HIMYM: Doing it by the book

KT wants to join SNASA and go to the smoon!

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER:  5.08 “The Playbook”

Well, that’s Barney back to his usual self.  I like Barney, and I like Robin, and I like their rapport at the best of times, but they hadn’t really seemed like themselves in the last few episodes, ya know?  And how long has it been since we saw Robin at work — since “The Front Porch,” right?  We’re way overdue for some local newscast shenanigans.

I think this might mark the first time Lily has actively encouraged a girl to go out with Barney.  She’s helped him get rid of some, sure, especially while she was crashing with him in “World’s Greatest Couple” back in season two.  For that matter, Lily’s relationship with Barney is usually good fun — often she’s completely grossed out by him, but she’s also more than willing to offer relationship advice.

The strength of this episode was some classic HIMYM non-linear storytelling paired with some classic HIMYM examples and asides and a classic HIMYM twist at the end.  Mastermind Barney is always good for a twist, especially when they’re smart enough to use it sparingly.  The playbook examples helped to keep the story moving and the humor kept coming — I definitely laughed more and cringed less compared to the fat suit episode or the “best night ever” episode.

Too bad about Lily waiting three years to try to get Ted and Shelly together, only to have “Lorenzo von Matterhorn” get in the way.  But we’ve seen Ted try to date a girl Barney’s already slept with before, and I don’t see any reason for him to feel differently this time.  I loved his initial response with barbershop quartet-style “Hell, no!” too.  Somehow Claire joining in on that made me like her a little more… but I don’t suppose we’ll see her again.

Meanwhile, Ted and Marshall insist that Robin’s determination to focus on her career will lead her straight to the love of her love… that guy!  They keep the gag low-profile enough that it stays funny, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of this Don that Narrator Ted tells us she’s just about to meet!  I hope they don’t play the Jealous Ex plotline with Barney and Robin, though, or at least no more than Robin had in this episode.  We saw Barney get jealous last year and he did many amusing things like smashing TVs and buying thousands of stamps, so I kinda think that’s played out.

Clever music cue of the night:  when Barney “finds” the girl who bursts into tears on the Empire State Building, that tune is the theme from Zeffirelli’s 1968 Romeo and Juliet.  Hee.

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