“Now We’re Even” is a reference to the battle of awesomeness between Barney and Ted which inevitably leads to Ted trying to pick up chicks whilst wearing a dress in order to even the score. Apparently the sequence appeared as a flash-forward in “The Mermaid Theory” last season, and the show’s creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas admitted at the time they weren’t sure exactly how they were going to frame the scenario. To be honest I barely recall watching the episode, which just goes to show that Bays and Thomas can pull off a credible explanation of these “but I’ll get to that later” moments the show is so well known for, without it seeming overly set-up.
The mission to make every night LEGENDARY was my favourite part of this episode, and the suggestions got funnier each time as they became more and more ridiculous. (“The night we tracked down Phil Collins, became best friends with him and talked into reuniting with Peter Gabriel, and then we got to sing back-up on the new Genesis album and it was awesome! “ warrants a whole episode to itself, if you ask me.)
Of course the motivation behind this is that Barney can’t stand the thought of what lewd acts his girlfriend is performing every night between 9pm and 4am. If you’ve been watching the show for even a couple of seasons, you’ll know Barney well enough to have guessed what was bothering him from the word go. I was actually expecting him to admit that he was uncomfortable with Quinn’s job a lot earlier on in the episode when he was repeatedly reminding his friends “I’m dating a stripper, my girlfriend’s a stripper!” but revealing it this way made for an entertaining adventure between him and Ted. We didn’t get to see him admit this fact to Quinn and deal with the situation though, so we can probably expect the conversation to take place some time within in the next couple of episodes.
For once Lily and Marshall’s unrelated sub-plot didn’t equate to sub-par, and whilst it was absolutely silly it had me chuckling away a few times. Lily had an exciting dream involving someone other than Marshall, which isn’t unheard of in their relationship, as we learnt that Lily’s fantasized before about all types of wacky characters – Papa Smurf being probably the weirdest. I loved watching Marshall use paint swatches in varying shades of red – “Vermillion: the colour of carnal shame!” – to determine the subject of his wife’s sex dream. Even better is that Lily sleep-cheated with the much-loved Ranjit, who later steps in to remind Marshall that Lily’s allowed to be a little crazy – after all, she’s the one that’s pregnant.
Robin kinda got jibbed this week, learning that despite her new position as news anchor and a giant poster of her face in the hallway, not even the security guard knows her name. Until that is, she gets sent up in the station’s helicopter to read the weather report and ends up executing an emergency landing after the pilot has a stroke. Unlikely? Definitely. But it’s a sitcom based in New York City, so what are we to expect but the unexpected? Ted’s simple message “I’m glad you’re okay” after weeks of silence between the two was a sweet way to end the episode, I’m sure plenty of viewers were able to relate.
At first glance the episode may have been average, but upon reflection it actually delivered across most aspects of the story, even if some were unrealistic and a little cheesy. How I Met Your Mother does sometimes stop and make you think, but it’s primarily meant to make you laugh, and “Now We’re Even” did just that.