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Season 9, Episode 14: Slapsgiving 3 Slappointment in Slapmara

“Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmara” — In an attempt to deliver a devastating final slap to Barney, Marshall explains how he mastered the Slap of A Million Exploding Suns, on the final season of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, Monday, Jan. 13 (8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network

SOLO has a short “episode recap”

No real recap this week, guys.  I honestly just don’t have much to talk about with this episode.  It was just a bunch of boring “slap,” with a few minor chuckles here and there.  It’s hard to really give a “slap” about an episode like this one way or the other.

Here’s my only discussion point:

I’m honestly confused about the terminology used for the slap-counting.  They said this was the fourth one, and there’s one more left.  But…that doesn’t make any sense.

I mean, correct me if I’m wrong here, but how was this the “fourth” slap, by any reckoning?  The slaps, as I recall, went like this.

1.  Slap Bet.  Marshall wins the bet, and slaps Barney.  “That’s one.”

2.  Stuff.  Barney does the robot thing at his stupid play, and Marshall slaps him to stop it.  “That’s two.”

3.  Slapsgiving.  This is also the first appearance of “You just got slapped.”  “That’s three.”

4.  Slapsgiving 2.  “That’s four.”

5.  and 6. in Disaster Averted.  Marshall gets THREE more slaps, bringing him to a total of FOUR slaps left.  He immediately doles out TWO. At this point there are two more slaps left.

7.  Slapsgiving 3.  Tonight’s episode.

8.  ???

So, how was this “the fourth slap”?  Either it was the SEVENTH slap, or it was the SECOND of the three additional slaps (if we treat #5 as the final slap of the original 5 and #6 as the first of the 2nd generation slaps).  Or, you could argue it was the THIRD slap of the remaining four.  But this was never the fourth slap, as near as I can tell.

…………

Ross went out earlier Today and found this Pre Episode Slap Count Five and Three make 8. So let us go back and do some Slap-History because, we had a lot more slaps in this Bet!

This all started with a Bet between Marshall and Barney concerning Robin’s Secret from her then boyfriend Ted and the gang, why she would not go to Malls.Ted later that night interrogates her while spooning in Bed.

This leads to the gang at the Bar, minus Robin, talking about the O-Moment when you find out that deal breaking bit of News. But Marshall and Lily tell each other everything… This comes back into play later.

While still at the Bar Marshall says something about what if she is Married? Barney said it was because she was in a porno. They settle on the ultimate wager, slap bet.

To keep from telling the true story (Robin is a Canadian Pop star singing in Malls) She goes along with Marshalls version of events, Teds O-Moment. So breaking his promise not to tell anyone, we next see Marshall Slapping Barney, Opps.

Barney to Marshall: Your hand is monstrous.

Marshall: Well what did you expect, you’ve seen my penis.

Marshall goes to the Law Library and Barney to his new Canadian Porn Collection.

This is where the story goes Slap-Happy. Being the Law School Student, Marshall investigates and could not find the Marriage Certificate. He thought… he lost the Bet to Barney. Marshall Told Lily (The Slap Bet Commissioner) in Bed that he was wrong about Robin. She tells Barney.

Slap Bet commission Lily grants Barney Three slaps. One for Marshall’s lie and two more that make up for the slap. Barney Slaps Marshall three times in a row. Later Barney gets the Robin “Lets go to the Mall” CD and plays part of it.

For Those of you who think Marshall is being mean to Barney by tormenting him… so remember, 1) before the three slaps Barney practiced slapping a tree and 2) he used the Term Slap-O’Clock before this one.

Barney assumed he was the winner and slapped Marshall without the consent of the Slap Bet Commissioner and thus Marshall Won the Slaps. In order to take off the ducky tie (a separate Bet that Barney Lost) Barney Choose three more slaps, so that he could take off the tie before meeting Nora’s Parents (good call Kevin- Robin’s then boyfriend).

Before Marshall gets Five Slaps they stopped to watch the Rest of the Video

The slaps which have been issued by Marshall took place in the following episodes:

Slap Bet, That’s ONE

Stuff, That’s TWO

Slapsgiving, That’s THREE

Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap, That’s FOUR

ThatsFour

To take off Tie, Add Three Slaps to the One Remaining

Disaster Averted, Lily: Three Slaps Remaining

Disaster Averted, Lily: Two Slaps Remaining

Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra

Now Marshall says to Barney One Slap to GO!

Season 9

Just adding a little “Mother” back into this episode.

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50 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. THIS WAS THE MOST RIDICULOUS EPISODE EVER AND I LOVED EVERY FREAKIN’ MINUTE OF IT!

    I love this show.

    /end not-so-intelligent first reaction

  2. SEE for slappertunity effort or however you spell it. This episode had its moments. Looking forward very much to next week and especially the 27th. It is very hard not to throw out spoilers. So I will behave.

  3. You probably went through this all, but considering how angry the episode made me when I saw you doing the math, I tracked down the post I made in the bass player wanted thread on December 19:

    It is not the fourth slap.

    1. Marshall slaps Barney when Robin lies and tells Ted she is married. Even though it was the first slap, it doesn’t count because it was ruled premature and Marshall was penalized for it. Barney slaps him 3 times (I think, I just remember Marshall crying “You’re gonna cry.”

