This episode takes place in some sort of weird countdown from fifty to one, which never really makes sense, even at the end. Maybe it's just because they can. Anyway, we do finally meet Barney's doppelganger, in the form of Marshall and Lily's fertility doctor, Dr. Stangel. Unfortunately, that means that Barney has to be in the room (fully sunglassed and earphoned up, of course) while the doctor checks out Lily's lady parts. Otherwise, Lily's certain Barney will pull a switcheroo and check her out (he does pull one in the end, but for less sinister purposes: to get Marshall to play laser tag with him by lying that it helps sperm count or something). When Lily checks out fine, Marshall's sure it's him that's the problem, which means he avoids his dad's phone calls. He only likes to tell his dad when there's good news, you see, because that's what makes it real. So, while he's trying to masturbate, his parents show up at his house. By the time he gets it done and gets the results back (his sperm is fine), his dad's died of a heart attack. I'm not sure why he didn't have his phone on him, but Lily gives him the news at the end of the episode right when he's at his high point. They cry and hug in the street, and it's terribly sad. And unexpected.
While Barney, Barney's doppelganger, Lily, and Marshall are involved in matters of life and death, Robin's caught up in work drama, because Wesley, a.k.a. Robin's former co-host/douchebag Sandy Rivers, is the new host at her new job, World Wide News. He's spoiling her reputation, first by lying that they slept together, then by revealing the time she fell in horse poop on air, then sharing even more embarrassing moments of Robin on video, including Robin Sparkles and an owl attack that Ted looks up and loves but we don't get to see. (Boo! "Hoo?") In the end, she joins in making fun of herself instead of outing Sandy as a big-ol' toupee wearer (which Ted discovers by showing up at his place and snapping a photo), and it seems to go fine. Saget!Ted even tells us she has a long, wonderful career there or something. Ted doesn't do much other than talk to Robin about her work, and Barney's only in the episode to help out Lily and Marshall's storyline.
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Before we get started, I should say that I don't really get the countdown to the episode's end. I mean, I obviously know what it's counting down to. I just can't figure out why. Please email me if you have any idea. And, if you've seen the episode and have no idea what I'm talking about, this site's for you. I'm so glad someone took time to do that, so that I won't have to endlessly detail every number in the countdown, while also filling you in on little things like plot and trying, very occasionally, to be funny.
No picture of the "kids," but Saget!Ted fills us in on how badly Lily and Marshall wanted a baby and how frustrated they were after, like, six days of trying. (Except for when they decided to stop trying until Ted bossed them around, but why would we remember that? It was all the way in the previous episode.) Anyway, while they talk to their doctor about their frustrations six days into trying and no pregnancy, there's a pamphlet on his desk that says "50." And the countdown begins. The doctor scoffs, but they come back after several months -- "49" -- during which they've had sex everywhere and in every position. The doctor gives them a number for Dr. John Stangel, a reproductive endocrinologist.
MacLaren's. Marshall's ketchup bottle has a giant "48" on it as he tells Lily he's not sure they need a specialist. She wonders if his plan is to just have unprotected sex everywhere forever, and Ted and Marshall look at her like, "Duh." She realizes it didn't sound that bad coming out. Barney arrives and shows them the application for a laser tag tournament ("47"), and says only one of them can be his partner. They both decline, but Ted does so more emphatically, so Marshall's the partner by default. Lily goes to see Dr. Stangel, the man who knew more about human reproduction than anyone in New York City. And in walks... Barney. In a dark wig, beard, and doctor suit. He says he understands she wants to get pregnant, and Lily's eyes go wide, with a "46" behind her on a certificate-looking wall-hanging. "Ba, ba, ba, ba, da-da-da-da" opening.
MacLaren's. Barney's mid-sentence with a sign about "45"-cent hot wings in front of him when Lily storms in and throws a bowl of peanuts in his face. She asks how he did it, and he plays innocent, so she tells them all about Dr. Stangel, giving us a brief sideswipe to the doctor's office, in which she's like, "Where'd you get the beard?" and in which she air-quotes "Dr. Stangel" at him. He tells her his mother's Armenian, which seems to have something to do with the beard? I don't know. I'm really busy counting. Anyway, Marshall insists Barney was with him all day, first at sexual harassment training, then a secretary beauty pageant. Ted's happy they've found Barney's doppleganger and tells Lily that now they can tell her the hot dog guy did not look like Barney. Lily freaks out, because she and Marshall made a binding covenant with the universe about having kids. She says this is like a black cat walked through her uterus. Barney suggests the cost-saving alternative of getting checked out by someone who looks just like her doctor, instead, and goes to scrub up. As he talks, we see a "44 beers on tap" chalkboard behind the bar.