Warning -- the episode we're about to discuss is really cute. If cuteness were mercury, we'd be sitting next to Jeremy Piven in the chelation therapy waiting room, while David Mamet cracked jokes about us looking for work as thermometers. Don't worry. It doesn't feel like someone's force feeding us vials of quicksilver cuteness. It's more like we're enjoying our yummy Monday night sushi and BAM! Cuteness overload.
The whole gang is at Ted's apartment, sorting through Robin's mail that Metro News One just got around to forwarding (four months after she left). She has more fans than Lily imagined. Ted adds that only about 60% of them are prison inmates. Robin says, "What are these guys thinking? I am way past my "dating prisoners" phase. It's like, Hello! I'm not 19 anymore." Do they even have prisoners in Canada? I guess they must, because Lily cringes in horror but Robin is too delighted by her "maturity" to notice the awkward silence around her. Barney cuts it short by pointing out that "Lottery Girl" is on, and he turns on the TV. Robin says she feels sorry for those women. "This is where broadcast careers go to die." As opposed to...Ted's guest room?
Barney's invented a game for watching the Lottery segment. When the hostess announces a number, he add in some MST3K-style comments for fun. The Lottery girl announces 19. Barney says: "Age you moved to New York after a photographer "discovered" you at a food court, and said he'd get you in Vogue magazine." The next number is 53. "Number of semi-nude pictures he took of you before you realized he had no connection to Vogue magazine." 22: "Age you claim you are." 31: "Age you actually are." 45: "Number of minutes it would take me to get you into a cab, out of your dress, and into my Jacuzzi." When the Lottery Girl says, "And the Super Big Ball is..." Barney snaps off the TV and finishes: "What happens after we get out of the Jacuzzi." He turns to Ted with a "What UP!" and they share an enthusiastic high-five.
As Robin enters MacLaren's, Saget!Ted narrates: "Kids, by the winter of 2009, Robin had been unemployed for months, but there was a glimmer of hope." Lily asks Robin how her audition went. She says that she went into it feeling good... and I feel the weight of the unspoken "but" hanging in the air, while we flash back to the audition. Robin enters a waiting room and sits between the two other women competing for same job. She tries to make small talk, but they deftly use that opportunity to psyche her out. Robin mentions that she used to anchor Metro News 1, so the first woman comments that as an anchor, she must have had a killer sign off phrase. When Robin doesn't follow what she's saying, the second woman explains. "Like Walter Cronkite: 'And that's the way it is'." They ask her about hers, but Robin only ever said, "From all of us here at Metro News One -- have a good evening." Is anyone else hearing Jane Curtin's old SNL Weekend Update in their heads: "Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow." Just me, then. Anyhow, we flash forward to MacLaren's, where Barney notes that his sign-off phrase is, "From all of us here at Barney's apartment, get out." Lily says she hopes Robin didn't let those "reporter bitches" psyche her out, and we flash...