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'How I Met Your Mother' 'Knight Vision' Recap: Anna Camp Guest Stars -- Did Ted Choose Poorly?

The gang is almost back together.

After spending the first five episodes almost always broken into smaller groups — Ted with Lilly, Robin and Barney off doing their own thing, Marshall stuck on a road trip, this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother finally gave us scenes with most of the group together. Sure, they broke apart here and there, but we got to see everyone interact with (almost) everyone else. Marshall is still stuck with Daphne on that road trip, but he even got a few scenes with hypothetical Lily.

Knight Vision brought us one step closer to Robin and Barney’s wedding, with their guests gathering for drinks and dinner the Friday night before the wedding. At Barney’s urging, Ted realized that he had to chose a girl to spend the weekend with that night or else he’d spend the weekend alone.

HIMYM has, on occasion, given us episodes built around a single pop culture idea. Season 4 had Murtaugh, where Barney and Ted created opposing philosophies on aging based on Danny Glover’s Lethal Weapon character. Barney spent one episode last season trying to make Weekend at Barney’s happen. Knight Vision introduced what’ll most likely be the show’s most used single-episode pop culture gag — the knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

If you haven’t seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, one, what’s wrong with you? And, two, here’s how it played into Knight Vision. Barney places himself and Ted in one of the final scenes from The Last Crusade. At this point, Indiana Jones has made his way into the chamber where the the Holy Grail has been protected by a knight for centuries. Walter Donovan, the movie’s villain, sneaks in along with Indy to claim the Grail for himself. Despite the knight’s warning to “choose wisely,” Donovan takes the room’s gaudiest chalice, drinks from it and promptly withers to dust. Indy realizes that the son of a carpenter would have used a simple cup and takes a wooden one instead. Indy drinks from it and is told by the knight that he chose wisely. Of course, in Barney’s version of this story, he’s Indiana Jones, Ted is Donovan and Barney’s successful pick of the Grail is rewarded with a guitar solo and dancing girls. I guess Steven Spielberg and George Lucas left that part out of the original movie.

This was all Barney’s long-winded way of telling Ted to choose wisely when it comes to the girl he spends the weekend with.

Very quickly, Ted picks Cassie, choosing her over Sophia, who Barney and Robin advertised as sounding like a car alarm when she’s in bed. Classy, guys.

At first, Cassie seems like a great girl. She’s excited about hanging out with Ted, she’s hot, she wants to skip flirting and jump right to meaningless sex. Everything a guy looks for in his dream girl, right? Despite the Holy Grail knight appearing Force-ghost style to tell that he “chose … poorly,” Ted continues ahead with Cassie. Thinking he’s effortlessly sealed the deal, Ted tells Cassie that it’s OK to answer her phone.

In the words of that Holy Grail knight, Ted chose poorly. Again.

The call that Cassie took was a loaded one, coming with a message that she had been fired from her teaching job, that her coworkers actually hate her and that her students do too. Ted is stuck consoling Cassie when all he wanted was some meaningless, wedding weekend sex. Losing her job was just the tip of the iceberg for Cassie, as she also had her car stolen with all her stuff in it, thinks she’s getting the flu and recently broke up with her boyfriend, Wesley.

Ted realized that he had to get out of this situation. While watching Knight Vision, I was trying to figure out if this is what Ted would actually do. The problem is that HIMYM has gone back and forth between what Ted is really looking for too much. Where are we on the Ted Mosby Relationship Spectrum? If one end is I Wanna Find My Soulmate, Get Married and Have Two Kids Named Luke and Leia and the other extreme is I’m Going to Make Out with a Married Chick and Abuse Someone’s Bar Tab on St. Patrick’s Day, where does Barney and Robin wedding weekend Ted fall? On this Friday night, he’s been encouraged by Barney and Robin to find a girl to spend the weekend hooking up with (they even made an iPad presentation for the subject), but what about when he was sitting alone at the bar in Coming Back? What happened to the Ted who swore that in a year, he’d return to the Farhampton with his future wife?

