Review by Laura:
Last night's newest episode of How I Met Your Mother focused on Marshall's struggles with Corporate America, after an emasculating encounter with his boss left Marshall in tears. As we all know, Marshall gave up his dreams of gaining a law degree for the purpose of saving the environment in order to make enough money to provide for he and Lilly. Instead, he's been working at a large corporate law firm where the salary is large but the morality is limited.
Distraught after the verbal attack from his boss, nicknamed "Artillery Arthur", Marshall begins reevaluating his career choices and asking for input from his friends on how he should handle the situation when he has to face his boss the next day. In an extremely predictable and type-casted way, everyone gives their suggestions to Marshall: Robyn, of course, turning to gun violence, Lilly using her kindergarten teacher techniques to advocate good manners, Ted suggesting a powerful motivational speech, and Barney turning to what he likes to call the Chain (or circle.. or pyramid) of Screaming. This theory is based on the idea that everyone screams at people because they've been screamed at. So, in order to handle getting screamed at, you must scream at someone else to keep the chain going.
Anyway, in a mildly entertaining way, Barney gets Marshall to yell at him to continue the chain (which mostly includes insults about Barney's mother and his obvious daddy issues) and thus alleviate the need for Marshall to yell at his boss the next day. For me, the reference to Bob Barker being Barney's father made the whole episode worthwhile! Flash-forward to Marshall yelling at his boss, and ultimately quitting his job.
There were definitely a few nice friendship/love moments in this episode which reminds us what's so nice about having friends besides the witty banter that we normally see. Lilly supports Marshall's decision, Ted sells his new car that he just bought in order to lend Marshall the money he needs to keep his mortgage on his new (crooked floored) apartment, and everyone's there for Marshall in his time of turmoil. (Who needs a car in Manhattan anyway? and Mama would much rather havin' her suga' and her husband back than the money).
Although I don't think it was quite back up to par with the usual laughs that we get from the HIMYM gang, it definitely was a nice episode in the meantime, while the writers gain momentum to give us some of the hilarity that we'd become so accustomed to pre-writer's strike!