Barney and Robin are clearly whipped, but they've spent the summer hiding their relationship and are loath to define it, even now that it's common knowledge. In fact, Robin goes on a date to a hockey game with big, tall Brad, because she can't use the "I have a boyfriend" excuse. Later, Barney sucker-punches big, tall Brad as he's about to kiss Robin, but still this stubborn twosome won't admit what the people in the forums have been screaming for the past four years. Lily's on our side though, so she locks them in Robin's room until they have "the talk."
Meanwhile, even though Marshall and Lily gave Ted a fedora and a bullwhip, he is a wreck on his first day teaching, and ends up lecturing to the wrong class for seven minutes. Despite hints from the students, Ted only realizes his mistake once the Economics professor arrives and puts him in his place. By the time Ted flies across campus to his own class, he's so flustered he forgets his nerves and just talks about architecture.
Back at the apartment, Marshall employs some enhanced interrogation techniques on the ever-resistant Barney and Robin. He cooks pancakes and bacon and blows the delectable aroma under Robin's bedroom door, with a fan. Oh yeah. Marshall's hardcore. Barney and Robin may not know how to have "the talk," but they cannot withstand this torture. They decide that although they're no good at relationships, they're great at lying, and so they "lie" that they're boyfriend and girlfriend, and Lily sets them free. As they walk hand and hand down the street and toward brunch, the rest of the gang watches from the stoop. Ted says to Lily, "You do realize they were lying, right?" Lily says, "No, Ted. They don't realize they weren't lying."
What a great start to the fifth season (although the writers need to fish or cut bait on the Mother). But still, welcome back, Show, and welcome back, readers. Those of you who didn't get enough of NPH in his Emmy tux will not want to miss this episode. He looks great in it (and out of it woooo!). And the end tag's not too shabby either. I'll hit that tomorrow, in the full weecap.
The wait has been far too long, so let's get right to it, shall we? We open up on a bust of Socrates outside of Columbia University (UCLA was used for the location shots). Carved into the base of the bust is Socrates' famous quote: "All I know is that I know nothing." Since Socrates knew nothing, I'm pretty sure I'm screwed. The camera pans the length of a lecture hall and down to where Ted is teaching. His picture of the Empire State Building is prominently displayed next to the board. Saget!Ted narrates: "Kids, on my first day as a college professor, there were two things I didn't know, that I wish did. The first thing was that your mother was in that classroom." Raise your hands high in the air. Wave 'em like you just don't care... about the mother... anymore. Sorry, Saget!Ted, back to you. "The second thing? Well, to explain it, we have to go back to the beginning of the summer, when, after a year of wrestling with their feelings for each other, Barney and Robin finally, well..."
MacLaren's; June 2009: Lily takes her inner Woooo Girl out for a spin in the wake of learning that Robin and Barney kissed. She jumps to the conclusion that they're finally a couple and plans double dates and the betrothal of any future children. Barney and Robin throw cold water on her fantasies, although Robin admits that Barney's awesome and in turn, he says, "Robin's more than just awe-some. She's awe-quite-a-bit; She's awe-a-whole-darn-lot." The short of it is -- they say they're not "feeling it" but will still be friends. Lily reacts to this as though she's being dumped. Later that night, alone in bed with Marshall, she mourns the future lost by drowning her sorrows in ice cream. Marshall's comforting skills need some honing, since all he can offer is a shoulder pat and a lame, "So, has the boat sailed on sex tonight, or..." Anchors Aweigh, Marshall.
MacLaren's; September 2009: Marshall and Lily give Ted a little congrats-on-the-job gift. Marshall explains that it's something that used to belong to his favorite professor. Ted opens up the box (and is it just me, or is that wrapping paper reminiscent of Marshall's nightshirt) to find a fedora and a bull whip! After Ted screams in delight that he's Indiana Jones, Barney says, "That, my friends, is 'The Dominator 8000', the best bullwhip on the market, according to my whip guy." A beat. "Yeah... I have a whip guy." As Ted and Marshall plan to down their drinks and take the whip out to the alley for some fun (not in a fan-fic way), Robin takes her leave, explaining she has a date. Barney claims to be leaving for similar reasons -- he had a date with a Chinese woman last night, and he's now craving seconds. Yeah, they went there. Out in the alley, Marshall eggs on Ted and his whip, telling him not even to bother aiming at his target. We then cut to Ted's hallway, where Marshall sings a whole new tune about how a whip is not a toy, and common sense is a must. But that's just the nasty lash on his cheek talking. Ouch. Ted offers to let Marshall whip him, and Marshall says, "I will, some other time." Is it too much to hope that will be worked into another slap bet-centric episode? Anyhow, when Lily opens Ted's door to find Robin and Barney making out on the couch, she lets out a huge WOOO! -- I think. It was hard to hear her over the sound of all the east-coast fans doing the same thing.