'How I Met Your Mother' Season 6, Episode 5 Recap
by Joel Keller, posted Oct 19th 2010 12:00AM
['How I Met Your Mother' - 'Architect of Destruction']
Whether you've followed her career since she debuted on 'House' or you just found out about her when Carter Bays appeared on Mo Ryan's podcast last week, you knew that Jennifer Morrison wasn't coming on 'How I Met Your Mother' to be one of Ted's girlfriends of the week. No, her character was more substantial, and not one that Ted was going to fall head over heels in love with right away.
Too many of Ted's long-term loves have merely been receptacles for his impulsive moves and too-cute-for-words romantic gestures. And, except for Robin (and maybe Victoria), none were around long enough for us to get to know them or care about them much.
But Zoey is going to be around a little while. And we don't even know if Ted is going to fall in love with her. But she will make his life miserable. Not a bad comedic choice, if you ask me.
For that, I give Bays and Thomas credit. Ted needs someone to challenge him, someone whom he needs to find out more about because there are entertaining layers to her that we have yet to see. For right now, all we know about Zoey is that she's just a little nutty. There doesn't seem to be a cause she doesn't like, including protesting the long-delayed release of Guns 'n' Roses' 'Chinese Democracy' CD. There aren't many layers you can introduce in a single episode.
Which is why I have to reluctantly say that the story that introduces Zoey was probably the less successful of the two main stories. But that's only because you can't pair up Jason Segel and the words "small penis" and not get guffaws out of it. But more on that in a bit.
I do give Morrison some props, though, for her comedic performance. Considering she's spent 95% of her time as Cameron on 'House' with a grim look of determination on her face, it's good to see that she can be funny, too.
Ted compromising his personality and going doe-eyed over a woman is nothing new. Neither is introducing a woman into Ted's like that's yet another version of what the AV Club calls the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (think Natalie Portman in 'Garden State' and you get the idea).
No, what worked in this storyline was two things: Barney's assertion that "New Is Always Better," no matter what -- the Best Barneyism of the week -- and Ted trudging out of his apartment in a cheesy wizard's outfit because a past girlfriend was "really hot." The callback where the photo Barney took of that costume became a well-placed GNB billboard promoting Ted's architectural wizardry was well-done.
But the comedic prize has to go to the Marshall / small penis story. From "papa's" need for traction in bed, to the real nature of men's locker rooms, to the sobering notion that girlfriends and wives everywhere are discussing their mate's sexual prowess in great detail to each other, all of it was fun to watch. Poor Marshall couldn't get those words out of his head: "I'm going to think of two other words here, and they're: small penis?!" And the lingering hug he gave his unfortunate buddy Max because of that knowledge was sold pretty well by Segel.
More fun stuff:
-- Which 'Sex and the City' characters were Robin and Lily mimicing in Marshall's paranoid vision? Probably all of them, no?
-- Lily doesn't seem to mind Robin in her hubby's fantasies. "You just have to lean into it" and use the vision to your advantage.
-- Even though we knew it was coming, the important memo from Barney to Ted that said "-- dary!" was still pretty funny.
-- Very clever of Ted to test Barney's "New Is Always Better" mantra by buying him Jimbo's Grape Scotch. I hope Barn didn't let it touch his skin, as the Wendy the Waitress warned.
-- Marshall's right: "Architect of Destruction" really is a pretty cool wrestler name.
-- Only GNB and Barney could roust people out of an old building using snakes.
-- What in the hell does Robin do in bed that got Max, Barney and Ted all shaking their heads? Though I will say that I hope Marshall never finds out. He doesn't need that on his mind, too.
'How I Met Your Mother' airs Mondays at 8PM ET on CBS.
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