How I Met Your Mother Recap: ‘Karma’

When T-Pain sang that he was in love with a stripper, it was with resignation in his voice. He understood that while the woman was comfortable in her sexuality, he was uncomfortable in how she was using it for monetary gain (it doesn’t actually say any of what I just wrote in the lyrics per se, but like most good music the actual overwhelming message is conveyed in the tones). How Barney Stinson, a by all means intelligent man, did not understand the plight of surrendering your heart to a strip club employee, is mind boggling. But yet, it took up about half of tonight’s episode.

Ted and Barney were at the Lusty Leopard (thankfully we’ve never been given a backstory on why the strip club has that name exactly). Ted and Barney are both talking about their dumb old feelings when they discovered right there for the first time that Quinn, the woman that has been on Barney’s mind since two episodes ago when she “amazingly” figured out that he is full of shit when trying to pick her up, is a stripper employed at their favorite gentleman’s establishment. It became obvious when Barney recounted his exchanges with Quinn, a.k.a. “Karma” (of course) to Ted that Quinn was taking him for a ride, making eight to nine thousand dollars and “whatever the value” of Barney’s Rolex watch was off of Barney while letting him believe that she was his girlfriend. When he finally realized he was being manipulated, Barney sort of triumphantly told her that he knew that he deserved to be duped by a member of the opposite sex (one might say it’s Karma), but he has been trying hard to stop doing what he’s been doing. Conveniently, the two both found themselves on line the next morning at a coffee place where Quinn was charmed enough to buy Barney a cup of joe and to agree to sit down and talk with him. One would assume we will see Becky Newton’s Quinn/Karma again in the next episode, which should be fun considering Newton and NPH’s chemistry. Until Barney runs out of money anyway.

Needing a new place to live after telling Ted that she didn’t love him and being told by Marshall to GTFO of Ted’s apartment, Robin crashed at Marshmellow and Lily Pad’s place in East Meadow, Long Island. The depiction of what Long Island does to hip city folk in this episode is rather depressing: Marshall and Lily, after living there for three months or so, have devolved into 65-year-olds. Spending their days in snuggies, participating in bowling leagues and arguing over who will win high school field hockey games isn’t Robin’s bag, so with only the knowledge that her arch nemesis Patrice would take her in, the Canadian attempted to escape. Unfortunately for her, bingo was canceled so Marshall and Lily were at home, thwarting her plan. The married couple admitted that they didn’t like it there, and were just there under the impression that it’s better for children to live in the suburbs. Because kids love it when their parents are miserable.

Ted through all of this was dealing with Robin moving out by occupying himself in her old bedroom by “smoking meats”, building chairs with wood and thankfully making other things that weren’t easy set-ups to punchlines that provoke sarcastic “oh snap”s and “hiyo”s. Mr. Mosby kept imagining Robin being in the room with him, telling him that he was just acting out and not confronting his emotions. After an awkward scene where Robin IRL returned to the apartment and told Ted about how Marshall and Lily felt, and after Ted realized the parallels between their situation of trying not to face an obvious emotional fact to try and placate a practical decision with his own, texted Marshall and Lily to meet him in the city. When Marshall and Lily reached the apartment, it was empty. Ted in a letter wrote that he had never kept their names off the lease but had just taken his name off of it. We saw Ted walk, happily, to parts unknown, as Marshall and Lily walked into Robin’s old bedroom to now find a nursery. Ted built a crib (which of course broke immediately) and in voiceover admitted that he needed a change, and that moving out of the apartment that he has lived in throughout the entire series was the way to do it.

Overall it wasn’t the funniest of episodes for HIMYM, but one that continued its streak during February sweeps to progress the overall plot further by taking a step backward. Last week, Ted and Robin tried dating again. This week, Marshall and Lily go back to living in the city. Both on paper sound like signs of creative fatigue from the writing staff, but in fact it now (hopefully) lets Ted and Robin recharge their batteries in new homes without the past lurking behind them and Marshall and Lily not have to travel one hour each way to have a beer or two with the group.

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“You don’t hear me prattling on about how beautiful her smile is. How her hair is like a waterfall of honey colored silk. How her eyes are like a warm south sea kissed by the fire and gold of sunrise. I don’t even know what she looks like.”

“Dammit Ted, why can’t you ever root for love?”

“I like smoking meat but now I’ve got a new passion - wood.” “You hear these things that come out of your mouth right?”

“How about we go out on a uh……uh…..these songs are so short!”

“Because that’s the Lusty Leopard’s policy on Fridays and I’m so mad at you for knowing that!”

“YOWSA!”

“I’ll swipe Shirley’s Rascal and drive to the train station. Shirley’s 42, by the way, and rides a Rascal, I swear it’s the second half of Wall-E out here.”

“I have told women I was famous, a war hero, that sex with me would cure their near-sightedness…”

“Well at my job we don’t rip people’s hearts out for money. My company briefly backed a lab in North Korea that did but we sold it.”

“No ghost is at peace until it finally moves on.”

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Prediction: Ted, if he were real, would move into what is generously known as the “fixer up” he purchased and which we know is the house of his future. However there is a lot more comedy in T-Mose moving in with Barney.

A Robin/Patrice roommate situation can also be very amusing.

Long Islanders, some of which whom insist on referring to it as “Strong Island”, probably aren’t crazy about tonight’s episode, which did in fact air an hour before their 9pm bedtimes.

The mobile over the crib is a bunch of penguins. We know from “Robin 101” that Robin is distracted easily by cute emperor penguins. Coincidence?! Eh, maybe.

Quinn/Karma continued to lead Barney along by convincing him to go to the Champagne Room. So in addition to Mr. Stinson not being familiar with or understanding T-Pain, he’s never heard any of Chris Rock’s music either?

Those crazy kids at Reddit were trying to figure out how much Barney’s rent is last week.

Roger Cormier has been retweeted by Dan Harmon on two separate occasions.

How I Met Your Mother Recap: ‘Karma’