“Wait For It…” – How I Met Your Mother’s 20 Most LEGENDARY Episodes, Part Two

Posted by Kim

So here we are.  The end of the line.  Tonight Ted Mosby finally meets the woman he’s been waiting for his whole life.  I’m cramming 7 of my friends into my tiny studio apartment so we can all watch together.  We’re ordering wings.  Sumbitches have been made by Kelly, I’m PRETTY sure Sage is picking up a “Dammit Trudy what about the pineapple” upside down cake, and I have assembled a cheese plate with goat cheese and a gouda that would make Marshall proud.  Tonight, we say goodbye.   It’s been a hell of a ride, How I Met Your Mother.  Just TRY not to crush us too much in the end, okay?  I really love my DVDs and I REALLY don’t want to burn them if you go against EVERY PHILOSOPHY YOU HAVE PURPORTED YOURSELF TO BE ABOUT, OKAY?

Whew.  Sorry for yelling.  I’m just a wee bit invested in Ted Mosby’s happiness, okay?

I’ve got to say I’m pretty proud of this top 10.  While some personal favorites missed the cut for this post (sorry “Drumroll, Please” and “Spoiler Alert”), I feel these ten episodes represent the best of what How I Met Your Mother can do.   The show was always a mix of absurdity, hilarity, and feels.  It was a show that unabashedly wore its heart on its sleeve.  I’m going to miss it terribly.  But, to paraphrase Empire Rcords, we mustn’t dwell.  Not today.  Not on finale day!

Suit up and read on about my top ten.  I think they are legen…wait for it…and I hope you are not lactose intolerant because the last part of that word is DARY.  LEGENDARY!

10) How Your Mother Met Me (9 x16)

 

It was always thought (much to HIMYM fans’ dismay) that we wouldn’t meet the Mother until the series finale.  I say “dismay” because after all the build-up we desperately wanted to see Ted and the Mother falling in love.  We had invested too much time in Ted’s journey to NOT get some sort of payoff.  So imagine my delight when with the words “One Ticket to Farhampton, please” (one of our top 20 TV Moments of 2013), Carter Bays and Craig Thomas changed the game.  There she was.  The future Mrs. Ted Mosby.  And my only reaction was…of COURSE this is her.

It’s a true testament to both the writing and actress Cristin Milioti that it has been so easy to fall in love with the Mother.  Her presence has invigorated every episode that she’s been in.  She’s warm, she’s goofy, and she’s a fully realized character.  It’s incredibly fitting that HIMYM spent its 200th episode filling in the blanks of the Mother’s story.  Throughout this final season we’ve seen the way the Mother met all of Ted’s friends and we’ve seen important moments in her relationship with Ted, but until this episode we didn’t know what made the Mother the person she is and what brought her to the point of meeting our hero.

It would have been easy to make the Mother your typical manic pixie dream girl, but HIMYM has never believed in easy.  The Mother has known PAIN.  She lost the love of her life on her 21st birthday (also the night Marshall and Lily got engaged and Ted met Robin).  Way to slap me in the feels right from the beginning, guys.  The rest of the episode deals with how the Mother heals from that loss while peppering in delightful little callbacks to previous episodes.  The Mother is the one who proves The Naked Man only works 2 out of 3 times.  She understood that “Puzzles” WAS the puzzle.  We saw her laughing with Cindy when Ted was teaching the wrong class and we saw her perspective of Ted being in her apartment during “Girls vs. Suits”.  It all further emphasized just how close (but how far) the Mother and Ted have been and how much they needed to go through to be ready for each other.

“How Your Mother Met Me” culminates in two beautiful moments that if they DIDN’T move you to tears, I fear for the state of your soul.  The first was a touching monologue by the Mother to Max as she pondered a marriage proposal from Lewis .  The Mother FINALLY realized she needed to fully let go of her love for Max and get to living and loving again (even if it wasn’t loving Lewis).  Cristin’s acting during that scene = A+.  The second was a lovely and bittersweet montage as the Mother sat on her porch at the Farhampton Inn singing “La Vie en Rose”.  We visit all five of our main ensemble during this montage.  We see Marshall and Lily dealing with the aftermath of one of the biggest fights of their marriage.  We see Robin crawling into bed on the eve of her wedding.  We see Barney passing out drunkenly after the bender of the post-rehearsal partying.  And we see Ted…also sitting on his balcony, smiling pensively as he listens to the melancholy singing of the girl in the room next to him.  A wall separates him from the woman who will change his life and he doesn’t even know it.  All he knows is that the singing is beautiful.  It’s HIMYM at it’s finest.

 

JUST DON’T MAKE US FALL IN LOVE WITH THE MOTHER AND THEN KILL HER, OKAY SHOW?

Best Line:

The Mother: Hi, Max. It’s me. Sorry to interrupt. I know you’re probably up there playing baseball with your dad. Um, look, I-I’ve got a situation here. I think that I have been holding myself back from falling in love again. And I think it’s because I can’t let you go. But you’re not here anymore so I have to ask this: Would it be okay if I moved on? I realize that you have no way of answering that, but, um… (wind blows into her face) Oh, okay. I will take that as yes. Um, in that case, I should get back in there. (Walks to the door, stops and turns back) I guess this is it. For real this time. Bye, Max.

9) Ten Sessions (3 x 13)

“Ten Sessions” is often known as two things: The Britney Spears episode and the Two Minute Date episode.  Let’s talk about Britney first.  I was terrified when the news broke that Britney was guest starring.  It was post her “Gimme More” disaster on the VMAs, it was in the middle of her life being taken over with a conservatorship, all of it just SCREAMED ratings grabbing potential train wreck.  And let’s be honest, it WAS a shameless ratings grab, as it was the second episode post Writer’s Strike (and we KNOW how many shows that killed) and the show had modest ratings the entire season (Season Three remains the lowest rated season of the series).  Many people probably tuned in hoping to see a disaster but instead they got a sweet and thoroughly competent performance from BritBrit and a fantastic episode of How I Met Your Mother to boot.  Was she amazing?  No.  But she was cute and she was funny and she brought more eyeballs to the show, so mission accomplished.

The shadow of Britney loomed so large over this episode, that when Alicia Silverstone was offered the role of Stella Zinman, Ted’s dermatologist, she turned it down out of fear of playing second fiddle.  Her loss, our gain as we then got Sarah Chalke as Stella.  I often wonder if Alicia regrets turning down a part that became an integral thread in the HIMYM story?  I know a lot of people have many things to say about Stella as a character (she DID leave Ted Mosby at the altar after all, crushing our boy’s romantic spirit and making him cynical), but you can’t deny Chalke’s warmth and goofiness and likeability in “Ten Sessions”.  And the Two Minute Date?  That is everything about Ted Mosby in a nutshell.  Ted is a believer in the grand gesture.  We saw it when he stole the Blue French Horn for Robin in the pilot and we saw it many many MANY times over the course of the series.  He’s earnest, he’s sweet, he’s juuuuuuuuuuuuust a little bit too much…but at the same time it’s impossible to not be charmed by him.  The Two Minute Date is the ULTIMATE in Ted Mosby gestures.  What kind of guy picks up on the fact that you constantly say you only have two minutes for lunch and then sets out to cram an entire evening into two minutes just to take you out on a date?  Ted Mosby, that’s who.  If I were to try to explain Ted’s character to someone who had never seen the series, this is the scene I would show them.

Best Line:

Ted: Look, I would love to have a second date, I would. But I understand that you really don’t have time right now, but if you ever do, will you give me a call?

Stella: Yes.

Ted: Okay.

Future Ted: And that, kids, is how you turn a “no” into a “yes.”

8) “Slapsgiving” (3 x 19)

I’m a sucker for an excellent Thanksgiving episode.  Of course, Friends will always own the title of best Thanksgiving episodes ever (one might even say those episodes became the signature episodes of the series), but “Slapsgiving” is a worthy entry into the Thanksgiving Canon.  The best Thanksgiving episodes are the ones that capture the chaos of the day, the desperation of the hostess to prepare for her guests, and the way tensions can explode when you have all your friends gathered in one room.  Add in the doom from an impending slap across the face and you have the recipe for a cracking good holiday episode.

“Slapsgiving” tackles the question of how you remain friends with an Ex. Now, in real life, when you break up with someone and you have mutual friends, it’s usually settled with some sort of custody agreement or effort is made not to have the two parties in the same room. You certainly don’t SEE them everyday. But this isn’t real life, this is television, and television dictates that the 5 principal actors all remain on the show.  Thus, we have to deal with Ted and Robin trying to figure out how to navigate this tricky territory, especially when it comes to being alone together and knowing what to say to each other.

While we had a Thanksgiving episode in season one with “Belly Full of Turkey”, “Slapsgiving” is the first time the entire gang is together for the holiday.  Lily, in full on Monica Geller mode, just wants her first thanksgiving as a married couple to be perfect.  Her husband, on the other hand, spends the day psychologically torturing Barney as his slap countdown clock (which we saw in the season premiere) counts down to zero.  Ted and Robin are just trying to remain polite after a ex-sex incident the night before baking pies.  The room is a ticking time bomb and when everything explodes, Lily, in a fit of rage, uses her powers as Slap Bet Commissioner to declare it a Slap Free Day.  It’s her equivalent of telling everyone to go to their rooms.

Robin: Look at us! We can’t be alone together, can we?

Ted: Apparently not.

Robin: What does that mean? We’re supposed to be friends.

Ted: We aren’t friends, are we? Not really. We avoid each other. We smile politely. We’re two people who pretend to be friends because it would be inconvenient not to.

Robin: Well, maybe we should stop pretending.

Ted: Maybe we should.

Robin: So… what do we do now?

Ted: I suppose… we eat dinner. And then that’s it.

Robin: Okay.

