'How I Met Your Mother' recap: Letting go

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Image Credit: Carin Baer/CBS

You drenched yourself in Drakkar. You wore a fresh pair of white socks. And you pulled out the best mime moves your body could handle. Yet, the ladies at that party you just left still weren’t interested. What are two down-on-your-luck bros to do? Well, if you’re the guys we met at the top of tonight’s episode of How I Met Your Mother, you’re on your way home alone. That is, until you meet an inebriated Barney Stinson on the road, who swears to show you the way to the Promised Land…of awesomeness.

And show them he did.

Barney took these nameless bros under his wing and taught them the lessons of his people. He took them to a magical strip club to show them the wonders of fearless interaction with females, sent them to Tim Gunn to get outfitted with proper suits, and accompanied them to the party they had struck out at earlier to teach them the moves of a proper Wingman. (“Haaaaave you met…”)

In the end, these two guys walked away all the wiser and with a hand-written copy of The Playbook in their possession (which was written on a series of bar napkins because if the Playbook was ever going to be resurrected, it’s only fitting that it is on bar napkins). But other lessons in this episode didn’t come so easily to the recipients.

Marshall, for instance, who was still reeling from the blow-up with Lily, had to get visited by three ghosts in order to get his lesson this week — Ghost Lily, 2006 Ghost Lily, and his dad! (Cameo from Ghost Robin!) Together, these specters of wisdom helped Marshall reach a conclusion that we all knew he’d eventually come to: It didn’t matter where he and Lily lived as long as they were together. He told Lily this later, but she, too, had come to a conclusion — they had stay in New York, close to family and friends.

I’m not sure how I felt about how this left off. I’m glad they’re on good terms again but bummed that Lily had to give up her dream. (I welcome your thoughts in comments.) I am happy, though, that the Ghosts didn’t let Marshall get away with his behavior. When Ghost Lily told him he had to stop seeing every fight with Lily as his to win — or else one day he could lose it all — we saw something click in Marshall. I love that nine years in these characters are still developing before our eyes.

So while Marshall and Lily’s trip seems to be a no-go, Ted’s move to Chicago is more than on. In fact, he finally told Robin about his plan to leave NYC, and as you might guess, she was stunned by the news. But then he explained that he had to move on. From her. From his past. Like his Balloon BFF from childhood, it was time to let her go.

Ted’s peace with this was explained to the audience — not Robin, though — through a series of flashbacks to the Locket Saga, in which Ted went to great lengths to track down Robin’s necklace. (“Great lengths” = calling Stella, flying to LA to go through Stella’s storage locker, striking out, calling Victoria, having Victoria overnight it from Germany to New York, fighting with Crazy Jeanette to retrieve the locket after she intercepted it in the mail, meeting with Jeanette in Central Park to retrieve the locket.) It was revealed, though, that all of Ted’s effort was for naught. Jeanette chucked the darned necklace into the boat pond. And with a single, sad plop, Ted’s hopes of wowing Robin were gone. Then came the Aha! moment: It was for the best.

And may Ted Mosby rot in Bro Hell if this isn’t finally it.

Quick topic for discussion, do we agree with Robin’s list of Ted’s top 5 girlfriends? They were:
5) Stella
4) Zoey
3) Slutty Pumpkin
2) Marshall, that time they pretended to be a couple
1) Victoria

Best quote:
“We just put a down payment on adult bunkbeds. Would getting killed be so bad?” — Dude
(Submit your favorite lines below.)

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