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September 3, 2015

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Say Cheese' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 22nd 2010 11:46PM
The cast of 'How I Met Your Mother'(S05E18) Ever come across an episode of one of your favorite shows that just felt half-baked to you? Sure, it had its funny moments, but there was something about the main story that begged to be explored a bit more. Or maybe one of the B-stories looked like it had more potential but it just ended up being either a one-note joke or dropped altogether.

This episode had both. I wanted the main story of Ted always bringing around his "skanks" to group celebrations to be tied in a little more to his search for the all-exalted mother. And I also wanted to see more about both Barney's and Marshall's relative abilities in front of a camera lens. Both left me dissatisfied.

There was something to the "Barney looks the same in every picture" plot, even if it was just an opportunity for Robin to try to catch Barn in increasingly silly poses. There could have even been a flashback -- in super slo-mo -- to examine how he manages to get himself in position so fast. But it was just passed off as fact that Barn never takes a bad picture... until he's fed cliantro, that is. Since that was the only thing for Neil Patrick Harris to hang his Barney hat on this week, I'll give his picture-posing prowess the Best Barneyism this week.

I was OK with Marshall's inability to look anything other than "dead, stoned, and cold" in his photos as the one-note joke it was, mainly because the writers didn't call attention to it as much as they did the Barney gag. And, anyway, it was much more realistic; how many people do you know manage to somehow look drunk in even the most posed photos you take of them?

So the lack of real meaty stories for Barney, Robin -- who was there mainly as a line-spewer this week -- and Marshall left room for a lot of exploration of Ted and why he keeps hoping that the next woman he brings to a gathering of the gang is "The One." We could have tied it back nicely to some of his previous serious relationships. Instead, the only really identifiable past girlfriend was Laura Prepon as the insufferable Karen. Why did we need to see a rehash of how she always treated Ted like crap? I would have gladly sacrificed Marshall's "My balls were bleu! Bleu!" line to not have to see Karen again.

But, then again, it was supposed to be a procession of anonymous women. But the joke got old after a while. And, considering Lily is the one who was complaining about Ted's habit, the fact that she was the one who was originally invited into a group photo by Ted (OK, the group was just him and Marshall in college, but it counts) at least tied the story up in a nice bow.

More fun stuff:

-- Is "Name That Bitch" going to take over from "But Um" as the big New York drinking game?

-- It is interesting that all you need to see is a 'fro and a stovepipe hat and you immediately think "Slash!"

-- Even Lily and Robin knew that Robin and Barney were on thin ice as a couple. "You two aren't gonna last!" she tells them while taking the picture while celebrating Robin's US citizenship. Robin felt they were "on fumes" as a couple at that point.

-- Marshall can be such a sap sometimes, can't he? But, then again, his sappitude helps the writers come up with birthday games like "Lilial Pursuit" and "Gilding the Lily."

-- When did photographers stop using the laser background for kid portraits? I'm guessing somewhere around 1991.

-- Lily's sign greeting Marshall in Paris: "Bienvenue, Marshmallow." Awww...

-- As Ted and Lily were going down "Random Skank Lane," you knew that Robin was going to be brought up at some point, because she was "The One" at one point. I liked Robin's reaction to being dragged in: "Hey, I'm crying a little bit!"

-- All together now: "*Her name was Strawberry!"

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

channel: "CBS on AOL" show:how i met your mother sort:mostrecent

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Is it my imagination or is Ted a slut? I know he's been dating for 10-15 years, but it just seems like there is an endless procession of woman willing to go out with him. Does anyone say "no" and mean it? Is there any woman Ted can't get?

March 24 2010 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode was a bit dissapointing because of 2 reasons:

- the time jump at the end to one year later showed us that one year later there still is no mother onboard

- missed opportunity to tune into more tention with the timejump. Wouldn't it have been awesome to let the group talk to someone the viewers cannot see to come into the picture and let old Ted tell us from the off, that the mother waqs on the next years picture?
This way the creators would have one more season to introduce the mother and all of the audience excited to finally meet the mother in some of the next epsiodes?

Sorry, if my english isn't that good....but this was a missed opportunity to do a nice little tidbit, without revealing too much.....

March 23 2010 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought Marshall and Lily were the gigantic douche bags in this episode. Both were incredibly mean to Ted, just because he's looking for what they have. Ted doesn't date skanks. None of these girls were skanks. They were dates. Barney hooks up with skanks. There's a world of difference between the 2.

Part of the character of Ted is that when he finds "the one", she needs to fit in with his friends. Thus, he needs to bring dates to these events to see if they fit in. If he went dateless to every event where his best buds had a private occasion, he'd never go on a date. You have to remember, these guys get together for everything. Every major and minor holiday, every major or minor life event, pretty much every night.

March 23 2010 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Not as great as some others, but a good low-key episode. Here's to hoping that Ted at least meets the mother in the season finale.

March 23 2010 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Regarding the end tag: I guess it can safely be said that a year from now, Ted will still not going out with the "Mother"...

March 23 2010 at 10:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I, too, liked the episode very much. We were able to spend an extended time with these five people and was able to look back at their friendship as it evolved, something HIMYM does really well I may add. Plus wasn't it here that someone lamented the lack of Lily story lines?

March 23 2010 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed this episode and laughed a lot. Here, nonetheless, is why it was troublesome:

-- Let's turn back to Slapsgiving, the second best episode of season three and a top ten episode of the series.

Who brought a "random skank" to Thanksgiving? Who put someone they'd never end up with in the photo?

It wasn't Ted--it was Robin, who brought "Bob." Remember? "Here are the four people I love most in the world...and Bob."

Don't see how you can basically do the same storyline but ignore that HUGE component.

March 23 2010 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bdaw's comment

Maybe because Robin doesn't do it EVERY SINGLE TIME like Ted.

March 23 2010 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is it just me or is Ted a gigantic douche bag?

I mean come on, bringing all of these random skanks to events that he KNOWS is just supposed to be his close circle of friends?

That's TWO kinds of douche-ness. First, it's douchey to his friends, and then, it's douchey to the random skank.

Seriously, Ted is the least likable main character of a television show. Ever.

March 23 2010 at 8:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ashley Boyd

I enjoyed the episode because it did something HIMYM does well; reflect life in your twenties. The amount of times I've tried to arrange get togethers with a group of friends I've known for years and they suddenly turn up with some random person and you're left to smile politely and make small talk with a stranger.

March 23 2010 at 4:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i laughed out loud when they cut to the bar, with everyone singing the last word of "happy birthday to you" - almost an inside joke of sorts in the tv/movie industry? (due to the exorbitant royalty rates the woman who owns the copyright wishes to charge for use)

March 23 2010 at 3:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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