    2. Barney slaps Marshall after the intro to Robin Sparkle’s Let’s Go to the Mall video. This was ruled premature and for punishment, Marshall is awarded either 10 slaps right now, or 5 slaps to be doled out at any time. Barney chooses 5 and Marshall uses the first that night.

    3. The second slap occurs during Barney’s one man show. Marshall says, “That’s 2.”

    4. The third slap is Thanksgiving, er Slapsgiving. Marshall had a computer countdown and composed You Just Got Slapped for the occasion. That’s 3 (for the punishment).

    5. Slapsgving 2. After offering it to everyone else and then telling Barney there will be no slap, he slaps him. That’s 4.

    6. In order to take the Ducky Tie off, Barney agrees to add 3 slaps to the remaining one. Barney agrees and Marshall uses two slaps immediately.

    7. See 6.

    We have two left. Popular speculation is that one will be used to get Barney down the aisle (but who knows whether that will happen). I’m spoiler free but given how 2 slaps have occurred during Thanksgiving, it wouldn’t surprise me if they try and jam in another Slapsgiving somehow (though it will have to be a flashback or flashforward and I would find it forced.
    —————————————————————-
    Well it wasn’t a slapsgiving, but it was even more forced than I could have believed possible. Wow, talk about killing one of the fun running gags of the show. I mean at this point, I don’t care about the final slap.

    • I was going to, and may still, pull out all the DVDs and watch each slap of the Bet. I went to Bed early after the episode, so I woke up a few hours later and found Solo had a review. I was expecting it to be short. Solo that was very short.

      It was. so I thought I would add a photo or two. Then I started watching some of Season 2. All I can say is I miss the early years.

      So if we number Slaps from 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 and then count backwards the reset happened at the original number 4 of 5 Slap. 8 is now 5 and 7 from last night is 4.

      But Again I have to go back and watch the video for that episode to see the switch happen. I obviously did not care at the time. Now just a interesting fact puzzle. Sad if that is all I got out of last nights episode.

      • It still doesn’t make sense, though. Calling it the Fourth Slap doesn’t make sense any way you slice it, from what I can tell.

        If we count the total number of slaps, it’s the 7th slap.

        If we treat the additional slaps from Ducky Tie as a hard reset on counting, then it’s the 3rd slap.

        Or it’d make more sense to call it the “second to last” slap or “penultimate” slap or the “last but one” slap.

        But the 4th slap? It’s just a screw-up from what I can tell. Not one that matters (not like what I thought was a screwup with “two-years/one-year later”), but still a screwup as far as I can tell.

        As for the rest…yeah, that was about all I got out of the show. Looks like reviews for this one are fairly similar to my take: kind of a boring episode that felt sorta tired and worn out.

        It reminded me of the rhyming episode in terms of the overall vibe. There were some good moments, but on the whole, it just felt very….I dunno…out-of-gas and trying too hard at the same time.

        • Yes, for the sake of the Blog I just watched the Episode again. So they did some fancy camera work like you see at a Tennis Match. I did not even count the slaps the first time I watched the Episode. So this time I made sure the count at least added up to Seven.

          They threw in a few jabs at poor lonely Ted and his birth home of Cleveland. We even got the Appalachian Mountains in there. More US trivia.

          The writers did set the Bar Low on this one. I don’t know if it fell into the basement but close. So to raise the Bar should be easier from here to the Final two episodes.

          They did accomplish that much! HA

  4. I’m sensing what could be called a pattern in this season. Episodes are chock full of callbacks, but I’d say at least 75% of them are of the meaningless variety. Well, ok, to be nicer I’ll say it is more like callbacks that are cute but serve little purpose to the overall story.

    Slapsgiving 3: One of the remaining slaps, that’s a good call back.
    But then we see Marshall get slapped by crazy Meg, the female bartender from Girls vs. Suits, Nora, and I think the gal who fell for Lorenzo von Matterhorn. Nice to see old faces, sure, but considering the whole story was made up are they really that important? I don’t believe for a second Marshall went and got slapped by all these women, so what is the point?

    • So what was the Candy Man three times reference. Was that like Beatlejuice? Yes a lot of Trivial Call Backs and some new ones.

      Like one thousand exploding suns into one million then later after the Fonzy Slap we got 5 Million Exploding Stars etc.

      It was like they wrote it to be confusing and a little dull. Like I said they set the bar low on purpose.

      • I’m not a horror fan so I have no idea who the candy man is. Beetlejuice three times is a reference I get though, so yeah, I don’t know what they were going for. I think the increasing number of exploding suns was just another example of the exaggeration in the story. That didn’t bother me as much because the whole thing was so over the top already.

        The jukebox slap could be seen as a call back to Marshall vs. the machines. I think one of the examples of him defeating the machine was fixing it with a fonzie move.

      • Candyman is a reference to the Candyman series of films, which basically does a modification of the old “Bloody Mary” myth. Essentially, if you turn the lights off and say “Candyman” three times into a mirror, he’ll come and kill you. Same deal with “Bloody Mary.” Except, you know, it’s Bloody Mary coming to kill you, not Candyman, because that wouldn’t make any sense if Candyman showed up when you said “Bloody Mary” three times in a mirror.

        Anyway…

        Proffessor,

        I agree that most of the callbacks have basically been them saying “Remember this?! That was cool, huh?” They usually aren’t worked into the story in a particularly clever way.

        I think the real problem I and others are having with respect to the callbacks and wackiness is that it ultimately is just kind of empty. It’s funny sometimes, but it serves no purpose.

