Whatever your personal taste in HIMYM episodes, the last three have had something for you. Do you like the seismic shifts and significant happenings? Here’s “Natural History.” Dig the continuity and running gags? Enjoy “Glitter.”
Me? As much as I recognize how much those two fundamental HIMYM genres contribute to the show, I love the mile-a-minute episodes like tonight’s “Blitzgiving," the ones with so many ideas that the writers can barely fit them all on the screen. Simultaneously we have catchphrase coinage (a very early HIMYM obsession, often problematic but done extraordinarily well here), a Thanksgiving episode, the next step in what’s shaping up to be Ted’s central relationship of season six, and a major guest star who, the episode intimates, is actually still in the continuity of his previous show (Which means that Ted’s past and our present is heaven, or whatever was in the future for the Losties when they “moved on” after the finale. Which is a whole ‘nother can of worms, isn’t it?)
The catchphrase is “The Blitz,” and it names the person who, by virtue of leaving the group too early one night, finds himself doomed to miss an escalating succession of awesome occurrences. In college, the Blitz was Steve (Jorge Garcia, aka Lost’s Hurley), who missed the naked chick wandering into Ted and Marshall’s dorm room because he left for “Kraft-Croft night” (mac-and-cheese and Tomb Raider), then headed out to play Madden 2K1 right before MacLaren’s tap breaks (“Free beer for everyone!”). That’s why his quote in the yearbook is “Aw, man!”, in perfect continuity with all the other Blitzes back to the late sixties. (The original, whose name was actually Blitz, dropped out of college right before it went co-ed.)
But now Ted, too interested in preparing his Thanksgiving masterpiece of a turkey stuffed with a smaller turkey—a turturkeykey—leaves the bar before an epic night erupts: a hat-tossing game that spawns an uproarious in-joke (“the gentleman!”), a skateboarding dog, the previous Blitz shouting out far-from-random numbers (“4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42!”) for Marshall to send his junk photo to, Robin breaking the oven by dancing on it, and most importantly: Zoey joining the group and inviting them all over for Thanksgiving, even her mortal enemy Ted. Now Ted is the Blitz, out of the loop, and devoid of hating-Zoey backup from his friends in clear violation of their obligation to him. (Ted dutifully hated Renee Zellweger in solidarity with Lily for eight years before finding out she meant Reese Witherspoon.)
There’s nowhere else for Ted to complete his turkey masterpiece, though, since all the other apartments are smelly from sewage line backups, infested with cats, or equipped with fake cardboard stoves (Barney: “Guess I should turn off the gas”). So the gang heads to Zoey’s—all except for Barney, who congratulates himself on taking a less crowded cab right up until he realizes that he’s now the Blitz, having missed the accidental joining of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Ted’s impromptu, Buelleresque rendition of “Twist and Shout.”
Barney being eager to join in and pathetically frustrated at missing out is the comic heart of “Blitzgiving,” and it’s what marks the episode as not just very good but inspired. Making Barney the Blitz means watching him scramble to get back to the center of his own life of awesomeness, undone by the fickle fate he’s always assumed was on his side. I enjoyed every second of Barney getting more and more desperate and disappointed, from his smaller and more deflated versions of Hurley’s epic “Aw, maaan!” renditions, to the transcendent moment where he blurts out, “I slept with that cute Indian girl who cuts my hair!” “What does that have to do with anything?” Robin asks. “Nothing, I just forgot to brag about it before!” Barney wails as he flees the room.
In the end Ted realizes that his enemy Zoey has more on her mind than making Ted’s life miserable. She’s got a stepdaughter whom she wanted to spend Thanksgiving with, and the gang is the substitute family she needs at that moment. And Zoey passes from enemy to friend, just as the Gandhi-quoting Wang Guy said was possible. We’ll be seeing more of her. And given how much Robin liked the Wang Guy’s wang (and knows his number—in the 481 exchange, which the Internet tells me isn’t a U.S. area code at all), we could be seeing more of him, I suppose. Me? I just want to see more episodes like "Blitzgiving," an episode stuffed with a slightly smaller episode, risking too much of a good thing and giving us, most appropriately, a feast.
- I call Steve The Former Blitz “Hurley” because he himself indicates that he’s the same character: “I was on that island for what seems like eternity. I’m gonna enjoy things on the other side.”
- Ted used shoehorns to get the smaller turkey inside the larger one. “I’ll be having sides,” Robin resolves.
- Other catchphrases in the college yearbooks next to the various Blitzes, moving back in time from 1997: “Oh snap!” and “Boo ya!”; “Gilfriend!” (sic) and “Ya smell me?”; “Not so much!” and “It’s all good!”; and finally, “Cool it, Pops!” and “One funky cat!”
- Hurley’s Blitzitude revolved exclusively around slightly out of date video games. When he stays with the group at MacLaren’s on the night he passed the curse to Ted, he says, “Something told me Grand Theft Auto could wait a night.”
- Things the Blitz missed over the years: the university president’s toupee being snatched by a hawk; Zeppelin reuniting at his cousin Ira’s bar mitzvah; and countless nip slips, crotch shots, shooting stars and double rainbows.
- When Lily realizes that Reese Witherspoon was not responsible for You, Me and Dupree and announces, “Guys, we hate Kate Hudson,” Barney clenches his fists and looks ready to rumble.
- Everyone is shouting “Dance on the oven!” in the flashback except for Barney, who is shouting “Make out with Zoey!”
- By using up all the butter and sliding Lily down the hallway of the apartment building, the gang manages the apparently impressive fact of reaching 4G.
- How did Robin get Kiss Starchild makeup on her face that night? She fell asleep and Zoey painted it on.
- “Dear Wang Guy, can enemies become friends? Just wondering.”