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October 9, 2015

How I Met Your Mother: The Chain of Screaming - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 14th 2008 10:57PM
HIMYM cast(S03E15) The original name of this episode was going to be "The Simmons Report," according to IMDb and Epguides. But, as we all know, there was a report in the episode, but it got a much different -- and much cooler -- name. In fact that little joke is one of a number of silly throwaway jokes that made this episode one of the funniest of the season. And what was interesting was, in the middle of all that goofiness, we got serious advancement of story in the deal. And, refreshingly, the story wasn't the relentless pursuit of the mother's identity. No, we find out more about Marshall's career and come a step closer to seeing why he became a bald mess by 2030.

Oh, and we also got to learn about the chain/circle/pyramid of screaming. I wish I knew about that when I used to be a corporate wage slave. It would have made my life a lot easier.

As you'd expect the chain/circle/pyramid is the Best Barneyism of the week. It made sense for a little while: the reason why Artillery Arthur (nicely played by Bob Odenkirk) screamed at his underlings is because his boss screamed at him, his boss got screamed at by her boss, etc. etc. It just fell apart when he extended the chain/circle/pyramid to Marshall screaming at Lily, which never happens. It's funny how he assumes that Lily screams at her little kindergarteners. Boy, his slutty mom really did do a number on old Barn, didn't she?

(By the way, Barney settled on the pyramid model; he mentions it in his blog.)

The interesting part of the story is that I always thought Marshall gave his life over to that evil corporate firm because he committed to that smelly, crooked apartment in Dowistrepla. Now, he's a former corporate lawyer, and he's borrowing money from Ted in order to pay for his apartment. I never really saw that coming, did you folks? Makes me wonder what implications the loan from Ted will have in both the short and long term.

Anyway, like I said at the top of this review, it was the goofy little things that made this episode for me: Lily's horniness (favorite Horny Lily line: "Mama needs it bad."), everyone piling into Ted's new car with food or cigars (loved the huge dripping ice cream cone in Robin's hand), the reference to the "friends" of Barney's company (a little place called North Korea), Robin's continuing fascination with big guns and cigars, and, of course, "The Ninja Report," which never failed to elicit a "cool!" from the gang whenever it was mentioned.

More fun:

  • Nice way to show how each person would handle Artillery Arthur: put the person in Marshall's suit and have them march into Arthur's office. While I liked Robin with the gun and Ted's obnoxious and nonsensical speech (and the way he corrected himself, Mosby-style), you had to like Lily's method, mainly because she spilled her horniness all over the places, after giving the teacher-y speech. She even grabbed her crotch!
  • I hope M&L don't give back that carpet sample. And, if they do, I feel really bad for the next couple who gets it.
  • So the only reason why Ted got the car was to have an "Anal Ted / new car" gag? He could have just given Marshall the money without ever having the car. I guess it shows the sacrifice Ted made for his best friend.
  • Oh, the car was also there so Barney can call "Shotgun for eternity!" Wonder if that carries over to Ted's next car?
  • Ted's still dating Stella. Hmm. Makes me think that those rumors of a Sarah Chalke return are more than just rumors.
  • You had to love how it almost looked like Marshall was going to hit Arthur, but he sobbed instead. It seems more fitting of Marshall to do that, anyway. When he said the yelling made him feel like a little boy, Robin oh-so-quickly responded, "Is 'boy' the right word?"
  • For a second, I thought Gary Blauman did something... uh... different than peeing on the conference table at Barney's company. Turns out he just had a shy bladder.
  • Marshall being yelled at by the waiter was good, but the road Marshall decided to go down when he yelled at Barney was brilliant, because in that two minutes Marshall voiced everything that is screwy about Barney's life: His mom was a slut, he and his brother are from different dads, and he's deluded himself into thinking that Bob Barker is his dad. It's like he summarized Barn's entire season two storyline in one speech.
  • "What do you have in your briefcase?" "Candy bars!"

OK, so you can tell I liked this one. We get to see more Robin Sparkles next week. I'm confident it'll be a good episode, especially now that Bays and Thomas are starting to get on a bit of a roll. The boys have given us two really good episodes in a row. Let's hope they extend the streak to three.

