Marshall got a hair cut ["It's about freakin' time." -- Angel] and the writers tease us some more with the goat! Hooray! Recaplet done. See you tomorrow. I'm missing out on watching A Charlie Brown Christmas with my kids. Really? But what about the Snoopy Dance? Have you no pity? Oh…er…um. Okay.
Doug is an irrational and rather violent MacLaren's bartender, with a wig so bad it almost makes you miss Marshall's recent hair. Okay, but still. Anyhow, Doug gets into a fight with patrons squatting in our gang's booth and then blacks out. Afterwards, he assumes Barney and Ted had his back. Ted's masculinity is still bruised from being abandoned at the altar, so he's not inclined to correct Doug. And Robin thinks fighting is hot, so Barney's got incentive to take credit (and free drinks for life) that he doesn't deserve. Doug makes a big deal over Ted and Barney and gives the whole table free drinks -- except Marshall, whom he says didn't have his back. Marshall tries to take the sane, high, non-violent road, but the gang mocks him when he tries to tell them about his fights with his brothers. To reward his sense and restore his ego, Lily has Marshall visit her class, to teach some of her more brawl-inclined students that violence isn't the answer, but the children laugh and call Marshall a wuss.
Ted and Barney are then sued for assaulting Doug's victims, even though they didn't touch them, so they run to Marshall for legal counsel and fess up that they never threw a punch. Robin comes in -- all hot, bothered and asking Barney to a hockey game, but Marshall, who is still bitter about being mocked for his maturity, spills the beans on his way out the door, and Robin is immediately disenchanted.
Marshall gets Doug's victims to drop the lawsuit against Barney and Ted by explaining his friends are wimps. Of course this means Ted and Barney have thrown angry, irrational, violent Doug under the bus. When Doug confronts them in the MacLaren's alley, Barney flees in terror. Finally, Marshall talks some sense into Doug, who admits he blacks out, but now accepts that Ted and Barney didn't have his back. He spits that he's not surprised Stella left Ted at the altar. Enraged, Ted hauls off and punches Doug in the face, and Doug knocks him out.
The next day, Ted, with a beautiful shiner, lectures Lily's kindergarten the next day about how fighting is bad and, "You shouldn't do it. Ever." The kids are sure Lily does all her friend-shopping at the wuss market. What Ted and Lily never tell them is that Marshall made mince meat of Doug, and his ugly rug, too. Marshall's fights with his brothers were much more than roughhousing in the rumpus room. Saget!Ted knows he can't prevent his kids from ever fighting -- so he simply tells them to never fight Uncle Marshall. "That guy's freaking crazy." Besides, you don't want to mess up his cute new 'do.
Check out How I Met Your Mother's best catchphrases.
If you remember nothing else from this weecap, remember this: Jason Segel got his haircut! I'm giving the episode an A right off the top, just for that. He looks young, adorable, and like himself, again. I swear it improves his acting, too. This is a fun, funny episode, with lots of continuity-gasms, but nothing in it makes me as happy as Marshall's short, curly hair. Welcome home, hair. We've missed you so. Please don't go away like that, again. M'kay?
You ready? Okay, let's go. Over a montage of fight scenes -- boxers, sumo wrestlers, kangaroo/man boxing matches -- Saget!Ted ponders the human urge to fight. He comments that it's in us from the beginning, and we cut to Lily's classroom. She's breaking up what is supposed to be a fight (but looks more like an awkward Lambada) between two boys in her class. When she tells them fighting is stupid and juvenile, they of course say something like, "We're six. We are stupid and juvenile," as is the precocious child trope.
I am Ted's broken heart.
Cut to MacLaren's. In slow-motion, a beaten and bloodied Barney and Ted return to the bar through the rear door, as Saget!Ted tells his kids that he's only been in one fight in his life, and this is the story of how it happened. Oh, Saget!Ted? The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. He's too busy narrating to listen, so over a shot of current Ted reading Stella's "Dear John" letter, Saget!Ted explains that after getting left at the altar itself, the unrelenting pity of others is the worst thing about being left at the altar. We should invite him to the boards.
The gang is ensconced in the semi-round booth in the corner, instead of their usual. Wendy the waitress delivers their drinks and addresses Ted as one might address a newly orphaned child. When he asks for a menu, she assures him she will be back with it. Ted complains he's going to have to find a new bar, because at MacLaren's he'll always be the guy who got left at the altar. In a faraway voice, Barney says, "Good times." Ted notes that they've lost him and when Robin is confused, Lily points out the girl in a tight red sweater across the bar whose mere presence has Barney so distracted, he is not listening to a word they're saying. "Right, Barney?"
"Gimme a Break," says Barney.