        What got me into this show was not the humor, but the heart. Most sitcoms are funny and include funny cultural references. If I want that, though, I can watch Big Bang Theory or Family Guy or Mystery Science Theater 3000 reruns. HIMYM drew me in because of the ongoing story and the fact that, in spite of being a comedy, it still felt grounded and had heart.

        This season, though, has been like watching pretty much any other sitcom. It’s funny, but there’s no point to it. I didn’t demand a point to the humor on Cheers. That’s because the central focus of Cheers is the humor, not the story. Situations exist to serve jokes. When HIMYM is at what I think is its best, its humor serves the story, not the other way round.

        Craig Thomas wrote this episode, and I really think that his strength and inclinations are towards standard sitcom humor. I think Craig left to his own devices is funny, but not in a way that works with this show, because his humor lacks heart. It’s not bad or cruel or anything, it just doesn’t have that emotional component to it that the show at its best has.

        Anyway, I’m hoping we get more focused in future episodes. Although, to be honest, at this point I’m finding it harder to care one way or the other, or to treat the show as “appointment TV.” If not for this blog, I’d probably be skipping episodes for months at a time and catching up in longer binges.

  5. (Hey, long time reader first time replyer here. Great job guys!)

    Regarding the Slap count: The only logical explanation I can think of is that they subtracted the extra three slaps from the total count. In other words, with that addition, the two slaps from Disaster Averted were slaps two and three out of five total, making last night the fourth slap.

    As for the episode: While I DID find it funny, I was kinda disappointed. Yes, I expected this to be a filler episode, but the whole story behind the slap was way too over the top.

    Hopefully the next 2 weeks will give us some good moments and discussions. Filler time is over, time to get this show moving towards the end and the Mother.

  6. I was wrong to try and defend the count as Four of Five Remaining when the Clock Reset. In “Disaster Averted” Marshall only had ONE slap Left before they added Three more.

    So no way could number seven be 4 of 5. It was 3 of 4. The Counter Reset at with the Fifth Slap being the last remaining.

    I have yet to go on Social Media to see if they try and explain this one away. Has anyone heard anything?

    • I looked briefly at the creator’s twitter accounts and the HIMYM writers account and none of them address the continuity error. They are pushing this link instead, which is giving the episode an A-. I am lost for words

      http://www.avclub.com/review/slapsgiving-3-slappointment-106689

      • Google “Slapsgiving 3 review” and you’ll find that most of the reviews out there — and much of the comments on review sites — is negative. Donna Bowman at AV Club, on the other hand, has been positive throughout the season. She loves most of the episodes. Many have remarked on that site in the comments section that any episode she gives an A to they’d give a C to, and vice versa.

        So, it’s not a surprise that they’ll pimp her site. The site is well produced, too, looks clean and professional, and therefore has some sense of authority. But really, she’s just another in a legion of critics out there, and plenty of people who read AV Club for its TV reviews have called her out on her apparent inability to be critical (or to be critical in a way that makes a lick of sense) about this show.

        They aren’t, however, showing how other critics have been taking this season to task, nor how the Facebook page is frequently filled with negative feedback about the show.

        Honestly, at this point, I don’t think they give a shit. they’ve committed to this path and are just telling the story that entertains them and lets them have fun with the show by doing wacky gags.

    • I finally saw one explanation that kinda-sorta-but-not-really works.

      This was written up on the HIMYM Wiki for the current episode, in response to the “Goofs and Errors” section in the discussion of Trivia there.

      If the extra slaps were taken into account from the previous four, the two delivered in Disaster Averted plus the one in this episode would use up the three extra slaps, bring the total back to four slaps.

      In other words, the three extra slaps were treated separately from the original slap bet. This makes sense, kinda. In order to take off the Ducky Tie before the year was out, Lily, as Slap Bet Commissioner, allowed Marshall’s proposal that he be given three more slaps.

      In essence, this creates a closed-loop transaction. Marshall gets three slaps in exchange for Barney taking off the tie. If you treat the Slap Bet as a countdown, of sorts, this transaction pauses the countdown and starts a separate timer that must run out before the clock returns to “four,” leaving one slap left.

      It’s an extremely convoluted way of thinking about it, although it “kinda-sorta-but-not-really” makes sense. I understand the thought process that gets you to the end result, but it’s a mental path that I think most people would never take. They’d describe it as the 7th slap, most likely. Possibly as the 3rd of the four remaining slaps. To describe it as the 4th slap requires you to do some real mental gymnastics, and honestly, it just reenforces my attitude that they really are just entertaining themselves without regard to the audience over at the HIMYM studios.

      Really, I just see it as sloppy writing. You can explain it away, of course, but it’s still sloppy writing.

  7. Have read neither review nor any comments, that is, besides Athena’s “most ridiculous ever … loved every minute of it” which flashed me so hard I almost felt like I’ve been slapped. But I kind of agree with her. I guess there’s gonna be a lot of thumbs down, but I enjoyed it immensely. I have only two points I feel a bit disappointed on, and they are minor in the context: 1) I did expect YM turn up as the thirds female slap instructor, not Ted, and however much I liked the episode, I would have wanted to see here in it; and 2) for some weird reason that I have no logical explanation for at all, I actually didn’t like Boyz II Men.
    But hey, we saw Marshal getting some real good training as an up-and-coming Serial Killer and his excellent execution of a heart propelling murder. That’s what I call pay-off!

