It's now Friday at 6 PM and Barney's poker game is starting to wind down. While some might question why the poker game is in the middle of the afternoon instead of late at night and the wee hours of the morning like the majority of poker games, this show doesn't seem to think that's relevant. And I'm beginning to think that the writers just outright hate everyone on the show, and in the audience, because why else would they take everything we remotely liked about these characters and this show and turn it into this increasingly unwatchable and painfully drawn out mess that often doesn't even make sense?
So, the poker game. Lily's simmering on one side of the table because Ted is giving Barney and Robin such thoughtful presents for their wedding and he forgot to give her and Marshall something, but sadly, much more on that later. First we have to contend with the James situation. By which we mean that in the past few hours James has gone from trying to keep his impending divorce on the down low until after Barney and Robin tie the knot to constantly slamming the institution of marriage during the poker game. Would that we could give Tim Gunn more money to at least make this tolerable. Even Ranjit has taken to wearing giant headphones (World Series of Poker-style) to drown out this nonsense.
Robin, who has joined the game at some point, notices that James is still wearing his wedding ring, and makes a bet for rings and she wins his. So he goes and gets his mommy. Then Mama Stinson ends up trying to win back her son's wedding ring, and winds up losing her actual shirt to Robin. This all seems to be a set-up for Barney to show that he's clearly too immature still to be getting married, as supposedly demonstrated by how he initially sides with his family and demands that Robin give back the winnings. But then once he realizes that James was kind of a dick to his husband, he turns on his brother and mother and goes back to Robin.
It was almost sweet, until Barney tells his family members that they are no longer part of his life and it is all about Robin now. Instead of funny, it comes off as obnoxious. And starts what will likely be a season-long feud between the bride-to-be and the mother-of-the groom. Given how dreadfully unfunny the set-up was, we can only imagine how miserably this is going to play out.
And then there's Marshall, alone in the car with an annoyed Daphne, trying to get her to stop in Chicago for Gazzolo's. There's a moment whem he gives a speech about this amazing pizza that they once drove hours for that was the only real highlight of the episode.
As I mentioned before, Marshall and Lily post-wedding realize that they never got a gift from their BFF Ted, so they start dropping obnoxious hints about it in order to prod him to buy them some piece of crap off their registry. When Marshall gets wind of the three-fold Barney/Robin gifting, he actually calls Ted and says he's hurt because they didn't get a gift… this could have been resolved YEARS ago. Ted says that he did get them a gift and he was pissed that they never sent him a thank you note, and we go back to all those same flashbacks to see that while Marshall was hinting one thing, Ted was hinting another.
There's a Slutty Pumpkin spotting during all of this, and Katie Holmes is oblivious as Marshall is dressed as a Wedding Present (he took sewing lessons and everything) while Ted is dressed as a Thank You Note. Now, my mind is getting fuzzy with my old age, but didn't Ted dress as a Hanging Chad for YEARS to get the attention of the Slutty Pumpkin? And if this Thank You note costume (that he reveals like a perv-y flasher) happened within the last six years, wouldn't that go against that? I'm sure someone who still cares enough and has a timeline on their wall with strings on it Carrie Mathison-style can find a loophole, but at first glance it seems off. And I hope that they just used earlier footage of Katie, and she didn't come back just for this stupidity.
Ted insists he got them a coffeemaker just like the one that their favorite coffee place uses, but they say that was from Stuart and Claudia. Ted feels immediately like he messed up, even though he seems like the type who probably still has the receipt and tries to find a way to make up for "his mistake." But Robin says she was with Ted when he bought it, so Lily finds Stuart (who is at this wedding for some reason, even though I didn't think he and Barney were that close), who eventually admits that he took credit for Ted's present and it made Claudia really happy, even though he's currently having sex with someone else. Out of all the things in the HIMYM world, I can't think of one I care less about than Stuart's sex life, so I hope this is dropped immediately.
But because Ted is such a great old guy, he still gets Gazzolo's to be delivered to Marshall along the highway (even though they'd probably be well past Chicago at this point given that all of this has to have taken close to two hours), but Marshall seems happy and Daphne seems concerned about the level of crazy that she's stuck driving with for the next half a day at least. I bet she wishes she left him at the airport right about now.