How I Met Your Mother Episode Recap: "Benefits"

FutureTed tells us the roommate situation between him and Robin is not working out very well as they incessantly bicker over cereal, cleanliness and not changing toilet paper rolls. They realize they were able to withstand each other while dating because of the game-changer: sex. We then are treated to one of Barney's theories that sex solves disputes.And so, off Ted and Robin go to "solve their dispute." They decide not to tell anyone about it, but lo and beholdl, Marshall's standing in the doorway, magazine in hand. He dropped in to "read a magazine," as doing the walk of shame to the bathroom in the office is unbearable. He tells Robin he won't give back his key to the apartment if he wants them to keep their secret.

Cut to MacLaren's. Lily and Barney know and both disapprove. Ted and Robin insist it's just physical and credit Barney's world peace theory for helping them out. Poor Barney. Crying and in denial to Lily, he goes outside to unleash his rage by thrrashing a TV from the trash. Lily tells him to express his feelings, see a therapist, etc. She has Feelings Hour every Tuesday morning in class.

Back to Marshall, we learn that he used to charge up his credit card at hotels to drop the deuce. Really, dude? Barney tells him there's no shame in "reading magazines at work." He does it every day. It's his time; it's not pretty, but it's something you gotta do. Of course, he's talking about masturbating. But Marshall gets a break one day when he gets the best news ever - the eighth floor has been laid off, which means it's his for the taking... and dumping. He's exiled from utopia though when contractors start knocking down the walls whilst he's enthralled with the "Stars! They're Just Like Us!".

Next: montage of Barney in pain as Ted recounts all of his and Robin's sexcapades, which means more TV smashing . But then! Ted violates the terms of the arrangement when he kisses Robin before leaving for work. He blames a leftover romance reflex, but it is weird. Lily tells her to end it; Barney tells Ted to end it. They do... and have sex again. And Marshall is there again. I'm sensing a pattern. Oh yeah, more TV buying and smashing.

Pushed to the limit, Barney decides to intervene by bro-cleaning Ted and Robin's apartment. He tosses out trash, picked up 10,000 stamps, stocked up the fridge with milk and bought a new dishwasher, tag and all. Ted realizes this is WIERD. Then he gets it. "Are you in love with Robin?" he asks calmly. "I'm not gonna freak out." Barney says no. Sigh. And leaves... to tell his regrets to Lily's kindergarten class. He's holding Feely the Share Bear and is in the Share Chair.

After Lily ejects him, Barney jacks Feely and brings him to work. Marshall walks in, grinning ear to ear. He just read a magazine at work. He realized it was time to let go of his hang-ups and then everything changed, such as Kim Kardashian being able to recite Shakespeare. Barney realizes it's time to man up and leaves but not before showing Marshall his private bathroom.

"Ted, I have to tell you the truth. I'm in love with tacos," he says as he runs into Robin at the apartment. She tells him Ted broke off the arrangement, giving her the "someone's gonna get hurt" spiel. She says it's true and that person is Ted. The perpetual romantic that he is can't isolate the physical from the emotional, she says, and he is all, like "I love you" Barney interjects with the most heartbreaking look in his eyes. "Exactly!" Robin says. "He's not like you. Besides, we're friends. ..Dating friends never work out." And then they go out for tacos.

Down at MacLaren's, everything was "back to normal," but not really. As Barney strains to genuinely laugh at Robin's story, Ted gives him a knowing look. "Aunt Lily was right. ..Someone always gets hurt," FutureTed says. "It just wasn't one of us.''


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Jan 14, 2009 11:01AM EST

This was a great recap. I love all the detail and the work you put into this. Did you take notes while you were watching? Or just watch and rewatch a bunch of times?

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