The Wife:

Let me start by saying that the running joke about Robin’s mystery Canadian sex act with a mystery celebrity who collects a mystery collectible was hilarious if only for the name of the sex acts. Even more hilarious? That every sex act at canadiansexacts.org pops up a picture of Alan Thicke in front of the Canadian flag telling you that the site is temporarily down, but that you’re not perfect, either. One that I clicked on told me to go “open a brown pop,” and try again in a few minutes. I clicked the “open a brown pop” link, which took me to another greeting from Alan Thicke informing me that “a brown pop is not a sex act, you perv.”

And should I try to right click and get a screen cap of one of the photos of Alan Thicke, the site does this to me:

Those crazy Canucks . . .

Those crazy Canucks . . .

Damn that Alan Thicke!

Canadian-made computers apparently run on maple syrup.

Canadian-made computers apparently run on maple syrup.

Now I’ll never actually know what an Old King Clancy is, other than Canada’s most popular wrestler, The Frozen Snoeshow, who collects Harvey’s trays, absolutely doesn’t want to do it with Robin, who apparently carries a bottle of maple syrup in her purse (next to her handgun), just in case she finds anyone willing to perform the act. Robin, it seems, is a little bit freaky, despite telling her friends that it was she who walked out on ‘Shoe when he suggested this vile act involving maple syrup. I always kind of knew that Robin was one who liked to get kinky in bed. Those Canucks are crazy, yo!

And so is Robins hair in this scene. You can take the girl out of the mall, but you cant take the mall out of Robin Sparkles.

And so is Robin's hair in this scene. You can take the girl out of the mall, but you can't take the mall out of Robin Sparkles.

But this episode wasn’t really about pictures of Alan Thicke and the mysteries found at canadiansexacts.org or even Robin’s wild side. No, it was about when its okay to lie to your friends to protect them, as Marshall and Barney choose to do when they find out that GNB is axing the new headquarters project, which means their friend Ted will be out of a job. Bilson, returning from his stint selling drugs on SLOTAT, makes Ted’s two best friends inform him of the firing, but neither man has the heart to tell Ted his project has been cut. Marshall figures that because Ted’s firm will be paid for the job for another two months anyway, that they should just let him continue to work on the project for a new special task force comprised of people who actually like his ideas. That is, a group of crazy people and lower-rung workers from the building who were all paid $50 once a week to show up for the meeting and pretend they were enraptured by everything Ted said.

There are a couple of great sequences here, one in reference to the Ocean’s movies in which Marshall demonstrates how he rounded up each member of the new task force, including a janitor, Louisa the Lunch Lady who doesn’t speak any English and a crazy man from the street. I loved Marshall’s ignorance of Louisa’s inability to speak English, referring to her involvement in the scheme as “our little ablondigas,” or, “our little meatball.” But even better than this sequence was Ted and Louisa’s brief Telemundo-style romance post-meeting, in which Louisa confesses that she cannot love Ted because she is already engaged to Mr. Barney, and Ted, fearful of making love to a woman “on the special task force,” storms out, declaring that their love is wrong. I also really liked the preface to the complex lie in which Barney instructs Marshall about how to create complicated lies by telling a story about a pony he doesn’t have that changed colors when he drank water from a nuclear reactor. Marshall is so moved by the pony’s plight that he forgot the original lie was that Barney had a pony at all. I love Marshall.

When Ted finally finds out that his project has been canceled — and from a girl he tried to hit on in an elevator with a fake phone call, no less — he is furious with his friends for lying to them, fearing he’s going to get fired for working on a canceled project. Barney argues that they were only trying to spare his feelings, especially since he was going to get paid for two more months of work anyway, but Ted thinks this was too serious a thing to lie about, unlike when he and Barney told Marshall that his stand-up routine about the names of various fish was actually funny. (It was funny, because it totally wasn’t.) Still, the fish list story proves Marshall’s point about how everyone lies to spare their friends’ feelings sometimes. Barney and Marshall try to make it up to Ted by getting him a job redesigning the ETR, the Employee Transition Room, at GNB. The ETR is where people go to get fired, and it gets pretty real in there. Mostly, people launch themselves over the mediation table to try and kill their personal terminators. Sometimes, Barney sleeps with them and then fires them. And, sometimes, the fired employee takes a four-pronged approach that really brings the terminator to their knees. Or, in other words, they hit the person who fired them with a chair.

Ted pitches a more womb-like version of the ETR to Bilson, who says he loves it and then promptly takes Ted to the ETR to discuss how those changes can be made to the existing ETR . . . only when they get there, Bilson fires Ted. As a result, Ted gets fired from his firm, but realizes that his friends were only trying to help him and that, free from Bilson’s constraints, Ted was presenting his fake task force with some of the most inspired work of his career. He decides to start his own firm, following the central metaphor of his womb-like ETR and being “reborn” as an architect. Naturally, Ted also takes a chair to Bilson’s head. Gotta love that four-pronged approach.

This was a good, solid episode with yet another one of Carter and Thomas’ website-enhanced storylines. I, too, am disappointed that I’ll never actually know what an Old King Clancy is, but perhaps I’m better off not knowing. It could be as dirty as a Newfoundland Lobster Trap.

“Don’t know. Don’t wanna know. Those Newfies are out of control.” — Robin

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