    • I knew it was going to be Ted and the Mother was not in this episode but still jumped a little when Marshal said her/she.

      Then when Ted turned around I felt some dissapointment.

      But I know when we will see the mother so I can wait.

  8. Wanna add that I do not see it as a problem that the main part of the episode is over the top and unrealistic, it is after all not a “true story” as being told by Ted, but a yarn being spun by Marshal, following the same kind of pattern as Barney’s obviously non-true stories. So it’s pretty much a stand-alone filler episode. But, hey, at this point, I don’t really have much problem with that. Ted has actually pretty much told the story he has to tell. There’s really only 2 important and significant things that still MUST be told: RoBarn’s marriage and YMTED’s actual meeting. Then we do want a lot of past issues (e.g. Love Solutions perfect girl) be adressed and we’d love loose ends getting tied up, and we’d love to see some fastforwards of YMTED’s coming life, but as far as what actually and really remains for Ted to tell is the marriage and the meeting. I really want all the other stuff and the heart and all that, but I’m pretty much just enjoying the episodes as they come now. I do expect a heartfelt climax, but otherwise … no, there are no big reveals left except the two already mentioned, and the real identity of the Serial Killer.

  9. I think the main reason some of you are upset by the filler episodes is because you want and expect certain things to be told and you feel like the longer it goes without getting some of that wanted information the more you feel like you won’t receive it. Which may or may not be true. The writers obviously know what they want to tell of the story, they will get to every detail that they find important. Whether that meshes with every detail each individual fan has expectation for is really the question. That can only be judged after the season has played out. That is why it is ridiculous to complain that the story isn’t moving along and they are wasting time. Obviously they’re wasting time with filler episodes because they feel they have the time to do so. If something that you want revealed doesn’t get revealed then it’s not because they wasted time, it’s because they didn’t feel it was relevant or important to write into the story. It makes more sense to complain that something is missing from the story after the story has been told rather than while it’s being told, if it is important to the writer, it will get told. It’s obvious that these writers like to write episodes in a variety of ways. It keeps things fresh. At times they go the creative, different way of doing things (this episode and the rhyming episode), at other times they go the standard sitcom route, they’ll even go over the top funny and when you’re not expecting it, they throw in the great episodes that we all appreciate. Part of that appreciation is probably due to the fact that it’s not always there. I bet many people would stop liking the great episodes if they did every episode in that style, it’s just human nature to get sick of the redundant. I choose to appreciate each episode for what it is supposed to be. If it’s just supposed to be funny and it makes me laugh, then it was a good episode. If it’s something they do to be completely different, I appreciate the creativity, if it entertained me and kept my interest then it was a good episode. I appreciate the great episodes and look forward to them but I don’t think, expect or need every episode to be great. I just want each episode to entertain me. This episode entertained me, it was funny and creative. Therefore, I liked it and I won’t criticize the writers for daring to be creative or different. It isn’t high on my list of episodes, but that’s o.k. I have faith that there will more great episodes in the future because I know these writers can deliver great episodes when they decide to give us one, especially when they still have plenty of story to be told. The summary is, try to appreciate each episode for what it is; if it was just supposed to be funny and it made you laugh, then the writers accomplished their goal, take satisfaction in that and look forward to the next great episode. Don’t be so angry that they aren’t telling you something you want to know before they are ready to tell you, give them a chance to tell you what you want to know in their time. If it’s important to them, they will tell it, if it’s not they won’t. It’s as simple as that, it is their story, they will tell you everything they deem important to tell. If the story ends and they left you hanging about something, that is the appropriate time to be complaining about their ability to tell the story.

    • First let me say thank you for contributing. On much of what you wrote I agree.

      Expectations, I agree that mine as far as the Mother is concerned have tainted some of the episodes this season. That aside… The Episodes are not strong alone. No question.

      Some of the Episodes have been lacking in main story. We get that each season. Highs and Lows are the normal over a season with every show.

      This season is a wrap up year. I was expecting a little more. They promised a little more. Even this episode did not deliver on all the things they said it was going to.

      I know floor edits happen in every show. But leave the heart of the show in. In order to get other things that seem trivial into the episodes this season they have left out the heart.

      • I agree, this season hasn’t met all my expectations either. I wanted and expected to see more of the mother. I have faith though that they will tell the complete story and by the end of the season they will have fulfilled my expectations. We may be getting all of this filler early on so that they can go out with a bang with great episode after great episode consecutively (hopefully starting with the next episode) from a point of the season to the end. Ultimately though, the season can’t be judged until it’s over. As people have said before, there are seasons they have enjoyed more when binge watching. I believe that is because they have no expectations and they just sit and watch the show for entertainment. When you do that, the pointless filler episodes are more appreciated since you have no expectations and you you’re happy just because they make you laugh. That is the way I watch the show, without expectation other than to be entertained. Then I don’t get upset if the episode has no vital point to make about the overall story, maybe a little disappointed, but not angry or to the point where I want to quit watching. I fully expect there to be some great shows throughout the rest of the season, I will be angry if there are many questions left unanswered after the season is played out, but right now I don’t feel there is need to be angry just because all of my expectations haven’t been met yet. They still have time to meet them, I will give them that time.

    • Thanks for writing in!

