given the publicity of guest star Katie Holmes, but the episode did not disappoint! The Slutty Pumpkin (Ok I guess she had a name, Naomi) was just one element of a strong Halloween series of events for our gang.
Tonight I am going to break things down by story line, since they all stood out in their own special way:
The Hanging Chad and the Slutty Pumpkin:
First of all, how scary is it that 2001 was 10 years ago?! Eek! But, to jog your memory, way back when we first celebrated Halloween with the gang in 2005, we learned that Ted had met an amazing girl in a slutty pumpkin costume, but her number got lost on a piece of candy. How can a pumpkin costume be slutty, you may ask? Actually, you probably don’t ask—because today anything can be slutty—even apparently a slutty artichoke outfit as referenced by the shopkeeper in tonight’s episode. Ted had dressed as a somewhat timely hanging chad, even though Naomi pointed out tonight that in 2001 Ted was already passé.
When Ted stumbled upon the costume shop this year, and saw the outfit in the window, the store owner gave him the contact information for the renter in 2001 (ummmmm sure). Then, miraculously, she was still living in the same place, still single, and still pining for the mysterious “Hanging Chad.” Oh, and she was Katie Holmes. I will admit that I was not crazy about the idea of Katie Holmes being given this iconic role; however, I enjoyed her brand of crazy as “chemistry-adjacent” Naomi. Watching Ted and Naomi awkwardly kiss and snuggle—and the inner dialogue running in Ted’s mind—and then Naomi singing Barenaked Ladies in an effort to recreate their 2001 moment, all made us feel what Ted was feeling: AWKWARD. But our romantic Ted just couldn’t give up on this girl he has dreamed about for so long—and so they went to the rooftop Halloween party together in their old costumes. And once Slutty Pumpkin had her signature cocktail Tootsie Roll, she was ready to break things off, because hey, sometimes you just don’t have chemistry. And that’s when we saw Ted’s awkward behavior from her point of view. Poor 15-year old Ted—no more caressing from the Slutty Pumpkin.
Halloween in the ‘Burbs
Marshall and Lily visited her grandparents out in the suburbs, and Lily tried to convince Marshall not to accept any gifts they may offer. I loved the gag about her grandparents’ house practically being like an episode of The Price is Right what with all these useless home goods up for grabs. HIMYM really has a soft spot for TPIR. Well, Lily’s attitude changed quickly when her grandparents actually offered them the house since they are moving to Florida. Just like Ted’s story, I am going to ignore the improbability of this circumstance and move forward with the funny. Lily’s pregnancy brain—including putting her keys in the freezer and ice cubes in her purse—was blindsiding her distaste for the suburbs. She was determined to convince Marshall to move; Marshall did his best not to give in to Lily’s pregnancy brain, which according to Robin, is the equivalent of a helpless drunk chick. Major props to Robin overall tonight for being awesome with the zingers, like “daaamn she dumb!” and with the taunts…more to come on that in a minute, so just hold your mounted horses. Anyways, Lily lured Marshall to the house on Halloween to hand out candy to adorable children, and the two had a sexually charged conversation about where to stick a “pinball machine.” In the end, Marshall took Lily back to the city where they belong.
I saved this story for last because—even though the return of the Slutty Pumpkin is a major reveal of the show’s legendary mythology—the revelation that Barney is actually one-quarter Canadian trumped everything else in my book. How perfect that Robin discovered this ancestral gem via Barney’s dad on Facebook. And how perfect that she took such delight in taunting Barney with his new Canadian roots after years and years of his jokes at Canada’s expense, from having him enjoy Canadian whiskey to changing his money into Canadian coins. The pièce de résistance was definitely when she offered to stop tormenting him if he would wear her costume choice. But that was easier said than done: Barney looking in the mirror dressed in a Canadian Mountie uniform was priceless, especially when he tried to belt out Oh Canada! with such pain and reluctance. It was just too much for Barney, who showed up in uber-American Uncle Same/Rocky attire chanting USA! USA! And he returned home later that night to face his inner (and super nice!) Canadian demons in an epic fight.
I thoroughly enjoyed this episode from start to finish. I do have two questions/complaints, though. First, where were Kevin and Nora? It’s not so much that I missed them, but more that the continuity was off. The past several episodes had gone out of their way to show how much they are involved in the lives of their respective partners and integrating them into the gang, and then on Halloween neither Barney nor Robin even mentions their significant others? My second and final question for a solid episode: why wouldn’t Barney have to wear his Ducky Tie with his Halloween costume too?