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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

'How I Met Your Mother' Recap: "Lobster Crawl"

Ah yes, the art of seduction. Since the beginning of time, countless magazines have attempted to tell you in different ways to have self-esteem, shower and not be a creep. But seriously: what is the truth?

Cookies. Feed them cookies.

It's true, unless television is wrong, in which case I really should not watch so much television. Anyway…the truth was spilled in "Lobster Crawl," an episode in which Robin Scherbatsky attempted to seduce Barney Stinson. Sounds simple enough. It all began with Robin desiring Barney after Barney told her last week that he wasn't going to pursue her anymore. As Lily explained, Robin wants what she can't have, at times with disastrous results, like say when the accredited doctor informed our favorite Canadian that she is allergic to lobster. She pigged out on lobster and her throat and face swelled rather disgustingly. Robin figured that she has to seduce Barney and be with him one last time, to get it out of her system, to be purged of any physical lusting for the Barnacle ever again.

Unfortunately for her, Barney was preoccupied with a new invention. At MacLaren's, Barney spilled ketchup on his tie, Cornelius. He performed CPR on the tie with the napkin. It was depressing. He performed mouth to mouth. The bit was dying. He cried that he lost Cornelius. Barney said he was so close to retirement, and just that morning he said he was getting "too old for this shirt." Better. Barney hummed taps. The joke came to life! A miracle! Unfortunately the tie was still dead, but it gave Stinson the idea for "Brobibs." Yes, Brobibs.com is a fully functioning website. (This show always has been good at setting up fake websites that come up.) It was a halfway decent idea, where men would wear a plaid or tie print bib while eating to avoid a mess.

(Oddly, this is the third time this television season that a character in arrested development came up with an idea based on adolescence. On Parks and Recreation there's Tom Haverford and his "Rent-a-Swag" company that lets teens rent out nice clothes, and if I watched Gossip Girl I'd know that Blair Waldorf made some coin selling items based on high school uniforms.)

Since it actually isn't an awful idea, the humor of it had to come from Lily continually insisting to Robin that it actually was a great concept that she should invest in. She even at one point wanted to go ahead with a "Bitch Bibs. "Barney is going to sue us but lets just go for it!" But Robin needed Lily to shut up about her great, financially sound ideas and to listen to her troubles. Scherbotsky failed at seducing Barney after attempting the "Damsel in Distress," the "Center of Attention," and
the "Is that Angelina Jolie?!" ploy, in which Robin dressed as Lara Croft to seduce Barney at laser tag.

Barney was very glad to see her! Because he was able to use her as a human shield to continue playing in a tournament game. So Lily took charge and told Robin to turn him on by flirting heavily with a woman. Lily wanted desperately to be the other woman because of her continuing attraction to Robin (although it never seems that Marshall is in any danger), but that honor went to Brandi, the pretty new weather lady at World Wide News. It worked, sort of, as Barney and Brandi went off to make sweet sweet love in "17 different states at once" back at the studio. But Barney, for now anyway, is a changed man, and did not sleep with her. He told Robin that everything he had done since the Quinn engagement broke off was a cry for help, with the nannies and the dog stuff. He is absolutely correct on that one. He is searching for what he wants in life and has absolutely no idea what that is. Is the Barnacle going to pull a Razor's Edge?! Not if Robin can help it.

Subtlety is a lost art. There was someone in Barney's apartment however.

This elicited an always welcome "NO ONE INVITED YOU PATRICE!" from Robin, the second time in the episode that she yelled at her. Patrice and Barney were "sort of on a date." Barney omitted earlier the part when he had a conversation with Patrice at WWN while Brandi was setting up the green screen or whatever the hell she was doing to set up the sex. Patrice sensed Barney's inner pain and offered cookies. "Whenever I see someone who is unhappy I have the urge to give them cookies." She offered heart shaped cookies, but warned that some of them are broken. "I know how they feel!" Barney cried, in one of the funniest non-yelling at Patrice lines of the night. So Robin left embarrassed, and Barney continued to play crazy 8's with his new friend, no doubt happy to talk to someone he has no past with.

There are two ways to look at what happened in "Lobster Crawl." One is the reminder that this is episodic television, not some lovey dovey movie designed to be consumed between meals. Robin Scherbatsky may be an amusing, aesthetically pleasing young woman, but her and her future husband have a little too much time on their hands. We know Barney and Robin are going to get married, and on that night the protagonist will meet this "mother" and they will turn off the studio lights and that will be FIN. But that day will definitely be next May, unless it's not, in which case it will be on May 2014 (unless it's not), and so there must be a few more hurdles to the finish line.

Another, less cynical way to look at it: Even though Barney and Robin being together on screen for that half of a season didn't work as well as we hoped, How I Met Your Mother wouldn't necessarily think the quality of the show would suffer if the crazy kids were a couple for the last season and a half. And Barney legitimately should by now genuinely be tired of having one night stands after getting a taste of how not terrible being in a committed relationship can be (and from sleeping with half of the city already.) Three cheers for character development!

Meanwhile, Theodore Evelyn Mosby had some time off after the GNB building he designed and helped construct was finally completed. (I completely forgot about the building, to be honest.) With Mickey on the DL with a rough case of the sniffles, Ted was hired as Marvin's nanny. Immediately trouble started. When Marvin crawled for the first time, only Ted and the back of his camera as a witness. Ted took Marvin shopping and sort of bought him all his winter clothes without asking the kid's parents. He put Marvin in a Browns shirt, when Marshall has dreams of Marvin winning the 2032 Super Bowl for the Vikings (watch out Christian Ponder and/or some robot!) Ted gave Mickey the month off, because Uncle Teddy didn't want to miss Marvin's first sleigh ride. Ted officially leaped past the creepy line and was fired. Almost immediately, Lily and Marshall sounded forgiving of their kind of crazy friend and invited him to come to the swim class he signed Marvin up for. Ted had obviously already put in some time at the kids center.

That actually makes me want to cry.

Lily and Marshall told Ted that they found the Marvin's "Book of Firsts" that Ted had made. When Lily saw this she got very angry.

Until they found Ted's GNB Building "Book of Firsts." This page was a favorite.

Good old toilet humor. So Ted is really passionate about being a family man and an architect, and Marvin's parents reasoned that T-Mose just misses his baby the GNB Building. I thought that Lily and Marshall were too easy on the guy, until in a flashforward the two of them take Ted's baby daughter to see Santa for the very first time as their long awaited revenge.

Ted needs a family. Now.

Things to Say Over a Sixer of Watermelon Wine Coolers

“For someone who survived numerous beatings from loan sharks, he has a surprisingly delicate constitution."

"If you ever want to see these breasts again, crawl, you son of a me."

"I poured my blood, sweat and tears into that building. But to be fair a lot of that happened the day I accidentally fell down that elevator shaft."

Lily: "Good but I think I just saw a woman with a full beard outside."
Marshall, ten seconds later: "I think I just a guy with breasts outside."

Marshall, when Lily refused to stop filming Marvin just sitting on the rug: "You know what they say: a watched tot never crawls…or calls you later in life after it sees this disturbing footage."

Things to Ponder While Waiting on Holden Crawlfield

Where did Robin's voice of reason go when it vacated the only home it's ever known? Probably it'll look up Homer Simpson's brain, its brother in that gag.

Do you think Patrice's cookies are particularly delicious?

Why does Ted suddenly talk like Brad when he gets nervous?

Does this episode ruin the whole "Ross and Rachel are each others' lobsters" thing?

Why Cornelius?

Why not Cornelius?

Roger Cormier has no ties named after him.

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