It’s awkward and awful and we’ve all soooooooooooooo been there right?  And then, as future Ted says, something miraculous happens.  They all begrudgingly sit down to dinner.  All Lily wants is for everyone to get out of the house.  Marshall makes a toast thanking his wife for the wonderful meal and thanking all of his friends for being there with them.  The room begins to thaw.  And then Bob (Robin’s date) says “major buzzkill” and Ted and Robin, who had just declared their friendship over, both automatically do their Salute inside joke (a joke that we see peppered throughout the rest of the series).  In that moment, you know that these two are going to be okay eventually.

And then, of course, Barney begins taunting Marshall about not being able to slap him, and at the last moment of the countdown, Lily revokes her rule.  Marshall uses his third slap and then serenades the group with a song he wrote just for the occasion (“You just got slapped…across the face my friend…”).  Not a bad Thanksgiving at all, if I do say so myself.

Best Line:

Barney: Oh God, don’t slap me again! I don’t want to get slapped again! The first two times hurt so bad, I don’t like, I don’t like it one bit!

Marshall: Well, I thought I ruined it by putting a clock on it, Barney?

Barney: Well, you didn’t ruin it, you made it so much worse! I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. I’ve lost 10 pounds, my suits are wearing me! You know what I am out of here!

Marshall: What? No, no, you can’t leave!

Barney: There is nothing in the rules that says I have to be subjected to this kind of psychological torture. You can slap my face, but you cannot slap my mind! Good day!

7) “How I Met Everyone Else” (3 x 05)

Every long running sitcom about a group of friends eventually tells the origin story of how the group of friends came together.  “How I Met Everyone Else” is obviously HIMYM‘s entry into this trope and boy, is it delightful. The episode is framed around Ted bringing his new girlfriend Blah-Blah (whose name, we learned in Season Nine, was actually Carol) to meet his group of friends.  Blah-Blah is embarrassed that she and Ted actually met online (cause meeting people online was still a bit of a novelty in 2007) so she has constructed an elaborate lie about how she and Ted actually met in a cooking class.  Blah-Blah wants to know the story of how Ted met everyone else…cue the flashbacks to Wesleyan!

The episode takes cues from all the flashback episodes of Friends and paints the core trio of Ted, Marshall and Lily as COMPLETELY different people than the ones we know today.  Lily is a Goth girl.  Ted a pretentious douche with a fro of curly hair and John Lennon spectacles.  And Marshall is a stoner.  Forgive me…he’s a sandwich eater.

I can’t even describe how much I love college Marshall, Lily, and Ted.  We had flashbacks to these days in previous episodes, but much like Fat Monica, it never gets old.  The flashbacks also further emphasises how much these three are friends for LIFE.  Cause if someone loves you when you are cut your Pinot Noir with cranberry juice, because the wine was just a little too strong, they will love you when you are old and gray.

The episode also introduces us to the Hot/Crazy scale, which Barney spends most of the evening ranking Blah-Blah on.  It’s another one of those terms that How I Met Your Mother is famous for.  And it’s also entirely accurate, I’ve seen it in action.

I also forever giggle at Robin’s reaction to Blah-Blah asking how Robin and Barney got together.  Oh honey…you’re going to marry those Sixteen Nos in seven years.

Best Line:

Robin: Wait, ‘hot/crazy’ scale?

Barney: Let me illustrate! [draws diagram] A girl is allowed to be crazy as long as she is equally hot. Thus, if she’s *this* crazy, she has to be *this* hot. You want the girl to be above this line. Also known as the ‘Vickie Mendoza Diagonal’. This girl I dated. She played jump rope with that line. She’d shave her head, then lose 10 pounds. She’d stab me with a fork, then get a boob job. [pauses] I should give her a call.

6) The Limo (1 x 11)

I loathe New Year’s Eve.  There is always way too much expectation to do something EPIC when in reality you end up paying exorbitant amounts to get INTO a bar (probably one you got into for free the night before) to get smushed around with all sorts of drunk amateurs fighting over the 2 hours of open bar (in which your drink is the size of a thimble).  There’s all the pressure to have someone to kiss at midnight and to have all the life changing resolutions made by midnight.

I’d rather be at home on my couch with Chinese food, wine, and Netflix, thank you very much.

Barney: Give it a rest, Ted.

Ted: Give what a rest?

Barney: Trying to turn this night into anything more than what it is, which is New Year’s Eve which is the single biggest letdown of a night every single year.

“The Limo” tackles the issue of New Year’s Eve dead on.  Ted, in all of his adorable and earnest Mosby-ness, tries to make New Year’s Eve a magical one for his friends .  He has a list of the best parties and he has a limo driven by their pal Ranjiit.  They have Barney’s “Get Psyched” mix (“It’s ALL RISE, baby!”).  What could possibly go wrong?  Well, a lot of things.  They pick up Moby, who turns out to NOT be Moby, but a guy named Eric who is heading to party number four with a gun.  They get separated from Lily, who goes home to change her shoes in the middle of the evening.  They get separated from Marshall, who later runs off in search of his wife (who they actually found at Fauxby’s party).  The Get Psyched mix is stolen.  Ted’s date MaryBeth picks up on all the UST between Ted and Robin and decides to spend the rest of the evening elsewhere.  The limo gets a flat tire.  Basically, it becomes your typical New Year’s Eve.

Ted and Barney bemoan this fact as they perch out of the sunroof while Lily hopelessly screams “Marshalllllllllllllllllllllllllll!” into the abyss.  And then a miracle happens.

“LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYY!!”

Marshall comes running through the steam to the strains of “You Give Love a Bad Name”.  Against all odds, he found them.  He has the Get Psyched Mix.  And he has news that party number five is RAGING.  It’s a moment of magic that can only happen on a night like New Year’s Eve.  Which is WHY people make such a big deal about that stupid night in the first place.   Of course, being ten minutes to midnight, they get stuck in traffic.  But it no longer matters.  As Future Ted reflects, “And just like that, we were having the perfect New Year’s Eve. The funny thing is all night long, I’d been trying to chase something down that was right there in that limo.”

My feels, you guys.

Best Line:

Barney: Yeah, you know why all the circuits are jammed because everyone’s calling their loved ones, everyone around the world. Everyone except Barney. Oh, sure, laugh. Laugh for Barney Stinson. Laugh for the sad clown trapped on his whirling carousel of suits and cigars and bimbos and booze. Round and round it goes. And where’s it all heading? Nowhere.

Robin: Is this just ’cause you lost your “Get Psyched” mix?

Barney: I’m sorry. Am I not allowed to have a pensive side?

5) “Bad News”/ “Last Words” (6 x13, 6 x 14)

 

I remember watching “Bad News” for the first time.  It seemed to be just an average episode.  And then around seeing the number 30 placed prominently, I realized there was some sort of countdown going on within the episode.  At first, I just thought it was just another clever HIMYM Easter Egg gimmick.  As the numbers appeared faster and faster, I began to grow anxious, since it was clear SOMETHING was going to happen.  And then Marshall got the great news that everything was okay with him as far as his fertility (Lily had gotten the same news earlier in the episode) and he went outside to call his dad.  The phone rang and rang.  Lily pulled up in a cab with the number “1” on it and got out.  She tearfully delivered the news to her husband that his father was dead.

It felt like a punch to the stomach.  Tears streamed down my face as I watched him embrace his wife on the street in front of McClaren’s.  “I’m not ready for this,” Marshall groaned.  Neither were we, Marshall.  Neither were we.

Out of all the people in our gang, it is most devastating that this happened to Marshall.  I’ve always considered Marshall the innocent of the group, the one who truly believes in the goodness of people, the one with the biggest heart.  Marshall was the only one whose parents were still happily married.  Marshall, aside from the merciless teasing of his brothers, is the one who had the charmed childhood.  He was the only one who didn’t have a tense relationship with his parents, specifically with his father.  He talked to his dad everyday.  He even had a running game of Go Fish with his dad.  Losing his father was the worst possible thing that could happen to him…and it did.  Because that’s what happens in life sometimes.  The worst, most unfair things can happen to the people who deserve them the least.

It’s well-known in HIMYM lore that the writers pulled a fast one on Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel for the final scene of “Bad News”.  At the table read, they were led to believe the final scene would be Lily telling Marshall we was pregnant.  On the day of filming, they switched the final page.  Jason only knew that the last line of Alyson’s would be “it” and that would be his cue to react.  So that whimpered “My Dad’s dead”?  The groaned “I’m not ready for this”?  MADE UP ON THE SPOT.  They did the scene in one take, and it remains Alyson’s most memorable moment of the series, as she rudely reminded us on Inside The Actor’s Studio.

I never know what to do with myself at funerals.  There’s only so many times you can say “I’m sorry for your loss” before it becomes meaningless.  That’s why “Last Words” is such a stellar episode as we see Marshall’s friends rally around him and try to help him through his grief.  The way each one of them reacted made perfect sense.  Robin, in a callback (to me anyway) of how she knew Lily needed a cigarette on her wedding day, had her bag full of vices, trying to anticipate everything Marshall needed.  Ted and Barney, in typical bro fashion, did their best to try to make Marshall laugh.  Lily threw herself upon the mercy of her mother-in-law in the only way a good wife and daughter-in-law can by allowing her to take any potshot at her.  It was all beautiful and awkward and sad and true to life.

Marshall’s discovery of a voicemail from his dad and his subsequent rage over the fact that it was a pocket dial is Jason Segel’s finest acting moment of the series.  In fact, I would argue it’s one of the best scenes for the entire ensemble of the entire series.  If you have the strength to watch the episode again (I’ve watched it TWICE in the span of 2 weeks for the purposes of this post and because I’m a masochist), watch the faces of Lily, Robin, Ted, and Barney as Marshall yells at the universe about losing his father.  Their pain for their friend is palpable.  They flinch at every rage filled and grief-stricken statement.  It’s all incredibly visceral and present and shows just how seamless the ensemble is.

As if I weren’t crying enough at seeing my precious Marshmallow rage at the universe, the wind was REALLY knocked out of me when suddenly Marvin’s voice rang out of the cell phone, once he realized he had pocket dialed his son.  In true HIMYM fashion, they had the universe give Marshall one last gift from his dad: having his last words to his son be “I love you”.  Okay…so they were REALLY “Ooh, and let me know if you find my foot cream. That fungus thing is acting up again” but we’re pretending we didn’t her that part, okay?

