End Tag; The Apartment: Marshall, Lily, Barney, and Ted are sitting around nattering, when Robin exits her bedroom. All excited, Marshall sits up straight and asks her how the big date went. Robin is grinning from ear to ear. She says it went pretty well, and that she will leave it at that (and at "fine" and "nice" and "we had a good time"). The smile never fades. She starts back to her room and then turns back to face the crew. "Although, um... one interesting thing did happen." She leans towards her friends and sings: I said Bang, Bang, Bangity Bang, A-Bang Bang Bangity Bang. They all join in -- harmonizing, even. But Barney sits on the couch, smiling an appropriately subdued, "I deserve that" smile. Marshall even has a banjo. The gang sings us into the black. I feel sorry for Robin that she had to go there.
Why it gets a B-: this was a tough episode to grade. I explain my grading more fully in the recaplet (which you can get to at the top of page 1 of this weecap). Suffice it to say, although I enjoyed it (and certainly more than the past few clunkers) I can't grade it as just a stand-alone, because this sitcom's claim to fame is its serial elements and continuity, and this episode draws heavily from that well. So I have to look at this one in context of the entire Barney/Robin arc, and you know what -- we already had Robin reveal her discomfort TO Barney, regarding Barney's sexual bragging, back in "The Playbook," i.e. the VERY FIRST EPISODE AFTER THEY BROKE UP. And you know what? He didn't care. He kept on using her to complete his SCUBA Diver play. This episode just feels like cheap fan-service, and does nothing to change the feelings this arc has evoked for the past 8 or 9 episodes. I enjoyed the episode (and Jennifer Lopez was a surprising delight), but I'm not digging the story one little bit.
And so no. Just no. Barney was always a rake with a heart of gold. Now he's a caricature of himself. Neil Patrick Harris is a wonder. Barney Stinson is a repulsive, self-absorbed dick. I hope, I really hope that this is the episode that brings him back to where he was, just even mid-season 4. But I'm not counting on it. I hate, though, to leave the weecap on that note, so instead, I'll leave it on these...QUOTES of NOTE: