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'How I Met Your Mother' 'Unpause' Recap: Can Marshall and Lily Be Saved? ALSO: Ted's Kids' Names Revealed

Wow. How I Met Your Mother has delivered its fair share of emotional gut punches during its run, but besides the death of Marshall’s dad, “Unpause” may have contained one of the series’ most devastating moments. Finally reunited, Marshall and Lily fought over the fact that Marshall had accepted a judgeship without running it by his wife, and after listening to Lily repeatedly refer to moving to Italy as her dream and call him selfish, Marshall went for the jugular.

“You broke up with me and moved to San Francisco,” he said, reminding Lily of the fact that she had once walked away from him. Marshall didn’t stop there — he wanted to know what would’ve happened if Lily had realized her dreams in San Francisco. “Are Marvin and I and any other future children we may have just some consolation prize?”

At this point in my notes, I wrote “WHOA.” I don’t think that “WHOA” even covers the full impact of this exchange, which ended with Lily storming out of the Farhampton Inn and calling someone to pick her up.

How do you come back from a fight like that? How do Marshall and Lily reconcile the fact that not only does Marshall question the foundation of their marriage and family but that he’s been harboring these feelings for seven years? This isn’t something that they can just pretend never happened.

Let me preface what I’m going to say next by noting that I don’t agree with how Marshall went about trying to win this fight. Referring to Lily’s dream of being an art critic in Italy as a hobby and then questioning how much her family means to her wasn’t the way to go. Maybe Marshall felt cornered and that’s all he could swing back with, but — yikes — there’s some serious damage here.

That said, Marshall has a point. I’ve been saying for several seasons now that Lily, as a character, has been walking on thin moral ice. She left Marshall to move to San Francisco, which was her dream. That didn’t work out, so she came back to New York City, settled down, went back to teaching and started a family with Marshall. Yet, in last season’s “Band or DJ?,” there she was on the apartment rooftop crying to Ted about sometimes wishing she could stop being a mother and that she wasn’t happy with her life. She’s only been an art critic for a short time, thanks to the fact that Ted stole Zoey from The Captain and introduced him to Lily. Is that really enough to not only abandon everything for a year to move to Italy but to also jeopardize the future stability that Marshall becoming a judge would give their family?

Unless Future Ted is a super unreliable narrator (and, we do have a reason or two to question his memory recall), we know that Marshall and Lily will find some way to patch things up. We’ve seen them together in the future, whether it was at a reunion or if it was Marshall complaining to Lily about how she didn’t leave him any dirty pictures in her post-death envelope. Like they always have, Marshall and Lily will find a way to overcome this fight, no matter how vicious and mean it was.

HIMYM made the interesting choice of not showing who was driving the car that picked up Lily from the inn. She called someone she knew, and while I think the show was trying to make us think it was Ranjit, the gang’s go-to driver, I have a hunch it was The Mother. Earlier this season, we saw The Mother send Barney on the path that would lead him to marrying Robin — would it really be that absurd to assume The Mother could work her magic on getting Marshall and Lily back together too?

During HIMYM’s ninth season, there have been far too many episodes that could have been great but were watered down with meaningless subplots. “Unpause” wasn’t one of those episodes. In Season 9’s fifteenth episode, the show was running on all cylinders. While Marshall and Lily were torpedoing their marriage, Barney, Robin and Ted were unlocking some of HIMYM’s greatest secrets.

Ignoring Ted’s mother’s advice that nothing good happens after 2 a.m., the trio stayed in the Farhampton Inn’s bar and kept on drinking, fueled by the discovery that if Barney got drunk enough, he could only tell the truth. According to Ted, Barney had four previously known levels of drunkenness: Richard Dawson Drunk, Big Plans With Strangers Drunk, Marcel Marceau Drunk and Jabba the Hutt Drunk. Thinking that Barney was stuck in that final level (which is when Barney gets so drunk he starts talking like Return of the Jedi’s iconic Tatooine crimelord), Ted and Robin were ready to call it a night and send the inebriated Barney to bed. Turns out Barney had another level: Truth Serum Drunk.

Ted and Robin set to work taking full advantage of Barney’s Liar Liar moment, asking him about everything from how much he spends on suits a year (a crapload) to what actually happened between Barney and Ted’s mom (got caught trying to stretch a single into a double) to whether there will be a ring bearer or ring bear at the wedding (his name is Trevor Hudson … and he may actually be a bear).