As to whether Crocodile Dundee III really holds up? You’ll have to let me know in the comments.

Best Line:

Marshall: You guys don’t get it, okay? None of you do. My dad was my hero. And he was my teacher. And he was my best friend. He always came through for me, and now he’s just gone. And what am I left with? (Plays static message and yells at the sky) Thanks a lot God, thank you. You took my father. The greatest man that I have ever known, and you whipped him off this Earth, way too young. And he’ll never get to meet our kids, Lily. But we’ve got this voice mail. Thank you so much for the voice mail, it’s a great comfort. Because whenever I’m starting to feel lonely, or sad, or maybe a little bit cheated, at least I’ve got the sound of his pocket to console me. How is this fair? You’ve got an entire human life, and it just ends for no reason. And what are we left with?

Marvin Eriksen Sr.: (Over the voice mail message) Marshall? Looks like I’ve been calling you for over five minutes. How’s my pocket sound? Sorry about that buddy. Anyway, your mom and I had such a great time seeing you.  I love you.

4) “Subway Wars” (6 x 04)

 

On its surface, “Subway Wars” is How I Met Your Mother‘s tribute to The Amazing Race.  It’s a raucous romp through New York City as the gang races through every method of transportation to get to a Steak House in the Financial District (which, given that McClaren’s is on the Upper West Side, let me tell you, as a New Yorker, that IS a trek).  It’s a wonderful rumination on just what DOES make you a New Yorker, because everyone has different criteria.  For the record, my definition includes living here ten years (I’ve lived here for 13, boom! Also, I’m old).  I have yet to steal a cab from someone who needed it more but I HAVE cried with abandon on the subway (many many times).  I definitely agree with Ted’s statement “If you can’t spot the crazy person on the bus, it’s you” (luckily, I rarely take the bus).  Learning to understand “conductor” IS an art.  And yes, sometimes I DO think that I get to places by walking faster than I could on the Subway.  Everything in this episode is so spot on when it comes to life in New York.

But really, at its core, “Subway Wars” is a story about how New York City can kick your ass.  All of our characters (save Barney) are going through it in this episode, but none more so than Robin.  She’s been through a horrible break-up, she’s miserable at work…as she says she feels like the City is outright rejecting her.  I could ask any of my friends that have lived here for an extended period of time if the City has ever made them feel that way and I can unequivocally say that they would all say “hell yes it has”.  New York can be the loneliest city in the world.  People get wrapped up in their own lives and not have time to see anything except what’s right in front of them (like when Robin tries to tell Barney what she’s going though and he doesn’t hear her or realize just how serious she is).  There have been many times where I have felt I have had enough and thought about packing it in.  But then I’ll have a happy hour with Sage and my girlfriends or brunch with my cluster of college friends who have all migrated here or have a night at the theatre and I’ll remember WHY I’m still here after thirteen years.  New York may kick my ass, but I wouldn’t have it any other way (and sometimes, you need to kick its ass right back).  You just have to make the effort not to lose yourself and stay present with your support system, and I think that’s the realization that our gang comes to at the end of the episode.

Also Barney sacrificing himself and tackling Ted so Robin can win the race?  Ship, ship, ship it.

Best Line:

Robin: I am done with this city. It wins.  I just want to move somewhere new and start over.

Lily: You’ve had a rough year. But you’re tough. And I love you like crazy. If you left, I’d have to follow you. And Marshall would follow me. And Ted would follow him. The only upside is that we might get rid of Barney.

3) “Three Days of Snow” (4 x 13)

One of the hallmarks of How I Met Your Mother has been it’s ability to play with timelines and story structure.  We have an unreliable narrator in the form of future Ted, who forgets names and mixes up details and dates (see also: the several season tease about his birthday where he got beaten up by a goat), which gives the show the freedom to trick the audience into thinking they are seeing something they are not.  This conceit is sued to maximum impact in “Three Days of Snow”.  For a good bit of the episode, we believe this is all happening in one night.  That while Marshall and Robin are fighting in the car on the way to pick up Lily from the airport (while Lily herself is desperately trying to get a micro-brew for Marshall with the help of Ranjiit), Ted and Barney are running Puzzles…erm…McClaren’s.  And then future Ted reveals that these events actually took place over three nights, which sets up one of the sweetest moments in the show’s history.

Let’s talk about Lily and Marshall in this episode.  From as early as “Okay Awesome” in season one, Lily seems obsessed with trying to move past the adorable mushyness of their relationship and have a mature and classy one.  But that’s just not who Marshall and Lily are.  They ARE the couple that tells each other everything.  They are the couple who calls each other everyday at lunch just to say “I love you”.  They are the couple who enjoys entering the Halloween costume contest every year and they are the couple who will always meet each other at the airport and they are so much better when they just embrace that fact.  Sure, traditions shift as a relationship grows and as they age, but Marshall and Lily will always be the couple that you outwardly roll your eyes at their adoration for each other, but deep down you want what they have.

The end of “Three Days of Snow” never fails to make me cry.  Lily sits at the airport alone as she realizes Marshall didn’t come pick her up after all.  In true New York fashion, one musician mournfully plays “Auld Lang Syne” and she begins to cry.  But then…more musicians join in playing the same thing.  A whole marching band joins and Marshall appears carrying a sign that says “LilyPad” and Lily begins to cry for a different reason (Alyson is truly wonderful in this scene)…

Marshall: A muffin, a pastrami sandwich, and a bag of chips.  And I know it’s way past lunchtime, but I love you.  More and more each day, I love you, Lily.  Happy New Year. (Lily kisses him) Um, wait, does this mean that I have to bring a marching band to the airport from now on?

Lily: Absolutely, it does.

Marhsall: Crap.

Ted Mosby…you’ve got some competition in the grand gesture department and his name is Marshall Eriksen.

Best Line:

Ted: We should buy a bar!

Barney: Of course, we should buy a bar!

Ted: We should totally buy a bar.

Barney: We should totally buy a bar. Our bar would be awesome. And dude, dude, dude, dude… the name of our bar… Puzzles. (Ted is astonished by the proposition) People will be, like, “Why is it called Puzzles?”. That’s the puzzle!

2) “The Pineapple Incident” (1 x 10)

We’ve all had one of those nights.  One of those nights where we go on a bender and have NO idea how we got home or exactly what happened the night before.  I know I have.  I’ve had mornings where I have woken up having zero recollection of how I got home the night before (I have the scar on my leg to prove it), where I am amazed that not only am I home with all of my valuables and the door locked, but I still managed to get my dog into the bed with me.  But I have never woken up with an unexplained pineapple next to my bed.

When I read Entertainment Weekly‘s top 50 (FIFTY.  Still not over it.) list of episodes, I was APPALLED that “The Pineapple Incident” was ranked at TWENTY SEVEN.  Not even in the top HALF.  For me, “The Pineapple Incident” makes a good case for being the number one episode, despite everyone agreeing what the greatest all time episode of HIMYM is.  “The Pineapple Incident” is delightfully absurd, endlessly quotable, and has spurred gifs upon gifs of Drunk Ted letting loose.  Much like Sage struggled with choosing only one quote for “Bad Blood” when she wrote about our number two X-Files episode, there was no way I could narrow down this episode to one quote.  So instead of giving you a dissertation on why this episode is awesome and worthy of the number two spot on this list, I’m going to show you through quotes and gifs.

Hopefully, it will make you forgive me for making you cry earlier in this post.

Barney: “Ted, I believe you and I met for a reason. It’s like the universe was saying, “Hey Barney, there’s this dude, he’s pretty cool, but it is your job to make him awesome.” Your brain screws you up, Ted. It gets in the way. It happened with Robin, it happened with Half-boob, and its gonna keep happening until you power down that bucket of neuroses inebriation-style.”

Ted:  How quickly you all forget. I haven’t puked since high school. I am vomit-free since ninety-three. Vomit free since ninety-three. That’s funny. I’m funny.

Nothing speaks better for a fandom love fest than this does.

Ted: I’m calling Robin.

Barney: Ted, as your mentor and spiritual guide, I forbid you from calling her.

Ted: Oh yeah? What you gonna do?

Barney: If you complete that call, I will set your coat on fire.

Ted: You’re bluffing.

Ted: Why do they call it karaoke anyhow? Was it invented by a woman named Carrie Okie? These are the kinds of things I think about.

Trudy: Karaoke is Japanese for empty orchestra.

Ted: That’s hauntingly beautiful.

Fact: I quote that line every time we go karaoke.  Ask Sage.

Word on the internet is that we’re FINALLY going to find out about the pineapple tonight.  Part of me never wants to know, because as I said with “Slutty Pumpkin”, sometimes the mystery is better than the answer.  But the other part of me can’t WAIT to find out.

Best Line:

Ted: Barney, you’ve always taken care of me. You are a gentleman and a scholar. Go into my stable and take my finest stallion. He’s yours, his name is Windjammer.

1) “Slap Bet” (2 x 09)

What can I say about “Slap Bet” that hasn’t been said before?  As various websites have compiled their lists of How I Met Your Mother‘s finest moments, there has been one thing they’ve all agreed on: “Slap Bet” is the definitive episode of the series.  It’s the episode that you would show to someone whose never seen the show to demonstrate everything the series is about.  The episode give us THE longest running joke of the show in the form of Marshall and Barney’s Slap Bet (for the record, I side with Ted on this issue.  I would have taken the 10 slaps in a row).  While Marshall dispensed with the first two slaps rather quickly (the second slap came later in Season 2 as a way to stop Barney’s one man show), the show took great pleasure in stretching out the rest of the slap bet over the course of the run.  I had always dreamed that the final slap would take place in the series finale, with Old Man Marshall slapping Old Man Barney, but I gotta say, Marshall sacrificing the last slap to keep Barney from bolting at the altar was a fantastic move.

