So Quinn is well and truly gone -- a development that was inevitable the moment she was introduced way back in February and only became more so after Becki Newton wisely found gainful employment elsewhere -- and in her absence, Barney was invented yet another new holiday that no one in their right mind would want to celebrate: Bangtoberfest. Ted and Robin try to talk him out of getting in the celebratory mood so soon after his wrenching break-up, but then they remember that this is like the fiftieth wrenching break-up he’s experienced since the show abruptly decided he had a soul buried underneath that cartoonish libido and stop talking about it, which suits Barney just fine since he’s not actually paying attention to what they’re saying anyway. Smart choice.
He wanders out of the frame to hand out more of his special “Bangtoberfest” merch (available now on CBS.com! The perfect holiday gift for the sexist A-hole in your life) and Marshall enters to exposit that Lily’s father Mickey has moved in after burning down that Long Island home that they were handed on an apparently tax-free silver platter and then rejected for the joys of life in a two-bedroom walk-up above a bar. His wife joins him with their adorable tyke in tow (seriously, that is one cute baby -- and the best part is, he’ll be too young to remember that he was once part of this increasingly terrible show) and makes a joke about letting him lie around in his own filth for an hour so that Marshall would have to shovel the ca-ca from the diaper to the dustbin instead. Through all this, Baby Marvin looks distraught that he’s stuck with these idiots as parents for the rest of his days. As Marshall exits, Lily picks up the exposition torch to set up that the duo’s so-boring-nobody-cares storyline for this episode will involve their search for a nanny -- a position that she insists will definitely not be filled by Mickey, since he’s a shiftless loser. Which, of course, means that he’ll end up with the job in the episode’s final minutes. Now that Abby’s off SNL, her dad needs the steady gig to keep the entire Elliott clan afloat.
Even Ted and Robin can see the inevitable end of Lily and Marshall’s storyline, so like the self-absorbed people they are, they turn their attention to themselves instead, boasting about how awesome their relationships with their current significant others are going. Although, as Future Ted keeps helpfully reminding us, it is the autumn of break-ups, so they won’t be making these boasts for too much longer. In fact, Nick and Robin and Victoria and Ted will be splitsville within the month we’re later informed… although considering how confused the timeline has become on this show, that month could last the entire season. The cracks in their unions are already there, what with Robin expressing her disgust about Nick’s displays of emotion and Ted blanching at Victoria’s slovenly, slobbish ways. We aren’t privy to Nick and Victoria’s complaints about them, but one imagines they mostly involve the way Ted and Robin are emotionally needy, astonishingly selfish and prone to lethal bouts of navel-gazing. For their sake, we hope this autumn of break-ups doesn’t drag out until there’s snow on the ground on our side of the TV screen.
While Ted and Robin are pretending to love the ones they’re with, Lily and Marshall are desperately looking for nannies in all the wrong places, mainly on a dubious-sounding website called HeyNannyNanny.com. After a string of terrible interviews, they settle on a pretty young thing who hails from Marshall’s hometown of St. Cloud, Minnesota, but before they can snatch her off the market, she announces she’s running off with a wealthy single dad who goes around saying things like “Legen… dary.” Recognizing a Barney scheme when they hear one, Lily and Marshall drag poor Marvin over to Stinson’s apartment in what seems to be the middle of the night and manage to scare the poor girl off of working for any of them. Having been properly chastened, Barney attempts to make amends by hiring the expensive British nanny that his pals wanted all along, but then Lily has a last-minute freakout and can’t bring herself to hand Marvin over to someone else. Probably because she knows that he won’t ever want to come back to her if he’s ever made aware that there are better mothers out there. Free Marvin!
Anyway, after blowing off her first day back at work without any apparent repercussions, Lily awakens from a nap to find that her son is gone and she’s cradling a stuffed monkey instead. Sadly, the kid didn’t steal her wallet and make a run for the border. His Grandpa Mickey took him out for a walk and gave him lunch to demonstrate what a responsible caretaker he is. A series of flashbacks reveal that he was equally attentive to Lily as an infant as well; it’s just after she went to school that he became a degenerate gambler and professional loser. So note to all stay-at-home parents out there: never send your child to school. It may improve their lives, but it’ll ruin yours. So father and daughter get a bonding moment, Marvin has a new daytime guardian, and Barney gets his ass handed to him by a flock of angry roaming nannies pushing strollers. Everybody wins! Actually nobody does, especially those of us watching at home. Three episodes down, 21 to go.