Robin Sparkles IV was unnecessary, narratively speaking. One may argue Robin Sparkles IV was essential for Robin's arc because it filled in the gaps of Robin's turbulent love life; or, one may argue, HIMYM indulged in a bit of fun and there's nothing wrong with that. Noted, friends, well-wishers, and employees of DISH.
Ted meets a beautiful blonde on the subway, portrayed by the lovely Abby Elliott of Saturday Night Live fame, and makes a list of ideas to find her, because she left the train before he could speak to her. Jeanette, the blonde girl who Ted wants to meet, meets Ted outside of the university Ted teaches at. Ted's amazed to learn Jeanette's as into meeting him as he is into meeting her. Lily and Marshall worry about the girl's eagerness. Jeanette carries around two legal pads, just like stalker Ted, and her cover about setting off a fire alarm to meet him as holes in it. Meanwhile, Robin relates a story about obsession but refuses to elaborate on the specifics. Barney has the patience of a small child and immediately departs for Vancouver to talk with Robin's old boyfriends in hopes they'll tell him who Robin fell hard for in her Canadian years. Robin wouldn't tell him who he pined for because he made a big deal out of her obsessive stalking, even denying he'd succumb to that.
The entire second act is devoted to Robin Sparkles IV. Jeanette disappears for seven minutes, as does present day Robin. Any pretense of other stories is dropped for seven minutes of Robin Sparkles' Underneath The Tones, MuchMusic's Behind The Music, featuring cameos from Jason Priestly, Paul Shaffer, Alex Trebek, former LA King and one of my favorite hockey players of all time Luc Robitaille, the Barenaked Ladies dude, and other notable Canadians. Underneath The Tones tells the story of Robin Sparkles' fall. At the 1996 Grey Cup, Robin dropped Robin Sparkles and adopted an Alanis Morrisette persona, ushering in the grunge era for Canadians, and ushering in a Dave Coulier cameo to boot because the Alans-wrote-that-one-song-about-Dave thing isn't old. Anyway, teen sensation Robin Sparkles adopts black hair, dark eyeliner, and a grunge wardrobe and unleases her devastating track "PS I love you." The PS is for Paul Shaffer, the man teen sensation Robin Sparkles obsessed over. The video reveals Canadians are polite even when angry, that Jason Priestly invented his own donut, that Tim Horton's is popular in Canada, and that Canadians only eat donuts at Tim Horton's. Barney gets beaten up by Alan Thicke after the video ends when Barney confronts Alan Thicke in a jealous rage. I don't know. Robin Sparkles entertained me once and it took Dawson Leery to make it enjoyable. All of the Canadian jokes are old and lazy. Barney displays even more pathaological behavior that suggests Robin should stay clear from sharing a meal with him let alone enter into the holy bond of matrimony with him.
Abby Elliott should stay around for a few episodes. Deadline announced her guest stint months ago as a crazy blonde girl, which is a character as different from the HIMYM norm as a bird building a nest. Future Ted admits Jeanette is his last mistake before he meets the woman he marries. Jeanette confesses that she'd been stalking Ted Mosby for a year and a half, ever since New York Magazine profiled him. Ted kisses her passionately and they fall to the floor to have intercourse, one would assume; however, they might've fell to the floor to play Battleship. There's a major hole in the story, though. I dislike HIMYM the most when the writers cheat the story. Bays and Thomas and the other writers cheat the story to hide Jeanette's crazy stalker side. Jeanette smiles at Ted on the train and then she's gone, even though she's been stalking him for a year and a half. They cheat the story to set up Ted's Dobble-Dahmer theory, which then sets up the Robin story; and then the entire episode is a cheat.
Besides the cheating aspect ruining the episode, I didn't hate it. The news that the series will finally end in May 2014 contributes to my okay feelings about the show this week. It will be a good day for television with HIMYM ends.
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK