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How I Met Your Mother- Episodes 9.07/9.08 "No Questions Asked/The Lighthouse" Review

Last week I was unable to write my review for the episode; I was overwhelmed with some stuff from college and also had some personal issues to take care off, so I wasn’t able to write it at all. I’m really sorry it took this long; hopefully I’ll be able to bring the reviews in time from here onwards and this will be the only double review I’ll be making (unless two episodes air together, of course). Anyway, let’s get started.

A few weeks ago I mentioned How I Met Your Mother decided to take things lightly and just make us laugh with no emotional stuff in the middle; that is the case for “No question asked” but not for the following episode “The Lighthouse”. Now, in my last review I made a mistake for which I was called for: Daphne didn’t call Lily, she texted her, which makes for the whole plot of the episode.

At first Marshall receives a call from Lily, thinking that she found out about his decision to become a judge, but ultimately it was because they got the 13th room of the inn, “the one with the ghost in it” as it featured in an episode of the Ghost Network original series “True and Real Ghost Stories of the Supernatural” (gotta love those low budget effects). Marshall is really pumped about getting the room with the ghost, but Lily doesn’t share his enthusiasm as she recalls those ghosts don’t exist.

Anyway, Marshall’s fears are eased for a while, as he now has time to look for a way to delete the text before Lily sees it, all so he can delay the fall out of Lily finding out. So he calls Ted and asks him to do him a favor “no questions asked” as he owed him that from the time he helped him getting out of a mail box “no questions asked”. Ted agrees and so he sneaks into Lily’s room while she was trying to sleep, but unluckily for Lily (and Ted), even when “True and Real Ghost Stories of the Supernatural” was a cheap show, suddenly it starts getting into her head and as Ted gets into the room from the drain pipe. So as Lily busts Ted he tells her that he thought she might have been scared being alone in the room with the ghost in it. Not totally wrong, Lily lets it swing and asks Ted to sing her a version of Marvin’s lullaby.

As Lily falls sleep Barney gets into the room via air ducts. It seems Marshall also called him, even before Ted and asked him to do a no question asks as he also owns Marshall for being picked up at a hospital after seemingly swallowing some magic trick props. So he arrives at Lily’s room and she wakes him up to bust him as well. Barney says there is a story there and after preparing a really weird set up he asks Ted to explain how he got there (“uhm…”). Lily gets distracted when she receives some room service she didn’t ask for and she goes to the reception to complain. Turns out Robin was the one who asked for room service so she could sneak in Lily’s room; she was also called by Marshall (also before Ted) who asked her to do the same as the guys.

And then we get to see the weirdest no questions asked flashback as Robin asks Marshall to just describe her one of his fishing trips just so Marshall would eventually open his arms to grab Robin as she fell from god knows where, dressed up entirely in blue, and she and Marshall were forced to run away from some weird fellas, everybody wearing a sole different color (this whole thing reminded me a bit of the power rangers). Marshall never asked who those people were, why they called Robin “Night Falcon” or what was on the darts they were shooting at them (to which Robin replies “your vision came back, didn’t it?!”). I won’t lie, it was weird, really weird, but the kind of weird that just crack a laugh for how ridiculous it is. There are people who didn’t like this flashback sequence, but man, I laughed out loud.

Anyway, as Ted, Barney and Robin are all in the room while Lily is about to complain they realize that the phone is nowhere to be found in the room, but Lily had it all along. So Ted goes to stop her, while Barney and Robin try to come up with some plan. At this point I must mention the subplot on the whole episode; before being called by Marshall, Barney tells Robin that there are 20 doves ordered so they can fly away as the come out of the church, which isn’t very convenient as some gun enthusiastic relatives of Robin will perform a 21 gun salute (with real ammo), which to Robin is proof of one of their issues: lack of communication. It’s a real issue, as both of them sometimes get so carried away in their thing that they don’t listen to the other just to do stuff. Once Ted leaves to stop Lily, both Barney and Robin talk about how they need to stop doing things alone and learn how to do it together, so they device decide to devise a plan to stop Lily from reading the text, one that is so over the top that (in Robin words) is insane how foolproof it is.

