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Sometimes it feels like Barney's love for Robin is a secret that's only for us.  Tonight it manifested in momentary upstage kneeling, a look of unfeigned concern, and a brief stroking of her hair.  That's it.  No closeups on his lovelorn face, no swelling strings, no significant glances.  Just a few seconds of sweetness mixed in with the comedy.  But it leaves this romantic feeling all gooey inside, let me tell you.

And it's nice that the drops of honey are drizzled on a comedy machine that continues to fire on all cylinders this season.  In this episode, we see the single plotline done deftly and well.  We don't feel cheated or manhandled by the lack of a B-story.  Instead, the A-story of Robin's impending deportation unless she finds work immediately leads naturally to a discussion of resumes and updating of same, which spins off gracefully into business for the other characters as they wonder whether their own resumes are devoid of what Lily terms "weak-ass crap."  As the gang struggles with the lame jobs that are still cluttering their CVs, Barney makes Robin over into an enigmatic job candidate of awesomeness in the mode of his own video resume (viewable at barneysvideoresume.com, in "awesome resolution" or "not as awesome resolution").

Now, we all knew that Robin wasn't going to lose her work visa and have to go back to Alberta to report on the ice-fishing competition ("An August first tradition!").  But one of Cobie Smulders' most attractive qualities is the way she portrays a woman teetering on the edge of self-confidence.  She really doesn't know if she's good enough, and being rejected as the lottery girl, the lowest of the low, the butt of Barney's jokes, seems to confirm her fears that she can't make it in the big city.

I hate to bring it up, but there seems to be a Theme in "The Possimpible."  Is growing up about finding out who you really are, or about becoming who you want to be?  Ted takes his college radio station program director job off his resume, but leaves in "supervising lifeguard"; Marshall decides that he can let go of being the slam dunk champion but not "camper of the year."  And Barney's jargon-laden, all-bravado, substance-free, connectitudinous clip reel for Robin, combined with his skill at playing hard to get, lands Robin a morning show gig.  Is it the job of her dreams?  Well, it doesn't seem to matter.  Because these resumes aren't about the jobs they get, but the messages they deliver to the resume-holder.  And for Robin, that message is "legal resident of New York City."


Grade: A

Stray observations:

- "May the road ahead be lit with dreams and tomorrows.  Which are lit with dreams, also.  Stand tall, New York.  Trustworthy.  Recycling.  Wear a condom."


- How can a meal plan be racist?  (In a similar vein, how can a jump rope be hi-fi?)

- Until sidelined by a tragic case of dancer's hip, Marshall was known as Vanilla Thunder, the Ghost in the Post, the Human Turnstile! ("I didn't play that much D.")


- I dig the way the show cares not a whit for trying to hide Cobie and Alyson's pregnancies.  The hot-dog-eating contest finales — both of them — were completely lovable.

- "It's like she's not even happy about the 17 coming up!"


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