By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated December 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST
Credit: Ron P. Jaffe/CBS

What do we make of Barney these days, How I Met Your Mother fans? In just a few weeks he’s claimed to love Robin, rejected Robin, rejected a hot weather girl, and climbed his way into the arms of Robin’s suspiciously sweet co-worker Patrice. So…are these the actions of a crazy man? A hurt man? A crazy, hurt man? I’m not sure. But Ted had one theory, particularly about Barney’s new feeling toward Patrice: He was over-correcting.

What the hell is that, you ask? Well, in tonight’s episode, Ted explained that over-correcting is a reaction to great pain. In Barney’s case, after stripper Quinn failed to prove herself trustworthy, Barney has gone and found himself the opposite.

Robin had her own opinion: Barney was putting on a show/using Patrice! That wasn’t the case, of course, but she was determined to stop this friendship/relationship in its tracks. To do so, she set out to show Patrice the real Barneys. But to do so, Robin had to break into Barney’s apartment, find the Barney Bible (The “Playbook”), and show it to Patrice, who didn’t believe it existed. (WHY WON’T YOU LET ROBIN HELP YOU, PATRICE!)

Marshall was the first to pipe up and tell Robin her plan was insane, but his concerns fell on deaf ears. She went through with it anyway and ended up getting trapped in Barney’s apartment when he came home before she could escape. So she called Ted, who succeeded in luring Barney out of his house (Hugh Hefner!), but even his distraction wasn’t enough time for Robin to find the book and make a run. By the time we knew it, Robin, Ted, and Lily were all trapped in Barney’s apartment.

Yes, Lily, too. It turns out she had gone to Barney’s to escape her own chaotic household (Marshall’s mom visiting + her dad’s constant presence = crowded) and pump breast milk in peace. That clearly didn’t work out.

With the gang all in various hidden locations and no way out, the entire scene was a real highlight of the episode. Personally, I think the best episodes are when the gang — or most of it — works together, Barney does something sweet, and Ted wears questionable footwear. By the end of the hour, we had the trifecta.

The “sweet” Barney action in this case was also very significant. After Patrice finally crossed paths with The Playbook, Barney was forced to admit that he hasn’t always been honorable. (That’s putting it lightly…) But he wanted to prove to Patrice that he could learn to be a better man. So he burned The Playbook. He may have lost his old friend but gained Patrice’s trust in the process.

It was clear to everyone — except Robin — that Barney was just seeking out happiness, and they were ready to give him that chance. Robin, meanwhile, was still not ready to move on. Fed up, the gang decided to hold an intervention. It’s time to let it go, they said.

Since we know Robin and Barney eventually make it to the altar, this is likely not the last we hear of this saga.

Meanwhile, someone else’s story also took a twist this week. Remember how I said Marshall’s mom was visiting? Well, twist! She’s sleeping with Lily’s dad. No, it’s not love. It’s just about sex. But Lily and Marshall were both disgusted by the entire idea, and while I can not even fathom their trauma, I think it’s cute. Well, I thought it was cute. Until Mickey referred to their arrangement as “family with benefits.” Then it was creepy. Yes, definitely creepy.

Burning questions: What did you think of the episode? What are your thoughts on Barney and Robin’s actions in the last few episodes? Who wants to see more of Ted’s prison girlfriend? (ME!) How much would you pay to see Marshall’s whole stand-up act? Are you the Lender (the Ted) or the Borrower (everyone else) in your social group? Speaking of which, were you a fan of Ted’s subplot? I was, especially when the red boots came into play! Speaking of which, where can I get a pair?


Episode Recaps

''Um. Why is Jon Cryer in NPH's spot?" says commenter MKS. ''How can the Emmys ignore Barney's tear-jerking yet touchingly funny journey with his reunion…

How I Met Your Mother

Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lilly remind us all of the joy of slap bets

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