How I Met Your Mother

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How We Quit Those Mothers

Theme Song!

Saget!Ted tells the kids that Uncle Marshall doesn't want them to know this, but he smoked off and on over the years. We flash back to 1991 and the Minnesota woods. Thirteen-year-old Marshall (dressed in a knit cap and mittens and a down vest) and his buddy (wearing jacket and hat) are on a camping trip, trying their first cigarette. The buddy convinces Marshall to have one. "Let's celebrate. It's summer vacation!" Heh. Marshall agrees. "But just one. This is my first and last cigarette, ever." Saget!Ted narrates that was the first of Marshall's many "last cigarettes ever," as we flash forward to 2006, where Marshall says, "Last..." In 2007, Marshall says, "Cigarette..." And in 2008, Marshall (dressed as a pirate) finishes: "Ev-arrrrrrr."

Back in the present, Ted reminds Marshall he hasn't smoked in six months and then adds, "Is this about the McRib? It's gone, dude. Let it go." No, no. Dude. I hear it's coming back. Marshall can't hear me, but he's actually preoccupied about his work situation. The new head of GNB's legal department is none other than Bob Odenkirk's "Artillery" Arthur Hobbs, Marshall's abusive boss from his old firm. We flash back to "Chain of Screaming." Back in the present, Ted assumes Arthur remembers Marshall screaming "I QUIT", but Marshall says it's much worse.

We flash to their first, brief encounter at GNB. Marshall re-introduces himself to Arthur, and tries to remind him of their blow-out. "I suggested you take your head and store it within yourself, in a fashion that -- while space-saving -- might limit its exposure to sunshine." Arthur says, "That describes 95% of my employees and everyone in my family." His voice softens. "Except for my dog." He lowers his gaze as if the dog was right there in the GNB hallway and baby-talks: "He's such a good boy." Marshall looks from Arthur to the not-present dog and back again. Finally, Arthur does the double finger guns thing and says, "I'll see you later... Randall... Wilkerson." Marshall corrects him: "Marshall Eriksen." Arthur starts off down the hall. "Harry Dickersfield. Right."

Back at the apartment, Barney and Marshall explain to Ted that Arthur always fires the people he doesn't know, and since he can't remember Marshall from one minute to the next -- well, that's Marshall's excuse for smoking. Marshall says he's only had two, so as long as he doesn't have a third in 24 hours, he won't get hooked again. Right. And then we get a montage of the system Marshall employs to hide his smoking from Lily. He smokes up on Ted's roof, wearing only his underwear and a T-shirt. He then showers at Ted's. After he's out of the shower, he scrubs his tongue with a loofah (gag -- I hope it's brand-new) and then spritzes himself (and his poor, raw tongue) with cologne. We cut to...

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How I Met Your Mother

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