What an odd episode of How I Met Your Mother. It had everything a good episode should have: a fun narrative hook involving alcohol, forward advancement of the overall myth and the return of the cockroach-rat hybrid (COCKAMOUSE!). But something about it threw the whole thing off leaving us feeling a little disappointed. I’m not sure what it could have been, unless...
IT WAS TED TELLING ZOEY THAT HE LOVED HER!
I mean, what the hell? Are we seriously going to keep this going? It’s not that I want to know who the mother is, but they even said it in the episode “Zoey is ruining the group.” She is a force of evil (a cute force of evil, but evil nevertheless) and yet Ted says the big three words to her.
'I can handle you bringing down a life long dream. That’s called being in a relationship.' - Ted
So Zoey and Ted finally have the talk that they have been putting off for a while regarding how they can stay together when their careers go extremely against each other. Ted planned a romantic getaway weekend to talk about it but when Zoey wouldn’t budge on her views he turns the car around to spend the night in the hotel. Turns out it’s dump. But Zoey loved the place because she grew up there and it was magical to her. Of course Ted falls for this trickery of the dark side (don’t forget, Zoey is evil) and professes his love to her. I’d like to imagine that everyone who watched this episode screamed “NOOOOO!” when Ted said that. Look, I really feel for her and how she wants to save the hotel but she’s keeping us from meeting the mother AND ruining the group. The bitch has got to go and THE HOTEL SHALL FALL!
She even managed to work her evil ways into Marshall. Sweet and loving Marshall, who simply wants to help the environment but can’t find a job. She took advantage of that when he was vulnerable! That’s evil, people. And since Marshall joined the dark side that means he and Barney are at war. This causes Lily and Robin to team up to give them the perfect blend of different alcohol so they can reconcile. Ah, nothing like controlled substances to manipulate the feelings of the ones you love. There were a lot of montages and funny bits during all of this, but it didn’t really drive the plot so we’ll talk about that later!
'Can you get STD’s from the ghosts of prostitutes?' - Ted
We don’t get a resolution because the girls gave Barney and Marshall too many drinks, so they black out and forgot about their reconciliation. And to add fuel to the fire, Ted is on Zoey’s side. Lily wonders aloud what drink could fix this and Robin only answers that Absinthe would make her headache go away. Cut to the cute closing scene of them floating but we still have the answer. You know what would make everything go away? GETTING RID OF ZOEY!
Anyway, there were a few things in this episode that worked. There were a lot of montages (so many it began to feel like a clip episode, though, then again, most episodes do) and they were fairly funny. The bits on how different alcohols affected them felt particularly inspired. It took up a lot of time, but honestly the story was so weak that I didn’t mind the distraction. Also it almost led to Lily and Robin making out, so that is something. One aspect I wished they had explored further was them getting kicked out of the bar. I really would be interested to see how the characters react outside of their normal setting. After all, the bar has become a character into itself. It’d be like a reverse bottle episode. It’s at least worth thinking about.
There was also a minor sub plot about a girl trying to take their booth that didn’t really go anywhere. The only reason I remember it is because the actress didn’t say a single line and since actors get paid more if they speak on camera, I’d imagine that girl was PISSED. Heck, I’d be pissed if I appeared in this episode too.
We’ve got at least two more seasons of the show to enjoy. Hopefully things will start turning around soon. As much as I want Ted to finally meet the mother, I’d also like to have a funny show again. This episode showed promise in all categories, but maybe it’s just late in the game and the pitcher is tired. There are two episodes left in the season, so here's hoping things will change.