How I Met Your Mother – Episode 05-02 Review

Ted’s prepping for a blind date.  He tells the kids that in seven years, his dating routine has pretty much stayed the same, except that this date is different.  She’s the exact same girl he went out with in 2002.  I guess it’s sort of good that Jen, played by Lindsay Slone (who some might remember from Sabrina The Teenage Witch,  but I’ll always remember as Alice the three-braided geek from The Wonder Years),  doesn’t remember Ted either.  Since they go to the same restaurant.

In Bar People Land, Barney has scored tickets to the Origins of Chewbacca exhibit.  The girls pass ,(really Lily? You passed?) but Marshall agrees.  He’s in the car when Barney tells him that Chewbacca exhibit is in Houston this year. When he did this to Ted four years ago, the exhibit was in Montreal, and the boys were heading to a lethal injection.  This time around, they’re just going to a strip club.

Marshall’s not thrilled.  Barney tells him that he and Lily are a “terrible couple.”  He knows Lily wouldn’t be happy with the strip club, but if Robin were here, she’d be down there with a purse full of singles and a poncho for the 10:30 Jell-o show.

The daters are in the same restaurant as seven years ago having practically the same conversation.

Marshall’s telling everyone he’s married.  Barney says it’s just like fantasizing about other women, which Marshall DOESN’T DO because Marshall’s NOT NORMAL. Actually, he does, but before he can fantasize about another woman, he has to kill Lily off with a horrible disease (in which she gives him permission on her death bed), wait an “appropriate number of years,” and then he’s free to…well….  Barney tells him that he needs to focus on the next dancer and put Lily completely out of his mind.

Which doesn’t work because she’s the THIRD DOPPLEGANGER.  See, over the years, the gang has run into other people in New York who look exactly like people in their group.  There was Lesbian Robin and Mustache Marshall.  Ted promises that “by the following summer, they’d find the remaining two dopplegangers, but he’ll get to that.”

And now there’s stripper Lily.

When the boys call Ted, he tells them to take a picture.  He starts talking about food with Jen, and after some really stupid puns about oysters and shellfish, that will not be repeated here because, yes, they’re just that bad, they realize that they’ve been on the exact same date before.  And it didn’t go well.  Rather than call it night, they decide to retrace their steps and figure out what went wrong (aside from Ted’s being snobby and Jen dressing her cats up in costumes).

  • Ted pointed out spelling errors in the menu.
  • Jen didn’t do the “check dance.” (she didn’t do it this time either)

When the boys get back to the bar, they tell the gals about stripper Lily.  Lil’s stoked about the stripper part, Robin isn’t happy at all about the fact that they went to a strip club.  Hello, she’s dating Barney, whom she’s known for years, did she really expect anything different from him?  When Lily finds out about Marshall’s fantasy process , she’s just as ticked as Robin.  He kills her off!

Lily tells Marshall that he should be able to have fantasies without the guilt/murder.  They head back to the strip club, and Lily tells him that since Stripper Lily is basically her, Marshall should feel free to fantasize without guilt.  Lily and Robin are there too, and while Barney tries to convince her that he doesn’t come in that much, the staff knows him way too well.

Our daters continue to learn about what they do wrong.  Ted doesn’t offer a jacket when a girl hints that she’s cold, Jen talks about the ex way too much.  They head to McLarin’s and everyone offers up possibilities as to what he did wrong.  Thanks to Barney, he came across as kind of a player.  Jen thought he was checking out a girl; he was actually checking out Mustache Marshall.  They finally head to the roof, and share a second “first kiss.”  Then Jen remembers exactly what the problem eventually was: he didn’t call.

Jen’s still on the roof when Ted calls to apologize for not calling.  She tells him that somehow, right now, he’s both the guy you want to call who doesn’t as well as the guy you don’t want to call who does.  Then she hangs up on him.  Thanks to the fact that no one mentioned the Columbia incident, we can probably assume than Jen wasn’t Mom, but that still seems a little, well, harsh.  Ted tells Jen that he wishes he could talk to Seven Years Ago Ted, but he can’t.  They didn’t miss by that much, though.  Maybe they should try again.

But when they come out of that kiss, Ted remembers that he didn’t call because he likes finding typos in menus and making stupid joke about shellfish (no, Ted, no you don’t); Jen remembers that she won’t ever stop talking about her cats.  Ted wonders if they shouldn’t hold out for the person that embraces their quirks rather than tolerates them – even if it means that they’ll be on another date in seven years.  Dad Ted tells the kids that when he told their mother the shellfish joke, her laugh was only about 30% pity.

Bumper time: Lily and Marshall are at the bar, and Stripper Lily is having issues with her shoes.  Marshall comments on this, but the girl who sits down doesn’t exactly know him and she’s talking in a Russian accent.  Marshall climbs on the bar to save her.

This episode is yet another example of what this show does right.  Long time viewers know that eventually, everything Ted promises (the Goat in the bathroom, the pineapple, the yellow umbrella, etc.) gets a payoff.  So when I heard Ted say, “We’ll get to that,” I made a note.  Just for the record, we’re looking for Ted and Barney.  With Episode 100 coming up this season, we’ve been promised something “big.”  Maybe…nah, I’m not going to speculate.  I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride.

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