Joshradnor_howimetyourmother_s3_2_2 Poor Ted, I truly felt for him tonight on How I Met Your Mother. While Ted may be over Stella (mostly anyway), the people around him haven’t moved past her and Ted has found himself the object of much pity as of late. That sort of thing has to be really hard to deal with, Ted has to have been really battling lately to regain some control over his life. That’s a tough fight for anyone, much tougher than any sort of physical confrontation.

Ted doesn’t really seem like the physical confrontation kind of person, but tonight he ended up in one. I don’t believe he needed to, that is unless he wanted to get back with Robin. You see, she revealed this evening that she has a thing for guys who have been in fights, something about her Canadian upbringing.

We got that little tidbit of information when Doug, a bartender at their watering hole, tried to boot some guys out of the gang’s booth for them. It had worked really well in the past when a nun and a priest were in the booth, but the group of guys in the booth this time around didn’t feel like moving just because it was Ted et. al.’s regular spot. Doug’s efforts resulted in his needing Ted, Marshall, and Barney to help him beat up the other guys out in the alley behind the bar.

While I still see myself as a Ted-like character, I would not have agreed to be in the fight, I would have stayed as far away from the fight as I possibly could. Ted wasn’t going to go after Robin if he took part in the fight, so there really was no upside for him, but he jumped in anyway. He gave some completely lame — and totally Ted-like — excuse about how being in a fight was an experience he needed to have. The reason didn’t work for me, I did however love Barney’s reason for taking part in the fight — turning on Robin (see the quote of the week below).

So, Barney and Ted (Marshall wanted no part of it) headed out to the fight, only to arrive after it had ended. Doug, being a monstrously big dude, had taken out all three opponents without anyone’s help. Plus, as a major bonus for Barney, Doug had blacked out during the fight so he thought Ted and Barney had helped him win.

At that point Barney did what anyone else would have done — he beat up both himself and Ted to make it look like they’d been in a fight. He then went back inside to claim Robin who was definitely turned on by Barney’s black eye.

What did the guys get for their big fake fight? In the parlance of today’s youth, they got served. Check that, they actually literally got served. They went back to the bar the next night only to find a couple of guys in their booth again, and upon confronting the new interlopers (to impress some women) Barney and Ted were both served with legal documents accusing them of assault.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Marshall was actually behind the lawsuit. My theory is that Marshall knew that Barney and Ted would go to him for help and that he could make the suit magically disappear any time he wanted. We know that Marshall believed that Ted and Barney had pretended to take part in the fight and that after the guys told him what really happened he got the other party to drop the suit. We didn’t however see that last bit happen, we only saw the result — Doug being the only defendant left in the lawsuit (admittedly, if my theory is true, that was terribly bad planning on Marshall’s part).

Strictly for the record, and because the episode nominally was about the one and only fight Ted has ever had in his whole life, it was after Barney and Ted were dropped from the suit that said fight occurred. Doug wanted to fight both Barney and Ted only to back down when he decided that the two guys weren’t worth his time. Doug then made a small disparaging remark about Ted not being someone who can be counted on and that clearly being why Stella had left him, and so Ted unloaded all he had onto Doug.

That "all he had" amounted to a single punch which hurt Ted’s hand more than it did Doug’s face. Not surprisingly, Doug then took out Ted with one blow. It was Marshall, good old pacifist Marshall, who used the Fight Club skills he learned rough-housing with his brothers back in the day to take out Doug without breaking a sweat. If only we’d gotten to see that last bit actually go down.

Odds and ends:

  • Two great moments from tonight didn’t quite fit into the episode summary. The first occurred at the end of the episode when, three to five years in the future, Marshall carved a Thanksgiving turkey with a lightsaber (he’s been on the forums, he knows it’s coming).
  • The second great moment occurred well before that — Ted explaining to everyone at the top of the episode that Barney had figured that he can carry on a whole conversation simply by using the titles of "black sitcoms from the ’70s and ’80s." He whipped out such classics as Good Times, Diff’rent Strokes, and the never-popular (except with me) What’s Happening Now!.
  • As for our quote of the night, it was all Robin — "If a guy’s got a scar he’s got a Robin, and if he’s missing teeth, I’m missing my pants."

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