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‘How I Met Your Mother’ ‘Unpause’ review: Not much good happens after 2 am

Marshall and Lily unpause their fight to finally address their issues on 'How I Met Your Mother.'
Marshall and Lily unpause their fight to finally address their issues on 'How I Met Your Mother.'
Ron P. Jaffe/FOX

'How I Met Your Mother' 'Unpause'


Ever since season one, “How I Met Your Mother” has stressed that nothing good happens after 2 am. But that was only partially the case on the January 20th episode, “Unpause.” That’s because fans got a brief glimpse into Ted (Josh Radnor) and the mother’s future in 2017, and it involved her going into labor while at the Farhampton Inn.

Despite that sweet moment into the Mosby family future on the CBS comedy, it was hardly the most entertaining part of the night. Rather that belonged to the two central storylines of “HIMYM.” First, there was Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) who reached a whole new level of drunkenness, thanks to Marshall (Jason Segel) who didn’t want the night to end in fear of fighting with Lily (Alyson Hannigan).

Barney bypassed his Jabba the Hutt level of drunkenness, and reached a “truth serum” level. Naturally, Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Ted took advantage of this by asking everything they’ve always wanted to. They learned everything from what Barney did with Ted’s mom -- he was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double -- to how much he spends on suits every year (hint, a crapload). But the most important question of all? What Barney really does for a living. Turns out his answer of “pause” over the years was a real answer, because it stands for: “provide legal exculpation and sign everything.”

In other words, Barney is the company fall guy on "How I Met Your Mother." Except he isn’t. Because he has a plan that began when that business guy stole his girlfriend from him so many years ago. He’s working with the feds, and he’s getting vengeance. And due to that vengeance, and getting married to the only woman he’s ever really loved, he’s pretty darn happy.

The same can’t be said for Marshall and Lily. While Marshall avoids the big fight by having sex, and “bagging her to sleep,” he then accidentally wakes her up by stepping on one of Ted’s old “childhood” toys. What ensues is pretty painful, but how else was this “HIMYM” conversation going to go? After Marshall calls Lily’s job a hobby, the truth really starts rolling. That’s because Marshall thinks Lily is being selfish, just like when she broke up with him and moved to San Francisco.

Marshall’s fears really come out then, claiming he’s worried that him and Marvin are just a consolation prize to Lily. And Lily has nothing to say to that. Rather, she runs out of the room and calls someone to pick her up. But who? Is it Ranjit? But who is Ranjit taking her to?

The “HIMYM” rule is that nothing good happens after 2 am, despite Ted’s future, and considering what’s going on with Lily and Marshall that seems to be true. Or is this just a fight that needed to happen for them? Fans of the show know that Marshall and Lily are perfect for each other, and this should be just one -- major -- hiccup in the road. And who knows where Lily was running off to? Maybe, somehow, Lily running away is an exception to the 2 am rule too, however unlikely.

“How I Met Your Mother” airs on CBS Mondays at 8 p.m. EST.

© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2014

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