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‘How I Met Your Mother’ Review: “No Questions Asked”

How I Met Your Mother Review No Questions Asked
CBS

How I Met Your Mother’ season 9 recalls its seventh episode of the final year, “No Questions Asked,” as Marshall tasks Ted, Robin and Barney with retrieving Lily’s phone before she can find the incriminating text about his judgeship, while Barney and Robin worry about their inability to work together in marriage..

Last week’s ‘How I Met Your Mother’ installment “Knight Vision” saw Ted paired with an increasingly downtrodden wedding guest (‘True Blood”s Anna Camp), while Barney and Robin contended with their ill-tempered reverend, and Marshall wrestled with how to break the news of his job offer to Lily, so how does the final season keep rolling down the aisle?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about the ‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 9 episode 7, “No Questions Asked!”

Answering the call we saw a week ago, Marshall quickly finds that Lily hasn’t checked her text messages, and is instead annoyed that Marshall put in for Farhampton Inn room 13, supposedly haunted by the ghost of a hook-handed sea captain. Lily complains that the staff refuses to fix any problems with the room, blaming them all on the ghost, though Marshall remains gleeful about the supernatural possibility.

That night, Lily is awoken by the sound of a man with a hook entering her window, though the figure is revealed to be Ted. Future Ted explains that he followed Marshall’s request to sneak the phone away from Lily after being reminded of a “no questions asked” payback for Marshall. Covering with Lily by singing her to sleep, Ted searches the room and finds Barney in the air duct, after Marshall pressed him into the same deed with another “no questions asked” payback. Room service next brings an expensive order, though when Lily leaves the room to protest the charge, Robin emerges from under the cart with the same objective.

The group realizes Lily took the phone with her down to the front desk, breaking for their own strategies to retrieve it from her, though Barney and Robin quickly realize they’ve once again failed to work together, having argued about the wedding’s doves arrangement earlier. The pair express their hope that even lone wolves can learn to work together, combining their ridiculous plans involving a unitard for Robin and a trained dove for Barney, though they soon find they’ve missed Lily downstairs entirely.

Instead, Ted reveals that he stopped Lily from checking her phone by asking her to destroy it no questions asked, calling in a similar favor from when he’d rescued a captive Lily from her wild students. Ted calls Marshall to let him know the phone has been destroyed, but when Ted questions why Marshall himself didn’t call in a favor with his wife, Marshall realizes that he’d never wanted to keep any secrets from Lily to hold over later. Ted hands the phone to Lily on Marshall’s request, and Marshall finally comes clean about his judgeship, for which Lily ominously warns that someone may die in their hotel room after all.

After the credits, we see how Ted wound up stuck in an NYC mailbox from his “no questions asked” moment, having attempted to retrieve an over-the-top letter to his latest crush, and hiding from the mailman inside the box before he locked it.

OUR REVIEW:

We won’t lie, it’s been a particularly rough going for ‘How I Met Your Mother”s final season, which continues to tread water with each passing episode in spite of any logistical questions or the cast’s otherwise-enthusiastic performance of slapstick comedy. It’s enough to burn out any fan expecting more organic situational humor, or dare we say it, further appearances from the actual mother (who supposedly returns in next week’s installment). We’ve had to largely abandon hope that the final season will hit its stride in setting the action at the Farhampton Inn, even if the individual jokes and emotional revelations land on relatively steady footing.

To say the least, “No Questions Asked” at least helps to bring on the passage of time for our first leg of the season, wisely setting its action around bedtime so as to keep the supporting cast to a minimum and stage few location changes apart from the “No Questions Asked” cutaways. Any claustrophobic notions of supernatural Halloween-timed horror quickly fall by the wayside however, as we’re treated to an absurd game of visual one-upsmanship in retrieving Lily’s phone, though her reasons for never finding Marshall’s text in the first place remain unclear.

Everyone uses their phone differently, to be certain, but is it honestly plausible to make and receive multiple phone calls without once noticing a text message? Then again, the episode in question also saw Robin maintaining a purple unitarded double life as “Night Falcon,” pursued by equally outfitted parkour thugs chasing she and Marshall down with blow guns, so we’ve no idea what to expect from the series anymore. On a personal note, the situation becomes even more absurd when the writers neglect to take into account TV critics who may or may not have gone to grammar school on 22nd and 2nd, wherein the only alleyways would belong to a church!

All the same, “No Questions Asked” ironically lives up to its namesake, in that our investment in ‘How I Met Your Mother”s final season has grown beyond an interest in asking further questions. Next week’s episode should kick off a new day, and build upon some of the few established stories of the season, perhaps affording us an alternative to Barney and Robin’s latest life lesson, Marshall’s road trip, or the gang’s latest insane flashback. Until then, at least Marshall came clean about his judgeship problem, regardless of Lily’s puzzling non-reaction.

Well, what say you? Did ‘How I Met Your Mother’’s latest “No Questions Asked” sour you on the final season format?  What did you think about the gang’s latest flashback misadventures? Give us your thoughts in the comments, and join us again next week for another all-new recap of ‘How I Met Your Mother’’s latest episode “The Lighthouse” on CBS!

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