Episode 8 is another filler episode but focuses on one of the most important characters of How I Met Your Mother, Ted and Marshall’s apartment.
“The Duel’ begins with Lily showing her apartment in Queens to Robin. We find both Robin and future Ted’s children surprised Lily has an apartment since she spends the majority of her time at Ted and Marshall’s apartment. Lily is shocked to find her apartment has been converted into a Chinese restaurant since her landlord died. Distraught, Lily and Robin head to Ted and Marshall’s apartment to tell them what happened. Ted calms Lily down by suggesting she live with he and Marshall since she practically lives there already, Down at MacLaren’s, Barney tells Ted and Robin that Ted has messed up big time, Lily and Marshall are going to marry soon and will want the apartment for themselves. Ted tells Barney he does not believe him because Marshall is his best friend, which Barney makes a big deal over since Barney is convinced he is Ted’s best friend. Barney returns to his date and gets a phone call from Ted and Robin to give him an excuse to leave early. The next morning, Ted begins to think Barney is right when he finds Lily has replaced his old coffee maker and wants to replace two hanging swords with one of her paintings.
Later at MacLaren’s, Ted confessed to Barney and Robin he thinks Lily and Marshall are edging him out of the apartment. Barney advises Ted to “mark his territory” instead of waiting for the problem to come to a head. Barney then tells Ted and Robin he is going to revolutionize the first date by adding a “lemon law”. The “Lemon Law” states that any person can call off a first date during the first five minutes for any reason, similar to buying a car. Barney steps away to meet his date and is annoyed by her thick accent, causing him to implement the first “lemon law”. Back at the apartment, Ted’s life-sized phone booth arrives. The phone booth leads to an argument between Ted and Marshall over the apartment and the argument eventually leads to Ted and Marshall getting into a duel with the hanging swords.
Meanwhile at MacLaren’s, Robin debates Barney about the “lemon law”. Robin tells Barney that you can’t get to know someone in the first five minutes and she would never use a fake phone call to leave early. Barney introduces Robin to Kevin, a nerdy looking guy at the end of the bar, and the two of them leave for a date. Kevin, played by Martin Starr, takes Robin to a science fiction themed restaurant but the date is interrupted when Barney calls Robin to try and get her to admit she is wrong and wants to leave. Robin refuses to leave and is asked by Kevin if the call was an “emergency” and she has to leave. Robin determined to prove Barney wrong, stays and tells Kevin she wants to know all about him.
Back at the apartment, Ted and Marshall are still upset with each other but are having a great time dueling. The two of them start to choreograph moves, which leads to Marshall standing on the coffee table. As Lily enters the apartment, the table breaks causing Marshall to stab Lily in the shoulder. Robin’s date is interrupted a second time when she receives a phone call about Lily being hospitalized. Robin apologizes to Kevin but he does not believe her and insults her in Klingon before she leaves. At the hospital, Ted and Marshall apologize to each other and Ted confesses that he wasn’t fighting for the apartment, he was fighting for things to stay the same. Ted ends his apology by giving the apartment to Marshall. Barney and Robin join Ted and Marshall in the waiting room and Barney tells the gang he just got “lemon lawed” and it is a thing! The doctor tells Ted and Marshall Lily is fine and she wants to see them. Ted and Marshall apologize for stabbing Lily and tell her why they were fighting over the apartment. Lily surprises everyone when she says she doesn’t want the apartment, she wants to start her and Marshall’s marriage in a new apartment. The episode concludes with Lily taking the gang to her old apartment/Chinese restaurant while Chumbawanba’s “Tubthumping” plays. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H5uWRjFsGc)
“The Duel” doesn’t further the search for the mother at all but some of the running gags established start to show up. First, Barney makes a big deal about him being Ted’s best friend and second, Marshall accidentally injuries Lily again. Both gags were introduced in episode one. As with most How I Met Your Mother episodes, we are left with a lesson. This episode’s lesson will be repeated later but it is that things will always change no matter how much you fight for them to stay the same and it isn’t always a bad thing that they do.
My favorite scene was during the duel when Ted has Marshall jump up so he can swipe his legs. The look on Marshall’s face when he walks off is priceless.