Barney gets played by Karma, Robin gets stuck in suburbia, and Ted finds his inner artist 

By Michelle Profis
Updated February 28, 2012 at 09:52 AM EST
Credit: Richard Cartwright/CBS

I should have learned after seven and a half seasons that How I Met Your Mother is always looking for ways to surprise me. Yet, every time, the show catches me off guard, usually eliciting a gasp from my lips. Tonight’s episode threw me for a fast one again when, in the last few minutes, we learn Lily and Marshall are moving back into their old apartment, and Ted has moved out. Do we laugh? Do we cry? Argh, I don’t know! Watching Lily and Marshall walk into Ted’s empty apartment gave me one of those confusing feelings where I wasn’t sure whether to throw my hands up in joyous celebration or clutch my chest in horror. And I have to admit…not knowing felt kind of, well, nice. If a show can deliver one of those moments where a viewer feels a mix of conflicting emotions, then I’ve got to believe they must be doing something right. While we sit and ponder the endless amount of questions this move creates, let’s go back to the beginning and take it from the top.

Or should I say topless because things kicked off with Barney and Ted getting lap dances at The Lusty Leopard. No, sorry to anyone who just got momentarily excited, there were no topless strippers hanging from any poles, but there was a very scantily clad Quinn (Becki Newton) making her second appearance as Barney’s love interest.

For those who may not remember, we were first introduced to Quinn two episodes ago when Barney met her at a bar while he was playing wingman to Ted. Although we learned at the end of the episode Quinn also doubled as Karma – a stripper at the Lusty Leopard – Barney had yet to find out that his new crush and his old stripper were one and the same…until now. While Barney and Ted are getting lap dances, Barney looks up, sees Quinn wrapped around a stripper pole and BAM! Connection made.

But let’s put the strippers on hold for a second and head over to the land of Snuggies, croquet mallets and giant tubs of Rocky Road ice cream, a.k.a. East Meadow, Long Island. After moving out of Ted’s apartment last week, Robin headed across the river to take up residence with Lily and Marshall in suburbia. Despite rooming in a very adorably decorated guest room (I mean, seriously, did anyone notice how lovely that room was? Those shams!), life in Long Island is filled with an overly watchful Lily and Marshall taking macramé classes, power walking in matching track suits, frequenting a restaurant called The Gravy Gutter, and trying very hard to conceal from Robin how lonely life outside the city is for them.

Readers, I’m the biggest Lily and Marshall fans in the world, but I was just itching for something more exciting to happen to them this episode than being saddled with a fairly boring storyline. Granted, we got it at the end, but it felt like a long journey to get there.

NEXT: Barney’s bubble is burst in the Champagne Room

Speaking of journeys, Barney is on a one-way train to Nowheresville with Quinn, who is playing him like a fiddle. The tune is simple: Every time Barney gets her thisclose to agreeing to go on a date, Quinn pauses and stutters out an excuse to keep Barney hanging, consequently manipulating him to hand over more moolah. It was comical, yet painful and slightly pathetic. You’d think Barney would realize he’s getting played at his own game, but even when Quinn finally agrees to a first date, and it’s in the Champagne Room, he still doesn’t get it.

At this point, there was only one of two reasons I could think of for Barney allowing himself to continue as Quinn’s desperate sugar daddy. Either he is just really digging her, or (says the romantic in me) this is his way of pushing Robin out of the depths of his mind. Readers, theorize away!

Finally, after an exorbitant amount of lap dances and probably one too many push-up bras (sorry, guys, but there really is such a thing), Barney finally realizes that Quinn has been using him. “I have told some outrageous lies. I probably deserved everything you did to me, and more,” he says. “But I have been trying, and trying hard, to be a better person. Thanks for showing me I had it right before.”

And I bought it. Over the seasons, we’ve learned that Barney, despite being a one-man sexual conquest machine, has a soft side that never fails to endear when it comes out, and this time was no exception. So Barney leaves Quinn and The Lusty Leopard behind, but karma couldn’t stay away for long. The next day, Barney finds himself behind Quinn in line at the coffee shop and as the two strike up a conversation, they both realize that there might be something between them. Quinn, finally letting her guard down, buys Barney a coffee and the two (presumably) have their first date.

So where has our fearless leader Ted been this whole episode? Other than helping Barney realize Quinn was playing him, Ted’s been holed up in Robin’s empty room trying to find a use for it. He first turned it into a grilling room with an array of smoked pork loin hanging from the wall, but when that proved unsuccessful, he transitioned it into a woodworking studio. One collapsed wooden chair later, it was out with the wood and in with the clay as he sat pensively painting pottery. I was about to predict that a marble slab and carving tools would be Ted’s next artistic cathartic effort, but when Robin paid him a subtext-filled visit and told him of Marshall and Lily’s discontent on Long Island, Ted knew what he had to do.

NEXT: The week’s best lines

Snuggied-up Lily and Marshall received a text from Ted asking if they wanted to come hang out at his apartment, but when the two arrived, they opened the door to see…nothing. Everything was gone. They didn’t know what was going on (to be honest, neither did I) until they wandered into Robin’s old room where a crib stood. “The apartment is now yours,” said a note from Ted. “I need a change and I think you do, too. This apartment needs some new life. So please, make our old home your new home.”

Readers, I’m back to my original question: How did this twist make you feel? Were you immediately excited about Lily and Marshall moving back into the city? Or were you stricken at Ted seemingly moving out? Where will he go? (We know Patrice is available!) Will the apartment still hold its sentimental value with Ted gone? Make your predictions in the comments below.


“Look at me and that Quinn chick. 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 remember what she looks like.” — Barney

“For an hour afterwards I couldn’t uncross my eyes, which was awesome because when I went back for seconds, it was like having a three-way with twins.” –Barney

Lily: Great bowler, Shirley, she hit 280 the other day.

Marshall: Unfortunately, that was on our bedroom scale.

Ted: In a city of 8 million people, you happen to walk into the club where she works? Maybe it’s destiny.

Barney: Nah, Destiny strips at the Melon Patch. They’re people, Ted. Try to keep ’em straight.

“First off, we have a lot in common. For example, both of our jobs are largely financed by drunk Asian businessmen.” –Barney

“In their lairs they often don a primitive shroud called a Snug It and it is not uncommon for them to go to sleep before 9 p.m. fearing, as they do, the night. Also, Diary, I think writing in you is stupid but you were a gift from Lily and she’s watching me right now.” –Robin

“I can’t believe we’re in a strip club and the biggest boob in here is you.” –Ted…to Barney

Episode Recaps

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