      You’re correct that I’m frustrated with the story because it seems they’re wasting time. But that’s because it strikes me that what the writers apparently think is important is not what I’d consider important. Check out the page where I list the big things (and little things) that have yet to be dealt with as of the mid-season break, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. These are all things the writers introduced, but haven’t yet paid off. There are now 10 episodes left to address them.

      Moreover, the story, to me, will be unsatisfying if we don’t really get to see Ted WITH the Mother after meeting her, aside from one or two flashes forward to Farhampton. What about the birth of his kids? What about his wedding? What about them dating beforehand? What makes Ted’s relationship with her different and better than any other relationship or dating experience he had? We don’t know yet, and the show is taking it’s sweet time telling us.

      The thing is, I don’t believe, and never have believed that the choice for structuring an episode needs to be an either/or broad-comedy/heartfelt-comedy one. You can do both in a single episode, and this show has done so plenty of times. So, there’s no reason you need to devote an entire episode to pointless rhyming or an elaborate fake story that never happened just to run out one of the slaps. Yet, apparently, that’s what the writers are interested in doing: telling stories that don’t go anywhere.

      The other great sin, for me at least, is that these gimmick episodes really just aren’t that funny to me. They aren’t clever or interesting to me anymore. They’re just gimmicks, and they’re gimmicks which aren’t entertaining me. I mean, I’d be ok with a gimmick bit here or there if I actually laughed, but frankly….I didn’t. The one time I laughed out loud was when Marshall gave The Calligrapher a little farewell kiss. And that was because it came out of nowhere. Everything else, I just….sat and watched. It wasn’t that funny to me. If you’re gonna do a gimmick episode, particularly this late in the season, you’d better make it DAMN funny, and for me, this one just wasn’t.

      So, it isn’t JUST that they aren’t telling the story I want to hear. It’s that what they’re doing instead also isn’t entertaining to me. If you dig it, that’s awesome. I envy you, actually. But for me, when the show goes the route it took with this episode and the rhyming one, it makes me want to stop watching altogether. No joke.

      I think the show will pick up again, but they’ve basically gotta be batting 1000 from here on out. That’s a tall order to fill, given how this season’s been handled so far. Once upon a time, I’d have figured they’d deliver, not to worry. Now? I question whether the writers are up to the task.

      • I think this episode and the rhyming one were done to be different and creative more than to be funny. A lot of what you want and expect, I agree with. The difference between you and I is in the willingness to let the story play out before criticizing. We both know that they’re going to tell the story as they deem important. What we don’t know is what they deem important. You seem to have given up that they will answer some of your questions while I still hold out hope for them to be answered. We know some of them will be addressed, it is very possible that some of them won’t be at all, only time well tell what is and isn’t. At some point the filler episodes have to stop and real progress has to be made, I fully expect that to happen. The last so many episodes will be what makes or breaks this season, therefore it only makes sense to look forward to see how the season goes down before really complaining about all the things they’re not telling us up to this point. As much as they still have to tell, the best is yet to come and it must come soon. That in and of itself makes me excited about the end of the season because I fully trust that the writers can make great show after great show when they are focusing their writing to tell us the actual story rather than focusing the writing on art, creativity and humor. That’s why I don’t understand why you keep saying you’re thinking of no longer watching the show from week to week. The best is yet to come. It’s not like they started the season out with a bang and ran out of material and are just limping to the finish line. They came out limping and seem to be working towards finishing with a bang. That’s why we should all still be excited about the future of the show, there is still a lot of story left to write and at some point it has to be written. The question is, how many great episodes will we get from now until the end. We know they can do it, I have faith they will do it. For this would be the worst last season of all time if they can’t finish it out with many great episodes and season ended it with filler after filler.

        • Yes I have lost a good amount of faith that the writers will pull it off, because they’ve run out of goodwill with me. We are in the second half of the final season, there isn’t a need for filler. This episode didn’t make me laugh once and was racist.

          They have “come out limping” for sure, but I have no evidence that they “seem to be working towards finishing with a bang.”

          And I guess I don’t see a problem with criticizing. I have no problem calling something out if I’m unhappy with it.

          “For this would be the worst last season of all time if they can’t finish it out with many great episodes and season ended it with filler after filler.” ———– In my opinion that’s not a bad description of the first half of the season. There have been some great moments, but there have been just as many pointless. Based on the evidence, I’m led to believe that’s what the future holds.

          • I am the lets all get along personality. I, like Solo, have things that I want to see from Ted’s perspective when the writers are doing something else. Solo and I are not alone. So Yesterday Today and until Monday I will continue to look over some of this season and older seasons of Episodes. I just pick and choose the ones I enjoy. I have already in season 7 and 6 gone the way of watching all the other episodes.

            Now I just watch in season 9 the ones with the Mother. That is what makes me happy right now because that is what I want to see.

            Do I stop watching No. Did I complain some in hopes that my voice may added to others help add more mother into these last few episodes, YES. But now I am not really complaining. Now I am watching until the end like most everyone else.

            For instance, I think Big Bang Theory has run its course. But I still watch the Episodes because I just enjoy the comedy. The relationship stuff on that show to me is over. They are spinning wheels on most of it now.

            But HIMYM has come to a stop this year except Ted and the Mother parts. Sure all of them have some growth and interaction but not like in the past. So Watching and Waiting.

        • If you’d asked me at the start of the season, or even 1/3 through, I’d have said I was optimistic, too. But we’re past the halfway point now, and the show has done next to nothing to advance the narrative.

