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'How I Met Your Mother': A suitacular episode

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I feel like there should be virtual confetti at the beginning of this recap to celebrate the show's 100th episode. And what a fantastic 100th episode it was. “Mother” is always strongest when it's more than a joke. The best episodes are the ones that are not only funny but also find a way to move the story forward or give us an emotional slice of life that makes viewers feel like they're watching their friends, not a TV show. “Girls vs. Suits” was very much that. There were a couple of big things going on, so let's break it down into parts.

Are you my mother?:
Rachel Bilson is not the mother! Her character, PhD candidate Cindy, first catches Ted's (Josh Radnor) eye on campus as Future Ted says, “Kids, you never know when you're about to meet someone really important.” Cindy may not be the mother, but she is important. Ted comes over to her place for a date and picks up a school bus, which also resides behind his kids in 2030. Then Cindy comes in and tells Ted the bus belongs to ... her roommate! I was a little surprised that the show told us so early  in the episode that the mother is Cindy's roommate, but it made for great comedy as Cindy went on and on about how horrible her roommate is (“She's a whore. I think she's a dominatrix.”), while Ted pretended that she didn't sound completely awesome. Turns out Cindy has a roommate complex because everyone falls in love with the roommate. Here's an idea: Why doesn't she move out? It's too late for her to save Ted for herself – he's already been charmed by the roommate's taste in books and music, as well as the fact she plays bass in a band – but she might want to consider it before she becomes the crazy roommate.

So let's recap what we know about Ted's future wife. She lives with Cindy and is also a student in Econ 305, which means she can't date Ted, according to the university rules. But depending on when we meet the mother, she could be well out of school by then. She and Ted have similar taste in books and music. She also has feet! When I spoke to creators Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and director Pamela Fryman at the Paley Center's panel for the show's 100th episode, I asked them what they were most excited for viewers to see and how much viewers should read into the foot that Ted glimpsed. Naturally, they gave me a very amusing reply:

Bays: “There's a certain foot I think we're excited for everyone to see. I think America has earned that foot.”

Fryman: “And some dancing feet.”

Thomas: “Basically, lots of feet. It's a feetriffic episode. I would say now we know the mom has very nice feet. They're very pretty. It's definitely a woman, so that's nice. No tattoos.”

Bays: “A pedicure? I didn't get a really good look at the pedicure.”

Thomas: “No stray hairs. It's a shaved leg, so it's keeping things neat.”

Bays: “It'd be funny if it was a hoof. If we made it a hoof.”

Thomas: “Or a peg leg? Maybe she's a pirate. A loud peg leg creaking on the floorboards.”

So there you have it, folks. The mother is well-groomed and not a pirate.

For the love of women and suits: While Ted is chasing after Cindy, Barney's (Neil Patrick Harris) chasing after a hot, female bartender (Stacy Keibler) who has attracted a gaggle of guys to MacLaren's.

“The sidewalk's going to smell like pee pee now,” Lily (Alyson Hannigan) whines. Priceless.

Robin (Cobie Smulders) doesn't think she's hot – bartender complex? – but I have to agree with Lily here. Keibler looks amazing. Lily even admits that she popped into her head a couple of times last night. Between that and her constant references to Robin's hotness and fluid sexuality, I'm beginning to think Lily is a little gay, not Marshall (Jason Segel), who refuses to admit the bartender is hotter than Lily. But don't worry, Robin, you're still my favorite because not only are you hot, you're also hilarious. How great was Smulders behind the bar, hair flying in the wind fan as Poison's “She's My Cherry Pie” played? She was even greater when she got pulled out from behind the bar.

“I was somebody back there,” she says, trying to claw her way back. “Everybody loved me.”

Love and adoration is fleeting. Just ask Robin Sparkles.

Barney is so desperate to score with the hot bartender that he even gives up wearing his beloved suits. Keibler's character is not too keen on suit-wearing, Wall Street types, sending Barney into suit withdrawal. They haunt him, calling out to him in a whisper to suit up. He makes it to the bedroom with her, but she finds his closet full of suits and forces him to choose between the suits and her, which leads us to...