“Slap Bet” also gave us the gift that kept on giving in creating Robin Sparkles.  I love that they decided to give Robin (scotch swilling, cigar smoking, gun loving, not-at-all-a-girly-girl Robin) a secret past as a ridiculous and cheesy (and awesome) pop star.  It was so delightfully unexpected and while they went back to the Robin Sparkles well many times over the course of the series, none had the impact and element of surprise and joy that “Let’s Go To The Mall” did.

Also HOW did “Let’s Go to the Mall” NOT get an Emmy Nomination for Original Music and Lyrics?  Emmy Voters, I hate so much about the things you choose to be.

Best Line:

Barney: Your tombstone will read “Lily Aldrin: Caring wife, loving friend and Slap Bet Commissioner”

Marshall: And on Barney’s grave it’ll read “Got slapped by Marshall so hard he died.”

What are YOUR favorite episodes of How I Met Your Mother?  Are you ready for Ted to FINALLY meet her?  Just how many tissues WILL you go through tonight?  Let us know in the comments!

Poor Little Rich Kids – Scandal Gif-Cap

Melli Andrew Sex

Scandal
Season 3, Episode 15: “Mama Said Knock You Out”
Posted by Sage

No longer the Maris Cranes of the Scandal world, the two eldest Grant children finally made an in-the-flesh appearance this week. And let me tell you, if you assumed that the spawn of a marriage as twisted and loveless as Fitz and Mellie’s would be royally screwed up, well….you’d be correct. Flee, Jerry and Karen. Flee back to boarding school and stay there. Until it’s time to publish your respective tell-alls, that is.

“I saw that sit-down you did with Dominique Strauss-Kahn.” Just when I’d almost completely forgotten about that French bastard.

Monty Python far in your general direction

Olivia tries push the interview. Noah – not to be confused with $125 million worth of Russell Crowe getting rained on – isn’t having it.

Michelle Tanner I did the best I could

“Jerry, Karen: we need to talk.” They’re like, “Yes, new mom?”

Cat Glasses

“Be nice.” Mellie has to REMIND Fitz to be warm to his own children. Let’s see how that goes.

Tenth Doctor hope for the best

Excruciating family dinner time!

Breaking Bad Dinner

“And at the end of the day, let’s all just remember that we love each other.” “Yeah.” “Right.” 

McAvoy Eyebrow Raise

Allergic to bullshit Will Smith

“Liv thinks if we separate B6-13 from their money supply, we can starve them to death.” Nice to see Team Pope working together again, even if it is on a lost cause. Anyway, let’s find that caaasssh.

Hannibal Beverly Examination

Show Me the Money

“You don’t take down B6-13. You run, you hide, or you die.” Yep, got it.

Incredibles I know

“I’ll kill Huck in a second, if you want me too.” Quinn thinks Brian McKenzie’s homicidal devotion is sweet. But as long as she and Huck have their psycho lust thing going on, Huck is safe.

Jake Brooklyn 99 You never let me do anything

Blah, blah, blah, Ukrainian terrorists in Baltimore, blah blah blah. I meaannn…I’m very concerned.

Llewyn Davis Fuck

“It was a beautiful funeral, Cy.” JAMES IS STILL DEAD. GODDAMMIT.

Brokeback Mountain Miss you so much

“Can we not discuss my kids right now?” “Why must my children insist on existing just to make me feel guilty about bending my mistress over my desk whilst they’re just a couple hundred feet away?”

Bob's Burders my life is harder

GET IT, MELLIE. Andrew and Mellie are having a full-blown affair at this point and I am NOT mad about it.

Get Your Life

Aragorn Ride Hard

“You like it there?” Oh, my.

Metropolis Panting

“Both.” *gulp*

Hiddles Many ways to make noises

“Andrew. Stay away from her. The last thing this campaign needs is another sex scandal.” “Glass houses, Olivia.” Nice restraint from Andrew, who still seems quite the good man. I would’ve laughed in her face. Hello, kettle? This is Monica. You’re black.

Supernatural Sam Wow

“Don’t play this game any more.” “You told me I was supposed to drag everyone into the light.” Olivia’s Existential Crisis, brought to you by Daddy Issues.

An Education Head desk

Jean Ralphio I gotta find a way out

“Why are you still with him? After everything he’s done to you? To us?” Out of the mouths of babes, amirite?

John Barrowman smug smile

Dimitri or Ivan or whoever was supposed to meet with Adnan and Olivia’s mom. And wouldn’t show up. Mama Pope is terrifyingly serene and smiley about it.

Nicki Word that bitch mad

Quinn and Brian McKenzie have a lover’s quarrel while sharing their favorite hobby. Torturing some poor bastard.

Prince Yikes

“Is it okay if I drill for a bit?”

Happy Endings You're Insane

Turns out Jerry is running an anonymous anti-Grant Twitter account. He’s the only one here with a sense of humor.

Karen Walker You're all boring and I'm fun

Karen finds Andrew and Mellie together! Olivia sees it too. And chimes in with a “HAVEN’T YOU PEOPLE EVER HEARD OF CLOSING A GOD DAMN DOOR?” I made up that last part.

Cat in window

Adnan shows up at Pope & Associates to talk about Marie. Hrrrrmmm…

Harry Potter Don't forget the plot twist

“I owe her.” *Growing old and grey waiting on Harrison’s backstory*

Troy Barnes Why

Adnan wants complete immunity before she says a word. Sounds legit.

Ratatouille Nopeity nope

“You were on your knees with Uncle Andrew.” Well, that’s it. You guys have been great.

Good night

“Why on earth would I give him to you? So you can puff out your chest and announce his detention to swing state pancake breakfasts?” It’s amusing to me that Jake assumes Fitz has planned ANYTHING.

Brooklyn 99 Eyes closed head first

“This is not a game, Mr. President, and you’re not getting your ball back.” No more pick-up games. No more towel snapping in the locker room.

We're Not Friends Colbert

Cyrus comes at Jake. Crushing grief and all, but can we all agree that his face was HILARIOUS?

Newsroom I made it to the rage phase

“He was just doing his job. Serving at the pleasure of the president. Just like the rest of us.” Killing people is so, like, whatever.

Bang bang you're dead

“No cupcakes?” Morris isn’t going to waste his cheerful greetings on people with no baked goods.

George Costanza Go to Hell

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“Wait For It…” – How I Met Your Mother’s 20 Most LEGENDARY Episodes, Part One

Posted by Kim

“Kids, this is the story of how I met your mother…”

When Ted Mosby uttered those lines in the pilot nine seasons ago, I had no idea that I was about to embark on one of the greatest love affairs with a television show of my life.  I have a hard time fully putting into words what How I Met Your Mother has meant to me.  As a now 30-something New Yorker, I have grown up with these characters, aging right along with them, as I was the same age as Ted when it premiered.  I have experienced many of the things they have (there have been some episodes where I’ve looked around my apartment for hidden camera, as it hewed that closely to my life).  I have laughed at them and with them.  I have cried with them.  I have yelled at them through my television.  And this coming Monday, I will say goodbye to them.  I’m not ready.

But rather than sit around and mourn the loss of a show that has meant so much to me, I choose to celebrate it.  So I went about choosing my favorite episodes of the series.  After narrowing down 200+ episodes to 35, I spent the weekend watching them and narrowed the list down to 20, because *I*, unlike Entertainment Weekly, which picked their top FIFTY episodes, believe in the integrity of BEST.  I consulted a few HIMYM uber-fans just to assure that my episode instincts were right (duh doy, they were) and then set about ranking them.  So here we go…episodes 20 to 11.  Suit up and read on!

20) “The Slutty Pumpkin” (1 x 06)

 

When I think of iconic images from How I Met Your Mother, the image of Ted in his Hanging Chad costume wearing a befuddled expression, with The Devil (erm…Barney) on one shoulder and An Angel (congrats random party dude!) on the other, always comes to mind.  And thus “The Slutty Pumpkin” makes this list.  But even without that image, the episode still merits inclusion.  Let’s talk about HIMYM‘s first season, y’all.  It’s pretty flawless.  When I started listing episodes that I thought deserved consideration for this post, I had 8 from Season One (I ultimately, in the name of parity, cut it down to 4).  That’s how good the first season was.  The show was firing on all creative cylinders from the very beginning.  The ensemble had terrific chemistry and the characters were sharply drawn and defined right from the get go and “Slutty Pumpkin” continues to fill in every shade of our characters (SIX EPISODES INTO THE SERIES) and manages to deliver one hell of a Halloween episode (and a delightful tribute to It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown) at the same time.

While its sequel “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns” is vastly inferior (as Sage says, the mystery was SO MUCH BETTER than the reveal), “The Slutty Pumpkin” holds up 200 episodes later.  From Barney’s completely accurate description of how girls slut it up for Halloween (“She’s not just a nurse, she’s a slutty nurse”) to Marshall and Lily’s Couples Costume escapades to Robin’s emotional issues about being a girlfriend to Ted’s unflinching hope that he will find the Slutty Pumpkin again, it’s a perfect little time capsule of the series and it’s an episode that never fails to make me smile.

Best Line:

Robin: How do you do this Ted? How do sit out here all night, in the cold, and still have faith that your pumpkin’s going to show up?

Ted: Well, I’m pretty drunk. Look I know the odds are, the love of my life isn’t going to magically walk through that door in a pumpkin costume at 2:43 in the morning. But it just seems as nice a spot as any to just … you know, sit and wait.

19) “Ducky Tie” (7 x 03)

Before we met the Mother, Victoria was always my favorite girlfriend of Ted’s.  I may have MANY qualms about how she was used in season 8 (because she was RUINED), I thought her appearance in “Ducky Tie” was damn near perfect.  We were able to fill in the blanks on her story (she was on the verge of cheating on Ted when he cheated on her with Robin, proving that LONG DISTANCE NEVER WORKS) and get closure (or so we thought) on their relationship.  It’s a very bittersweet story for Ted to explore “what if” with a girl who could have been perfect for him if not for some really crappy timing.  What I love about Victoria in this episode is that she serves Teddy Westside up some tough love by calling him out on his feelings for Robin.  It’s painful and it’s awkward and it’s a truth that Ted is not at all ready to hear…and that’s what makes it awesome.  It’s a ballsy thing for Victoria to say, especially considering that at that particular time, she has no stakes in what happens to Ted and his love life.  She’s just being real and truthful with him.  Because as Future Ted says, even though he couldn’t see it at the time, she was right.  And I like to think that no matter what kind of feelings Future Ted ends up having about his time with Victoria, that he is eternally grateful for her candor.

