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'How I Met Your Mother': It's not a party until someone recites Dante

May 10, 2010 | 10:01 pm
Ted (Josh Radnor) may have not met The Mother in “Robots vs. Wrestlers,” but he did meet his pretentious match. Since the day he and Marshall (Jason Segel) moved into the apartment 10 years ago, they've been receiving mail addressed to the previous resident, Marissa Heller (Darby Stanchfield, familiar to “Mad Men” fans as Helen Bishop). After receiving a party invitation addressed to Marissa at some fancy building Ted wanted to see the inside of, Ted, Marshall, Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) decided to crash the party. Just as Lily was about to check in as Marissa, the real Marissa Heller showed up. After bonding with Ted over architecture, she sneaked the gang into the party, where Peter Bogdanovich (“The Sopranos”), Arianna Huffington and New York Times Crossword Editor Will Shortz were having a discussion. Ted was finally in his element, no longer hearing the sounds of his friends' farting noises any time he brought up poetry, art or music.

Barney, meanwhile, was striking out in the hoity-toity party. These girls are smart enough to see through his overly embellished lies. Marshall and Lily aren't having much fun either, and I sympathize. I'd probably be just bored as they were and just as hungry as Marshall was at that party. And the company? As a TV fan, my dislike of Marissa was solidified when she snootily said, “I don't own a TV. The only operas I watch are at the Met.”

Lily even got Clue-like in her disdain, picking up a candlestick and declaring, “Mrs. Lily in the living room with a candlestick.”

Barney is upset when Ted doesn't want to ditch the party for their new tradition, Robots vs. Wrestlers. They've already lost Robin (Cobie Smulders), who isn't hanging out with the group because she wants to give things with Don a real chance. She can't do that if she's drinking with her ex-boyfriends all the time. Sadly, I got the impression that this meant she wasn't hanging out with Marshall and Lily either, who understandably are usually with Ted and Barney, but what, no double dates? Barney's not taking the loss of Robin very well. He sees this as the first step in the group's impending breakup. Next, Marshall and Lily will have a baby and then Ted will die alone, devoured by his cats. It's both sweet that Barney of all people is so concerned with keeping the group intact and a clear sign that the guy has major abandonment issues.

But the group is able to reign Ted back in. A picture of the fourth doppelgänger – Mexican wrestler Ted at Robots vs. Aliens – breaks Ted out of a reverie about just how douchey he sounds while reciting Dante in Italian.

Meanwhile, Barney's worrying has finally gotten Lily and Marshall talking about the b-word. While it's difficult to picture how a baby would fit into the series, it would be unrealistic for Lily and Marshall to not be thinking about starting a family. They're in the right place in their relationship for it. As Marshall points out, they love each other, they're financially stable – I guess they paid off Lily's shopping debt – and he foolishly thinks it wouldn't change their lifestyle much. It could change more than just Lily and Marshall's lifestyle. It could change the lifestyle of the show. But it looks like we might not have to worry about that just yet. Marshall and Lily agree that they'll start trying when they see the fifth and final doppelgänger.

Readers, what do you think about the idea of Marshall and Lily having a baby? Were you upset that Robin wasn't around much, although she did briefly return at the end? And where would you rather be: Robots vs. Wrestlers or a party with Marissa Heller and her friends?

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


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Photo: Ted (Josh Radnor) enjoys a swanky party. Credit: Cliff Lipson / CBS