Monday, December 08, 2008

HIMYM, "The Fight": That's my mama!

Spoilers for tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I call timesies...

Ain't nothin' deep going on in "The Fight," but that's okay, because I laughed harder at the revelation of what Marshall's fights with his brothers really looked like than I have at the rest of this season combined. This was a fundamentally silly outing, and a well-executed one. Among the highlights:

• Barney's ability to fake conversation while citing the titles of '70s/'80s black sitcoms, and somehow always choosing the appropriate one ("What's Happening Now?");

• The guys imagining what fight night at the Ericson household must have been like, complete with cocoa breaks;

• Robin's pathological attraction to guys who get in fights -- complete with the filthy "I'm surprised to see you had it in me" -- well-played by Cobie Smulders and one of the funnier iterations of the Robin-as-Canadian joke;

• The run of Marshall-as-a-girl jokes, especially Marshall demanding a spoiler alert after the "Sex and the City" put-down;

• Mahatma Panda and Martin Luther Koala;

• The return, however brief, of Barney's lesbian get-up during the "Forest Gump" insertion of Doug into old scenes;

• Barney's girlish scream-and-run when Doug threatened to beat them both up;

• Ted having played the hammer dulcimer in college;

• Marshall with the light saber;

• Did I mention the heavy metal-scored glimpse of the real Ericson fight club?

Not deep, but damned funny. What did everybody else think?

48 comments:

kcb said...

murder train was the highlight of the episode oh the foreskins...

J.J. said...

Ted and Marshall must have eaten a ton of sandwiches in college.

Chris Littmann said...

Thought this was one of the funnier ones recently. (Quick aside, Monday Night Football is on here for some reason tonight on NBC because I'm in Charlotte -- rather than just on ESPN -- so was Chuck actually on tonight? Does NBC post it the next day on their site/Hulu?) And sorry for threadjacking, I just wondered.

aimee said...

Fantastic episode. Loved all the continuity and just thought it was very well done. Great follow up to The Naked Man.

R.A. Porter said...

They should have put in a girl joke about Marshall saying how much he liked How Stella Got Her Groove Back because, damn the writers sure have. Gotten their grooves back, not hooked up with hot Jamaican dudes. Or, maybe they did hook up with a hot Jamaican dude and that freed up the comedy juices.

This was the funniest of the season by a very long bit. I enjoyed "Naked Man", but this one had me laughing the whole way through.

Jonathan B. said...

Completely agree about the final cut to Marshall and his brothers fighting. I don't think I've laughed that hard at anything TV-related since the therapy scene in "Rosemary's Baby" last year. The rest of the episode was quite good, in a silly kind of way.

Eric said...

My favorite bit was the shot of Ted and Marshal eating a sandwich while watching the Kung Fu movie.

Cobie Smulders playing turned on? Yowza.

Tyroc said...

That's two strong episodes in a row. Mostly because they went for funny and not soap-opera over-dramatic melodrama. I hope the trend continues... (it being a comedy after all.)

Anthony Foglia said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

So does this mean that we get the goat story soon? Older Ted said that it would happen in a few months.

Rachel said...

I thought the original Eriksen tickle-fight was funny, but the real version had me rolling. That was brilliant.

Smulders is hilarious as Crazy Robin. Love it. I also like how they've kept up the Barney-loves-Robin storyline without making it the main focus or having it majorly change Barney.

Alex said...

@ Rachel:
Agreed on the Barney/Robin storyline. I'm glad that it's not consuming Barney, and that he's still able to act like himself, but the desire for Robin is always in the back of his head.

Smulders was awesome with the "fights turn me on" stuff, and the icing on the cake is that Segel got a haircut prior to the filming of this very funny episode. It was starting to look very greasy!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Ted and Marshall must have eaten a ton of sandwiches in college.

Oh, yeah! I forgot about that one, but Marshall with the giant sandwich was one of their better unspoken callbacks in a while.

Greg said...

I thought they overplayed the fact that guys fighting was a turn-on for Robin. It was funny the first few times, but they kept repeating the same joke without adding a new spin. Usually the show would find different ways to tell the same joke so it didn't feel like an exact repeat, but that wasn't the case. Oh well.

Ana Maria said...

...I loved this episode and I love all episodes of HIMYM; even when people say it wasn't that funny; the friendships are so sweet and real at the same time...Thank you for posting the picture of Barney as a lesbian...and Doug the bartender used to be on Less than perfect, right? as Sara Rue's neighbour, who was in love with her?...

mrsb said...

