The How I Met Your Mother Shame Index: Episode 21

Slate's Culture Blog
May 4 2010 6:46 AM

The How I Met Your Mother Shame Index: Episode 21

Paging through the current issue of Entertainment Weekly , the Shame Index wondered aloud why the creators of How I Met Your Mother told Michael Ausiello that there will be a new Robin Sparkles video next season. Getting a little ahead of ourselves, aren't we? But perhaps we now have our reason: The folks at HIMYM wanted to reassure die-hard fans that despite her abrupt departure from Ted's apartment last night, Robin's not going anywhere.

Shameful :

Ted's appletini. The HIMYM writers didn't waste much time thinking about clever ways to make Ted seem gay to Don, dipping lazily into a series of well-worn stereotypes. He doesn't follow sports! He likes to cook! He likes girly drinks! That last was especially galling not so much for the stereotype, but because that drink belongs to one Dr. John Dorian.

Barney showing off by chasing a jalape ñ o with a mound of wasabi. Spicy food is spicy! More laziness.

It's been a long season for Robin. On the one hand, the Index was happy to see her assert herself last night this was a more empowered Robin than the weepy one we saw a few episodes back. But the Index couldn't help but be a little irritated that we were supposed to believe that Ted and Barney aren't over her. Barney bequeathed his super date to Robin and Don just a few episodes ago; all of a sudden he's jealous? The Index supposes that's possible, but it seemed expedient. Meanwhile Ted is willing to sit idly by as Robin and Barney have a torrid romance, but the minute she floats the idea of moving in with Don, he's back in the hunt? Because of a letter he calligraphed a couple years ago? Again, the Index was pleased to see Robin doing what's right for Robin, and it will be interesting to see how this unfolds over the remaining episodes this season. But the setup felt forced.
 
Awesome :

The twin beds B plot. Vintage Marshall and Lily—and well-observed details about the problems inherent in spooning. One quibble, however: Marshall complains that Lily is always slapping him in her sleep "it's like spooning with an Indian deity" but in the previous episode we learned that Marshall is always accidentally hitting Lily in his sleep. Once they nod off, do Marshall and Lily have a 12-round, no holds barred, battle royale?
 
"A dirty, dirty sex bed ... and a beanbag chair for special birthday stuff."

"Do you want to push them together?"

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Ted's "for my biographer" box. Yeah, he'd have one of those.

Barn Door

Ted's bizarre bear noises

Robin's habit of not replacing the milk was threaded nicely through the episode. Though if anyone was surprised that her room was empty when Ted bounded in at the end, the Index will eat a whole jalape ñ o.

A question for Shame Index readers: How do we feel about Don? The Index was skeptical from the start, but confesses that Don comported himself well last night. Almost too well remember how buffoonish he was when we first met him? All of a sudden, he seems so ... pants-wearing.

Previous Shame Indices: Episode  1 2 3 4 5 ,   6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 ,   14 ,   15 ,   16 ,   17 ,   18 , 19 , 20    

 

John Swansburg is Slate's editorial director. Follow him on Twitter.

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