Spoilers for tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I bang my fist against the table in memory of the Giants' 1997 playoff loss to the Vikings...
In the spirit of the holiday season, I'm tempted to just point out that Marshall karaoke'd "Let's Go to the Mall" and call it a day. Any episode with such an unexpected, hilarious, and completely plot-appropriate callback to the greatest "HIMYM" moment of all time -- not to mention a running gag (Canadians' alleged fear of the dark) that started off deliberately juvenile and then paid off brilliantly (turns out they are afraid of the dark) -- and assorted other Canadian references must be an all-timer, right?
Well, no. If the episode had been entirely about Marshall taking Robin into the bowels of Little Minnesota, it would be. Even if it had predominantly been about that with a little sprinkling of Barney's attempted seduction of Ted's sister -- renting a swivel chair was a distinctly Barney touch, I thought, and the dirty Christmas and Chanukah carols have forever ruined those songs for me(*) -- it would have been great.
(*) In much the same way, this scene from "The Naked Gun" has ruined the National Anthem for me, to the point where me and my friend Mike are incapable of attending a sporting event without slipping in Frank Drebin lyrics like "bunch of bombs in the air!" under our breath. Every now and then, somebody will notice and glare at us, but we can't help ourselves.
But I really, really didn't like most of the interaction between Ted and his sister, and the way that story had such a pat ending, and I felt like Lily's inability to keep a holiday secret was too broad by at least half.
But the Minnesota/Canada stuff was marvelous, and, dammit, Marshall sang "Let's Go To The Mall" and got the entire Hoser Hut to sing it along with him! What the hell: totally awesome!
What did everybody else think, eh?