LOVED this episode. Barney punching himself and Ted was hilarious. As was his girly scream and run at the thought of a real fight.

Cobie Smulders is at her best playing crazy.

Marshall is such a fabulous mix of of girly-man (the Sex and the City spoiler joke, telling Lilly to "put it back" in her pants) and manly-man (the Fight Club like scene was the best of the season). Just brilliant!

The whole show last night was one great line and scene after another.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if we'll eventually get to see if anything happened between Barney and Robin the night of the "fight." Seems like it didn't, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was a later reveal, perhaps during sweeps? Robin was clutching Barney's arm pretty hard, after all.

Steve said...

another homerun for HIMYM. The sandwich callback was a nice touch.

At times, the writers struggle with Robin, but whenever they make her ultra-Canadian, it's great. Smulders pretending to be turned on was acted perfectly as a mix of crazy and giddy.

Though it was obvious that Marshall legitimately fought with his brothers and would beat up Doug, the writers' execution was hilarious.

I love this show.

LA said...

Jason Segel rules.

mhbazzi said...

Yeah, I too thought the bit about Robin being turned on by guys who fight, while funny at first and creatively linked to her Canadian/hockey roots, was a tad overplayed... so much so that I felt it totally gave credence, and maybe even solidified Marshall's labeling of her as a slut last week. Frankly, I couldnt agree more w Marshall. Not saying Robin being a slut is good, not saying it's bad, not being sexist, not passing judgment- just saying that she is what she is- a bit loose, wouldnt you say?

Anonymous said...

Liked the episode a lot, echo previous sentiments about the show focusing on comedy, etc. But enough with the goat already. When the episode finally comes around it had better be hilarious because they have over-teased it. This is now two episodes in a row with the same flash-forward. I think we all agree that the continuity is one of the many, many great things about the show but we also agree that said continuity is so much better when it is subtle and not spoon-fed to us. It's almost as if the writers were asked so many times about the goat and praised so many times for their continuity that it went to their heads...

One man's opinion, still look forward to Monday nights.

Pamela Jaye said...

i was so sleepy last night. but i remember the sandwich!

Pamela Jaye said...

thanks to Ana Maria for Sara Rue.

i never watched ..um... Less Than Perfect (i duid watch Almost Perfect), but i saw pictures of the cast and hearing her name sent me to imdb to see if she is Stephanie in The Big Bang Theory - and she is.

amitytv said...

I thought this episode was awesome as well, with one exception. As this season continues, I feel like they are making Robin more of a flat, ridiculous character than she ever was in season one or two. It took a whole season for Ted to convince her to date him, but this season she will get with anything that strips or fights? It just doesn't seem true to character. Don't get me wrong, I still think she is hilarious, but I miss her being smart AND funny.

David J said...

Chris Littmann said...

Thought this was one of the funnier ones recently. (Quick aside, Monday Night Football is on here for some reason tonight on NBC because I'm in Charlotte -- rather than just on ESPN -- so was Chuck actually on tonight? Does NBC post it the next day on their site/Hulu?) And sorry for threadjacking, I just wondered.


I'm in Charlotte as well. They aired Chuck today at 2pm, and Heroes will be tomorrow (if you care) same time. Also, NBC.com has the episode online.

R.A. Porter said...

@amitytv, I think Robin's quite believable right now. It's not that she's changed permanently, but she's unemployed, probably close to unemployable because she abandoned the gig in Japan, living in her ex's second bedroom, and feeling more adrift than ever. Robin always had a plan and a clear future, but now she's starting to wonder if it was ever right to begin with.

Acting like a flighty, hormonal teenager seems totally reasonable. It happens to men and women under that much pressure.

Michael said...

I've never watched a single episode of this series. But after hearing how you rave about it, plus recommendations from friends, I have borrowed all three seasons on DVD and I'll try to watch over the holiday break. Just what I need, more TV watching.

Word verification: "crogied", as in "Whew, that was tough, I'm all crogied out."

amitytv said...

Touche, R.A. Porter. If I were arguing with myself I would said the exact same thing. You are right, she is in a really strange place right now and not acting like herself. I guess I just miss the old Robin.

R.A. Porter said...

@amitytv, I miss her too. I hope there's going to be a big payoff from crazy-Robin.

Anonymous said...

Having seen Marshall's family before (his Mom's 18-layer-whatever the hell that was, and how he got the car by picking up hot coffee, while naked, at the drive through), I could see the fight club scene coming.

But it was cooler than imagined.

gemsweater said...

I agree -- fighting brothers reveal at the end was a laugh-out-loud moment that made the episode.

