This week on How I Met Your Mother, we got to see another episode that seems perfectly designed to reminds us all why we fell in love with the show to begin with. Of course, this reminder couldn’t come at a better time, now that we know they’ve officially been given a 9th [and supposedly “final” – but then again, the 8th was also supposed to be the “final”] season. “P.S. I Love You” will particularly appeal to your late-’80’s and 1990’s nostalgia.
While riding the subway, Ted noticed a woman sitting across from him reading the same book. As usually happens, Ted immediately begins to obsess over this woman, and pulls out a notebook to brainstorm ideas for tracking her down. When he tries to run these idea by Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall, they wisely inform him that what he is doing would be considered stalking – and that he needs to stop.
Ted listens to them, agreeing that it would be forcing a relationship, not leaving it up to fate – sort of like Lily and Marshall‘s meeting. As “fate” [or the stalking skills of the mystery woman] would have it, Ted runs into the woman – who we learn is named Jeanette (Abby Elliot) – outside his classroom building later that week. When it’s revealed that the mystery woman started a fire in the hallway of the building to set off the fire alarm and draw him out, Marshall and Lily warn Ted to stay far away from her.
Most of the gang agrees on the topic, but Robin reveals that she understands where Jeanette is coming from because she’s doing it for love. Robin then informs the gang that, due to love, she went stalker-status on a guy back when she lived in Canada that resulted in him filing a restraining order against her.
This topic makes Barney curious as to what guy Robin would be able to obsess over to that level, and so he takes off for Canada to try and track him down. Several ex-boyfriends, boxes of donuts, and popular 90’s TV stars later, Barney learns that no one is really sure who Robin had such a crush on – but that Canada’s version of VH1’s “Behind the Music” [known as Much Music’s “Underneath the Tunes”] did a full story on the entire situation.
Barney finds a copy of the episode and rushes back to watch it with the gang in NYC. We’re treated to an all-new Robin Sparkles music video – though due to her obsession with the mystery crush, she went from the poppy, fun “Let’s Go To the Mall” to the grunge, totally ’90’s emo-style with “P.S., I Love You”. She also changed her name from Robin Sparkles to Robin Daggers, dyed her hair black, and basically ruined her Robin Sparkles career.
This “episode” was one of the highlights of this week’s episode, largely thanks to the dramatized version of the “Behind the Music” VH1 show that included guest appearances from several notable Canadians – musicians Steven Page, Geddy Lee, k.d. lang, Jason Priestly, and also a few non-musicians, like NHL hockey star Luc Robitaille, and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek.
One of the best moments occurred when Dave Coulier [who you’ll remember as Joey from Full House] appeared, insisting that Robin was not crushing on him and to “cut it out” with the accusations. When “Future Ted” [narrated by Bob Saget, also known as Danny Tanner of Full House] made a comment immediately after about how much he used to love that joke, everyone’s Full House memories came back full-swing. [Full House reunion, anyone?]
Anyway, the trip down memory lane aside, Barney decided her crush must have been on Alan Thicke [star of Growing Pains], so he tracked him down and picked a fight with him. However, he lost the fight, realized Alan wasn’t the crush, and went home to Robin – who finally told them that her crush was on Paul Schaffer [hence the “P.S.” in the song].
What the entire episode made everyone realize is that everyone has a little bit of crazy-stalker in them. Ted makes an excellent point about how we perceive stalking qualities – which he called the “Dobler/Dahmer Effect“. Essentially, if the person on the receiving end of the stalking likes the person in return, then the behavior is viewed as sweet and romantic – like Lloyd Dobler raising his boombox in the air for Diane Court in Say Anything. On the other hand, if the feelings are not mutual, then the stalker-like tendencies come off as creepy – like the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
Finally, for the episode’s conclusion, Lily reveals that the “fate” that made her knock on Marshall and Ted’s room back in college wasn’t fate, but was just her knocking on every room in the dorm until she found him. Still, since Marshall liked her in return, her actions were more Dobler than Dahmer. Future Ted then states that Jeanette, the mystery woman from the subway, was his one last HUGE mistake before he met his kids’ mother – as she turned out to be a Dahmer.
Next week’s episode is “Bad Crazy,” the 16th episode of the season. It will air on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 8/7PM.
Synopsis: Ted realizes his new girlfriend is crazy, but is gun-shy about breaking up with her. Meanwhile, Robin finally breaks down and holds baby Marvin, and finds herself becoming incredibly attached to the little guy.