          The bulk of the first half of the season was pointless guest star antics and wacky shenanigans that didn’t really resolve any of the issues we started the season with, and only introduced pointless little minidramas. And the Mother was notably absent, in spite of allegedly being a series regular. I gotta say, for being one, she is about the most irregularly seen regular in television history. Sherri Shepherd was on the show more than she was. It really wasn’t until Bass Player Wanted that we started seeing more of her, and then we got this “slaptastic” episode.

          There don’t seem to have even been attempts to move things along. Even in the most wheel-spinning parts of Season 7 and 8, you could still SORTA see how things that were happening might pay off down the road. But now? We’re LITERALLY just doing filler for about 80% of the first half of the season.

          Now, maybe it’s that the writers really only had about half a season of forward momentum to work with, and they just decided to back-load that stuff so that they went out with a bang. But even if you view this season with the most charitable eye, I think it’s hard to argue that the plot has moved anywhere, really.

          Look at the previous post here: http://ted-mosby.com/season-9-remaining-plot-threads/

          None of those things have been resolved yet, with the exception of the slap thing, which wasn’t really explained at all and we had to really do some mental gymnastics to sort out on our own.

          So, that’s half a season of almost nothing happening in the final season of the show. Based on that, I find it very, very difficult to give the writing team for this show the benefit of the doubt. At this point, in fact, I fully expect the second half of the season to be deeply disappointing. Maybe we’ll get lucky and I’ll be wrong, but I’d bet that, at best, we’ll end this show saying “Well…that wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be…”

    • second that. What you say pretty much dovetails with what I said in my comment just before yours.

  10. how many episodes are there this season? 22, 23, 24? We have between 8 to 10 episodes lefter. 8 Episodes is over 2 1/2 hours, 10 episodes are almost 3 1/2 hours. Compare that to how much story a 3 hour movie can tell. (i saw Gone with the Wind not very long ago, it’s 3 hours something.)
    If they’ve been saving up to really go out with a bang in a stretch of awesome episodes … well, then it’s definitely not too late yet.
    I think Richard has some very good points.
    It might be that they really had material for 10 great episodes (2 have been used) and it might have been a tactical decision, and a pragmatic one due to scheduling issues (read “jason”) that they corralled all the essential episodes at the end and gave us all the filler and “playing around” in the beginning.
    I for one wouldn’t be a bit surprised if we suddenly find us in the middle of a GREAT season once again. One or two great episodes now can change the entire outlook on the whole season.

    • We’ll be getting 24 episodes this season, total (although the opener and finale are two-parters), I think. So, we now have 220 minutes of screen time. I agree that it’s entirely possible that they can put forth a really top notch second half of the season. There’s certainly enough time to wrap up all the plot threads I listed, and to do so in a relatively satisfying way.

      My dour outlook is based more on how the season has gone thus far, and how they’ve handled the show in the past. I hope I’m proven wrong. I’ll gladly admit it if that’s the case. I’m just mentally preparing myself for the worst. To do that, I’m predicting that I won’t be satisfied, and have been basically detaching from the show overall. The break helped there, actually. It got me to care a lot less about the show. In fact, I didn’t really think about it at all while it was gone. I wasn’t looking forward to its return, either. It was more just like “Oh, right. That’s on tonight.”

      Right now I’m more excited about Season 4 of Game of Thrones.

      • I think you’re very much right in your critique of what has been, but I don’t share your dour outlook on what’s to be. And therefore I just relax for the ride. I think it will pick up. The sooner, the better, for sure, but I’m not particularly worried. I think it will end with a bang, the question is, how many episodes do they actually need to produce a satisfactory bang?

        • In my opinion, it’s less about the number of satisfying episodes, and more about satisfying narratives, if that makes sense. Maybe they can get it all done in three episodes. But my concern is that it’ll take at least 8 of the remaining 10 episodes being devoted almost entirely to the remaining plot points and showing the relationships between the characters for the show to really be satisfying. And a lot of that needs to involve the Mother.

          To be clear: I’m in it for the narrative, not the jokes as standalone humor. Go ahead and be as funny as you can be in telling that narrative. I’d appreciate it. It doesn’t all have to be super serious and heavy. But the forward momentum we’ve had has been pretty minimal.

          Compare, for example, the duology of Knight Vision and The Lighthouse against, say, Mom & Dad, No Questions Asked, or Bedtime Stories. We’ve had a lot more of the latter three types than we have of the former two. And even the former two BARELY advanced things. By “advanced things,” I mean showed the characters evolving (since that’s already been said to be central to the narrative), albeit in wacky circumstances.

          That means that the show has a LOT of ground to make up in this second half of the season. I think they CAN do that, but I question whether they’re really interested in doing so, at least given how little interest they’ve shown so far. It really feels like the show has been stuck in first gear for the last season and a half. It moves, but at a glacial pace. And I just can’t help but wonder that, if we maintain the same pace for the last half of the season, whether the end can actually be satisfying. I don’t think it will be, IF they maintain the same pace for character development and narrative progression. I don’t think they can explain what the point all was in enough time IF they maintain the same pace.

          If they pick up the pace and really go all out at the end, then yeah, it’s entirely doable. But…they’ve never really done that on the show. Ever. The show has either been much more evenly paced, or it moved at a glacial speed. Or it goes in fits and starts. It’s never done fast, sustained, meaningful development over a long period, and I don’t know that it can do that — which is what I think it needs at this point. 8-10 episodes of solid development. That still allows for comedy, but comedy that SERVES the narrative, rather than which keeps the narrative a distant second place.