What shape is better to illustrate screaming?
Chain119 (28.1%)
Circle93 (22.0%)
Pyramid211 (49.9%)

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I don't know, I liked the episode. Not the greatest, not the worst. What really makes this a must-see TV show, as well as being my favorite, has to be the cast.

By that I mean, all five cast members have amazing chemistry together and they do this thing that I haven't exactly seen on other TV shows. It's called laughing at each other's jokes. Even the stupid ones. You know why? Because they are actually friends.....and real people laugh at their friends' jokes. Unlike the show Friends, where they just pretended to be friends and just delivered lines. Each "friend" delivered their lines, waited for the crowd to shut up, then delivered the next line.

Another thing that makes this show great for me has to be everyone's facial expressions. After seeing all the episodes so much, I love just looking at the expressions that everyone has when jokes are delivered, they almost always seem genuine to me. Sometimes, those are funnier than the actual jokes. I love it. Keep it up, HIMYM.

Great example of what I'm talking about in the Chain of Screaming episode. Right at the end of the episode when Ted hands Marshall the check, just watch the two of their faces. The whole time, I'm thinking, "Wow, Ted honestly cares about and loves Marshall." It just screams genuine to me. It may or may not have been, but I sure believe it is.

April 16 2008 at 1:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really don't get the post!!! maybe i'm off, but i really love the espisodes, all of them since th estrike ended (i think that the first one not so much, can't remember). Any news jet about the next season??? they a awfually taking a lot of time in these one...

April 15 2008 at 9:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ted's "obnoxious and nonsensical speech" reminded me of Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition sketch, because Ted kept stopping and starting over. I didn't expect that (get it?).

If Bays and Thomas are inspired by Monty Python, it's one reason that the show is so funny.

April 15 2008 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't think it's a continuity error.. they just said that tuckahoe funland gets sued over the next three years.. they never say that marshall is the one who is defending them the whole time...

April 15 2008 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben Belden

I agree with the other posters who didn't find this episode funny. I can't remember a single line I even laughed at. This may have been a low point of the series to me. From the beginning of the episode (and also because of the tone of the commercials), I knew Marshall was going to be out of a job at the end, although I didn't know he would quit. Half the episode seemed to take place during that one conversation at the bar and I was just waiting for it to be over. Maybe it's just me, but I get bored when the episodes are dealing with the characters at work, especially Marshall and Ted.

April 15 2008 at 2:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not a good episode at all. No intertwined story lines, no twinkle and other than Lily being horny, not a lot of comedy. Bring on the Robin episode.

April 15 2008 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

does this show and Big Bang theory coordinate story lines to a certain extent?

its a pretty big coincidence for North Korea and Take Your Daughter to Work Day were in both eps on the same day.

April 15 2008 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i thought the same thing RC...marshall has to get back to that job or else the older ted voice over about the amusement part is the biggest continuity error ever and i dont see that happening.

im also with ryan about me liking the episodes joel doesnt and visa versa. then again my roommate was laughing a lot last night while i twiddled my thumbs.

April 15 2008 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not the best episode ever, but it REALLY REALLY hit home for me... a corporate drone exactly like Marshall who hates what she does and is marrying an elementary school teacher who loves what he does, but is stuck buying a new apartment and having a mortgage...
I was crying too

April 15 2008 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow week after week I realize I am a total opposite to the person reviewing this show. Episodes they don't like I love and this episode I thought was one of the most boring/depressing ones in the course of the series.

One question. When Marshall took the job because his only client would be the amusement park, future Ted mentioned a whole series of lawsuits that came up against the park. That led me to believe Marshall would be working there for quite awhile. Am I wrong or am I missing something?


April 15 2008 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RC's comment

Yes!!!, you are totally right!!! i didn't remember that!!!, plus his boss was an asian dude, that is really a continuity problem (wich we don't see very often in these great plan out show...), maybe he will be back in his work for some other reason soon, remember that future marshall was bald and wealthy... he was to turn to the dark side in some point... :)

LOVE THESE EPISODE BY THE WAY!!! they are really in a roll!!!

April 15 2008 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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