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November 23, 2014

How I Met Your Mother: The Front Porch

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 17th 2009 12:47AM
HIMYM: The Front Porch
(S04E17)
This episode proves that Bays and Thomas can do silly, sitcommy things in an episode and still take their loyal audience on an emotional ride with the characters they've grown to love.

Because of that, this was a fun one. We not only got a glimpse of what four of the gang might look like when they're seniors (Ted somehow looks 20 years younger than Marshall, even though they're the same age) but we got to find out about the joy of nightshirts and a morning broadcast that would make Al Roker jealous.

If you went by the promos, this episode had "stupid" written all over it. Dream sequences? Old age bridge? Barney in suitjamas? It looked like a trainwreck. But thankfully, unlike some of their network counterparts (I'm talking to you, NBC!), CBS likes to be cagey with their promos. This one turned out to be funny only because the confluence of things that may have seemed dopey when taken individually worked as a whole. And it brought us to a moment that fans had been wondering would happen: the Robin-Ted relationship relapse.

They came close, didn't they? After Ted asked Robin to be his "backup wife," they exchanged a little look, one that acknowledged that things have changed in two years to the point where they could be back together. Luckily, they didn't act on it... yet. Maybe that'll come during the goat episode. Anyway, if the two of them get back together, will that delight or frustrate the loyalists? I'd like it, only because Ted's been such a dud with everyone since then. But on the other hand, we know that'll get us further away from finding "the mother," because we know Robin's not the one.

It seems fitting that Lily would sabotage Ted's relationships, and do it equally with people she loves (Robin) as well as those she hates (Karen). The fact that Bays and Thomas retroactively had Ted and Robin's breakup words first come out of Lily's mouth was a good way to show how Lily torpedoed them. And how can you tell the flashback scenes weren't outtakes from two years ago? The magazine Lilly is constantly reading. No need for a magazine if there's no baby bump, right?

More fun stuff:
  • Barney's nightshirt jokes to Marshall are my Best Barneyism of the week, if only because he thought they were hilarious no matter how lame they really were. My favorite? "Something about Scrooge!"
  • Speaking of nightshirts (they do look comfy, don't they?), note the question Barn asks as Marshall tells him that wonderful bedtime story about marriage: he called himself someone "who didn't grow up to be the man he wants to be." Interesting that Barn's starting to have pangs of regret about his trampy ways just as Robin is having an inkling of a thought about getting back with Ted...
  • You folks think the gag of Robin having the most exciting work day ever in the background while none of the gang paid attention got old? It did to me... a little bit. Maybe having her deliver a baby was going one step too far. But it led to a good line when Lil asked Robin what's on her jacket: "Soot, breadcrumbs... placenta."
  • The front porch test is a good one, isn't it? It's made even funnier by the fact that to the gang, Bridge is some sort of amalgamation of gin, poker, and hearts.
  • The less said about Laura Prepon's character the better. Suffice to say, Karen did less than nothing for me.
  • I'm guessing the exchange between Ted and Lil after Ted found out about Lil's sabotage was a tribute to A Few Good Men. Who knew that Alyson Hannigan could channel Jack Nicholson so well?
  • For someone who was sitting most of the time, Alyson Hannigan sure got a lot of action this time around. Thankfully she also had bulky robes, College Lily dressed baggy, and they only needed her voice for the sci-fi sabotage. And, of course, we saw a hint of Lil's dirty side. She might know more about porn than Barney...


How I Met Your Mother' Photos

    Actor Neil Patrick Harris arrives in an Audi to the Entertainment Tonight Emmy Party at the Disney Concert Hall on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles.

    Kevin Parry/WireImage.com

    Presenters Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at the NOKIA Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

    Mathew Imaging/WireImage.com

    Presenters Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at the NOKIA Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

    Mathew Imaging/WireImage.com

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Presenters Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris speak onstage during the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kristin Chenoweth;Neil Patrick Harris

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Neil Patrick Harris (R) and David Burtka arrive at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Burtka;Neil Patrick Harris

    Getty Images

    Actor Jason Segel attends CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    Actress Cobie Smulders attends CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    Actress Cobie Smulders attends CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    Actor Neil Patrick Harris attends CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    Actress Alyson Hannigan (R) and her husband, actor Alexis Denisof attend CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

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24 Comments

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greg

Good episode! Even though I usually take a show for what it is and not read to much into it, I thought it was kinda strange even though they are all friends, that Marshall would let Ted talk to his wife, Lily that way

March 19 2009 at 10:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Drex

Robin and Ted getting back together FTW!

March 19 2009 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
blee

Does anyone know if the instrumental music at the end of the episode is from an actual song?

March 18 2009 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
izanhoe

Of course the best part about Robin's TV show from hell in the background was that the person giving birth on her show was Alyson Hannigan!

March 18 2009 at 1:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
defomari

The episode was funny, but i agree that Ted gets annoying especially when it takes center stage. I believe the real issue of the episode was the night shirt.

Does anyone know what the song was when Marshall was flying?

March 17 2009 at 4:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to defomari's comment
tom

I need to know the name of the song thats playing when marshall's flying through the sky....ive been looking everywhere i cant find the name ....

March 17 2009 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hoffie

Bob Dylan's "The Man In Me" -- the scene was taken from the most perfect movie ever shot: "The Big Lebowski."

March 18 2009 at 1:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SpaceVenus

Hilarious episode!
However, Lily seemed evil and selfish in this one - no one should do this to a friend, even under the best of intentions. All she cares about is her front porch?

Also, please don't let Victoria be the mother. She annoyed the hell out of me!

March 17 2009 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C. Hernandez

I liked it a lot. But the little Barney/Robin shipper in me would have liked it more if we found out that Barney had one eye on the TV the whole time and could say exactly what happened when Robin asked.

But it still worked out okay.

March 17 2009 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bape Nerd

Haha, very funny, this show is great!!

Bape Nerd | Official A Bathing Ape Nerd

March 17 2009 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Willmore2000

As much as I didn't like some of the previous few episodes, this one was brilliant. The contrast between the conversation going on in the apartment and Robin on her show was pure comedy gold. When they put it on mute, and she starter her show with a "tribute" to them, and talking about how much they meant to her, I thought that was a great gag, and that was that. But it went on and on, and didn't stop being funny. Perfect.

March 17 2009 at 11:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
George

I felt like there was a great big TiVo-shaped hole in the whole watching-Robin's-show plot. What does it say about Ted, Marshall, Lily and Barney as friends that they've *never* made the effort to TiVo Robin's show? The throwaway line intended to cover that base only made matters worse. And are you seriously telling me that Barney, who's secretly in love with Robin, hasn't been recording every single episode?

Shaky logic annoys me, I guess.

March 17 2009 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to George's comment

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