100 episodes is supposed to be the cutoff for syndication, but reruns for How I Met Your Mother — which reached that number with this week’s episode — were already bought by Fox a while ago. Still, despite the arbitrariness of the landmark, we say, congratulations, HIMYM! Sure, we haven’t been overly kind in our recaps this season, but (and, if for nothing else then for the fact that you keep Bob Saget in spending money) there’ll always be a place in our hearts for you. Here’s to
And onto the episode. First up, we had Ted bonding with Cindy (played by Rachel Bilson), a PhD student at the university who was in that classroom that day. You know, the classroom your mother was in. After about .3 seconds, though, we find out that Cindy’s the mother’s roommate, and is also creepily obsessed with her roommate, who guys are “always falling in love with.” Ted and Cindy have a great date, but then Cindy finds out the school’s policy about students dating professors and cuts it off. Ted, inspired by Barney’s tireless pursuit of the hot bartender (will get to it in a few), shows up at Cindy’s apartment to try to change her mind. But, when he picks things up around the room to show her how perfect they are for one another, he ends up grabbing all the stuff that belongs to Cindy’s roommate. (We’ll dole out some cred points here for the Unicorns shout-out.) Oh man, Ted and the woman he marries are going to be perfect for one another. Also, we see the mother’s ankle!
So, yeah, meanwhile, Barney is tirelessly pursuing the new hot bartender at McLaren’s (played by wrestling’s Stacy Keibler). This provides some of the episode’s best comic fodder, starting off with a classic Barney list of the varied professions of girls he’s slept with (“lawyers, teachers, poets, doctors, professional equestrians, amateur equestrians, a candlestick maker, a puppeteer … ”) and Lily attempting to browbeat Marshall into admitting the bartender is hot. (“Her skin glows! Her legs go for miles! And that ass? I would wear that thing for a hat.”)
And the conflict is … the bartender doesn’t like guys in suits because her last three boyfriends were jerky Wall Street guys. In order to bed her, then Barney must start wearing T-shirts to the bar. Which is way weirder for us than it is for Barney, by the way, because Neil Patrick Harris basically looks like a turtle out of its shell at this point when he’s not in a suit.
Turns out, Barney can’t quite handle being out of a suit, so he keeps one hidden in the McLaren’s bathroom to throw on when no one’s looking. But he accidentally tears it while in the stall and then rushes to his personal tailor (Tim Gunn!) for rescuing. Nothing can be done, however, and a bereaved Barney is soon back at the bar with a jar full of suit ashes. The bartender is lured in by sad Barney, and ends her shift early to go home with him. Of course once she gets there she discovers Barney’s closet of suits and tells him he has to choose between her and the suits. Never mind that this makes no sense whatsoever because it leads to a big, satisfying pro-suit musical number, complete with a suited-up lady cop, dog, baby, eighties guy, and full HIMYM cast. And here it is one more time:
The Shame Index wonders “whether previous episodes this season suffered in order to make this one an event.”
The A/V Club suggests luring your friends into HIMYM fandom with this episode.
IGN.com says “series creator Carter Bays personally wrote this installment, and his grasp of the overall storyline and the characters’ voices shines through.”