Tonight’s episode of How I Met Your Mother was hardly the strongest outing of this or any other season. Marshall was mugged, and he lied about it to a scared Lily (he said a monkey did it). This, combined with Barney’s dishonest pickup lines, were in service of the idea that sometimes a lie is better to set a loved one’s mind at ease or have a better story or, if you’re Ted, justify a never-ending story to your children about how their parents ended up together. Still, I loved the final few seconds of the show.

Marshall’s lie led to an appearance on Robin’s early morning talk show, but Ted wanted to get in on the action with his model of the Empire State Building, a project that only interested him. When Marshall backed out, Robin was left with the monkey, the representation of the NYC landmark, and a creepy doll collector introduced earlier in the episode. What followed was a surreal King Kong sight gag where the monkey broke free from his cage, snatched a doll, and ascended to the top of Ted’s structure. Was it hysterical? No. But it was unexpected and subtly set up. And I think that’s why this show has won a place in my heart and on my viewing schedule. There is always a careful attention to detail that comes together in a way that both surprises and makes total sense. Give credit where credit is due. At times it seems like it will take Ted forever to wrap up his love story, but the end result is bound to satisfy.


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