When Marshall and Lily announce they’re officially moving to Long Island, Ted laments that this is worse than when they cancelled Party of Five for the second time. Sure, the 46 minute train ride between the two How I Met Your Mother groups—the Manhattanites and the Long Islanders—doesn’t seem like too great of a distance, but what if it is?
Before “46 Minutes” even truly begins, the creators decide that Barney needs to proclaim he is the new leader of the gang and even gets his own opening credits. This isn’t the first time the show has tinkered with the credits for a specific episode, and while this wasn’t as good as when the five of them were in a rock band, it’s still great and I hope we get to see more of these 90-second gems.
This episode is chock full of little one-liners that bring HIMYM back to early season glory. Examples include Ted describing “early relationship chicken,” Barney shouting “tonight is going to be legend-are-you-sure-it’s-a-good-idea-to-go-to-a-strip-SHUT-UP-LILY-I’m-in-charge-now-dary” and Marshall revealing his semester abroad was when he and Ted lived on opposite sides of campus. It was all of these little jokes that made the first half of the series such a hit and tonight the writers returned to top form.
This week’s episode also marked the return of Stripper Lily, Lily’s Russian doppelganger named Jasmine. Barney wants Jasmine and her behemoth boyfriend to replace Lily and Marshall, which leads to another terrific parody of the opening theme song.
Meanwhile, Lily’s father Mickey (played by a terrific Chris Elliot), is currently staying with the new house owners and taunts Marshall when all of the lights go out in the house. At first he’s tremendously annoying, as he is supposed to be, but he turns into an insane character that fits right into the show’s crazed onslaught of reoccurring and guest characters.
What makes a HIMYM episode an outstanding one is its ability to balance a pointless plot with a very meaningful one. This episode seems like it’s going nowhere fast and is set up to be a funny filler episode. By the end, the episode transitioned to another life lesson Future Ted needed to tell his children. Sure, it’s a formula, but it works. The episode sets up future episodes without revealing too many details. To borrow a phrase from an earlier episode: they have me on the hook. Only, I don’t mind it.