The biggest revelation from Truth Serum Barney was that during all of his years of responding with “Ha ha, please” when asked what his job at Goliath National Bank was, it turns out Barney was telling the truth. Barney’s job title was PLEASE, an acronym for Provide Legal Exculpation and Sign Everything. Yes, Barney’s job was to blindly sign documents to allow GNB to claim ignorance over the immoral or illegal things they were doing.

While Ted was worried that Barney could get in serious trouble, truthful Barney filled Ted and Robin on the fact that his job at GNB was all part of an even bigger plan. Way back in the Season 1 episode “Game Night,” we saw the story of how how a young and idealistic Barney Stinson had his girlfriend stolen away from him by a cold businessman. That moment spurred Barney to ditch his hippy ways, cut off his ponytail and embrace his suited future. In “Unpause,” Barney explained that Greg, the man who stole his girlfriend, was the one who hired him as PLEASE at GNB and that Barney’s years of working at the company were all to gain his trust and destroy him. Two months after the wedding, Barney would reveal to Greg that he had been working with the feds in order to bring Greg down.

After Robin went to bed, Barney had a nice moment with Ted, telling his friend that while he was nervous about the next day’s wedding, he loved Robin and would do anything to make her happy. “For a long time, deep down, I felt sort of broken, but I don’t feel that way anymore,” Barney told Ted. “Robin — along with the idea that vengeance will soon be mine — has made me 100 percent awesome.” It looks like HIMYM has finally cleared up any issues Barney possibly had with getting married. Nice to know that The Mother played a role in getting Barney to see that he didn’t have to feel broken all the time.

“Unpause” was bookend by two scenes featuring Ted and The Mother at the Farhampton Inn in 2017. Deciding to take one final trip before a very pregnant The Mother was due, the Mosbys found themselves counting the time between contractions while at the inn. It may have been after 2 a.m., but the Mosby baby wasn’t going to wait until the morning. As Ted ushering his wife and daughter in a car to head to the hospital, HIMYM finally revealed the names of Ted’s long-suffering children: Penny and Luke.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Ted’s son’s name is Luke. We’ve known for a long time that Ted wanted to name at least one of his kids after Star Wars’ Luke and Leia. The name Penny does appear to have its own HIMYM backstory too. The Season 2 episode “Lucky Penny” was all about a crazy sequence of events that caused Ted to miss a flight to Chicago for an interview at an architecture firm. In the episode, Ted realized that the entire series of events was started by his discovery of a penny from 1939, which Ted thought was worth something. If it wasn’t for that penny and all the trouble it caused the group, Ted would have caught his flight to the job interview and eventually moved to Chicago. Had Ted moved away all those years ago, he would have never met The Mother. Thanks to that lucky penny, Ted was in the right place at the right time. Nice touch, HIMYM.

Notes and quotes 
Ted to The Mother: “I hate to point fingers, but you should never listen to me. You know that.”

Ted mocking the slap mark still on Barney’s face: “Your face looks like a don’t-walk signal.”
Robin joining in: “Your face looks like a photo negative of the Hamburger Helper box.”
Ted: “A palm reader could tell Marshall’s future by studying your face.”
Robin: “The phrase ‘talk to the hand because the face ain't listening’ doesn’t work for you because the hand is on yo face.”

Marshall giving himself a sex pep talk: “Get out there and bang your wife for as long as you possibly can … not a good sign that I’m already out of breath.”

Thanks to Barney’s truthfulness, Ted learned that Robin’s family was actually pretty wealthy. How wealthy? Roughly 6000 craploads. Ted wasn’t too pleased to learn that Robin came from money yet let him pay for almost everything while they dated.

Ted to Robin after realizing Barney was telling the truth about his job: “I guess subtle clues and bar tabs are two things that you don’t pick up.”

Truth Serum Barney telling Ted how he felt about getting married: “Good. I mean, I’m a little nervous but I love Robin more than I ever loved anyone, and iIm going to do everything I can to make her happy. For a long time, deep down, I felt sort of broken, but I don’t feel that way anymore. Robin — along with the idea that vengeance will soon be mine — has made me 100 percent awesome.”
'How I Met Your Mother' 'Unpause' Recap: Can Marshall and Lily Be Saved? ALSO: Ted's Kids' Names Revealed Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 1/21/2014 Rating: 5

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