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Review: How I Met Your Mother - Last Cigarette Ever

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 15th 2009 12:09AM
Jason Segel in HIMYM: Last Cigarette Ever(S05E11) You know you have a good episode going when Harvey Fierstein is cast as one of the female character's "smoking voices," and that's only the third funniest thing that week.

Sure, it was great to hear Harvey's painful-sounding voice coming out Alyson Hannigan's mouth after a few days of smoking. It seems like it would fit well with her character; you know that she's only a few years from calling people "dollface," whether she's smoking or not.

But what carried the episode was seeing a new side to the gang that we haven't seen before, and how they all deal with it. Oh, and it was also good to see some new footage of Ted's kids, even if they're both visibly older.

I wonder if Bays and Thomas debated using the two actors again; they hadn't in awhile, figuring the two of them had changed too much in the intervening years to make it seem like they've been listening to their Dad tell the same long, endless story. So, for the last couple of years, any time you saw them, it was just footage of them sitting on the couch listening.

But I guess they needed some way to convey the fact that all of the gang's smoking habits came as a surprise. I guess they just said "screw it," and felt that this was a separate story told at a different time. I don't even think they were even wearing the same clothes.

Is it a surprise that they all smoked? Probably not. Their hangout is a bar; pre-Mikey Bloomberg, there was going to be a fair chance that they all had a butt and a beer at one time or another (as did everyone else at MacLaren's, if you believe Old Ted's London Fog version of the place pre-ban). It was a nice twist that Lily forbade Marshall from smoking just because it kept her from backsliding, too. Though it gave us Lily as Harvey, so those cancer sticks can't be all bad, right?

It was pretty much an episode full of zig-zags; Robin's handsome new co-worker Don, who we briefly met a few weeks ago, is a loser who knows that he can do the early morning news in his jockey shorts and no one cares. He couldn't even make the cut on Wakey Wakey Beaverton, for crissakes. The gang quits smoking and through their irritability and munchies encourage Robin to not smoke on the air... then they go to the roof for a puff.

But I have to reserve my biggest kudos to the memories of teen Marshall. Once again, Bays and Thomas are doing some odd time-shifting with Marshall; last week, it was Old Marshall sending wings to 2009 Marshall. This time, it's 2009 Marshall kicking the crap out of teen Marshall for getting him hooked on smoking. Not sure which part was funnier: how cold Minnesota's summers are or little Marshall deciding to do some self-loving after 2009 Marshall hands him a photo of Lily. If only Teen Marshall heard Lily's smoking voice...

More fun stuff:

  • Best Barneyism: Barney listing all the times when he smokes, including "When the Mets are mathematically eliminated from contention," "Pre-coital," and "Wait for it... pregnancy scares." Why does he smoke all the time, then? "I'm always pre-coital."
  • Interesting that they brought back Marshall's old abusive boss, Arthur Hobbs, only to give him a heart attack. No one plays corporate douche who loves his dog better than Bob Odenkirk.
  • Was the callback to Marshall in the pirate costume from "Slutty Pumpkin" a new scene? We've seen that costume pop up more than once, I think most recently in last year's season finale.
  • More in the interesting department: Ted giving the dates when Robin and Barney stopped smoking for good, but vague on the exact dates for himself and M&L. Which probably means that Lil will get pregnant soon but not now, and Ted will be dating "the one" at some undefined point in the series.
  • Even more in the interesting department: Old Ted saying that Robin and Don started dating within three months. So I'd set my calendars for late February / early March for that episode.
  • Anyone catch Don's "I was on a network" speech? Sounded like it was cribbed from Kevin Costner's speech about "the show" in Bull Durham.
  • Where does Marshall's "system" of obscuring his smoking fail? I think when he smokes in his underwear on the roof. But Lil's habit explains why she can smell it on him so easily.
  • Can a person have too many Vikings lamps?

[Watch clips and free episodes of HIMYM at SlashControl.]

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Jamesweld

If they all smoke what is bad about it? I think I will try smoking too

December 28 2009 at 8:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shreyan Hota

Hey!!!! WHAT"s with the "visibly older" thing! That's NOT true, guys. I am more than 100% sure of it and am prepared to bet all I have (which is a lot) that they used the same footage that they used in the pilot episode, recycling the "WHAT" moment again and again. I did an analysis of both footage and found that they are exactly the same! The pixels match for Christ's sakes!!! Only difference is that in the new one they have panned out a little bit... So please take it back, as it has already been ADDED TO THE WIKI PAGE of the episode as well as the main HIMYM page!!! Wiki is for the truth, not some reviewer's extremely flawed observations!!!

December 22 2009 at 8:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Xavier

IMO, worst episode of HIMYM ever. It contributed nothing to the storyline and was only mildly entertaining. Let's hope this week (and last) were just slip-ups. I'm expecting an epic comeback next week with the 100th episode.

December 17 2009 at 2:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
skim

I read that they've already taped the kids for lots of reaction shots for the whole run of the series, including for the episode when the mother is revealed.

December 16 2009 at 12:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JZ

Fantastic ep after a few weeks of decent ones. Glad we were treated to this.

December 15 2009 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Deej

I loved the fact that they were using a Tim Hortons Cofffee can to put their butts in. The logo was taken out, but you can't mistake the can design... well at least if you're Canadian.

December 15 2009 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to The Deej's comment
ninjaguiden

The Tim Horton's logo was only removed the 2nd time through. The first time you see it it's from a distance, then you see up to about "Tim Hor" (as the can is turned away) for the rest of that scene.

December 22 2009 at 1:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
George

Lily's "smoker voice" would've been a lot funnier if they'd only used it once or twice instead of beating the joke to death.

December 15 2009 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scentsy Lady

I thought the episode was cute-- sometimes a story about "nothing" is enough (thank you Seinfeld). As previously stated, smoking has been addressed before, but more importantly, not all kids know adults smoke. Because smoking is a "faux pas' anymore, many people hide it from children who are impressionable--

December 15 2009 at 4:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The1337

I'm not a smoker so perhaps that's the reason why I didn't like the story. It just seemed like the story really never went anywhere. There were plenty of funny moments, but the story which was the majority of the episode did not interest me.

Review of the episode on my blog.
http://th3tvobsessed.blogspot.com/2009/12/review-how-i-met-your-mother-season-5_15.html

December 15 2009 at 3:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KenMo

I am not in favor of banning smoking with laws. If smoking is bad, then make the act illegal.
That being said, I found this episode disgusting and turned it off about 10 minutes into the show.
If I want to watch a sitcom with all of the characters smoking, I'll watch one made before 1980 (Mr Ed was hilarious with a Camel in his mouth).

December 15 2009 at 3:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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