Happy feet: A big musical number featuring Barney on lead vocals and the rest of the “HIMYM” gang and  65-plus dancers backing him up! I admit the number was a little meta. I felt like I was watching Harris, not Barney, singing and dancing. But you know what? Who cares because it was fantastic. It's no secret that Harris' singing voice kills me in the best way possible. I got a little extra gooey when he hung onto that lamppost and sang, “It's a truth you can't refuuute.” Let's just hold that note forever and die happy.

Continuing the meta-ness, Barney gave a fashion makeover to a dog, a baby, a mutton-chopped dude and a crossing guard with a zap of his hands as if Harris had suddenly turned into his “Dr. Horrible” character and been transported into the opening of “What Not to Wear.”

I liked that it was clearly obvious that the cast was dancing on a studio lot. It helped give it the feel of an old musical. My only complaint is that Robin, Lily and the other female backup dancers had to wear those really ill-fitting men's suits. Couldn't they have gotten some sexy, tailored women's suits like the one Robin wore when she suited up for a bros night with Barney?

Readers, what did you think of the big musical number? Who do you think should play the well-groomed, not-a-pirate mother? Are you happy or upset that it's not Bilson (it's time to come back to TV full time, Ms. Bilson. Someone get this gal her own show!)?

– Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)

Related

'How I Met Your Mother' gets musical as it zones in on the mother

Carrie Underwood to guest star on 'How I Met Your Mother'; show's 100th episode nears

Complete 'How I Met Your Mother' coverage on Showtracker

Photo: Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) puts his love for suits into song. Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS.
 
Comments () | Archives (4)

Amazing and wonderful episode! The musical number reminded me of a marriage between the Drew Carey show & Andrew Lloyd Webber - with a splash of South Park. Simply brilliant!

In case you watched it more than three or four times, saved it on "keep" on your dvr and even purchased it from ITunes - like me - then you might enjoy the lyrics to the song:

Nothing Suits Me Like A Suit
by Barney Stinson

I know what you’re thinking
What’s Barney been drinking?
That girl was smoking hot
Yes I coulda nailed her
But no it’s not a failure
‘Cuz there’s one thing she is not
To score a ten would be just fine
But I’d rather be dressed to the nines
It’s a truth you can’t refute
Nothing suits me like a suit

Picture a world where all the boys and girls
Are impeccably well dressed
That delivery guy in the jacket and tie
That puppy in the double-breast
That ’80s dude in mutton chops
That baby with a lollipop
That lady cop who’s kinda cute
Nothing suits ‘em like a suit
Wingman I can wear
They’re oh so debonair
The perfect way to snare
a girl with daddy issues
In navy blue or black
Check out this perfect rack
I want to give them a squeeze
Oh really? Then answer these questions
If you please
What would you do if you had to choose
Between your suits and a pot of gold? Suits.
What would you say
If you gave your suits away
In return you’d never grow old? Suits.
What would you pick
One million chicks
Or a single three-piece suit? It’s moot.
What if world peace
Were within your reach … Abbadabada I’m gonna stop you right there. It’s suits. Come on, Lily. Get your head outta your ass.
Two! Three! Four!
Girls will go and girls will come
But there’s only one absolute
Every bro on the go needs to know
That there’s no accepted substitute
I’m sorry suits, let’s make amends
My Sunday best are my best friends
Send casual Friday down the laundry chute
‘Cuz nothing suits the undisputed oft-saluted suitor of repute
Like a …. wait for it …
Suit!
Then again, she is pretty hot.

It's actually Warrant's "Cherry Pie" :-)

The notion was that the bartender (Stacy Keibler) was now the hottest woman at McClaren's, but to me...Robin is ALWAYS the hottest woman in the room. Great episode, indeed!

well first and foremost.....cherry pie was sang by Warrant...not Poision. And yes it was quiet possibly the best episode EVER!


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