Ted meets a PhD candidate. She's hot. She's cool. She's Ted's cup of tea. She's played by Rachel Bilson. Her name is Cindy! And? She was in the wrong classroom, when Ted was, on his first day teaching. So I start writing this in real time, and I'm thinking -- no way is she the mother; they're jerking us around, right? Right. But more on that, in a moment.
There's a new female bartender at MacLaren's. She's blonde, beautiful and attracting a whole bunch of new guys to the bar. But best of all, she's not taking any of Barney's crap, because she has completely sworn off guys in suits. Barney tries to quit them cold turkey with mixed results, including the premature death of a suit not even Tim Gunn can save. Eventually, Barney gets the girl home, only to have her discover his closet full of dirty little secrets. Wait -- this is Barney. That could mean anything. Here, secrets = suits. She makes him choose between her and his suits, which sparks a fantasy musical number, in which Barney decides nothing suits him like a suit. Not even a busty bartender! Then he snaps out of it, and beds her, whispering to his suits that they have nothing to worry about.
Now back to Ted. Despite her yammering on about her pathetic jealousy of her roommate, Cindy and Ted hit it off on their first date, but when she learns it's against school policy for them to date, she ends things. Ted doesn't let her go easily. He goes to her place in the pouring rain, very yellow umbrella in hand, and tries to talk Cindy into taking a chance, but when he points out things in her very yellow apartment to prove they have much in common, every item he mentions belongs to the roommate. And that roommate is the mother. We see her... ankle. Yeah.
Barney, Robin, Marshall and Lily made the episode for me, tonight. Ted was sweet and likable, even though his quest makes me weary. For months this episode has been teased as getting Ted (and us) closer than ever to meeting the mother. But you know, he didn't get much closer -- except in a physical sense. The only real progress is that he left behind the umbrella at the end of the episode. That gives him an excuse to go back or a way to spot the mother and/or strike up conversation. Since the umbrella is so distinctive, the mother could have just as easily spotted Ted carrying it. But, you know... MUSICAL EXTRAVAGANZA!!! I'm easy (but I'm not cheap). NPH and a cast of thousands (or at least tens) blew into the episode and freed my mind from the show's mission statement. It was so delightful that I bumped up the grade from a B to an A. I'll be back tomorrow with the full weecap. In the meantime, give me something to sing about, over in the forums.
The Apartment: Ted tells the gang (sans Marshall) that Cindy is totally his speed: a PhD candidate who reads philosophy for fun and finishes the Sunday crossword puzzle. When he announces he has a date with her, the gang raises their beer bottles in celebration; Robin lets out a little "YAY," and then a huge cheer rises up from the street below. We soon find out the cause of the hubbub is Karina (wrestling goddess Stacy Keibler).
Cut to MacLaren's: Karina tends bar in a slow-mo sexy montage set to Warrant's "Cherry Pie." And oh my, babies, that song is older than many of you, isn't it? All right, setting aside my crisis for a moment, what you need to know is that there are more guys than we've ever seen in MacLaren's and they're crowding around the bar, enchanted by Karina. Robin and Lily are less than thrilled. Lily: "Oh no, the sidewalk's going to smell like pee pee, now." Robin says they'd better start looking for a new bar. If I were Robin, I'd be looking for a new apartment. Barney tries to sell the three girls (Lily, Robin, and Ted) on the wonders of a hot female bartender. He's been waiting to land a bartender for yonks and lists all the types of women he's been with. Barney: "Lawyers, teachers, poets, doctors, professional equestrians, amateur equestrians..." Time passes. "A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker. Yes -- we're to the rhyming section, now. A math professor, a tax assessor, a weight guesser..." More time passes. "A puppeteer, a blackjack dealer, a stay at home mom. That's a job too, guys." Wordy McTired, Barney. "A circuit court j--" Robin interrupts, telling him to get to the point. And the point is that he's never scored a hot bartender, "Until tonight." Robin says Karina isn't all that hot. Ted teases her about being jealous and fancying herself the hottest girl in the bar. Robin protests too much. But Barney can't let the conversation stray away from himself, so he steers it back, noting that although all the other guys are falling at Karina's feet, he is an alpha dog and will land where he belongs -- on top. "Then after a few minutes -- on the bottom. Why should I do all the work?" Raise your hand if you're surprised Barney's a bottom. Me, neither.
Once Barney leaves the booth for the bar, Marshall enters. Lily catches him up on the super-hot bartender, but Marshall's not impressed. When Lily tries to coax him into admitting that Karina is hotter than she, Marshall refuses in his sweet, loving, Marshally way. "Well I call 'em like I see 'em, and I just think you're the most beautiful woman in the world." Lily says, "See, that's just annoying." SO'S YOUR FACE, LILY. Ahem, I mean -- I think Marshall means it, so shut up and enjoy, girl. Meanwhile, Robin is sitting across the booth positively starving for validation that she's never going to get.
Over at the bar, guys are leaving Karina $50 for $6.75 drinks, because she's laughing at their jokes and blinding them with her beautiful smile. When it's Barney's turn to order, he's all ready to play hardguy with Karina, but he never gets a chance. She's so cold to him from the get-go, I start rummaging through the braincells I killed over the holidays to see if she was one of the blonde women in Barney's bracket. She's not. She's just not taking any of what he's selling, before he even makes the presentation. Is she the mother, because that would be sort of fun.