One thing I want is to see Alyson Hannigan doing something other than reacting to the guys' jokes. I guess her lack of storylines has to do with her pregnancy, though?

Carrie said...

"If you're missing a tooth, I'm missing my pants!"

Yeah, I'm with Marshall. I call slut. Not that there's anything wrong with that....

J.J. said...

I'm still a little troubled by everyone assuming his fights with his brothers were so tame.

Lily saw them playing that vicious backetball/hockey game where, as Marshall put it, "we just wail on each other."

And, from the episode where Marshall's car broke down, everyone knew the story of Marshall's brothers intentionally getting him naked in the car so they could scald him with hot coffee.

So it's weird that none of them realized his fights with his brothers probably didn't have timeouts for cocoa.

Stef said...

Loved the episode, but I agree that it was odd they kept imagining Marshall's fights with his brothers to be so cute and cuddly. I was waiting for Lily to pipe up and say something like, "No, dude, I've met his brothers..." and defend him or something. I thought the last scene was hilariously played, but it did seem that either Lily or Ted should've known better.

MCB said...

Just watched the episode and loved it! Great to see two strong ones in a row.

Did anyone else notice that the song playing during the Ericson fight scene was "Murder Train," the same song Robin played on Metro News 1 for her Canadian ex Simon?

Mase said...

Anyone know when HIMYM comes back in January after next week's episode ("Little Minnesota")?

dez said...

Barney's girlish scream-and-run when Doug threatened to beat them both up;

I rewound that a few times and laughed hard each time. It was a thing of beauty.

I wonder if the cocoa breaks and such were just Ted's way of building up to the reveal to his kids, and not what the gang really thought of Marshall's fights with his brothers?

Eric said...

So was it just me or was the introduction of Doug intended to parallel Nikki and Paolo on Lost? That's the reference I went to rather than Forrest Gump, especially with Older Ted's introduction of "Oh, did I not mention Doug always being around before?"

Alan Sepinwall said...

Did anyone else notice that the song playing during the Ericson fight scene was "Murder Train," the same song Robin played on Metro News 1 for her Canadian ex Simon?

I had forgotten, but then I found the relevant scene on YouTube. One of their better callbacks.

Alan Sepinwall said...

So was it just me or was the introduction of Doug intended to parallel Nikki and Paolo on Lost? That's the reference I went to rather than Forrest Gump, especially with Older Ted's introduction of "Oh, did I not mention Doug always being around before?"

That certainly applies as well, but as "Lost" was borrowing the technique from "Forrest Gump" (which, technically, lifted it from Woody Allen's "Zelig"), it seemed the easier reference to make.

Anonymous said...

I have not found anything interesting in this season at all .. while Big Bang has really ramped up to be a great show. Mother is getting pulled from the Tivo. Done.

Ginny said...

I just love how there is always so much going on in an episode...I like 'em all, even the not so great ones because all the actors really work it! What's Happening Now? was my absolute favorite line.

Denis said...

Is this the first time that they said the Ted, Marshall and Lily went to Wesleyan? A part of me always wondered where they went. I knew it had to be in the NE based on the drives back to Ohio and Minnesota.

Although I don't think Wesleyan has an Architecture program, so I always assumed they went to Cornell.

Blogette said...

I'm fairly certain Wesleyan has been mentioned before by Ted (or that he's worn a school shirt).

Anonymous said...

Is there any word on how Cobie's pregnancy is going to be handled? I think adding it to the show is bad idea. Sock be damned!

Kerry said...

There was a continuity gaffe with the diploma on Marshall's wall in the episode with drunk Lily at the office--it says "Ohio Wesleyan" which is a real school down by Columbus, but not the Wesleyan Marshall, Ted and Lily went to. I think they had mentioned Wesleyan before--something about it made terrible sense knowing the characters.

Karl Ruben said...

That certainly applies as well, but as "Lost" was borrowing the technique from "Forrest Gump" (which, technically, lifted it from Woody Allen's "Zelig"), it seemed the easier reference to make.

Yeah, if they're referencing, it's probably Zelig/Gump, rather than Lost. HIMYM retconned a previously non-existent character into old scenes for comic effect, while on Lost, Nikki and Paolo had already been part of the show for quite some time before they were put in the already-seen scenes for their spotlight episode.

Alex said...

One last note- We praise this show for being awesome with continuity, but I just started working my way through Season 1, and there are two instances where Marshall makes reference to the fact that he's NOT much of a fighter, going so far as to say in one early episode that he's never been in a fight.