By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated January 22, 2013 at 05:13 AM EST

[Note: This is a recap, folks. So, as the word suggests, we’ll be talking about the episode. Don’t want to ruin the fun for yourself? Join our convo only after watching the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother.]

How I Met Your Mother spent the first half of its current season keeping the news of Barney and Robin’s impending engagement a secret from viewers. But after the cat was let out of the bag in the winter finale, I can’t help but feel like the truth has set them free.

Last week’s episode was on-point and this week continued the streak. (You’re obviously free to respectfully disagree, if you wish.) In this episode, Ted found himself courting a 20-year-old hipster who probably wouldn’t know the definition of the word courting, Barney had trouble accepting that his days of banging 20-year-olds were past him, Robin struggled to come to terms with the man-repelling powers of her massive engagement ring from Barney, and Marshall tried to fend off the effects of an allergic reaction to leather in the name of awesome sex.

Pretty Little Liars actress Ashley Benson guest starred as the aforementioned rollerskating hipster, who turned out to have a thing for leather cuff-wearing old men — like *Vietnam War veteran Ted Mosby. (*If you think Ted was in the Vietnam War, please slap yourself now.) Ted thought this was creepy, but Barney convinced him to overlook it. As Barney saw it, Ted should take advantage of the opportunity to bang a 20-year-old while he still could. Ted reluctantly agreed, but Barney’s encouragement came back to bite him in the butt. The Pretty Little Liar turned out to be Barney’s pretty little (half-)sister!

Disgusted, Barney tried to stage a wedding for them, saying that their hook-up was “cheap” and “meaningless.” Still, as you might expect, Ted didn’t get married that day. But there was an important moment here, Ted pointed out: Barney had officially grown up! “Your detox is complete!” Ted said.

Robin, too, came to her own realization after a series of experiments with her engagement ring. (Off = men crowded around the bar would part like the sea did for Moses; On = she was Gollum) Her engagement ring may have made her invisible at the bar, but there was one guy who had eyes for only her…and it was his job to get her drinks. Bam!

So what’s our take-away here? Here’s mine: Barney and Robin are slowly settling into the idea of new lives together, and I love it even more than the idea of one day receiving an I-got-caught-cheating-sized engagement ring. Marshall and Lily’s ever-evolving list of turn-ons continues to baffle and fascinate me. (Mom jeans? Really, Marshall? Ewww…) I thought Ashley Benson was a great guest star. And, lastly, Ted is right — Whole Foods is terrifying.

Thoughts on the episode?


Episode Recaps

How I Met Your Mother

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

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