How I Met Your Mother

Episode Report Card
Cindy McLennan: D | 5 USERS: B+
YOU GRADE IT
Is That Your Final Answer?

Saget!Ted laments the loss of all the funky, neighborhood hole-in-the-wall joints that fell prey to New York gentrification. He's particularly appalled by the closure of Fez, an awesome lounge at 85th and Broadway, which was replaced by a bank, but not just any bank -- GNB: Goliath National Bank. (Buck up, Ted. I'm pretty sure there'll be lots of dumps in your neighborhood, any minute now. Of course, they'll still be banks.) Barney's madly in love with GNB. He's wearing their baseball cap, and carrying a GNB duffel bag, the kind preferred by most banking industry execs for travel to locales known for their lack of extradition treaties with the U.S. government.

When Ted tells him he looks like the last pick in the draft, Barney explains his company just bought out GNB in a brutal takeover that cost 2,000 jobs and... my word! I watch sitcoms to escape reality, not relive it. Barney tries to tempt Marshall into taking a job in GNB's legal department, but Lily reminds him and us that he quit his last soul-sucking corporate job to be an environmental lawyer. Oh yeah, because when you're a kindergarten teacher, you rake in so much dough that you can afford to encourage your spouse to flip off the man, as long as the two of you are willing to continue living with his college roommate in a weird, overly involved relationship, where the roomie is only one who knows how to buy toilet paper or owns bath towels.

Marshall faces himself in the bathroom mirror. He's dressing for an interview and giving himself the old Stuart Smalley, which Al Franken wore out on SNL years ago. Before each interview, the pep talk gets a little more pathetic. He starts with: "You are confident. You are energetic. You are focused." After several interviews, that changes to, "You are flexible on salary. You're willing to compromise. You're not going to cry this time." After too many interviews, he says, "You are sad. You are beaten down. You will get through this, come home, get in your big underpants, and take a nap." Hey Marshall, I'll try to hook you up at TWoP. It's all underpants, all the time, baby.

At MacLaren's, Wendy informs the gang that there's a new cook on staff and he makes amazing burgers. Without asking her tablemates, Robin says they'll take five of those. Ted questions whether or not they want to eat there, which seems a little rude in front of Wendy. Robin's freaking starving because she just finished a seven-day cleanse. Marshall, who by now has had enough experience with women to know better, notes that she just started it yesterday. Robin sneers, "I finished early, okay?" and goes on to again order burgers for everyone, still unconcerned about what the others want, because she's more important. Hey Robin, nobody is trying to get you into bed in this episode, so the princess routine may wear out quickly. Ted, complicating things because that's his gift, ignores Robin and suggests they go out for sushi. That gets shot down, as does the Italian that Barney suggests, and the Chinese, Indian, and Mexican that Ted suggest, which Barney dismisses in an ethno-centric way. (They're all spicy, with a side of rice.) Apparently, that's okay, because he's Barney and he's supposed to be obnoxious. Robin is pissed because they always spend an hour arguing about where to eat and then they end up eating right there. She hasn't eaten in two days. She takes a knife, stabs them all, and downs their livers with fava beans and a nice Chianti. Marshall would have been atop the menu when she was doing Atkins, but he's a little too fatty for her new regimen. Barney's too chewy. There's not enough meat on Lily. It turns out Ted was just right for her after all.

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How I Met Your Mother

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