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'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Robots Vs. Wrestlers' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted May 11th 2010 10:22AM
'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Robots Vs. Wrestlers'(S05E22) First we had "Girls Vs. Suits," now we have "Robots Vs. Wrestlers." I guess Bays and Thomas are in a very confrontational mood this season; either that or they're riffing off the standard title format of their Monday at 8PM rival show, 'Chuck.' Not sure.

Title repetition aside, this week we had an episode that was silly, no doubt about it. Almost over-the-top silly. But it had enough laughs, and told enough story, to make it a pretty decent episode. Is it one of the season's best? No. But sometimes you hit a double instead of a homer. This one was more like a double and a steal of third base.

What made the episode was the fact that Ted finally admitted that he can be a bit of a douche. It's something that the fans have been thinking for all these years, but Ted has been blissfully unaware of. Mainly because, via devices like fart noises, the gang has kept his douchiness from getting out of control. But amongst "his people" (i.e. pretentious snobs and Will Shortz), the douchiness goes unfettered.

And, we finally get to see the results of Ted's unfettered douchiness. Reciting Dante's 'Inferno' in the original Italian. Being able to name the region a wine comes from by tasting it. Singing in a barbershop quartet with Peter Bogdanovich. It's like he's both Frasier and Niles Crane bundled into one big douche.

But at least he's self-aware, especially when finally faced with his doppelganger. It was fun to see Josh Radnor play someone other than Ted, even if it's only for a few seconds, and he was almost convincing as Mexican Wrestler Ted. And as much as he wants to be intellectual and high-minded, he knows that stuff like going to "Robots vs. Wrestlers" shows is a heck of a lot more fun.

Ah, the doppelgangers. The only one left who hasn't seen his twin is Barney, and, given the deal that Marshall and Lily made, it's not a stretch to say that we're going to see Barney's twin before the season is out. I mean, it's inevitable, isn't it? If Marshall and Lily start talking about having kids, then that means the writers are thinking that it's high time they have kids. And, given, the episode name of the season finale -- look it up -- I can't imagine we won't hear about this again in a couple of weeks.

It was odd to see a largely Robin-free episode. Wonder if Cobie Smulders needed a week off for some reason? Two things related to her story are largely unexplained, though:

1) Why did she come down to the bar at the end of the episode when she expressed to Lily why she needed to stay away? Was it Lily sending her a picture of Mexican Wrestler Ted? And what does that mean for her and Don?

2) So, are Ted and Barney no longer pining for Robin? Barney seems to be concerned that the group is quickly unraveling, but that's as far as his Robin lament went this week, and Ted seems to act as if last week never happened. Wonder if it was all just chalked up by both of them as a drunken misadventure.

Both seem to be writing inconsistencies, but maybe there's some reasoning behind them.

More fun stuff:

-- Not sure why, but NPH's drunk act this week was completely different than his drunk act last week. His rules for Lily and Marshall were both funny and sick all at once. I'm surprised Marshall didn't lunge at him when Barn said that the minute she turns 18... "GONGGGG!" Eh, he'd be too old for her, anyway.

-- The Best Barneyism of the week was when Barney got rebuffed by Arianna Huffington, prompting him to say "Za Za Gabor still looks good." For some reason, I got a kick out of that one.

-- I wonder what the people who are getting my junk mail at my old apartment are thinking about me. Hopefully, they're not getting screeners (it's been over a year since I moved and I still get those things forwarded from time to time).

-- It's good to see that at least Bogdanovich appreciated Marshall's frog/parrot reading of Willem Dafoe's name. It was the wittiest thing anyone said at that whole snooty party.

-- Oh, and when doesn't Michael York play some sort of aristocratic douche?

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

[Follow @joelkeller on Twitter.]

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Episode got me thinking, but asking too...what about the house that Ted built, this show is all about continuity but likes to drop some ideas to the wayside...like the Marshall and Lily baby idea. Cliff hangers though too, like i am still waiting for the last slap so here we are waiting for the last of two concepts, the last doppelganger and the last slap and a few others that I am sure I am forgetting.

Also agree that the group is NOT that immature at least not in our faces being that rude continuously, so I guess they had to prove a point and well now we know how talented they all are. : )

May 15 2010 at 12:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

BTW, Ted's italian really sucks. It spelt almost every word wrong :)

May 11 2010 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought this was a great episode. I think they hint at Ted's douche-ness all the time, especially how pretentious he was in college, so it totally worked for me here, I just wish he would have gotten Marissa Heller's number, or at least tried... I feel like they're not even trying to give Ted a love interest at this point... And I'm glad they addressed Marshall-Lily-Baby question and gave us something to look forward to, aka Barney's doppelganger, as the catalyst. Like the slap bet, Robin Sparkles, the goat thing, this is another fans will look forward too...


May 11 2010 at 1:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I actually agree with a lot of what was said, although I feel like the show did go a bit too "extreme" to prove a point it could have proven anyway.

Ted's a douche, but he's never THAT douchey (it's also incomprehensible that he could possibly be THAT cultured given he spends all his free time in MacLaren's).

Similarly, the rest of the gang is immature, but only rarely has it been THAT immature (the non-stop fart noises, come on).

In reality, as you correctly pointed out, Ted just being Ted is douchey enough to warrant a reality check. They literally turned him into Brian Griffin this week, and the other three (a group of intelligent professionals) became Peter, Meg and Chris.

Like I said, I enjoyed it, but I feel like How I Met is interesting enough not to need to go to extremes to prove these kinds of points. It's also a show that is SO about continuity, and yet they add these "flashbacks" that we never would have seen before.

For all of Ted's rants, why have we so seldomly seen the fart noises before? Reminds me of "Ted the corrector" (from the admittedly brilliant 'spoiler alert.'). While those flashbacks were all funny, Ted doesn't really 'correct' people that often, at least not in such a douchey way.

Barney's game at the party was priceless, though, as was Robots vs. Wrestlers.

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

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