Flash forward to MacLaren's. Barney laughs so hard at the retelling of his "more pants" crack that he falls right out of the booth and onto the floor. The gang looks at him with pity and confusion. Robin turns to Marshall. "That's it? That's the whole story?" Marshall and Lily give her a dirty look I can't quite figure out. [I think it's a lingering dirty look at Barney. - Z] Then Marshall asks Ted if that's all that happened with Karen. Lily offers to finish the story for him. Remind me to never her piss her off. "Ted left without saying anything and Karen got exactly what she wanted." Ted corrects her. "Not this time." Flash back to Karen's bedroom. Ted confronts Karen about having had a boyfriend during this whole time they've been together. She says she and her s.o. have been drifting and she's been meaning to break up with him, but she has a hard time with this stuff. "I'm great with books. I'm great with art. I'm great with identifying French wines from within a mile of where the grapes are grown, but... I'm really bad when it comes to looking someone in the eye and telling them the truth about how I feel." Ted gets that; and he claims he has the same problem. Funniest gag of the night. Regardless of how very wrong Ted is about that, he decides to start now (you know, "now"), by telling Karen she's a hurtful, reckless person and he doesn't want to see or speak to her again. "Au revoir." Yeouch! She gets pedantic about the translation of au revoir, in an effort to finagle his douchay au revoir into a promise that they'll meet again, but Ted can only sniff and say, "Sorry, bro." And he leaves. Yay, Ted!
Flash forward to MacLaren's. The gang stands, cheers and claps. Robin says she's impressed with Ted. She adds, "You too, Marshall. Have you been wearing those all day?" The camera pulls back to show us Marshall's still wearing Barney's practical joke. "They show off my calves." Lily gets her little turned-on grin. Barney begs to hear the pants story again, but the gang ignores him, while Lily admits to Ted that maybe it was good he called Karen. He says it was, and it was good for Karen, too. Later that night, she had the uncomfortable break-up conversation with Jerry that she'd always avoided with Ted.
Saget!Ted narrates: "So you see, kids, sometimes when you have to have a tough conversation, the best thing to do..." Lily cuts him off...except not, because she's in the present with us, not in 2030 with Saget!Ted. Oh, you know what I mean. Anyhow, Lily wants to know how -- if Ted was never going to speak to Karen again -- he knows about her break-up with Jerry. Ted's caught. As he hems and haws, we see a blonde woman descending the stairway from the street to the bar. Ted quickly says, "Right. About that... After she broke up with that dude..." He looks over his shoulder toward the door, and spits out the rest of his story in double-time. "She called me, we went out, we hooked up, we've been dating ever since. We're really seeing eye-to-eye. It just feels different, somehow. Here she comes now. Be cool!" He rises to his feet and greets her with open arms, a hug and a kiss. And the rest of the gang says her name, "Karen," as if she were something against which one should be inoculated. And she may well be. Are you ready, fandom? I hope you've had your shots.