Sadly, sloppiness has been a hallmark of HIMYM’s final season. With 24 episodes to fill while sticking to the restriction of telling a story that takes place in just one weekend, the HIMYM writers have diluted the characters they spent eight seasons building lives for. Does Ted want a wife or a hookup? Does Barney want to use the Bro Code to find a reason to justify his actions or to penalize Ted for his? How the heck can Lily drink nonstop for days when a bottle of wine once made her turn into a baby who destroyed Marshall’s office, yakked in a garbage can and then fell asleep in a cab? C’mon, HIMYM, get your act together. This is it. There’s nothing after this season. This is the endgame, the final stretch — you’ve put almost a decade into this story, don’t blow it now.


Anyways, Ted really did chose poorly when it came to Cassie. After getting stuck listening to her sob story, Ted tried to move things to the dining room for a final drink before he bailed, but it turned out Cassie’s parents were in the dining room, forcing Ted to have dinner (and pay for dinner) with them. Just when Ted was ready to end things, Cassie brought up meaningless sex again, reigniting Ted’s interest. As they moved toward his room, the duo ran into Wesley, Cassie’s ex, who happened to be at the wedding … and with Sophia, the girl Ted could have spent the weekend with. Seeing Wesley set off the waterworks again for Cassie, but she was determined to make good on her meaningless sex promise to Ted.

The Ted Mosby that we know kicked in again as Cassie straddled him on her bed and cried/kissed him. Ted told Cassie that she wasn’t in a good place, and that they shouldn’t sleep together. Cassie agreed, saying, “You’re right. I’m not in a good place. Oh, wow, I probably would’ve let you do all sorts of crazy things to me.” Dammit, Ted.

Future narrator Ted did point out that not hooking up with anyone during Barney and Robin’s weekend wound up being a good thing, since if he had been with someone then, he wouldn’t have met The Mother.

One positive part of Knight Vision, besides the Holy Grail knight, was Anna Camp. If you’ve seen Pitch Perfect or watched True Blood, you’re familiar with Camp. She’s been on the verge of stardom for awhile now, leaving a supporting role on The Mindy Project to focus on expanding her career, and I think she was a great addition to HIMYM’s lengthy list of guest stars. While I have issues with Ted going for Cassie, I thought Camp was perfect in the role, walking the very narrow line of making Ted want to hook up with her while at the same time making Ted want to get as far away as possible. Cassie would have been a real test for Barney’s Hot/Crazy Scale.

Camp actually wasn’t the first choice for Cassie, with HIMYM originally casting The Office’s Ellie Kemper in the role. When a scheduling conflict kept Kemper from being in the episode, HIMYM cast Camp in her place. Great move. I’m not sure if Kemper would’ve delivered the same performance as Camp in Knight Vision. I’ve also heard that while Cassie was supposed to be a one-episode character, we might see more of her as Season 9 progresses.

So what was the rest of the gang up to?

Lily, Barney and Robin were caught up in a mess of their own over the topic of how couples met. When Lily was talking to Barney and Robin’s minister, she told him the story of how she and Marshall met. It’s a story that HIMYM fans are well versed in. Lily needed help installing her stereo. She picked Marshall and Ted’s dorm room for help. Marshall answered. They’ve been together ever since. The problem? Barney and Robin told their minister that it was how they actually met.

With their story blown, Barney and Robin are told that they won’t be allowed to have the minister preside over their wedding or use the church. In a last ditch effort to salvage things, Barney and Robin make the weirdest stand for love in the history of stands for love, telling the minister all the reasons they weren’t ashamed of the story of how they met, offering an ode to promiscuity, strip clubs, Patrice and lots of sex.

This kills the minister.

Yes, Robin and Barney’s raunchy love story causes the minister to die in his chair. Problem solved, all the couple has to do is find a new minister. (Sorry, Wedding at Bernie’s isn’t an option.)

