Season 8, Episode 18
Weekend at Barney’s
Much like Seth MacFarlane hosting the Oscars last night, I had high hopes going into tonight’s new HIMYM episode, tantalizing titled “Weekend at Barney’s.” But also like the Oscars, my hopes were quickly dashed a mere few minutes in. You can’t call a HIMYM episode “Weekend at Barney’s” and only show us a few minutes—if that—of bodacious late 80s cult classic awesomeness. This should have been an episode on par with “Trilogy Time,” given how often the guys reference both movies. But alas, tonight’s episode sort of flopped liked fake dead Barney.
It all started with Barney having a dream—or perhaps in his case a nightmare—of one of his favorite Play Book plays named, you guessed it, “Weekend at Barney’s.” Just like the movie Weekend at Bernie’s, his buddies pretend that Barney is dead but keep him ‘alive’ to pick up bodacious babes. Why is this a disturbing dream for Barney? Only because he still misses his Play Book even though he burned it to prove his love to Patrice Robin, and now the plays still find him in his dreams…taunting him to play. Robin is definitely not amused to be woken from her sleep by Barney’s visions of his Play Book past.
Meanwhile, for inexplicable reasons, Ted is still dating the certifiably insane Jeanette. Ugh, I just so do not like this story line. At all. Does anyone actually believe that Ted has truly not been ready to “settle down” since day one of this show? Sure he had some fun stories of single life and the dating world over the years—and we the audience along with Future Ted now appreciate his many, many life experiences—but season one Ted desperately and truly would have married season one Robin if he could have. Add this to the fact that Jeanette is truly crazy. Ted has met and dated crazy women before, and quickly dumped them. And none of those women ever trashed his apartment multiple times in a short time period. I guess we are supposed to believe that this is just a final, uncharacteristic, zany phase for Ted.
Elsewhere, Lily gets her first real assignment to schmooze a new up-and-coming artist as part of her new job for The Captain. Marshall goes to the art gallery with his wife to support her and is sure to bring along a snack of Skittles (wise planning, Mr. Eriksen). Lily’s schmoozing doesn’t exactly go as planned, and neither does Marshall’s attempt to be Mr. Outgoing and make new friends with his lame (yet amusing!) art jokes. But everyone takes notice when, during a minute of silence to honor the artist’s deceased grandmother, Marshall’s bag of Skittles breaks open and loudly spills piece by piece to the floor. Again, this joke was an error of expectation: I think it would have been funnier if I had not already been told that Marshall would never, ever buy another bag of Skittles ever again. Hmmm, I can’t imagine that some embarrassing candy spillage would make Marshall swear off the candy forever. Especially after turning the night into a positive one: apparently both Marshall and the artist, Strickland Stevens, have a mutual love of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And it also turns out that Lily will stand by her embarrassing hubby because he has stood by her for multiple nip slips over the years.
As for the infamous Play Book, Barney still struggles to purge himself of the joys of lying to girls to get them into bed. Therefore, he sets up command in Ted’s apartment and directs him to run several plays through an earpiece. In one of the better gags of the night, Ted seemingly talks to himself like a crazy person when in fact he is arguing with Barney through his hidden microphone. Robin is not thrilled to bust in on the operation and discover that Barney still has the real Play Book. Barney and Robin proceed to have their weekly fight over Barney’s womanizing past and, once again, they make up in a sweet moment. But once again, we have seen a lot of this same argument each week.
Ted finally ends things with Jeanette…or at least she does by blowing up most items in his apartment (seriously, HIMYM?), including the Play Book. But on a much sadder note, are the red cowboy boots really no more?