HIMYM review Season 1 Episode 4 “Return of the Shirt”


Hello kids. Episode four more than likely falls into the filler category. I think this is one of the weaker episodes from season one but it still has some good lessons to teach us.


The episode beings with Ted realizing his tastes have changed. He suddenly likes an old shirt he never wears and likes the taste of bourbon even though he swears he didn’t before. This sudden change in taste has Ted wondering if his perfect girl is from his past, perhaps he already found Mrs. Ted Mosby but had not acquired the taste yet. Marshall and Lily discuss Ted’s previous girlfriends while Barney tempts Robin with cash to say unusual phrases during tv broadcasts. Ted is reminded of Valerie, played by Anne Dudek, and how great dating her was. As song called “We Rule the School” by Belle & Sebastian plays when Natalie is talked about. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoK5QiN2vxc)


Ted calls Natalie hoping she remembers him and does she ever. After Natalie hangs up on Ted, Ted remembers that he broke up with her on birthday by leaving a message on her answering machine. It is later revealed by Natalie that her friends were throwing a surprise party for her and overheard the message. Ted shows up at Natalie’s apartment with a giant sock money to ask for forgiveness and a second chance. Natalie is wore down by Ted’s charm and agrees to coffee. The coffee leads to sex, sex leads to dating and just like before, things fall back into place with Natalie.

Flash forward three weeks and Ted tells the group he has to break up with Natalie because she isn’t the one. The group then discusses if there is a good way to break up with someone. Lily convinces Ted that he needs to break up with Natalie in person this time.

Meanwhile, Robin is covering a live story about New York City’s oldest Hansom cab driver. She has agreed to do Barney’s bidding for a fourth time because she realized no one watches Metro News 1, but before she can, the driver starts thanking Robin for telling his story. Robin overcome with joy and accomplishment, realizes her job has value and decides not to follow through with her agreement with Barney. As she starts an impassioned speech about her job, she falls out of the horse drawn carriage and into some horse poop.


Ted takes Natalie to dinner to tell her the bad news. Natalie begins to tell Ted about her long day and that she doesn’t want anymore cake for her birthday. Ted had unknowingly planned on breaking up with Natalie on her birthday for a second time. Ted finally musters up the courage to break up with Natalie and lays all his cards on the table thinking Natalie will be heart broken. Natalie is quite the opposite, she is furious that Ted would break up with her a second time on her birthday and demands an explanation. Ted feeling cornered by her anger put his foot in his mouth followed by Natalie putting her foot in his chest. Ted knew that Natalie had been taking Krav Maga but had no idea it was a form of martial arts. Ted meets the gang at MacLaren’s, beaten, bruised and with a less complete shirt, single and knowing he did the right thing by telling Natalie in person.

“Return of the Shirt” is the first of several episodes in How I Met Your Mother that link an ordinary object to a story or memory. Future Ted imparts an important lesson that I don’t think many people think about, he says, “kids, when you’re single all you’re looking for, is happily ever after. but only one of your stories can end that way. The rest end with someone getting hurt.” Relationships are never an easy thing to let go of but you need to remember that sometimes things have to fall apart before they can fall together. Every relationship, experience, and memory is helping to mold the future you.

My favorite scene in this episode is when Lily, Marshall and Ted are discussing Ted’s ex-girlfriends. One girl is brought up who admitted to doing adult films. Barney looks at Ted and says, “you dumped a porn star? Friendship over.” Barney gets up to leave and then screams at Ted, “friendship over!” before he storms out of the bar.

Chat with you kids tomorrow, cheers.


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