What makes “Ducky Tie” wonderful is that this highly emotional story for Ted is told within the framework of the gang going out to a Hibachi dinner and Barney making a bet with Lily and Marshall so he can touch her (rocking) pregnancy boobs.  Of course it is all a long con by Barney (who is the master of them, TBH) but Lily and Marshall outwit him, which results in one of the great visual gags of the season: Barney being forced to wear Marshall’s Ducky Tie.   The episode is a perfect mix of the absurd and the grounded which is the trademark of all the best How I Met Your Mother episodes.

Best Line:

Victoria: There is a reason that it didn’t work out between you and me, but it’s not Germany.  And I’m willing to bet it’s the same reason none of your other relationships in the last six years have lasted either.  It’s Robin.

Ted: No.

Victoria: Yes.  She is so much bigger in your world than you realize.  And this thing that you’re all doing, you and Barney and Robin, where the three of you hang out at the bar night in, night out, like you’re all just buddies?  That doesn’t work.  Trust me.

Ted: You-You’ve got it all wrong.

Victoria: I’m right about this.  Good-bye, Ted.

18) “Girls vs. Suits” (5 x 12)

“Girls vs. Suits” was the 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother and it delivers in both driving the mythology of the show and in all around laughs.  Ted got the closest he had ever gotten to the woman he was going to marry, as he dated her roommate.  Rachel Bilson was adorably insecure as Cindy, and now that we’ve met Cristin Milioti’s Mother, I can see why.  I would have had the same reaction had I brought my boyfriend to my place and the only things he found cool belonged to my roommate.  To be honest, this is why I live alone, people.

The near misses Ted has with his future wife exemplify everything I love about HIMYM.  You never know how close you are to the person that will change your life.  Every person you meet is an important part of your story because they shape you in the person you are today.  So you’ve GOT to stay open to the possibilities, which is one of the things I love so much about Ted Mosby.  He goes through dark times and times where he’s lost or times that he’s bogged down by his inability to let go of the ideal of Robin.  But at the root of it all, Ted is a person who BELIEVES in possibility.  It’s a very hopeful life philosophy, and like I’ve said before, I feel like How I Met Your Mother is ultimately a show about hope and about optimism, even in the darkest times.

Of course, I feel all of this story runs secondary to the fantastic storyline for Barney where he is forced to choose between a hot girl and his beloved suits.  We meet Barney’s personal tailor, Tim Gunn, because really…who else would it be?  We see Barney dressing in jeans and t-shirts (how disconcerting is it to see him in NOT a suit?) to try to score with the hot bartender at McClaren’s (a pre-Clooney Stacy Kiebler) who HATES guys wearing suits.  And it all culminates in the GLORIOUS musical number “Nothing Suits Me Like A Suit”.  When the cast visited Inside The Actor’s Studio, NPH chose this moment as his favorite Barney moment of the entire series.  To this day, I will never understand how this song did NOT win the Emmy for original music and lyrics (it lost to a song from MONK, you guys.  What EVEN.).  It’s definitely one of the seminal moments of the series.

Best Line:

Barney: (sings) To score a ten would be just fine,

But I’d rather be dressed to the nines!

It’s a truth you can’t refute–

Nothing suits me like a suit!

17) “The Final Page” (8 x 11, 8 x 12)

Let’s talk about the character evolution of Barney Stinson.  Honestly, I think of all the characters, he has had the most growth as a person, and it’s all due to falling in love with Robin Scherbatsky.  I saw sparks between these two characters way back in Season One when they bro’d out in “Zip Zip Zip”.  I thought it was completely organic for them to hook up at the end of “Sandcastles in the Sand”.  I DO think their relationship was a little mishandled in Season Five, but I mainly think it was because while Robin and Barney were drawn to each other, neither one of them were ready for the full-on committed relationship.  They both had to genuinely fall in love with other people to realize that they REALLY wanted to be with each other.  The difference between Barney and Ted when it comes to Robin, is that Barney has just the right amount of edge and cynicism that Robin needs to challenge her.  Barney doesn’t paint the picture of the white picket fence and 2.5 kids that Ted does.  Barney accepts Robin for exactly who she is, not what he wants her to be, and that’s why they work on a fundamental level.  It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a long and often painful journey for them.  They both hurt each other a great deal.  But they came out stronger in the end, which brings us to “The Final Page”.

Barney, master of the long con, once he realizes that he wants to be with Robin for the rest of his life, sets out to make the final play from his playbook.  It’s an arc that traverses the entire first half of season eight and it’s a wonder to see how it all came together in the final minutes of the episode.  It’s sweet with just a hint of mischief and ridiculousness…also know as exactly what the Barney and Robin relationship is.

When I first made this list, I had “The Wedding Bride” in the place of “The Final Page”, but upon rewatching all my contenders, the scene in the limo between Ted and Robin is what made me say “No, this episode HAS to be on my list.”  What a LOVELY and bittersweet scene it is!  The writers have gone back to the Ted and Robin well FAR too often (especially given that Ted says in the PILOT that she is not the mother) and it became quite frustrating for us as an audience.  But that’s how life is.  We’ve all had that one person that we just can’t seem to let go of, no matter how hard we try.  Robin is that person for Ted.  Robin and Ted are ALMOST perfect for each other and you can’t deny that there is a deep love between them.  I think even in his heart of hearts Ted knows that Robin is not the one for him, no matter how much he wants her to be, and letting go of that ideal is a journey he had to make in his own time.  The scene in the limo is the beginning of that.  I can’t even IMAGINE sending the person I loved off to get engaged to someone else.  But Ted recognizes Robin’s struggle and BECAUSE he is a good friend and only wants her to be happy, he tells her about Barney’s plan to “propose to Patrice”.  He KNOWS that Robin will always wonder “what if” and so, despite Marshall’s reservations, he puts Robin’s needs ahead of his.  It’s truly a beautiful thing for him to do.  It’s a heart breaking sacrifice and anyone who DOESN’T recognize that is watching the show wrong.

Best Line:

Ted:  Eight years ago I made an ass of myself chasing after you and I made an ass of myself chasing after you a bunch of times since then.  I have no regrets because it led me to something I wouldn’t trade for the world, it led to you being my friend. So as your friend and a leading expert in the field of making an ass of yourself,  I say to you, from the heart, get the hell out of this car.

16) “Something Borrowed” (2 x 21)

I’m attending three weddings this year.  My sister is getting married in May, and then I have 2 sets of close friends getting married in August and October.  Planning a wedding is hard.  You have very specific visions of how you want your day to be, but when you start to involve families, your vision often has to change, as you have to take what they want into consideration.  This is the dilemma that Marshall and Lily face in “Something Borrowed”.  Their ideal intimate outdoor ceremony becomes a big overblown celebration and they find themselves struggling to find THEM in the scenario.  Everything that could go wrong does.  Lily’s ex-boyfriend Scooter shows up.  Their harpist goes into labor.  The florist is late.  Lily’s veil gets trampled and her “property of Marshall” panties go missing.  Brad (a pre-True Blood and Magic Mike Joe Manganiello) tackles their photographer, but don’t worry, he has a sweet camera phone.  Marshall gets “Cool Guy Tips” and in a moment of panic takes a set of clippers to his head.  It’s enough to drive anyone insane, because despite protestations that she is fine with everything, all Lily wants is for her day to be perfect.

And then it DOES become perfect.  Lily (who was given an emergency cigarette by the best maid of honor ever, Robin) and Marshall run into each other outside.  They despair over how lost they are as a couple in this big old mess of a ceremony.  All they wanted was a nice outdoor ceremony with close friends.  And in that magic moment…they have it, Ted says.  They have their friends and Barney is ordained so he can marry them (I could write an entire essay about how much of a Marshall and Lily shipper Barney TRULY is and how their relationship inspires him to believe that true love DOES exist.  Another time).  So that’s exactly what he does in one of the most heartfelt and sweet moments of the series.  Much like Jim and Pam do in “Niagara” two years later, Marshall and Lily get married in their own way.  That way…they don’t care about what happens during the ceremony and it really just becomes for their families, because they already HAD the wedding they wanted…shaved head, missing panties and all.

Best Line:

Marshall: Okay, I’ll go first. Lily. There are a million reasons why I love you. You make me laugh, and… you take care of me when I’m sick, and… you’re sweet and caring and you even created an egg dish and named it after me (she puts a little Italian dressing on the scrambled eggs before she cooks them. It’s called Eggs Marshall. And it’s awesome.) But the main reason that I love you is that you’re my best friend, Lily. You’re uh, the best friend that I’ve ever had. (I’m sorry buddy.)

Lily: My turn. Marshall. I love you because you’re – you’re funny, and you make me feel loved, and you make me feel safe. And for our anniversary you gave me a sweatshirt that says “Lily and Marshall: Rockin’ It Since ‘96”. I kinda wish I was I was wearing it right now because… it – it smells like you. But, the main reason I love you, Marshall Eriksen, is… you make me happy. You make me happy all the time.

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Ghost in the Water – Supernatural Recap

Supernatural Dead in the Water

Posted by Sarah and Dawn

Welcome to our newest guest post series! Head Over Feels are finally filling our SuperWhoLock quota with “Salt vs. Sass: Dawn & Sarah take on Sam and Dean,” a Supernatural recap-a-thon! We’ll learn all about the family business through the eyes of veteran fan Dawn and n00b Sarah. They’ll be posting weekly, so now is the perfect moment to queue up your rewatch or pop your SPN cherry. Want to speak fluent SPN fangirl? Check out this handy Glossary of Terms.

Take it away, ladies! –S

Dawn Ferchak is a long-term Dean girl who occasionally has trouble resisting the King of Hell.

