How I Met Your Mother: “The Chain of Screaming” Recap

Posted by Mike


This week’s recap is going to be kind of short because … well, this week’s episode kind of sucked. OK, that might be a little harsh; it wasn’t entirely without merit. Barney was awesome, as usual, and Bob Odenkirk guest-starred as Marshall’s boss Arthur Hobbs (a.k.a. Artillery Arthur). But the tired subplots about Lily being horny and Ted being concerned about the cleanliness of his new car? Come on, HIMYM — you’re better than that. The good news is that next week we’ll see the return of Robin Sparkles in an episode titled “Sandcastles in the Sand,” so all is forgiven. On with the recap.

The episode begins with Ted revealing that he has purchased a new car. (But, Ted, it’s New York — you have no use for a new car. It’s like Aquaman trying to date a woman without gills.) Marshall walks up to the gang, and can only mutter the word “beer” as he heads down the steps to McLaren’s. Turns out he got yelled at by his boss at work, and cried like a little boy in response. (Wait, is “boy” the right word? Nice one, Robin.) Apparently he was late in turning in the Ninja Report (the code name for some super boring project) and Artillery Arthur ripped him a new one.

Everyone has their own idea about how Marshall should handle the situation. Robin thinks he should bring a gun to work. (How could that possibly go badly?) Ted opts for an eloquent speech (that turns out to be not so eloquent). Lily suggests treating his boss like a kindergartner, and being constructive and positive while explaining that screaming was an inappropriate course of action. Barney, of course, has concocted an elaborate theory called the Chain of Screaming, (Or is it the Circle? No, wait … Pyramid?) which dictates that Marshall must scream at someone else to feel better about being screamed at himself. Marshall finally gives in and reluctantly tries it on a waiter, who vents a triple shift worth of frustration right back at him. Finally, Barney takes one for the team and has Marshall yell at him, which seems to work out great — except that by the time Marshall gets into the office the next morning, he hasn’t gotten everything out of his system, and he goes off on Artillery Arthur. In the process, he quits his job and loses out on any severance package he might have received.

Everything works out in the end. Marshall loses his job, but Lily is just happy to have her husband back. Ted sells his car to help Marshall and Lily avoid losing their apartment. Blah, blah, blah. Bring on Robin Sparkles!

Other highlights: Screaming mostly, such as Artillery Arthur telling Ferguson that his report “is the crap that crap craps,” and the waiter telling Marshall to “eat your damn meatloaf.”

Best Barneyism: “Screaming is a motivational tool, like Christmas bonuses or sexual harassment.” — Barney, explaining corporate America to Marshall

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2007 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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