But as Robin reaches the lobby with her Night Falcon suit and her gun ready to go (to which Ted yells shocked “Why do you always have a gun?!”) Ted had already taken care of it by asking Lily her to smash her phone in the floor, no question asked. As it turns out, Lily owed Ted from a time when she was trapped by her students and Ted had to deliver some cupcakes so they would free Lily. To see how those kindergarten kids went all Lord of the Flies in Lily’s classroom was hilarious!

So everything seems to be good, and Ted tells Marshall that everything was taken care of and asks him why he didn’t ask Lily to do a no question ask. Well, Marshall didn’t have a single no questions asked with Lily because he shares everything with her; so he feels guilty and decides to tell her the truth.

To Lily who had a terrible night, as the receptionist refused to help her with any room issue claiming it was all ghost doing, having to face a $400 bill for some room service she didn’t ask for (though she certainly asked for “Prison Slut 9”) receiving the phone from Ted just so she could hear that Marshall took the judge job behind her back is just the cherry on the top of a really crappy night she is not even yelling or anything, just coldly stating that someone is going to die in their room.

It’s an episode that features really broad comedy, there’s some sweet moments in which Barney and Robin talk about their issues and Marshall remembering how he never had to hide something from Lily. However, there is something missing here; laugh? Check. Tender moments? Check. So, what is it that is missing? I think the episode sometimes goes just so over the top sequence after sequence that at times it gets tiring. There are plenty of fun gags there, and I had fun with them all, but everything started going so fast that I eventually felt like the episode needed to pace down a little bit, too many gags coming out of each other can be tiring. Still, it’s a pretty fun episode.

Grade: B+

Now, “The Lighthouse” is a pretty memorable episode in my opinion. It has everything How I Met Your Mother needs; it’s not as overstuffed like the previous episode, the gags come within the right timing and hey! We finally see the mother! (even though in flashforward format).

The episode starts picking up the Loretta/Robin feud that was created in “The Poker Game”. I was really happy to see it; I had high hopes on the whole battle between the two, and even though the only bits we get to see of that include Robin showing off Loretta’s blouse (“Oh, hell no!”), and some scrambled egg cooking competition, the payoff is satisfying enough to leave those silly expectations behind.

Lily joins Robin, Barney and Loretta for brunch, and every time she hears something that is judge related she just snaps and breaks her glass, and Linus immediately provides with replacement; it’s great to see that the Linus gag continues and it’s always great to see Lily angry, as she has those fearful demon like eyes when she is furious and is always reliable to make me laugh.

An argument begins about Loretta being the best at making scramble eggs, and Robin surprises saying that, in fact, it’s her mom who makes the best eggs; now Ted tells us about Robin’s mom being terrified of flying and getting stung by jellyfish, I’m pretty sure Robin has said more than that, but my memory is not helping me. Anyway, the thing is that neither we nor the characters know much about her, so it’s really surprising to hear about her. But it was about time, right? After all Robin is getting married, we should know about her (more on that later). And so the egg war starts, with Robin putting some syrup on Loretta’s blouse, which is cue for her to ask for the omelet station so she can prove Robin wrong.

Wonders of wonders, Loretta’s egg become popular in no time and everybody wants them. Robin is bad at losing, so she tries to compete, but it turns out she doesn’t know anything about making eggs at all, to which Loretta asks what kind of breakfast she would make to her children. And then Robin revealed she can’t have kids; it’s a secret she has kept so tight that is really sad to see how she walks away, hurt by the reminder that she can never be a mother.

Loretta is worried that Barney will never have kids as he always wanted one, but for Barney Robin is way more important. He is not marrying the chance of having a family, but the woman who he wants to spend his life with. And that’s poignant.

