Hey, we liked two episodes of How I Met Your Mother from this season in a row! That’s almost as unlikely as Ted’s directorial debut turning out to be one the best movies at Sundance this year. But wait, that happened, too.
Anyway, last night’s installment was a breezy Mother-less one, which, like it or not, is something we’ll most likely be seeing even more of with the show extending to at least a sixth season. (By the way, we like commenter ny12345’s suggestion on this issue: “Maybe in order to drop the “How I Met Your Mother” gimmick, they could shorten the title, like “Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place” did. I vote for shortening it to “Your Mom.”) There was basically no B-plot, with everyone focused on Barney’s quest for the perfect week: seven nights, seven girls, zero rejections. That “everyone” includes CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz, popping up as a figment of Barney’s imagination to interview him about the week that was. (Way to utilize the in-house resources, guys!)
But it turns out there’s more sadness than usual behind Barney’s quest: He screwed up some merger at work, and is going for the perfect week to distract himself from potentially getting fired. And it turns out everyone else is having a crappy week, too: Robin went on a date with a nerd in a Smurfs T-shirt who won’t call her back, Ted accidentally mocked a student named Cook Poo, and Marshall and Lily were rejected by another couple when they accidentally revealed they share a toothbrush. (Marshall: “We’re not, like, weirdos that share everything.” Ted and Robin: “Uh, yeah you are.” “That’s exactly what you are.”) So, in the spirit of care-forgetting, the gang rallies around Barney’s impossible dream.
Lots of somewhat-clever, out-of-context sports-terminology usage later, Barney’s going for lucky lady No. 7. But uh-oh! New York Yankee Nick Swisher is in the house, and he’s pulling all the females. (Scoff if you will at the thought of a random Yankee eliciting swoons, but we once witnessed a pre–World Series champion Kevin Youkilis absolutely dominating at Boston’s Daisy Buchanan’s, so we know this is accurate.) The gang refuses to let it die that easily, and run interference on Swisher and his interesting hair (Robin: “I totally follow baseball. Mookie Wilson? Is that a thing?”). Barney scores! High-fives! Stick around for postgame analysis!
A few spare awesome bits: Nantz kicking over his couch in disgust when Marshall accidentally jinxes Barney; “You, me, the canned-food aisle in the bodega next door”; “I had lunch at a Staten Island Chili’s and banged a drunk hairdresser.” And at one point they show Barney made up like an old-timey mustachioed baseball player, and that was pretty great.
The Shame Index says “Cook Poo: Gross, vaguely offensive, not funny.” Come on, not even a little funny?
The A.V. Club doesn’t know “how you could imagine a better-constructed HIMYM episode in a non-mythology mode.”