HIMYM Recap: “No Questions Asked”

HIMYMWelcome to what may or not be the final Friday night episode of HIMYM. That means two things. First, the show is finally moving forward, which it did in several ways during tonight’s episode, and two it means Saturday is most likely going to be a very long day.

Tonight picks up right where last week left off, with Marshall dealing with the repercussions of Daphne texting Lily about him taking the judge position. Marshall’s plan: call in every “No Questions Asked” favor he has among the core cast. HIMYM is great at taking everyday things that exist amongst friends and turning them into plot devices, and the “No Questions Asked” rule may be one it most grounded approaches to exploring how friends function with one another.

Ted, Barney and Robin each take their own approaches to breaking into Lily’s room to delete the text message from her phone (despite Marshall telling each one the lock on her door is broken and they can just walk in). Ted, who likes to overcomplicate simple things, climbs a drainpipe in the rain and breaks in through her window. Barney, who likes to do things in the most awesome way possible, decides to climb through the vents. And Robin, who occasionally has a hard time confronting people directly, decides to hide under a room service cart and enter Lily’s room Trojan Horse style.

This is another episode that is not Ted-centric, choosing rather to focus on the relationship issues of the two couples. Marshall and Lily have some problems ahead of them as they deal with Marshall accepting the judge position, but to me the more interesting exploration is between Robin and Barney.

I doubt this will be the last speedbump the couple faces on the way to the altar, but I liked that the show decided to tackle the fact that these are two independent people who need to give up some of that independence to have a successful relationship. To me, this is the most difficult part of any relationship. It’s that point when two people decide to commit to each other instead of committing solely to themselves. It might seem a bit too “TV” that these two characters addressed and (seemingly) solved this issue in one episode, but this is clearly something both have been aware of, but avoided bringing up. The events of this episode forced the issue, and while the plot surrounding it may have been a little ridiculous, the conversation the two have before they devise their plan is heartfelt and sincere. (Sidenote: At some point I want to come up with a list of couples talking about serious relationship issues in serious situations. Robin in her skinsuit with Barney in a vent definitely makes that list.)

As Ted is probably the least critical member of this epsidoe, I continue to pray that this is all a set-up for an emotional breakdown. The only problem is, someone needs to confront Ted on his behavior for that to happen, and not in a silly “snap out of it” way. There needs to be a true heart-to-heart between him and another character. It should not under any circumstances be the four other cast members instituting another intervention. It needs to be a deeply personal one-on-one. It would make the most sense for it to be with Marshall, because, at this point, I’m losing the focus of why the two are friends in the first place. Marshall calling Ted on his bull, resulting in Ted opening up, instead of hiding behind the pretentious mask he has been wearing for far too long, will set the show on the course for a satisfying and deserved conclusion.

Sadly, that means waiting for Marshall to get to New York, which at this rate, might not be until Christmas.

Other items…

  • It’s 11:30 p.m. on Friday night, 42.5 hours before the wedding. I really do enjoy the fact that every episode has begun with a time stamp. With a show that uses flashbacks and flashfowards as frequently as HIMYM does, it’s nice to be able to start each episode on solid footing in time and space.
  • While I was a little disappointed that Roger Bart was no longer the man at the front desk, I was delighted to see him replaced by Rhys Darby (Murray!).
  • Best “No Questions Asked”: While Ted’s reveal in the stinger was delightful, I have to give this one to Robin, if only because of how quickly her story escalated.
  • There is still the lingering question of why Marshall did not call Ted first. I’m thinking it might be because he was afraid Ted would be upset, but I can’t remember if Ted knows about Marshall’s judge opportunity, and conversely, does Marshall know about Ted’s planned move to Chicago? Can anyone help me out with this?
  • I feel I should mention the ghost, but the more I think about it, the less relevant it seems to the plot.
  • Avi – wait for it – ARY! Avi-ARY!
  • The next episode appears to take place on Saturday morning, but don’t be surprised if there is a future episode that flashes back to some late night shenanigans.
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