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In my house, when someone accidentally clangs a glass, they have to shout, "Round Two!"  That's our little ritual, or one of them.  And this is round two of my TV Clubbin' tonight.  If you missed the first installment, go ahead and catch up.  We'll still be here when you get back.

See, in contrast to the unusually linear BBT tonight, HIMYM offered a touch of cleverness that took it over the top.  A beautiful episode all around, and I would be remiss if I did not state that my affection for it may be influenced by Cobie's unapologetic baby bump in that otherwise-completely-superfluous "oh Marshall, my thermostat is stuck so I need to wear as little clothing as possible!" scene.

The theme today is threes.  The three-day snowstorm that paralyzes the city.  The three stories that clarified their participants' lives and dreams (well, somewhat).  And the … three … um … I can't think of another three.  But there were at least two threes, and that's a theme, dammit.

Story Number One: Barney and Ted are going to meet two college girls at the bar after their band plays.  With the snow, though, the owner of McLaren's is going to close up.  But B & T convince him to let them keep the bar open — because they've always wanted to own a bar.  (Those are five words that every man says at some point in his life: "We should buy a bar."  And like the other five-word phrases every man says — "I can make that jump," "I will get her back," "I can trust you guys" — its truth value is at best uncertain.)  The girls come, but so does their band — the Arizona Tech Fighting Hens (Go Hens!) — and they trash the place.


Story Number Two: Marshall and Lily have agreed to stop their childish little rituals, like calling at lunchtime to say "I love you," greeting each other with recitations of what they ate during the day, and meeting at the airport with cute signs and six-packs of beer local to the region visited.  When Marshall has second thoughts about not going to the airport to meet Lily, returning from Seattle, he dragoons Robin into driving him there in the middle of the snowstorm.

Story Number Three: Lily also has second thoughts about not bringing the beer, so when her plane arrives early, she commandeers Rajit (there to meet another fare) and heads out to a liquor store where she can get a Seattle vintage.  Only it turns out to be a keg, not a six-pack.


And only it turns out that all these things were actually happening on different days.  So when Robin gets Marshall to the airport on Tuesday (after having their car buried by a snowplow in what I must point out was a very convincing on-set effect), it's two days early, because Lily got stuck in Seattle until Thursday.  And when Barney and Ted play Cocktail to the tune of "Kokomo" and then, in a foolish allegiance to their imaginary-bar principle of "no last call," invite the entire marching band to their apartment to continue the party, it's Wednesday.  And when Lily arrives and hunts down the keg of microbrew, it's Thursday.

It doesn't get us any closer to Yellow Umbrella Girl, and in that respect it wasn't the most resonant of endings, but I was touched by the gesture Marshall arranged for Lily on the last day of the snowstorm.  (It reminded me of Ted's blue french horn thing, only sweet because it's in the context of a relationship and not just a borderline crazy-creepy romantic ploy.)  And Barney got his bingo, too.  Everybody wins.


Grade: A

Stray observations:

- Barney answering the phone during their bar-running stint: "Puzzles! Go for party!"  ("People would be like, why is it called Puzzles?  That's the puzzle.")


- Dibs for Star Wars reference.  Double-dibs for serious daddy issues.

- "As we mature, our relationships mature with us." — Cosmo Girl

- Jason does a superior MacInTalk impression: "Why is that human leaking?"

- I glean from this episode that NPH can juggle very well, and Josh Radnor cannot juggle at all.


- "Man, these college chicks sound stupid." "Totally." "Awesome."

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