“Spoiler Alert” again proves how even when How I Met Your Mother isn’t about Ted meeting the Mother, it’s still worth watching. We find Ted excited about his new girlfriend, Cathy, played by Lindsay Price. After a long dinner, the group can’t stand Cathy and the worst part is Ted can’t see Cathy’s flaw because of his feelings towards her. After some begging, Marshall eventually reveals that Cathy talks all the time. When Ted thinks about the dinner he realizes Marshall is right, shattering his illusion, which Carter Bays and Craig Thomas illustrate with the sound of shattering glass.
Eventually, Ted breaks up with Cathy but the focus of the episode is on the gang’s own bad habits. One by one everyone’s flaws are learned by the group. Lily chews loudly, Ted corrects everyone, Robin uses the word “literally” a lot, Marshall sings his daily activities as he does them, bringing us to Barney, The gang all pitch in a bring up multiple flaws of Barney, including talking in a high-pitched voice, using lame catch phrases and spacing out during conversations.
With the gang at each other’s throats, Robin sings one of Marshall’s songs and adds how they get stuck in her head, “And what’s worse: they’re catchy! Apple, Orchard, Banana Cat Dance 8663. See, we know that one because you once sang it for like three hours? What the hell is that?” As it turns out, that song was Marshall’s password for the BAR exam results that he had forgotten earlier in the episode, AOBCD8663. Marshall rushes to his computer with the password and finds out he is officially a lawyer. The gang celebrates at MacLaren’s as future Ted tells us that if you really love someone, you can look past their flaws.
The episode ends three years in the future with Ted running into Cathy and her fiance, who happens to be deaf. Ted signs to Cathy’s fiance, as first mentioned in “How I Met Everyone Else”, and adds a joke about Cathy’s non-stop talking. The man looks confused and the phrase “(glass shattering)” is shown on the screen.
“Spoiler Alert” was a great change up from the seriousness of the past few episodes. The ability of How I Met Your Mother to bring a story full circle only continues to get better, whether it is in one episode or multiple. The fact that the episode began with Marshall’s lost password, switched to everyone’s bad habits, back to Marshall’s password and finally ending with future Cathy and didn’t seem to cluttered (unlike this sentence) is amazing. I have to give credit to the writers for making Cathy’s flaw that she talks a lot, “Chatty Cathy”, and that she ends up with a deaf man.
The added sound effect of glass shattering during the episode is my favorite part of the episode, but my favorite scene was when Ted met Cathy and her fiance and then shattered the fiance’s illusion of Cathy with the graphic “(shattered glass)”.