  11. Speaking of Cristin Milioti, she can sing the upper end of songs and belt it out. I was watching a video from her site cristin-milioti dot com and she was singing Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” at Joe’s Pub. She can do the night club thing. On her site she has multiple music video clips. Solo says she has “Range”.

    Anyway I did not link to her site because it sometimes contains HIMYM Spoilers. But the Video makes me want to hear her sing on the show. I hope we get more than what we have seen from… was that season 7 Farhamton Episode?

    Oh, and the David Letterman Interview was around 10 minutes. You can find the full one on YouTube. It was very funny and entertaining. She is a STAR.

  12. I don’t mean to stir any pots, I am merely feeling curious and, possibly (provided I’m correct), unusually astute: Richard seems very similar to the fellow that used to post frequently but left after having gotten into a disagreement with Solo; however, I can’t recall that fellow’s name.

    By the by, I enjoyed the rhyming filler episode, but slapsgiving 3 was a real dud. I still carry a torch, though, so I’m looking forward to next week’s episode! Hmm…kind of like having it bad for someone even though they don’t reciprocate the feeling, but you won’t let go just in case some day they might have a change of heart.

      • @parapluie jaune, I was thinking the same thing actually.

        @ Dolf, loved the On the Hook Reference to the Show. It still has me hooked and I enjoy it. Thank you Richard for turning up the sunshine her at the Blog.

        Going back to the first comment on this particular Post…

        @Athena, tell us why you liked this episode. And same for anyone else who enjoyed it. I have watched it multiple times now and have found it more interesting.

        It is like the 500 Mile Song, give it a while and you can learn to like it. You can see parts of the episode where the tradition HIMYM tries to come out.

        • I am on the hook as well, and will be through the end of the show. I think to stop watching now doesn’t make any sense, but in general I don’t like an unfinished story. There are plenty of people over at IMDB that keep telling anyone who is complaining about the show to stop watching because no one is making them. But we have what, 9-10 episodes left? Expecting people to stop when the end is here is silly in my opinion.

          • To be clear, I’m not saying I’d stop watching altogether, or at least, I don’t THINK I will. I’d have to get truly fed up with the show to do that (although I’ve done it before with The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and Dexter, all of which I stopped watching towards the end of those shows, none of which I regret stopping watching).

            I’m talking more about not sitting down at 8pm on Monday nights to watch the show live, and doing shorter binge-viewings, like, once a month or so, where I watch 3-4 episodes in a row, rather than watching, waiting a week and speculating, and then watching again.

            Also, if an episode presents itself with just not much to work with (like this one), then I’m not really gonna write much about it. I don’t really see the point of writing “What was Good” and then listing, like, one or two things, “What Was Bad” and going on for 27 paragraphs, and then “Further Thoughts” with “Still no mother, and this show is pissing me off. The end.” I’d rather do what I did this week and just toss out some observation for folks to discuss, and otherwise engaging through back-and-forth posts in the discussion section.

            • I think this type of discussion is good for those who watch shows in general. You have to prioritize you life. What is important. That is exactly what Ted has been struggling with for the Past say 7 years.

              Friendship vs. Rest of Life.

              In my life I have had to pull back on the friendships in order to focus on Family then work and myself. I liked the Episode when Robin moved out of Ted’s Apartment and Ted had to refocus on something. He was spending way too much time thinking about Robin.

              Don’t we all do that sometimes. Whether it be a particular person or something you do regular, like watch TV or in James case go the GYM multiple times a day. We need balance.

              So that was something I had to re learn while I watched this show. Sometimes my priorities need to be refocused.

              Do you think Ted is done yet? I know this has bothered a few individuals. How they keep writing Ted as being done but he is not ready.

              • My concern on whether Ted is “done” yet is that, no, I don’t think he’s done. I don’t think he’s ready. I worry that the writers aren’t going to effectively show how what happened at that wedding suddenly changed Ted’s life in a radical way, and how he realized that he was, in fact, ready.

                Here’s the thing, and it’s one of the central weaknesses in arguments people advance about how “It’s called how I MET your mother, not how I DATED your mother.” First, Ted premised the story on this being about how he grew to be the man he needed to be to meet her and not screw it up. He’s said that. But we haven’t seen it. Or to the extent we have, the process isn’t what I think anyone would consider finished.

                Think of it this way. If the Mother and Ted met next episode and hit it off…would you or anyone else believe it? Would you think that Ted could hang on to her? That he was done trying to rush things, that he was truly over Robin, that he was ready to take action rather than just react to his circumstances? I wouldn’t.

                I think there’s still a lot that Ted has left to learn — thanks to how they’ve written his character — and they need to show what he learns and how he learns it. It could all be a grand revelation he has in the span of an hour, but they’d need to actually have that make sense instead of just being “So Robin married Barney, and now I’m happy with that in spite of having been torn up about it for ages. Oh hey. You’re cute. Hi. I’m Ted.”

            • One thing I’ve realized is that I pretty much have stopped analyzing and speculating. Because the show is nearing it’s end … we’ll there are loose ends to tie up, but there isn’t really any big questions left. We know Robin and Barney get married, and we now know who the mother is, even if we don’t know her name. So much of the mystery is gone. When i started commenting on this (well, actually, the predecessor) site, there was a lot of speculation and analyzing: “what’s the significance of that detail”, “is Victoria coming back”, a bunch of people still rooting for Ted and Robin.
              All, or at least most, the “Who?”, “When?” and “Where?” are gone, now it’s mainly “How?” that’s left. So a lot of mystery has departed, not by anyone’s fault, but just simply by part of the natural process of nearing the end.

