Another great episode of How I Met Your Mother. “The Perfect Cocktail” effortlessly blended three different storylines into one coherent narrative.
How I Met Your Mother has a distinct sense of humor. Replete with flashbacks (real or fake), historical or musical segues, comedic interstitials, and other gimmicks, the world of HIMYM tends to border on the magically realistic.
Note the exaggerated antagonism of Lily and Robin and the women who want their bar booth. Or, the entire sequence of exaggerated effects certain alcohols have on one or more of the characters. Lily and Robin floating across the screen can be chalked up to the fictional effects of absinthe, but still, the episode makes use of the many surreal aspects of HIMYM‘s humor.
I often wish that this show could just ignore the title and the quest to find the Mother. There’s so much funny and so much heart in this show, that endlessly searching for the mother puts a damper on the effectiveness of much of what this show does.
For example, in this episode, Ted makes a love declaration to Zoey. Great, except we know that she’s not going to be the mother and, in fact, they are definitely doomed to break up (hopefully sooner rather than later).
I’ve never been a fan of Zoey as a character, so I wasn’t terribly moved by her selfish reasons for supporting the Arcadian. Also, does no one remember that Ted had drawn a plan that would renovate the hotel but keep some of its historical structure? Why isn’t that brilliant solution ever brought up, now that Ted and Zoey are in cahoots again?
The non-Ted storyline made much more sense. After getting a negative reference from his former GNB employer, Marshall decides to join Zoey in her cause. This causes a split between Marshall and Barney. Lily and Robin move in to effect a reconciliation, with the help of alcohol.
In the best sequence of the episode, the characters flashback to hilariously bad and very specific effects certain types of alcohol have on certain characters. Not sure why gin and martini are put in different categories, or why a stalwart drinker like Robin would ignore the difference, but that’s just me being nitpicky.
The episode is funny and advances the plot. What else can we ask for, from a half-hour sitcom? Another job well done, HIMYM.