HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: The Playbook - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


November 18, 2009 by  

Barney’s back…and back with a vengeance!

Eager to get back into the dating scene, Barney relied on an old and trusted friend – “The Playbook”. Inside this single guy bible were schemes, tricks, and game plans all designed to land the ladies. Some scams, like “The Ted Mosby” (‘I got left at the alter’) could work for just about anyone (including Ted), but it takes a real pro to pull off something like “The Lorenzo von Matterhorn” or the titular “Scuba Diver”.

Unfortunately for Barney, the first victim of his “playbook” just happened to be a co-worker of Lilly’s.  Lilly had been waiting three years to set up Shelly with Ted, so needless to say she wasn’t happy that Barney scammed on her first.  Lilly was out for revenge.

I think by now we’ve all learned not to get on Lilly’s bad side. It’s not pretty. Lilly might not be as dubious as Barney, but she can certainly hold her own. Wanting to get back at Barney for ‘playbooking’ one of her friends, Lilly set out to steal Barney’s playbook and use it against him. But little did she know that she was playing right into Barney’s hands. She may have schemed him, but Barney had a much bigger scheme in mind: “The Scuba Diver”.

Barney’s a pro. A genius.  So much so that only he can properly tell us how “The Scuba Diver” works.

Unlike Barney, Robin wasn’t so apt to jump into the dating scene. She just wanted to focus on her career. Hearing this, Ted and Marshall were instantly convinced that in saying she wasn’t interested in dating, Robin pretty much set herself up for meeting the man she was going to marry. Robin refuses to buy into this, but Ted and Marshall gave her damning evidence, listing many friends that too decided to stop looking for love only to have it find them. The guys taunted Robin, but she ddin’t relent.  But when she meets her new cute co-host Don (played by Ben Koldyke), she damns Marshall and Ted. It sounds like Don will be here awhile (or at least in the future), since Older Ted explains, “And the ironic part was, that’s the day she met Don”.

It’s always a good episode when the writers have Barney and Lily play off each other, whether on the same team or opposing. But for me it seemed like an entirely scripted infomercial selling us the next Barney Stinson book. There were some good gags (the various ruses) and some new websites (to learn more about Lorenzo Von Matterhorn) but I have to say I think writers missed out on the usage of Claire in the broader spectrum of the show. She could have been a great match for Ted. She really fit into the group dynamic. She got along with Lily (which means Lily would be less likely to sabotage them), she wasn’t completely disgusted by Barney’s antics and she seemed comfortable at the table with the entire gang, including the harmony for “Hell no”.

I have to say that it really bothered me to see the old Barney back so soon.  He and Robin just broke up and he was already back to plowing through the girls of NYC. Barney definitely did some maturing during his relationship with Robin, so to go through all of that only to end up back at square one felt very off-putting to me. The old Barney is awesome, and I was happy in some sense to have him back. But it was just all a little too much too soon.  Barney seemed to insensitive to Robin’s feelings.  She wasn’t necessarily pining over him, but throwing all these women in her face was quite smarmy.

The dynamic of the group is what makes HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER so fantastic, but the writers certainly take the easy way out by not having any residual issues after (1) the break-up of Ted and Robin and (2) Robin and Barney. I know both relationships ended on good terms, but c’mon. Encouraging a new girl to date your very recent ex? That’s a little tough to swallow.

Memorable moments…

  • The aptly titled play “The Ted Mosby” and its effectiveness for Ted
  • The awkwardness of Marshall’s jokes. I know my friends and I aren’t always on spot when we are attempting a joke and neither is Marshall.
  • Robin’s two volume play book and how Lily was reading it right there.
  • “You son-of-a-bitch”. Very telenovela.
  • Every wink and the accompanying sound.

Thoughts on “The Playbook”? The comments are open.

Jen is our HIMYM guru. She is very excited about the upcoming 100th episode that is filming this week. She might buy her very first Playboy with the news that the men from HIMYM will have a four-page spread, though unfortunately fully clothed. Yesterday also marked the day NPH succumbed to the Twitterverse (@ActuallyNPH).


3 Responses to “HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: The Playbook”

  1. Lisa (aka lmr) on November 18th, 2009 6:09 pm

    Just piping in to sing to you, Kath, saw your tweet. “Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur…purr purr purr” – I know it’s not Jim P or NPH but someone must sing to you!

  2. Billiam on November 18th, 2009 10:01 pm

    As funny as this episode was, Barney is often just not a very good person. And to have him going right back to manipulating both women and his friends just for sex grated on me a little. Why are they friends with him?
    I feel the writers were overcompensating for the fans who were rooting for Barney and Robin to break up.

  3. Diana on November 19th, 2009 4:15 am

    I love the use of the flashback and list gimmicks, this show uses both so well. NPH rocked all the Barney sleaziness and the wink got me every time. He and Lily also made me laugh with the sonofabeech!

    I also loved Marshall and Ted together making their little comments and jokes about Robin’s new “I’m focusing on my career” philosophy. I enjoyed this Marshall/Ted pairing much more than the road trip ep from earlier in the season. I forgot how familiar and funny those two can be together! It will be interesting to see if they are right about Don, although since futureTed didn’t put “Uncle” before Don’s name, I’m skeptical about him actually being with Robin long term.

    Finally, I gotta say that while I enjoyed this episode a lot, I’m still left reeling from the Barney/Robin breakup. I have been rooting for them since the first season, and the writers invested so much time (an entire season!) building up to it with all kinds of adorable Barney pining moments….only to break them up after 7 episodes? And, for me, only the premiere actually felt like the Barney and Robin I know. With the exception of a few other moments, they felt like different characters all season. The way it was handled made me happy they broke up, they weren’t all that fun to watch. But a week later, watching this episode which only lightly touched on the aftermath of their relationship, I keep thinking “That was it? That was their shot?” Whew! That was a bit of a rant 🙂

    Oh! One more thing! Shelly was played by Susan Sarandon’s daughter, who is also currently on Californication. I previously had no idea who she was, now bam! All over my tv.