Spoilers for tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I make sure the bad guys have been de-kaffir-nated...
Murtaugh was an extremely silly, extremely broad episode, but it was also one that played so well to everyone's strengths that it worked very well. There have been better, richer, more quintessential-y "HIMYM"-y episodes this season, but few have made me laugh as much.
Barney's quest to do every item on Ted's "Murtaugh list" in a single weekend gave Neil Patrick Harris abundant opportunities for genius physical comedy(*), whether it was Barney simultaneously feeling pain in his ear and his back, or Barney struggling to do a shot without bending, or pretty much anything he did while dressed for the rave.
(*) Was discussing the episode with Fienberg, who suggested it might be NPH's Emmy episode. I countered that, while it's a very funny episode, he doesn't get to play any of the emotional stuff he's also so brilliant at, so maybe not. Not that it matters, given that the Emmy voters will just vote for stupid Jeremy Piven again. Sigh...
Josh Radnor, meanwhile, got to offer up a new flavor or Ted's d-bagginess by becoming a prematurely old man, Jason Segel got to let out plenty of primal screams as Angry Marshall (Angry Marshall is never not funny; or maybe it's just Angry Segel that's never not funny), and Alyson Hannigan got to offer a brief taste of Angry Lily (though the best part of that was when she was off camera and Lily threw the chair at Marshall).
Cobie Smulders didn't get to do as much, other than say "Gentlemen's agreement!" and tell some Canadian jokes, but the Canadian jokes are always gold, and these were part of an episode with some of the series' most inspired pop culture gags. Simply doing an entire episode built around the Roger Murtaugh character from the "Lethal Weapon" movies was clever enough, but to then combine it with references to the Canadian predecessor to those movies, and with Bunny Colvin from "The Wire" as the stereotypical Angry Black Laser Tag Captain, and then to top that all off with a completely random appearance by Teen Wolf(**)? '80s movie heaven, my friends. '80s movie heaven.
(**) Yes, the ads during the NCAA Tournament gave away "Teen Wolf," but I'm okay with it for two reasons: 1)Hopefully, it got the show a few new Bill Simmons-type viewers for what was a very funny episode; and 2)The commercials didn't give away the fact that the scene featured a score that was a soundalike to the actual "Teen Wolf" music.
Some other thoughts:
• So, I think this is as appropriate a place as any to talk about the "Lethal Weapon" movies -- specifically, whether the increasing goofiness of the sequels, and their gradual defanging of Riggs from psycho Vietnam vet to wacky guy who's just mad about his dead wife, diminish the brilliance of the first movie. Discuss.
• Segel's Danny Glover impression was awfully good, but maybe not as good as my impression of Teen Wolf asking for a keg of beer. I spent a sad amount of time in college practicing that one.
• I know some have complained about the hiding of the two pregnancies, but I'm starting to get amused by it, particularly the one moment where they had to hide Hannigan's belly behind a box of orange slices and a dozen basketballs. On the other hand, am I the only one who gets disturbed watching Cobie pretend to drink beer?
• Are the weird Russian beers remnants from Marshall and Lily's airport tradition?
What did everybody else think?