              • For those who are interested on the HIMYM SEASON 9 SPOILER PAGE we have some News and Other News about the ending of the show. At the TCAs (Television Critics Association) on Wednesday Carter Bays and Craig Thomas confirmed some of the stories that have been spinning out there.

                The Spoiler Page link is at the bottom of each Post before the Comment Section. Also you can revisit the Ted Timeline Page that is Spoiler Free. After the Next two Episodes I think we will have information to update that page some. Just Saying!

  13. No I am not Salmon King. I am not mad at Solo. I actually agree with a lot of his disappointments of the season, but I can still enjoy the filler episodes because I trust that the writers will tell the story when they’re ready to. I think Solo is very good at writing but the more the season goes on, the more he just seems to get frustrated because the show isn’t going in the direction that he wants it to. It is affecting his reviews because he can no longer even give reasons why an episode was good, they all just absolutely suck because they aren’t moving the story along at his pace. So I decided to give another perspective and give him reasons for not giving up on the show. I wanted to remind people that the best is still to come and we shouldn’t give up. This season can go out with a bang, we still have a lot to learn about the story. If you read what he writes you can see a guy that just wants to give up and has very little interest in watching the show anymore, he needed a different perspective to help him get through. Maybe I helped, maybe I didn’t, maybe I offended him and came off as angry at him, I don’t know, it wasn’t my intention to yell at him if that’s what everyone thinks.

    • No worries, Richard. It takes more than just a casual disagreement on teh Intarwebz to offend me! I wasn’t even offended by SalmonKing, actually. I just get irritated when people make oblique but critical references to others the way he did. That’s more a pet peeve about a particular style of argumentation, though. I prefer it when someone comes out and directly debates or criticizes me, instead of being like “Well SOME people are just overly critical. >wink winknudge nudge<"

      Anyway, yeah, I've been frustrated with the show. It's been very uneven this season, and, I think, has wasted a lot of potential. If you look back at my reviews for the season, I started off giving them the benefit of the doubt for about 1/3 of the season. After a while, though, my doubt has risen considerably, to the point where I'm now a lot more "Whatever" about the show. It's no longer "appointment TV" for me. The only reason I don't binge watch it is to write for the blog here.

      Take a look at the review I did for Rehearsal Dinner ( http://ted-mosby.com/season-9-episode-12-rehearsal-dinner/ ) and you'll see why my reviews have been kind of half-hearted. For this episode, I just didn't have it in me to write much more than what I did.

      I'm really hoping that the rest of the season moves forward in the same vein as Bass Player Wanted. The vibe of that episode felt a hell of a lot better than Slapsgiving 3. I hope that this episode is the last of the purely wacky humor with no real substance. I hope it's the last gimmick episode. (Arguably the episode told from the Mother's perspective is a "gimmick," but it'll undoubtedly be one full of substance, too.) I hope the show really starts moving forward.

      I can handle some wackiness, but it's gotta have substance mixed in, too. If it's just wacky goofiness, I'm not really interested and will check out. We'll see how the next two or three weeks go. I know we've got at least one substantive episode coming up. I'm hoping next week's will be substantive as well, and won't drag out Lily and Marshall's fight. I give them at MOST 3 episodes to sort this out, and that's WHILE other plot threads are also being addressed.

  14. Hello!
    I know I post sparsely but I never have much to say, like Solo’s reviews, for much of the same reason.

    I always give it a few days to settle in before making a comment on the episode, because my immediate reaction can be impulsive.

    On this, though, I was exhausted after sitting through it. If I’d been watching for the first time, I would’ve changed the channel.

    But one discussion point: At the end of Bass Player Wanted, didn’t Barney say, “Oh, no, it’s the fourth slap! I shouldn’t have been so obnoxious!” Key word fourth. But in this episode, Marshall says, “That’s four!”
    ???

    Anyway, at first I thought of another episode built around a long, drawn-out story, but realized it still had plot progression. I’m referring to the Ducky Tie episode.

    Anyway, I’m starting to think that all these flashback episodes, while they seem to move us forward, are simply cases of the writers back pedaling, covering tracks. All of the flashbacks have been in S8 time. I’d rather see flash-forwards so it looks like the writers thought ahead, for once.

  15. My heart sank to rock bottom, I mean, oh the disappointment. After Robin’s leotards, I have nothing to say about this filler episode. This episode…no…is just a big no to me.

  16. I think that Tonights Episode on the 20th will be a good one. Not great. But one you will remember. So if You Ship any of the now three couples on the show, You will have something to be interested in tonight.

    If you are interested click the link to out HIMYM Season 9 Spoiler Page above, just before the comment section. We have one video clip that may make you chuckle and a lot of information on upcoming episodes.

    DO NOT MISS Next Week live on the 27th. Keep those Comments coming. It is the 200th for the Series.

  17. hi all!! how goes it!?! oh gosh i had no idea there was a new episode, i just happened to stumble upon it..

    nothing to say, except yes it was funny but I was disappointed. It could have been salvaged but seriously Boyz II Men..why!?!?

  • The Mother