Oh, and Marshall is still stuck on his road trip with Daphne, but this storyline finally got a touch of depth this week. Marshall is still trying to figure out how to tell Lily that he was offered (and accepted?) that judge job. Daphne tells him that she had to choose between her career and husband, a position that Marshall shouldn’t put Lily in. This leads to the revelation that Daphne is actually an oil company lobbyist, which sets Marshall off. In response, Daphne texts Lily about Marshall accepting the judge position. The episode ends with Lily calling Marshall. Uh oh.

We’re now a quarter into HIMYM’s final season. While we’ve gotten some great moments — Ted with The Mother in the future, Lily’s life talk to Ted, this week’s Holy Grail knight — this season is kind of a mess. Really, it’s all over the place. HIMYM has always moved at a frantic pace, bouncing around from scene to scene, tossing in flashbacks and flashforwards. The concept that Season 9 takes place all in one weekend has really put a damper on that. At the very time when HIMYM has to keep moving forward, the show is stuck spinning its wheels.

Notes and quotes 
Barney telling Ted what’ll happen if he doesn’t find a woman at the beginning of the wedding weekend: “The only action you'll be getting is a self-five, and I don’t mean the cool kind. Self five! That’s the cool kind!”

Ted in response to be the bad guy in Barney’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade scenario: “Really? I’m the one working with the Nazis?”

Barney trying to describe what Indy was looking for: “It was like the Holy Grail of cups.”
Ted: “It was the Holy Grail.”
Barney: “Of cups. Exactly.”

HIMYM really skimped on the budget necessary to replicate Donovan’s death scene.

Robin’s college roommate sounds like a car alarm during sex. Lily uses the sound of a car alarm to regain control of her class. Weird callback, HIMYM.

Upon meeting Lily, the minister immediately tells Lily that she’s dressed like a whore. Marshall’s mom would like this minister.

Cassie to Ted: “Do you wanna start the night with meaningless sex and then flirt later?”
Ted: “You are a visionary.”

Cassie responding to her phone call: ”I’m fired? But teaching there was my dream job. … You guys are my only friends. … You all hate me? … Can I at least say goodbye to my kids? … My kids all hate me?”

Marshall telling Daphne what he was going to say to Lily: “I missed you … and your hairstyle so much.”
Daphne as Lily: “I missed you too. I can’t wait to show you how much in bed tonight.”
Marshall: “That’s creepy.”
Daphne as Lily: “Don’t break character.”

Barney and Robin didn’t just steal Marshall and Lily’s meet cute story — they also stole their nicknames, telling the minister they called each other “Barnmallow” and “Robinpad.”

Did anyone else think Lily looked like The Mother when she was a brunette during her stolent version of how she met Marshall? Really adds weight to the belief that Cristin Milioti looks like a combination of Alyson Hannigan and Cobie Smulders.

Lily telling the minister about her and Marshall as if they were Barney and Robin: “My husband is a sociopath who’s slept with over a hundred women, and I’m a slut who once let my boss feel me up.” Was that boss Sandy Rivers?

Robin to Barney: “I love that you slept with over 250 women before deciding I was your favorite.”
The minister: “This is killing me.”
Barney to Robin: “And I love that we just had to keep having sex with each other, even when we were dating other people.”
The minister: “This is really killing me.”
Robin: “And I love that your marriage proposal involved the strip club, lying to me and pretending to bang the woman I hate for two months.”
Barney: “I love that we keep a running tally of all the different rooms we’ve had sex in.”
Robin: “I love that two weeks ago we put this room on that list.”

Holy Grail knight: “She chose … Wesley. I’ve been dying to say that one all night.”
'How I Met Your Mother' 'Knight Vision' Recap: Anna Camp Guest Stars -- Did Ted Choose Poorly? Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 10/21/2013 Rating: 5

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