I have to hand it to Craig Thomas and Carter L. Bays who wrote this episode, and to director Pamela Fryman, and of course, to this talented cast and crew. Woooo! makes great use of all the elements that make How I Met Your Mother unique. In this episode, the narration is not just exposition -- it serves the story; it reminds us that we're hearing this story 22 years later, from an unreliable narrator who loves to tell us his side. The acting is superb (I have one acting nit and I'll pick it when I get there). There's a nice sprinkling of running gags, but the pace is tight. The dialogue delights. I know I've been rough on a few episodes this season, but that's only because I love the show so much when it is at its best. Good job, show. Let's get to it, shall we?
We open on a beautiful shot of the New York City nighttime skyline at its twinkly best. Saget!Ted reminds his children that in the fall of 2008, their Aunt Robin was floundering. "So she valued her friendship with Aunt Lily more than ever." Don't let Saget!Ted give your eulogy. At MacLaren's, Robin is excited that Marshall has to work late on Friday, and proposes a ladies night to Lily, who already has plans to attend her co-worker Jillian's birthday party. Robin is jealous. "I've never even heard of this Jillian person before, and suddenly she's like your best friend. You can't shut up about her." Lily tries to soothe Robin's jealousy by reminding her they hang out all the time. Robin rejects this, because she says Marshall's always there and they never get to talk alone. When Lily says that isn't true, we...
Flashback to Lily and Marshall's apartment. Robin's telling a story and just as she gets to the good part, Marshall plops down on the couch next to her, so Robin switches to non-specifics. "We go to the... place, and then that... guy asks about the thing, with the stuff that I told you about at that place that time. Long story short? Events transpired." Marshall says, "Oh my God, you and the guy from the Mayor's Office did it in the U.N. building under the desk of the Ambassador from Zaire? Nice!" He pats her back, but Robin is dismayed that he's broken her clever code.
Flash forward to MacLaren's. Robin says she just wants some girl time. She loves Marshall, but he's always talk-blocking her. Talk-blocking! (Zach, I think you're going to have to work on addendum to "How I Met Your Mother: The New Verbiage.) Lily invites Robin to come out with her and Jillian. Robin accepts the invitation, but doesn't want to stay out too late. Just as she's about to explain why, Marshall and Ted wander over to their booth, so she slips back into code: "Because... remember that, um, thing last month, after I went to the place? Well, you-know-who said it's fine, but she gave me some stuff." Marshall grimaces. "You've still got that yeast infection, huh?" Ted just looks at her. I try to stop imagining a month long yeast infection, or in fact a yeast infection of any duration. Someone save me! Let's holler at Lily, because she's obviously keeping Marshall abreast of Robin's gynecological health. Lily, knock that off. Loose lips sink ships. Yes, I should have spared you when my mind went there, but why should I suffer alone? Bartender, we'll have a round of brain bleach, thanks.