Sloppy joe, shrimp cocktail, and a milkshake.

How I Met Your Mother – Ten Sessions
Ted is repeatedly snubbed in his attempts to get a date with Stella, his dermatologist, but her receptionist Abby becomes infatuated with him.

When I first read the TV Guide preview about this episode (above), I thought,"Wait, Ted falls for another dermatologist?!?" Fortunately, the ep focused less on the fact that she was a dermatologist and more on the fact that he was getting a butterfly tattoo removed. There is a bit of chatter on the web about whether Stella could be the mother we've all been waiting to meet, and whether adult Ted's kids could actually be her kids. However, this ep told us that Stella has one 8-year-old daughter, and there is no way the daughter we see in the flash-forwards is 8 years (or more) older than the son.

I also keep seeing stories online today about how Britney's performance on HIMYM is a huge step forward for her. She was kind of a bad actress, but I can forgive that because she isn't an actress to start. It was nice to see Sarah Chalke (Stella) again, who was terrific as always. Overall an enjoyable episode, except the speed date that Ted orchestrates at the end was sort of lame. I particularly disliked that they kept getting in and out of the taxi. There was also a distinct lack of focus on the other friends. Particularly Marshall. Boo.

But, there were two moments of pure HIMYM genius, perfect examples of why I love this show: great attention to detail and a nicely conveyed sense of everything coming together to lead Ted to his fate.

#1: Barney convinces Ted that Stella likes guys with mustaches, so naturally Ted grows one. Then, we flashback to a year earlier, where we see Barney bet anyone $10 he can get Ted to grow a mustache, and we see Ted take the bet.
#2: Ted can't believe Stella can know what her answer will be to a question he won't ask for 10 weeks. He asks his friends if they know what they will want for lunch in 10 weeks, and Marshall responds, "sloppy joe, shrimp cocktail, and a milkshake." 10 weeks later, guess what Marshall is eating? But what I love is that the writers don't shove it down your throat. Marshall's not crowing about how he knew what he would want for lunch, waving his milkshake in everyone's faces. Instead, it's a relatively subtle reveal that some viewers may have missed entirely if they weren't paying attention.

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