'How I Met Your Mother' recap: Favors for friends

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Image Credit: Michael Desmond/CBS

If you’re one of those How I Met Your Mother fans who embrace the show’s crazier elements, odds are you enjoyed this week’s episode, which had lots of cartoonish fun and those “Please explain more of that story” moments. If you appreciate those qualities — like I do — the episode was a fun blip on the show’s radar. Best of all, it reminded me of an old-but-important Friend Rule that I have to start using more often in real life. Ironic, really, because so much of the episode was the opposite of what would happen in real life. Explanation:

As you recall, we left off last week with Marshall worried that Lily was going to read Daphne’s tell-all text about his judgeship. This week, he called in the experts for help — his friends.

The individual threads of the episode showed how Marshall called upon the “No Questions Asked” Friend Clause, in which any friend who has once received a favor No Questions Asked must return said favor at any given time. His mission to the trio: Delete the text from Lily’s phone.

This resulted in quite the mess.

Ted, who was repaying Marshall for the time he rescued Ted from the inside of a mailbox, tried climbing up a drain pipe to get into Lily’s room, which only spooked her more than she already was. Note: She was on edge because she was staying in a room dubbed The Ghost Room, supposedly haunted by the spirit of a hook-handed, eye patch-wearing murderer — or a former popular male prostitute.

When Ted failed, it was next revealed that Barney, too, had tried to obtain the phone using his own plan. Crawling through the air ducts seemed like a good idea, but was also ultimately ineffective in doing anything other than confusing Lily. (Barney was repaying Marshall for signing him out of the hospital No Questions Asked after the staff tried to hold Barney, claiming he was a danger to himself because he swallowed all the real-life versions of the Lucky Charms marshmallows on a bet.) (The sentence you just read fills me with unimaginable affection for this show, FYI.)

By this point, Lily was annoyed (by the intrusions, by the fact that her room was filled with ghost-caused problems, and by some unrequested room service) and ready to vent her anger on the front desk man, played excellently by Flight of the Conchords‘ Rhys Darby. (Two for two on the front desk casting, show! See: Roger Bart in the season premiere.)

That’s when we realized Robin was also executing her own scheme. In my opinion, Robin had the best idea — she snuck into Lily’s room by riding underneath the aforementioned room service cart. I’d expect nothing less from Robin, who might be leading a double life as a vigilante called Night Falcon (pictured above). (That, by the way, was the moment she and Marshall shared No Questions Asked. BUT I HAVE QUESTIONS.)

When the trio was alone in the room, they realized it was all for naught — Lily had taken her phone downstairs with her. Blerg. Luckily, Ted got an idea that topped all previous ideas: Have Lily smash her phone — no questions asked.

She did it — because it turned out she owed Ted a No Questions Asked. That’s when Ted asked Marshall why he didn’t call upon the No Questions Asked rule himself, and Marshall admitted that he couldn’t have done so even if he had thought of it. Because he and Lily never do anything No Questions Asked; they tell each other everything.

In that moment, he decided the present was no time to start keeping secrets. So he told Lily the truth about taking the job.

Sweet, right? Well, sorta. Lily’s mad…and apparently going to kill him. No questions asked?

Top Three LOLs: 

3. “Priority male” (Ed note: I know; I’m corny.)

2. Ted’s song. “Night, night, little Lily. No ifs, ands, or buts. No peg-legged ghost is waiting, to hook out your guts.”

1. TIE: Night Falcon and Courtney Dove

Thing I need to see one day: Doves in Kevlar tuxedos.

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