Dan Gregor and Doug Mand deserve the highest of fives for this week's How I Met Your Mother episode, "46 Minutes."
While the majority of our readers here at TV Fanatic feel the season thus far has been a success, a reoccurring gripe has emerged lamenting the absence of Barney's famous and beloved catch phrases or Barney-isms. Well... fans had reason to rejoice when Barney suggested a trip to a strip club to celebrate his self appointment as the new leader of the group and capped off the scene with one of his more memorable Legen-dary quotes.
While the Eriksens were off playing house, though, the gang was left to operate at half strength. Barney, suited up as usual, came through, put the team on his shoulders and delivered as the show's comedic cynosure. His voiceover during the opening theme music was a great wrinkle, as was the Russian-themed alternate opening montage featuring "Better Lily" and "New Marshall."
Looking like he just went down on Robocop, the silver glitter-faced Barney controlled the floor like Michael Jordan in his prime.
Every great player has a great wingman. His Airness had Scottie Pippen and Barney had a great second in drunk Ted. Ted was on fire all night, from his Party of Five reference to his scenes at the poker table, which were highlighted by his Starship song parody, "We Built Chip City." Great nod to Teddy KGB from Rounders, also, with the onlooker eating a chip rack full of Oreos.
The only weak points of the episode were the awkward exchanges between Robin and Kevin at the strip club, despite the scenario being brilliantly termed "Early Relationship Chicken" by Barney. On the bright side, though, we learned that Kevin is a big fan of the high five, which gave hope that he might help inspire a much requested high five revival from Barney. I would love to see some more interaction between Kal Penn and Neil Patrick Harris.
Marshall and Lily's move to the suburbs took a back seat to the city storylines, but Marshall's epic search for the fuse box was great. I lost it every time they cut to a bug-eyed Marshall who looked like he was being watched through Buffalo Bill's night vision goggles. The whole ordeal was made that much better by Mickey (Chris Elliot), who went from acting like a Jigsaw-esque game master to talking Marshall through the various pitfalls of the basement like Professor Henry Jone's diary helped Indiana navigate the path to the Holy Grail chamber.
The episode concluded with a touching HIMYM moment, as the group of friends ate breakfast around Marshall and Lily's kitchen table/booth. While life may send the MacLarens mob down different paths, at times creating geographic or social differences, their friendship knows no bounds and will overcome any obstacle.