Sarah Bisman is an SPN newbie and professional crafter of one-line bios.

Season 1, Episode 3: Dead in the Water
Written by Sera Gamble and Raelle Tucker

Blah di blah blah blah recaplet OH MY GOD FLAMES FLAMES (Madeleine Kahn!) and also the family business, blah di blah 50 seconds of where are we now.

We open on a ramshakle-ish house in the woods in Lake Manitoc, Wisconsin (Props to you, chyron person!).

Our first Deadshirt is Blonde Swimmer Girl, because she loves her dad and teases her brother and her dad tells her to be careful. In horror movie tropes, this marks her for all manners of badness.

Dawn: Blondes don’t do well in horror movies, period. Especially not near water. Clearly she has never seen Jaws. Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go brush my brunette hair.

And indeed, someone is watching our heroine take a little swim from a secluded spot in the woods. She can tell someone’s around her and is all creeped out but keeps going anyway because she’s never seen Friday the 13th. Scary music and ominous camera angles call to mind Jaws and every creepy up-skirt photographer ever. And indeed Deadshirt!Goldilocks hears a child’s laughter because there is nothing creepier than a child ghost, and YANK – there she goes into the lake (and presumably the great beyond) as we watch slow-mo bubbles roil on the surface of good ol’ Lake M.

Sarah: I’m betting it’s NOT a shark, and not only because our POV has been returned to the secluded spot in the woods.

Cut to: This week’s Winchester Home Away from Hunting is the scenic Lynnewood Motel, where breakfast has just been et and Dean is doing Hunter Homework which includes circling pretty girls’ obits many times and leering at Wendy, this week’s pretty diner waitress. Captain Cockblock (Sam) swoops in to interrupt Dean and requests the check.

Dawn: I think that might be the first actual incidence of Sam’s Bitchface.

Supernatural Sam Bitchface

Sarah: He looks like a disgruntled hall monitor.

Supernatural Life Lesson #10: Bitchface don’t care. Bitchface is a honey badger

Wendy shoots Dean one sunny smile and we all watch her walk away while Dean picks on his brother for being such a Serious Sammy. Bitchface don’t give a shit, and soon Dean is telling him, “We got one.” It’s Deadshirt!Goldilocks! Who’s name is actually Sophie, so now we will call her Dead!Sophie. She was 18, no one found her body, and she’s the third victim to disappear this way in ol’ Lake Manitoc.

Bitchface still don’t care. He wants to find his dad.

Dean pulls a face that kinda negates Life Lesson #10, but we will give him a pass because, well, it’s kinda his show. Anyway, Dean is all WMS and piiissssssssssssed because Sam got to go to college while Dean had to stay home and deal with crazy Dad and hunting things and the family business, so therefore Sam should STFU and get in the goddamn car, where they drive to the dulcet tones of Ratt. Love will find a way, Sammy – just give it time!

Hooray, it’s time for the Aliases of the Week: Wildlife Agents Ford and Hamill. We are really betting the farm on no one in this corner of Wisconsin being a Star Wars fan.

Dead!Sophie’s baby brother lets the brothers know that big sis was a varsity swimmer and therefore there is NO WAY she would have drowned because she was “as safe out there as in her own bathtub,” which is a shitty comparison since people drown in bathtubs all the fucking time. Also there were no weird shadows or splashing or signs of distress. Nothing at all suspicious, which makes the brothers, you know, suspicious.

SPN Life Lesson #11: No evidence? No problem!

Supernatural Sam Obviously

And now we’re off to see the sheriff (see Life Lesson # 7) where we learn that there are no large indigenous carnivores in a freshwater lake in Wis-fucking-consin, not even a Manitoc Monster or Manny or anything awesome or deadly. Because of this important fact of local fauna, the sheriff wonders why their little missing and presumed dead would be of such interest to two wildlife agents. Even though it’s super weird to everyone how three people could drown and no bodies are ever found, even when they dragged the lake (AND EVEN USED SONAR – emphasis the Sheriff’s).

Sarah: Oh MY GOD IT’S AMY ACKER AS WINIFRED BURKLE AS ANDREA BARR, THE SHERIFF’S HOT DAUGHTER. Please also be sassy. Please please sass Dean for the next hour. I love you in everything you do.

Sarah’s BFF Andrea has a tiny kid who doesn’t want to talk. His name is Lucas, and he doesn’t talk because Trauma. Could it be that Lucas will be key to the whole mystery?

Sherlock Obviously

And we get a new motel – Lakefront! Dean begs Andrea to walk them two blocks, during which time he awkwardly tries flirting: “Kids are the best.”

“It must be hard with your sense of direction,” sasses Andrea, winning Sarah’s heart forever, “to never be able to find your way to a decent pickup line.”

Sarah: WINS MY HEART FOREVER.

Dawn: Ok, I kinda have to love her for that, because damn.

Dean looks stricken and Sammy is in awe and picks on Dean for not knowing, much less actually liking, kids, and even Dawn is with Sam on this one.

Research shows that six more people have drowned over the course of 35 years, including Lucas’ father. Lucas is the only eye witness to what Sam is convinced could not really truly be a lake monster. And Dean gets Lucas a little more now, because they’ve lost parents in the same war, sort of.

Sarah: I am betting the next scene with Lucas involves creepy crayon drawings. I’m just putting it out there.

Sarah wins a kewpie doll because she fucking called it. Also there are toy soldiers. Old ones. And creepy drawings of a vortex and a bike. Dean monologues and draws badly while he attempts to bond with Lucas over some light piano underscoring. He will LISTEN, he promises the kid. And BELIEVE. Just draw him a picture (piano plink) of what happened that day on the lake (piano plink).

A few minutes later, Lucas presents Dean with a drawing of the house from the teaser, because Dean is awesome and genuinely sincere when he needs to be, and Dawn thinks Sarah can have sassy Amanda whatsherface because Team Dean FOREVAH.

Inside that house, Bereaved Deadshirt!Dad can’t move, so Deadshirt!Brother offers to make dinner. While he’s cutting up some sort of root vegetable, the water he’s running turns to icky lake water. Turning off the faucet doesn’t help! This killer water is On. The. Mooooove. Deadshirt!Brother just stands there like an idiot. He’s toast. Soggy toast, probably.

Deadshirt!Brother REACHES IN THE WATER because no guest star on this show has ever seen a horror movie in their entire soon-to-be-cut-short lives. Drain plug isn’t in the drain so it must be a magical clog, which he will reach back in to remove, except he can’t because he’s sucked into the sink just long enough to corpsify himself (bye!). The water recedes, because its work here is done.

Sam brings news to Dean that Deadshirt!Brother has drowned in the sink. They rule out Nessie. The brothers realize that since the lake is in danger, Angry Water Spirit is running out of time and must step up its as-yet-undefined plans…and it can get to anyone via the town’s water pipes. Plus, it appears to have a particular gripe with the Deadshirt family or anyone close to them. So it’s time to return to the Deadshirt House of (Damp) Deadshirts.

Dear SPN PTB: Please don’t kill Andrea. Poor Amy Acker has had enough crap befall the characters she plays.

Bereaved Deadshirt!Dad doesn’t want to talk, which is pretty understandable, really: “My children are gone, it’s worse than dying. Go away. Please.” Amazingly, they do go away – as far as the Impala, where Dean realizes that Lucas’ picture is of the Deadshirt Family Home. Time for Doctor Dean to play ad hoc therapist again.

Andrea is not pleased, but she cannot hold against the Winchester charm. And that’s probably good, because Lucas has drawn eighty-freaking-seven pictures of the same red bicycle, and no one around him thinks this might be a THING. Dean does his empathy thing, which he is surprisingly good at, and there is some monologuing over soft piano music, wherein Dean mentions again how his childhood was basically wrenched from him and that he’s been a brave little soldier since he was fucking four years old. But in a much nicer, kid-friendly way, of course. Thank Crowley, this works, because something has to move this episode along. Lucas gives Dean a picture of a boy with the ubiquitous red bike in front of a yellow house near a church.

It’s Impala Exposition time! The boys realize that it’s possible trauma has awakened some kind of latent psychic ability in Lucas, which he can only communicate through his drawings. Before we get a chance to determine how important this might be, however, Sam decides this is the ideal time for An Important Talk. Sam has clearly chosen to ignore SPN Life Lesson #3 because he has bitchface over Dean opening up more to a seven-year-old than he ever has to his own brother.

Harry Potter Puppet Pals Angst

Dean downplays it, because duh, and reminds Sam of Life Lesson #3 by saying, “Oh, god, we’re not going to have to hug, are we?”

Emperor's New Groove No Touchy

The boys find the house (#4919!) across the street from the church and visit the sad older lady who lives there. She recognizes that the kid in the crayon drawing is Peter, who has been gone for 35 years — exactly as long as the mysterious drownings have been happening. Peter “just disappeared” while riding his (red) bike home from school one day. Dean spots a picture on the mirror. Of Deadshirt!Dad as a kid. With Peter.

Cut to Deadshirt!Dad having a very mournful one-sided conversation with the air out on the dock of Lake M. He thinks he knows what it wants. We can guess, too.

Sarah: This episode is like a recap of Ghost Story (the first horror film I ever saw, and the first thing ever to scare me awake for days) except with a little kid in place of Eva the angry murdered lady.

Dawn: Also except that Ghost Story was fucking awesome and this is kinda exposition for the sake of exposition. Shout out to Peter Straub – you did it better, sir!

Meanwhile, in the car, Sam and Dean have sussed out that Deadshirt!Dad probably killed Peter, whose spirit would be looking for revenge (again, Ghost Story). They get to the lake just in time to see Deadshirt!Dad drive a motorboat out onto the lake, which promptly flips over, taking him with it.

Sarah: I think Peter must have contracted out his hits to the shark from Jaws.

Dawn: That might be the best idea ever.

