‘How I Met Your Mother’ “Exploding Meatball Sub” Recap and Review

On How I Met Your Mother, Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) have always been the most stable of the couples. But their status as a hermaphroditic blob isn’t always so happy-go-lucky. In season six, episode 20, “The Exploding Meatball Sub,” all of the relationships, both romantic and otherwise, take on a new dimension.

Alyson HanniganZoey and Ted’s relationship on How I Met Your Mother
Marshall and Lily don’t get Zoey (Jennifer Morrison) and Ted (Josh Radnor). Zoey and Ted constantly challenge each other, even going to extremes over who will hang up first. To Lily, their relationship sounds exhausting. Put another way, Lily says of her and Marshall: “The only fight we’ve had about Tommy Boy is if it’s awesome or super-awesome. That’s love bitch.”

But what happens when Ted’s girlfriend Zoey gets a hearing in front of the Landmark Preservation Committee, thereby threatening Ted’s dream of building a New York City skyscraper? Ted says he’s cool with it, but that’s just one story that’s about to explode on HIMYM “Exploding Meatball Sub.”

Lily supports Marshall no matter what?
It’s been a long time coming. Marshall really and truly hates his job–from the paperwork, to the coffee, to the dirty jokes. But just as he decides to quit, he suddenly doesn’t hate it anymore. Robin (Cobie Smulders) has an explanation–one of her few roles on this episode. Marshall has graduation goggles; he’s misty now because he’s realizing he’ll never see those jerks again. “The point is,” she explains, “you can’t trust graduation goggles.”

So Marshall quits with Lily’s full support and decides to go work for the National Resource Defense Council. Except the paid job is taken, and Marshall is just volunteering. He’s also volunteering their apartment for a fundraiser.

But, hey, Lily says she’s still okay, something Ted doesn’t understand. She even asks Ted to go with her to the airport to pick up a famous ecologist. Except she doesn’t need Ted there to speak Spanish; she needs Ted to drive the ecologist to the party so she can run away to Spain. Rather than talk to Marshall about how she feels like a ticking time bomb with how much she “supports” him, she wants to run–something perfectly in line with her character from way back in season one.

So which relationship is better? The one between Ted and Zoey, or Marshall and Lily?

That’s an easy answer. Lily does come back to the apartment after all, and Marshall realizes how much he’s asked of Lily. He’s going to find a way to help the earth while getting paid for it.

When that happens, Ted realizes something. “Support is better. Way better,” Ted says. “But I’d have to learn that the hard way.” Because when he tries to break up with Zoey? He sees her through break-up goggles, and they’re not over, at least not yet.

How Barney handles Marshall leaving GNB
Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) clearly has unresolved abandonment issues, something Robin tries to get out of Barney by plying him with scotch. Apparently she’s more than friend, she’s therapist too.

But Barney doesn’t really care about his friend leaving GNB. Rather, he had a revenge plan in motion, and it wasn’t resolved since Marshall quit. Barney wants to get back at Marshall for a perfectly stupid reason, but, hey, that’s Barney sometimes. One day at lunch, Marshall humiliated Barney by pointing out that he’d gotten marinara on his shirt.

Barney is intent on getting back at Marshall by designing an exploding meatball sub. “You want to make God laugh, tell him your plans, right?” Barney tells Robin.

“What is wrong with you?” Robin returns, voicing what HIMYM fans think everywhere.

Barney, eventually, has his revenge. He spends $30,000 on uninsured fake medical symptoms, just to ask an older Marshall to eat the meatball sub. But the joke is on him. The marinara splashed on his pjs, too.

How I Met Your Mother “Exploding Meatball Sub”
So, Barney’s story really fell flat. While HIMYM is typically well-versed in the absurd and bizarre, the metaphor didn’t quite work because it wasn’t all that funny. But it was a metaphor for the episode. There’s a few HIMYM members who are ready to explode. Lily can only be patient for so long. Ted won’t tolerate Zoey and how unsupportive she is for much long either. He’s getting ready to explode…but when?

There’s just four more episodes of season six, and hopefully more laughs are on the way.

How I Met Your Mother airs on CBS Mondays at 8pm Eastern.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

© Copyright: 2011 Elizabeth SanFilippo at Gather.com

About the Author ()

By day, I work as a Web Coordinator for a culinary vacation company. By night, I write, watch TV and movies, draw, and eat. Not usually all at the same time though. I love a good story and finding the right words to tell it. I also love a good meal, as w

Leave a Reply