The Wife:

There are three things you should know about Doug, the bartender at McClaren’s (not Carl, the hot guy they think is a vampire, but the other guy):

1. He has a violent streak.
2. He’s weird about his hair.
3. He is so loyal to his regulars that he will literally fight people if they sit in the wrong booth.

Just such an event occurs when Doug catches the gang sitting in a different booth. He promptly kicks the occupants of their actual booth out and enlists Marshall, Ted and Barney to help him fight them in the alley.

“He wants us to fight? Like, with our hands and stuff?” – Ted

Marshall refuses to go on principle (he only participated in very controlled rough-housing with his brothers, taking breaks for hot cocoa), but Ted agrees to the challenge. Well-manicured Barney, who vomits in his mouth a little bit when he even thinks about someone wearing brown shoes with a black suit, also concedes to go when he discovers just how hot Robin thinks guys who fight are. Unfortunately, when they get to the alley, Doug has already bested all of his opponents, thinking that Barney and Ted had helped him do so. Doug is so impressed with the fact that his loyal customers have his back that he offers Barney and Ted free drinks for life. Not wanting to disappoint their new favorite bartender, they agree to go along with the story and devise a way to make it look real. Barney socks himself in the eye and punches Ted in the nose, causing him to weep a little bit.

I will defend your booth with my life.

I will defend your booth with my life.

For abstaining, Marshall is the only member of the gang who has to pay for his drinks, because he didn’t have Doug’s back. This upsets Marshall so much that Lily invites him to come to her class and share his story about choosing the path of nonviolence, which prompts her kindergarteners to call him a wuss. Ted and Barney, on the other hand, go around trying to impress chicks other than Robin with their tale of brutality. In order to keep up the ruse, they have to challenge the next set of people they see in their booth, who just happen to be process servers, ready to hand them papers from the dudes they allegedly beat up, who are suing them for assault. They bring their papers to Marshall, who tricks them into admitting that they lied about the fight by telling them that they’ll be facing major jail time. (Ted doesn’t think jail will be so bad. He’ll catch up on his reading. And work out, like, all the time. Barney, on the other hand, does not look forward to jail time because the meals are really starchy.) Robin enters the apartment and invites a black-eyed Barney to a hockey game with all the awkwardness of a high schooler, until Marshall bursts her bubble and tells her that Barney lied about the fight. She instantly finds him less attractive and retreats to her room, stammering out an excuse that never quite comes to fruition. (One of Cobie Smulders’ best moments in this episode, fo’ sho.)

Marshall gets the plaintiffs to drop the suit against Barney and Ted, which incurs Doug’s wrath when he finds out that he’s the only one being sued for the fight. Doug wants to fight the guys who no longer have his back, but Marshall explains to him that he was the only person in that fight. Doug agrees that he could have fought all those guys himself, especially because Ted’s really unreliable, which is why, Doug supposes, that Stella left him. This insult is Ted’s last straw and he decides that the only thing to do is to punch Doug, who knocks him out. When Ted comes to, he sees that Doug has also hit the ground, thanks to Marshall, whose fights with his brothers were apparently much closer to MMA-style fighting than we were initially led to believe.

Ted later tells the story of his fight with Doug to Lily’s class, and the young’uns also call him a wuss. (One asks Lily if she found these guys on “Wuss Island.”) At the end of the episode, Marshall carves a Thanksgiving turkey in 3-5 years with a lightsaber, just as he predicted earlier in the episode.

All in all, this episode was a little flat for me, possibly because it seemed to underuse the talents of the girls in the cast. It was, however, very well structured and gave us yet another tease for the upcoming story of The Goat. And I’m glad that Jason Segal finally got a haircut. Marshall is way cuter with short hair.

The Husband:

I unfortunately have to agree that the episode, while still extremely funny, was a bit flat. Honestly, I have to reiterate that I love HIMYM because it’s NOT like every other sitcom out there, that is has a heart and a brain. This episode, save for a few details, could have easily been an episode of, say, The King Of Queens. Don’t get me wrong. I liked The King Of Queens, but it isn’t even in the same level of brilliance as HIMYM.

I also do not like Will Sasso, he of seven years of Mad TV, as Doug the Bartender. HIMYM isn’t that reliant on familiar names for guest stars, which is one of their greatest powers, so when they do dip into the recognizable actor list for guest appearances, it usually doesn’t work. Hell, I love Will Forte and I still thought his appearance last season as a wingman-in-training didn’t really fit the show. So for Sasso to have so much material just dragged the episode down considerably.

But yes, you’d better believe that Marshall, 3-5 years into the future, will indeed have a green lightsaber. Why green? Honestly, I doubt Marshall actually knows the relevance of a green lightsaber as opposed to all others, so I’m just going to assume he identifies very closely with Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy, which allows me to posit that Ted fancies himself as more of a Han Solo (which makes sense).

And despite not being the large hairy monster of the group (that would be Marshall), Barney is totally their Chewbacca. He’s just basically in the corner making noises anyway.

Okay, this has nothing to do with Star Wars, but CBS actually posted Barneys Lesbian Pick-Up Outfit, so I just had to post it. I hope this image only goes to further your Neil Patrick Harris sex fantasties, dear readers.

Okay, this has nothing to do with Star Wars, but CBS actually posted Barney's Lesbian Pick-Up Outfit, so I just had to post it. I hope this image only goes to further your Neil Patrick Harris sex fantasties, dear readers.