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June 30, 2015

How I Met Your Mother: The Bracket - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 31st 2008 10:55PM
HIMYM: The Bracket
(S03E14)
First of all, let's get this out of the way: TedMosbyIsAJerk.com works.

Of course it does. We've come to expect nothing less from Bays and Thomas, as they love to use the Web to further the How I Met Your Mother brand. This site looks like it's fun: cheap 1996-era graphics and text, lots of exclamation points... there's even a song written by poor Anna, who still thinks Barney is Ted. Oh, and that Ted Mosby is a jerk.

It's not a coincidence that HIMYM's first truly funny episode returning from the strike is Barney-centric. Even though Barney seems to be the most one-dimensional character on the surface, Carter and Craig have used him (and the very game Neil Patrick Harris) as a blank canvas, giving him all sorts of backstory elements that seem crazy... but somehow plausible. He used to be a hippie; he has a black gay brother; he slept with Madeline Albright... it all seems entirely possible, doesn't it?

God, there were so many throwaway lines that could be fodder for future episodes. Barney started talking about perjury... but then didn't want to talk about work. He thinks he sold a woman for a Mercedes. Someone out there thinks Barney is Yankee catcher Jorge Posada (wow... talk about a random name... you'd think he'd have picked A-Rod or something. At least you'd think he'd pick a player with smaller ears). I'm sure you folks can think of others; if you do, put them in the comments.

HIMYM: The BracketAnyway, the bracket format was fun, for a number of reasons. The matchups were hilarious: Fake Proposal vs. Two Hours to Live, Fake Baby vs. Lost at Sea, Owned Google vs. SCUBA Instructor (Ted: "She got the bends!" Barn: "Oh, yes she did!"). But it was also a good way for the entire gang to fire off the funny lines, like Marshall going "I'm tired and sad." Lily even got a chance to figure out where the blackboard came from.

What was the most interesting part of the episode, though? Despite revisiting four of Barney's worst dumpings, including Meg from the Dowistrepla apartment, and the TedMosbyIsAJerk woman, he doesn't find out who the woman who's trashing him all over town. Well, he does eventually, but we still don't know who she is by the end of the episode; all we get from Old Ted is "more on that later." Huh. Wonder if this is part of the mother mythology? That would sure explain the mystery.

More fun stuff:

  • Despite all the women flashing through Barney's mind (my boss Keith thinks it was the same five women over and over again, but Barney claims he remembers everyone, so who knows...), I still was able to discern that glimpse of our former Secretary of State. When Lily was looking through the scrapbook and she said she saw a "government official," well, that sealed it. Barney likes powerful gals, doesn't he? Maybe that's why he's not in jail because of the perjury thing...
  • I just checked Alan Sepinwall's blog and he said that the Albright reference was a callback to a line Barney uttered in "The Yips". Boy, I wish I had that man's memory...
  • Wonder what's in the briefcase Barney asked Lily to bury?
  • The other two women in the Final Four were the woman who got dumped by both Barney and his "twin" Larney -- i like the fact that she yelled "Larney!" when she saw him -- and the woman who he abandoned in the woods by stealing her truck. Yet, he never had to apologize to any of them. That's Barney's version of karma. I mean, the apartment gal said "it was all my fault," for goodness sake...
  • Marshall: "I have a list of all the women I slept with. It's called my marriage license." It was funnier when emphasized by a M&L high-five.
  • Boy, the gang can't really pull off a sting operation, can they? Lily dances like Elaine Benes, Marhsall chokes so bad he can't talk or know what do do with his hands, and Robin giggles when she lies.
  • More evidence that Robin and Barney are destined to hook up: she was very nonchalant when looking at the depraved acts in Barney's scrapbook, then she giggles "no" when Barney asks if she was intrigued by what he whispered to her. Oh, and she got Barney's art museum lie exactly right. One of these days we're going to see them together, I tell ya.
  • I love seeing Barney get slapped. It looks like that women's slaps make him reel as hard as Marshall's do. You'd think he'd get used to being slapped by now and hold steady.
  • Oh, and got to give NPH credit for the commitment to actually looking like he's almost blind. Maybe he was studying pictures of New York's new governor.
  • God, I hate "One Shining Moment," even when it refers to Barney's bracket, and not the NCAAs.
  • I really want to picture Robin falling asleep while eating ribs. It just seems like something she'd do.
  • Barney's sincere apology, even though it was to the wrong person, shows that there's a person underneath. That person my be a fugitive in Argentina by the year 2030, but at least we know he's there.

And, finally, there's my Best Barneyism of the week. In an episode chock-full of Stinson goodness... after waiting almost three years for a nod to NPH's past, we finally got it. As soon as we heard the synthesized strains of the Doogie Howser theme come on, we knew what was coming... now we know how Barn fills in his blog, and it looks very, very familiar. Of course, unlike Doogie, Barney has a girl waiting who thinks he's an astronaut who's about to destroy a meteor hurtling towards earth. All Doogie had waiting for him was visions of Wanda and his right hand.

After the shaky return from the strike and the even shakier Britney-stuffed episode, it's good to see the guys return to form this week. Hopefully, that will set things up for the rest of the season, both in the mythology and the comedy department. This show sure needs some classic episodes to happen right about now...

What was your favorite part of the episode?
Ted Mosby Is A Jerk112 (9.1%)
The Bracket206 (16.7%)
Barney's scrapbook28 (2.3%)
Lily's scrapbook16 (1.3%)
The gang going on a sting operation191 (15.5%)
Barney's Doogie-esque blog entry678 (55.1%)

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