Seven episodes into the ninth season of “How I Met Your Mother,” the CBS comedy showcased its funniest episode yet this season on October 28. Marshall (Jason Segel) is calling in all sorts of “No Questions Asked” favors of his friends, and it leads to some of the best hi-jinx that fans have seen in awhile.
These hi-jinx all revolve around one thing: stopping Lily (Alyson Hannigan) from checking her text messages and learning that Marshall has taken a job as a judge in New York. There’s Ted (Josh Radnor) with a coat hanger looking like the captain’s ghost. There’s also Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) hiding in the vents and making jokes about hookers. Best — and most bizarre — of all is Robin (Cobie Smulders) and her alter ego “Night Falcon” wearing a purple leotard and breaking in by ordering some expensive room service.
But once “HIMYM” takes a step back from all these hi-jinx, it’s clear that something important is happening in all their relationships. When Ted asks Marshall why he didn’t call in a “no questions asked” favor to Lily, he realizes that he’s never once asked for that kind of favor from her. Even when he’s gotten arrested for tackling Bigfoot — really Russell Brand — in Central Park, he’s been honest. So what makes this moment any different? He finally tells Lily the truth, and it’s not coming up all roses for him. He’s going to face a reckoning whenever he finally makes it to Farhampton.
Yet, “How I Met Your Mother” fans know things will work out just fine between Marshmellow and Lilypad. What’s less clear is whether or not Robin and Barney will really make it down the aisle. Every episode so far this season has shown that their relationship isn’t the most stable, even if it’s obvious how much they love each other.
This time around on “No Questions Asked,” the lovebirds realize that they’re more like “lone wolves” who rarely talk to each other when they make big plans. After all, releasing doves and doing a 20-gun salute at the same time just doesn’t mix. While this feels like something they should have addressed long ago — and not with less than 48 hours until their wedding — all hope is not lost. They’re working on becoming a “wolf pack,” even as Robin sits there in her leotard.
So what is with the leotard? It might just be the writers’ way of honoring Cobie Smudler’s role in the Marvel franchise, or it might really be a whole new version of Robin. Although, let’s be real, her best alter ego will always be Robin Sparkles.
“How I Met Your Mother” airs on CBS Mondays at 8 p.m. EDT.
© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2013
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