Last week, Barney and Robin decided that while they love one another, they can't be together. This week, Barney intends to out-Barney himself as he jumps back into the dating scene, and to do so, he breaks out his leather bound playbook. The episode is so full of jumps, twists and turns that I'm not quite sure how to approach it, so climb aboard as I wing it.
MacLaren's: Claire (Sarah Wright; Jane, 7th Heaven), a pretty, young, blonde woman sits at the bar as Saget!Ted narrates that when you're dating, it's important to be confident, comfortable in your skin, and assured of who you are. In 2030, he informs his (unseen) kids that Barney had that last part down pat, even when he wasn't being himself. We pan to Barney, seated at the semi-round booth in the corner. He's in full SCUBA gear. Lily approaches Claire, and tells her that the SCUBA suit guy is the biggest jerk on the face of the earth and not to talk to him. Claire smiles. "How do you know him?" Lily says, "Oh, he's one of my best friends." Heh. Claire wants to know what's up with the SCUBA suit. Lily tells her it's a long story -- he just went through a break-up, etc. Keep in mind, this is to set up the introduction to the funniest plays in Barney's playbook.
As we flashback to Robin, Saget!Ted says that after a breakup, some people throw themselves into... Robin finishes the line: "...my career." She's sworn off dating for the foreseeable future. Saget!Ted then narrates, "While some people throw themselves into..." We flash to Barney. "...every woman in New York City." Thanks for the prepositional gross-out, Show. Barney's back on the market. "Mothers, lock up your daughters. Daughters, lock up your MILSWANCAs." Ted cracks Barney's code: "Mothers I'd Like to Sleep With And Never Call Again." Daddy's home, indeed. Robin is not present for this scene, by the way. It's just Ted, Lily, Marshall and Barney. When Lily cautions Barney about jumping back into things too soon, he makes phallic references to what turns out to be his playbook.