The boys go to the sheriff’s office to report on what they’ve seen. Lucas and his mom are there. Long story short, little Lucas freaks out and starts yanking on Dean’s jacket. He’s still mute and now he’s inconsolable. This displeases Jake the Sheriff, who has had Enough of Their Shenanigans and, in total defiance of SPN Life Lesson #7, know that the boys are not Wildlife Services and perhaps they should GTFO out of his damn town. He says all of this while pointing his finger a lot, which is very The Breakfast Club. The boys clearly do not wish to mess with the bull and get the horns, so they agree to leave town.

Something tells us that Lucas is not ok with this decision. Perhaps it is because he is alone in his Bedroom of Terror, wide awake and ferociously drawing the terrible black water of dooooooooom. Mom tucks him back in like this is no big deal, which makes Dawn question Sarah’s taste in BFFs. Doesn’t she hear the doomtastic music? Get on the stick, Mom.

Sam and Dean are on their way out of town when Dean changes his mind because “Lucas was really scared” and he doesn’t feel right about leaving town until the kid’s ok, which instantly makes him a better parent than anyone Lucas is related to. He hits the gas on Baby and the cavalry races back to town, even though Sam secretly suspects that Dean is now a pod person.

Back at the House of Terror, Andrea is running a bath. In the dark. Like you do. For a town with killer water, people seem really unconcerned about leaving large tubs of it lying around. Unsurprisingly, bath water turns to super nasty sludge (mad props to the FX team). Andrea proves herself not to be the stupidest person on this show by noticing the sludge and the imminent danger it presents, even though she was ALREADY IN THE TUB OMGWTFBBQ. She tries to get out but sludge water is uncooperative and pulls her under, as Lucas pounds on the bathroom door because more trauma is exactly what he needs.

Ghost!Peter seems to be saying something, but no one can tell what, including closed captioning and the episode transcript. It’s probably something like “Water is my bitch and now so are you,” because he’s flooding the entire house. The cavalry arrives and a still-silent Lucas opens the door, then leads them upstairs, where Dean kicks in the bathroom door. But he doesn’t get to rescue the naked girl because there is a child clinging to him, so Sam gets to play hero and save Andrea. Way to go, Sam!

The next morning, a surprisingly coherent Andrea explains that she thought she heard a voice saying “Come play with me,” which is a nice invitation when it’s not spoken by a vindictive dead kid. Another picture is pulled out, and she recognizes her father in it, from when he was about twelve, and somehow this is enough to help the boys realize that her father and Deadshirt!Dad did something pretty terrible because SPN Life Lesson #11.

It’s a pretty good bet now that Ghost!Peter is about to do something terrible to Lucas the Trauma!Child. Sarah does not like this One Bit, because gingers are too few in the world to get murdered by ghosts willy nilly like this. Good thing trauma = psychic powers, which allow Lucas to lead one worried mom and two freaked out Winchesters to a patch of moss. Dean orders mom and kid back to the House of Terror, and he and Sam break out the shovels. Surprise! It’s not a body. It’s the red bike. And then click! Jake the crazy sheriff has a gun on our boys. He wants to know how they knew about the bike. They want to know if he drowned Peter in the lake and buried the bike.

Sherlock Moriarty Don't Be Obvious

Sheriff Jake is both freaky and freaked out when Sam informs him that Ghost!Peter will never ever stop coming for him until he and his entire family are drowned. While they’re all talking, Lucas has made another run for it, which no one notices because they don’t watch The Walking Dead, and Dawn thinks that means it’s time for a rousing round of “Carl Stay In The House.”

Andrea wants dad to say he didn’t kill anyone, but he can’t, because Sheriff Jake and Deadshirt!Dad were old fashioned bullies who “got rough” and accidentally drowned little Peter one day and let his body sink into the lake. Somehow, this makes him unable to believe there is a connection between himself and all the drowning victims, and FINALLY everyone notices that Carl Lucas is not in the house but instead is at the edge of the lake. This time, we see Peter physically pull Lucas under, and stay at the surface just long enough give Sheriff Jake the creepiest glare ever (the kind dead kids give bullies who drown them for kicks).

Both Winchesters dive in to the lake and start searching. While they’re searching and Andrea is screaming, Sheriff Jake is apologizing and wading into the lake, begging Ghost!Peter for a trade, pleading that Lucas is just a little boy. And it’s Achievement Unlocked when Ghost!Peter comes for the sheriff and gives back Lucas. Also Sam and Dean are wet. But that’s probably not germane to the episode.

As the Winchesters deal with a failure to save the Sheriff, Andrea and Lucas show up to say goodbye. Lucas is actually totally adorable one he learns Dean’s favorite phrase (Zeppelin Rules!), and Dean scores a tiny little kiss from Andrea. She thinks it’s going to take a long time to “sort through” everything. Oh, Andrea. You have no idea.

Sorry, SPN. Ghost Story totally did it better.

Next week, we get our first serious clues and hints on the overarching mythos of the first season, and also an interesting little tidbit about What Scares Dean Winchester. It’s not what you think.

Discussing Rose and The Doctor on CrashChords!

Posted by Kim

Earlier this week we sat down with our friends at Crash Chords to record a podcast in which we narrowed down our mammoth 49 Hour Rose and the Doctor Playlist into a more manageable hour-long mixtape.  It was not an easy task and Sage and I spent a good deal of time debating what songs we felt MOST signified the OTP that truly launched this site.  We were quite happy with our picks though and we sat down with the boys and discussed the songs themselves, both musically and how they fit into the playlist as a whole.  And then of course we discussed our feelings about how we felt the songs fit within the Doctor Who universe as a whole.

You can find the episode here.  Enjoy!

Podcasting Delirium!

Podcasting Delirium!

Till Death Do Us Part, Trophy Wife

Trophy Wife Diane Kate No Yes

Posted by Sage

In this, its debut season, Trophy Wife’s holiday episode was a whodunnit about how the adults woke up on Christmas morning to a trashed house, vicious hangovers, and a wolf-coyote scavenging in the living room. It worked.

But so did the storyline about eldest daughter Hillary’s first high school sleepover. And second wife Jackie struggling to introduce her new boyfriend to her son for the first time. And, against all odds, the classic “hiding the heinous couch stain from your mom” routine. It all looks good on Trophy Wife, from the domestic to the demented. Yet here we are, teetering on the bubble.

As with many  shows, I started watching Trophy Wife for love.

Trophy Wife Pete Snoop Dogg

And though I tend to mindlessly follow certain actors to the wrong end of the quality spectrum (Vanished starring Gale Harold, anybody?), my loyalty to Bradley Whitford usually pays off. But were it not for my unfailing Josh Lyman dependence, I would’ve missed out on this little treasure. Trophy Wife is a wretched title. It’s the TV equivalent of click-bait. (“You Won’t Believe What This Trophy Wife Does To Get Her Husband’s Exes To Like Her! You’ll Shit Your Pants When You Hear This Corgi’s ‘Let It Go’ Cover!”), attracting the wrong audience and keeping the right one away. The Harrisons deserve better than this.

Warren and Bert Dancing Trophy Wife

“Sex-aaay!”

Alas, it’s too late. Nothing can be done about the show’s misleading name, and so I’ll do what I can to spread the word that it is, as a matter of fact (fact being my opinion, which is infallible), the best family sitcom on TV right now. And it’s a big family: Kate fell in love with Pete Harrison and they got married, making her his third wife. Pete has children with both of his exes: teenagers Hillary and Warren with the formidable Diane, Ex #1, and Bert, the aggressively adorable kid he adopted with Ex #2, earth mother Jackie. Privacy is a foreign concept (“Jackie, how did you get in?” “Through the doggy door – I can collapse my collarbone.”) and Kate’s breezy life now plays host to a million complications.

Ah, but there’s Trophy Wife‘s charm. We never get the feeling that Kate has given anything up. At least anything she regrets losing. She’s perfectly content with family parties and Netflix nights in with Pete. And, because this is the true realness of your 30s, her drunken adventures with best friend Meg (Natalie Morales, now in everything, and rightly so) now happen solely in her Better Homes and Gardens living room. Why go out when there’s a perfectly good industrial strength blender right there in the cabinet? Kate seems to feel like I imagine I will when I find my Pete (plot twist: mine is also played by Bradley Whitford): relieved. Relieved to no longer feel guilty for any night not spent in a crowded bar in torturous shoes wading through losers in the hopes of finding one guy – just one – who will sit through Parenthood with me and then have long discussions about the future of Joel and Julia and how Sarah really needs to get her life together already.

Trophy Wife Meg and Kate High Five

The show may be one big, happy ensemble, but Kate – and Kate and Pete’s marriage – are the anchors. In these days where sitcoms are on the chopping block from the word “go,” fearless creators Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern took on the challenge of building a feel-good comedy around a May/December romance and a Maxim-veteran hottie, trusting that the cast and the writing would quickly establish the tone they were looking for. It’s a concept that certain audiences would find gross. And it could have been, so, so easily. Imagine what Trophy Wife would look like in the hands of another showrunner; I won’t name names. Okay, I will: Chuck Lorre.

There’s nothing crass about Pete and Kate’s union, though they’re still keeping it sexy. (Shower Police, yes. Pete’s “legal erotica,” not as much.) And there’s conflict among the wives without veering too hard into mean girl territory. No one’s fighting over Pete. They’re fighting over soccer games and mom cliques and seriously, who spiked the glögg? Malin Akerman plays Kate’s full capability spectrum, from somewhat hapless stepmom, adrift in being an instant parent to three kids, to the sane one in this tribe who’ve already driven each other crazy. (Kate playing mediator: “And Jackie,  you got to be tooth fairy, which combines two of your passions of magic spells and old bones.”) This part is her reward for surviving an unreasonable amount of Cruise-iness in Rock of Ages. No one should be subjected to so much pelvis.

