How I Met Your Mother

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Marshall Versus the Machines

Race music as our gang breaks up, running, running, running. Barney runs all the way to the restaurant next door and asks for a menu, "no rush." Lily runs into the subway as Saget!Ted tells us "kids" that Lily really needed a win that day, and here's why. Flashback: Lily takes pregnancy tests and keeps failing, even though Marshall tells her how fertile the Eriksen men are. Marshall's confidence messes with Lily's head, and when she imagines him on the pregnancy test stick taunting her, she decides to pee on that one again. Back to Lily running onto the subway and diving through the doors. But they aren't closing. Maury Povich, sitting just inside the door, mutters, "Idiot."

Marshall's running, and giving himself an internal pep talk about how he needs a folk song to keep this up. As he runs, a country tune sings: "Gather round ye children, to hear the tale so sweet. Of a man who dared to race machines with nothing but his feet. Marshall Versus The Machines." Robin flags down a cab, which Maury Povich steals from her. Back on the subway, Lily (sitting next to her Maury) thinks the incomprehensible subway conductor announcement says there's track maintenance and a twenty-minute delay. So she gets off, and the train takes off. On a bus, two seats in front of Maury Povich, Ted stares out the window. Saget!Ted tells us why he needed a win: He'd recently learned about a teacher-grading website and looked himself up: The reviews were all glowing and wonderful except for one: "Boring." And we know Ted well enough to know he'll obsess over that one. On the bus, Ted tries to teach his seatmate about the city's buildings, but the guy falls asleep.

Barney's finishing up his steak and martini when he checks his watch and starts wheezing. He goes way over-the-top dramatic with it, finally screaming out, "Elizabeth!" and keeling over. The waiter asks someone to call an ambulance, and Barney winks at the camera. Robin steals a cab, and asks to go to Gregor's Steakhouse. We get a ding! Since she's now stolen a cab from someone who needed it more. The lady jumps on the front of the cab as it drives away. Barney asks the ambulance to take him to the hospital right by Gregor's, but they must go to the nearest hospital, which is actually uptown, not downtown. The best-laid plans. 24-style five-screen montage of our racers takes us into commercial.

After the break, Barney calls someone for help. Heads on a map shift us from Barney to Robin, still screaming about the woman on her windshield. Saget!Ted tells us why Robin needs a win: She's had a rough year, first with losing Don and then her new co-anchor Becky comes in all blonde and perky and cute and steals the show to the point that her face literally eclipses Robin's in the title cards. The woman falls off the front of the cab, so Robin pays the guy and jumps out. Folk music kicks up as Marshall runs by. Ranjit picks Barney up, and Barney asks him to take him to Gregor's. Marshall keeps running, and his folk song flashes us back to him beating various machines: Atari as a kid, his alarm, the jukebox. The lady whose cab Robin stole gets on Ted's bus and sits next to him, in pain. But she sits only through a half-second of Ted before taking her pain elsewhere, even though the bus is full. Barney spots a hottie and tells Ranjit to offer her a ride. It's Robin. Marshall keeps running to folk music. He runs right by Maury Povich, sitting on some steps.

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How I Met Your Mother

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