The How I Met Your Mother Shame Index: Episode 13

Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 19 2010 7:45 AM

The How I Met Your Mother Shame Index: Episode 13

The Shame Index complained last week that

How I Met Your Mother
John Swansburg John Swansburg

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.


's 100th episode didn't give Marshall enough to do. Episode 101 was welcomely Eriksen-centric.



—Marshall's skee-ball moniker, "Big Fudge."

—Amanda Peet. The Shame Index confesses that he's never quite understood Peet's appeal, but she was well-deployed here. The Jenkins-is-really-a-woman gag was clever, and Peet had some memorable moments, particularly her attempt to convince Lily she was not, in fact, Jenkins, but an emissary from the French consulate: "I am here because of a small but significant cheese incident that occurred."

—"You can't handle the Fudge"

—"But Um." The Shame Index has been irritated all season long by Robin's poor treatment at the hands of


's writers, but the latest indignity visited on her—becoming the subject of a college drinking game—ended up being pretty funny. And at least Robin got the last, bullhorn-amplified laugh. (Kudos to the writers for tying the Marshall and Robin plots together by making Jenkins' kiss of Marshall the result of having been sloshed after a round of "But Um"—a nicely Seinfeldian touch.)

—"Wait a minute. ... You're Big Fudge."

—That Marshall and Lily are deciding whether their pet will be a monkey or a cat depending on the outcome of a game of Risk they've been playing for three years. We've previously learned that Marshall is an exceptional talent when it comes to board games; Lily must really not want that monkey. (Marshall is surely the one who wants the monkey, right?)

—Marshall's description of Jenkins's tongue as being "thick and rough like a starfish arm."

—The conclusion of Ted's lecture on the sad—and

—architectural legacy of Gregorio Francetti Gazebo.

—The use of Samuel Barber's

Adadio for Strings

—better known as

—to score the final "But Um" binge and its aftermath.



—A reacher and a settler. Perhaps this is just the Index's deep affection for Big Fudge talking here, but Marshall is the reacher in that marriage? The Index didn't really buy that. (If Oprah were about to crash a plane carrying the Index's children and grandchildren into an art museum holding the Index's favorite art, the Index would still say that neither Lily nor Marshall is a reacher.) Also, how peevish of Robin and Ted to tell Marshall that he is the reacher in his marriage. This latest instance of the friends being markedly cruel to one another happened to be in the service of moving along a funny, well-conceived plot (unlike, say, Barney's treatment of Robin earlier this season), but it was bothersome nevertheless.

A solid start to the second half of the season. But ums up!

Previous Shame Indices: Episode 1 , 2 , 3











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