Marcia Gay Harden elevates everything she’s in, and she wears her gleeful love for this part like a badge. (“I didn’t fall. I never fall. I remember when I learned to walk. It was instant.”) Diane’s a hardass with a pleasantly twisted sense of fun. When Hillary and Warren spill salsa on Diane’s pristine couch and try to hide it (Pete’s response to their distress call: “Here’s my advice: run away.”), Diane’s response is to serve quesadillas for dinner and host an impromptu Latin dance class afterwards. She smokes them out. She prioritizes being her kids’ parent far above being their friend. When Pete and Kate hesitate to look through Hillary’s things for confirmation that she’s not attending any rainbow turtleneck sex parties, Diane does what must be done: “Amateur hour is over – I didn’t buy her all those journals so she could express herself.” But in “Tooth Fairy,” she makes herself scarce at Hillary’s first teen slumber party, when she realizes she’s embarrassing her. Hillary is Diane’s mini-me, and we get the feeling she doesn’t want her daughter to grow up to be quite as rigid and solitary as she is.

Diane Trophy Wife Congratulations

“Oh, I hope someone says to you what they said to me when I won my swimming silver in Seoul.”

My Trophy Wife spirit animal is Jackie, wifey #2. Michaela Watkins is doing the best Phoebe Buffay since Phoebe Buffay, and – though it’s probably at least a three-way toss-up between Jackie, Diane, and Bert – there are episodes where I’m sure she gets all the best one-liners.

Jackie Hold Up Trophy Wife

She’s perfect, and I can’t believe she’s been AWOL from the spotlight for so long. Your loss, SNLTrophy Wife has a better costume budget anyway. Jackie’s Queen Elizabeth was on point. As was Warren’s Ellen.

Trophy Wife Warren Ellen Halloween

“Is he gonna do the whole show?” “Don’t worry, there’s no musical guest.”

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“THAT is the point” – Scandal Gif-cap

Posted by Kim

Scandal 3 x 14

“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”

Well then.  That was resolved quickly, wasn’t it Gladiators?  If there’s one thing I love about Scandal, it’s the fact that the break-neck pacing of the storytelling rarely leaves the fans hanging for way too long.  So, taking a cue from Shonda and company, let’s get right to the gifs, shall we?  Because really, it’s the only way I can express my feelings.

R.I.P James Novak

“Can you work with me on this, or do I need to stop liking you?”

“We’re going to find them and they are going to go to jail for the rest of their life.” WHAT is Olivia going to do when she finds out the person she is after is her fake boyfriend??

Catatonic Cyrus

And now we flashback to James and Cyrus first meeting because Shonda Rhimes enjoys punching people in the feels. 

“You didn’t read it…except you made it all the way to the end.” James is flirting SO HARD with Cyrus and I kind of can’t stand it and for some reason I always thought Cy was the initial pursuer in the relationship, so my mind is blown.

You think I’m going to take fashion advice from a guy with a neck-beard?” But even when he’s flirting James can throw shade like no other.

This Amateur Press Secretary though.  Where is C.J. Cregg when we need her? Oh yeah, she’s wasting her talents on a Chuck Lorre sitcom.

ABBY RUNNING WITH CONCERN FOR DAVID!!

David shutting Abby out.  I mean, I get it.  How DO you tell someone the truth about this, as I am sure Jake will kill him if he does.

“I’m in the middle of something right now but sure no problem.” says Jake to Liv as he buries his kills.  Me thinks this fake relationship is heading for real trouble.

“You blew up a plane!” “That was personal.”  The degree of casualness Mama Pope has about this is terrifying.

“Why use so many words when a simple “I failed you” would do??” Even in the throws of grief, Cyrus will put you down.

“Let me work.  I need to work.”  And just like that Cyrus becomes Dana Scully.

“Indulge?!  Cyrus, I’m not a dessert.”  I don’t know, James.  You seem pretty tasty to me.

“Even though you’re a republican you have a very hot mouth…”

“That was my move.”  “Damn right that’s your move.” WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?

Yes, PLEASE send Andrellie to Houston ALONE so they can have all the sex.

And now we just know how ruthless Liv’s Mom is.

LIV CONFRONTING JAKE

Jake just stone cold lies to her at first.  Well I guess that is one way to play it.

“I AM PROTECTING THE REPUBLIC!” You NEED me on that wall!!!

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“The fiery cauldron of female friendship.” – Parks and Recreation Recap

Parks and Recreation Favorite TV Show Friday Night Lights

Parks and Recreation
Season 6, Episode 17: Galentine’s Day
Posted by Sage

My phone will now autocorrect “Valentine’s” to “Galentine’s.” My phone knows what’s up.

Leslie Knope’s official celebration of ladies and their lady business (actual business, not downstairs business) has become a part of my personal holiday calendar. Leslie and friends celebrate it on February 13th to leave room for all that icky couple stuff the next day. But I’m not married to Ben Wyatt. Not even a little bit. So my Galentine’s takes place right on the 14th. I’d even settle for someone who could fill out a striped crewneck sweater like Ben Wyatt, by the way.

And we need Galentine’s. Not to stave off loneliness or because the prosecco washes away our Sylvia Plath head-in-oven fantasies, but to toast each other. As far as I’m concerned, Barney Stinson’s Desperation Day, “where a Ten has the self esteem of a Four and the depraved enthusiasm of a Two,” isn’t a real thing. I’ve yet to see any of my single friends fall apart at a mere date on the calendar.

The G-Day brunch debuted in Parks season 2 – last week’s is the second episode to carry this title – as  the “Lilith Fair minus the angst and plus frittatas.” Leslie’s admiration of her gender is so wide and welcoming, it envelopes women from all parties, stages of history, and levels of fame. If you’re awesome, Leslie appreciates you. April Ludgate and Hillary Clinton are equal treasures as far as she’s concerned.

Parks and Recreation Leslie Lady Time

“You sound like a tampon commercial.”

Which is why it’s so disconcerting to watch Leslie abuse something so pure. Ann Perkins hasn’t been Taken, or even Taken 2 (“That’s exactly what they’d make you say.”), but she’s still away, and kind of busy giving birth to her child. So she’s not available talk Sandra Bullock skirt length or to snap Leslie out of it and remind her that whipping up an impromptu Galentine’s Day to covertly rank the other women in her life is a gross idea. Look how excited Donna got at the very prospect of the party! What would St. Galentine’s think?

No one can take the place of Ann – not April, not Donna, not Shauna Mulwae-Tweep, not even Ethel Beavers (“a dark horse”), and certainly not Fake Ann. But she’s not gone forever. Ann is still in Leslie’s life, happy to patiently talk out her best friend’s problems even though she just squeezed a baby out of her hoo-ha and maybe it should be her turn now. Leslie’s not doing herself any favors by trying to force her other friends into an Ann-shaped hole. They love her “crazy ass” too and it’s not fair for her make them feel like second-class companions. She’s alienating them and ignoring the unique gifts they bring to the table. Gifts that not even Ann may have. She’s not perfect after all – she almost bought a toe ring the other day.

Parks and Recreation Shut your mouthParks and Rec You Have All the Strengths

Ben also gets schooled in proper friendship this week. The magic weaved by Boy’s Day Out is still in the air, and Ben has a newfound appreciation for Larry. We end up in some sort of She’s All That/Can’t Buy Me Love situation, where Ben secretly values the big guy and Larry (SOUL CRUSH) lets him keep up appearances in front of the rest of the cool kids. The Jerry/Larry/Garry joke has been stretched mighty thin through six seasons; it’s a relief to have someone recognize what a good, solid person he is and finally stand up for him. No, literally: Ben stood up for him. On a chair. Dead Poet’s style.

Parks and Rec Ben Wyatt Larry is my friend

“O Captain, my captain!”

My Ron and Andy feels center was already quite tender after “New Slogan,” and this week’s B-story just made it worse. I don’t care that his kid is still a newborn, Ron Swanson has always been a dad. It’s a responsibility that he thinks he needs to escape from every so often, but finds he just doesn’t want to. In theory, Ron believes in free will and making your own mistakes. But he can’t sit idly by and watch Andy ruin his smile just because he’s got the long-term vision of the average Doc McStuffin‘s groupie. On behalf of all the members of Concerned Citizens Who Need Chris Pratt to Get an Emmy, thanks Ron.

Parks and Recreation My tooth looks fine

“My grandmother was missing that tooth and she was the most beautiful woman on her oil rig.”

We take responsibility for people we love, not because we have to or because we don’t trust them, but because we’ll all better off that way. So Ron calls Andy “Andrew” and makes him – figuratively – take his medicine. It’s his job. He’s a parent. He’s always on duty.

Parks and Rec Ice Cream Parks and Rec Ron 30 year old who works for me

Random Thoughts/B-Stories:

  • “Awww, babe! You’ve gone crazy.”
  • Ben let Tom stop by his storage unit before the tent meeting to get his “straighforward deal fedora.” Ben is a good man.
  • Mini-Human Giant reunion with Aziz and Rob Huebel as Harvey, the man monopolizing Indiana’s tent industry.
  • “It costs extra to have people inside the tents? And what’s a ‘flap tax’?”
  • Parks and Rec Andy Jungle Gym Fall
  • “I found all three differences.” “Those are two completely different pictures.”
  • “I’ve gotten two annulments: one for pleasure and one to cap off a long con I was running against Keith Sweat.”
  • Tweeping Up Appearances. Who hurt you, Shauna?
  • “Though there is a tiny part of me that always thought it was Chris talking into a mirror.” I now accept this theory, because it makes moments like this bizarrely make sense: “We’re both in serious relationships now You have Leslie and I have my therapist, Dr. Richard Nygard, who I see 15 times a week.”
  • Welcome, Oliver Perkins Traeger! Sorry about your lack of screentime, but this isn’t really about you.
  • “Let me just wolf down this peanut brittle real quick.”
  • Okay, but the rule of the Friday Night Lights fandom is that you have your ultimate guy but love all the rest too. Being judgey of Tim Riggins? I’m surprised at you, Leslie.
  • “Sweaty Roger’s Pants Tent.”
  • “Also, I’m the Zodiac Killer.”

 

We can’t be the only Parks fans inspired to celebrate our own Galentine’s Day. (Friendly reminder that we spent our last one with My Future Wife Billie Piper). How do you mark this lady-centric holiday? Let us know in the comments!