Drove by her son’s determination to be with Robin, she goes to see her only to find out that Robin’s mom will not be attending to the wedding. Loretta then buries the hatchet and hugs Robin to comfort her, telling her to call her mom and asking for forgiveness as she sometimes get carried away. Robin is moved and she accepts the comfort in a really tender and honest scene managed amazingly by both actresses.
Meanwhile, Daphne and Marshall made a stop at Ted’s old house in Cleaveland for the night before continuing their trip; there Marshall gets a cup and a picture he can use to mock Ted before he and Daphne continue in their road.

But their road isn’t pretty; Daphne doesn’t want to play zitch dog and she still gets to pick the music, so Marshall gets angry and he stated that maybe they need conflict resolution as Clint suggested back on Ted’s old house. To their surprise, as soon as Marshall states that Clint gets up from the back seat saying “I knew you guys would come around” which is cue to Marshall and Daphne freaking out. And who wouldn’t?! It was so random and unexpected that I couldn’t help but laugh.

Clint tries to help Daphne and Marshall talk out their issues, but it proves ineffective at first, and it’s just when they both start mocking Clint that they start bonding; but an offended Clint loses it as nobody seems to take him seriously and he goes as far as breaking his guitar and saying he has a blood attack, so Marshall pulls over and let the man meditate.

Daphne calls out Marshall for never taking care of himself and letting everybody do their thing, and so Marshall, pissed as hell, leaves Clint behind without looking back, and he takes control of the scenery as he tells Daphne that after she threw a grenade to his marriage, he gets to pick the music and amazing thing happens: we get to hear I’m Gonna be 500 milles, a callback from the memorable season 2 episode “Arrivederci, Fiero”. Daphne hates the song, but Marshall just says “give it time”. It’s so great to have the callback and Marshall standing up for himself in one scene. The comedic results are gold, and even more so the face of Jason Segel while he is leaving Clint behind; truly priceless!

And I left Ted for last; he wants to go to The Lighthouse on Farhampton, but he is denied as it would be too dangerous to let a lonely guy go by himself to such a romantic destination. So Lily suggests that he takes Cassie with him, to which Ted is not really pumped at all, but Lily insists that he should just try to settle with her and go together to the Lighthouse (“well, who thought that was a good idea?”). So a reluctant Ted does just that and everything goes wrong, from Cassie saying that she doesn’t like music at all, falling of the stairs, stating that children shouldn’t have toys, and remaining silent while they are on the lighthouse. I realize it doesn’t sound great on paper, but the execution is almost flawless, as Josh Radnor looks so obviously annoyed that is almost impossible not to warm up to these sequences, even if they don’t look compelling at first.

But the precious moment comes after that, and that’s why I left it last; as Ted finally decides to settle, future Ted reflects on how one says that before finally meeting the person who makes you hit the reset button. And we get a lovely flashback of Ted proposing to the mother, who immediately says yes. It’s a perfect scene; it’s lovely, heartwarming and funny all at the same time. It has everything HIMYM needs, and fills one with one single feeling that can lift any episode to greatness: hope.

Grade: A

Stray Observations:

-Proof that the Ghost Network doesn't have any resources to make a show: Random woman: "Did I see a ghost? Of course *edit cut playing yes!* there are *edit to such* things as ghost!". That just cracked me up as I'm sure there are even worse quality television on the air.

-Every single receptionist on the Farhampton inn seems to be some kind of jackass. Lily had to handle the lazy/con man one: "I got a report here: broken lock, faulty wi-fi, you've taken several items from the mini bar!" Lily: "There is no mini bar!" Receptionist: "Stolen mini bar!".

-Barney losing his dove: "Courtney Love, no! I already lost Kurt Coobain, I can't lose you too!" One of the biggest laugh of the episode, for sure.

-Will this be the end of the Night Falcon? We'll see.

-Poor sweet Robin thinks there is such a thing as an egg opener. Oh, honey...

-Ted's best friend as a kid was a balloon: it would be criminal not to mock him for that.

-And that's it! Let's see what next week brings.

I'm currently studying Psychology while also writing fantasy books (one already published in my home country, Chile, you can check it out on the facebook icon). I watch many different types of shows, including my favorites Revenge, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time and about 23 more. Currently writing articles and some reviews as well

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