Just then, Barney returns to the booth to say goodbye to his friends, so Lily asks him where he's going. "Nowhere. The beach. It's winter. Laser tag. Home. Shut up. You're going somewhere!" Then he runs out of the bar. Figuring that he's meeting "her" right now, the gang (without leaving a tip) flees MacLaren's and grabs a cab (with no Ranjit in it; his Town Car has stolen him from us). When Ted realizes they're not even in Manhattan anymore and wonders where "this girl" lives, Robin reminds them they're talking about someone who's gotten Barney Stinson to commit. "I'm guessing Narnia." Heh. I'm recapping Lost now too, so for a minute, I thought that was a clue of which I should make note. I'm back, now. Darn island and its magnets always pulling at me despite my better intentions.
Eventually, Barney enters a blue house with white trim, so the gang de-cabs and, with Lily leading the charge, they trudge up onto a perfect stranger's front porch, where Lily can't wait to knock on the door. Barney answers with a "What the hell are you guys doing here?" but they barge right past him and into the house. Lily says, "Where is she? Where's your girlfriend?" and I'm struggling to stay in the moment, because who are these people? I love this show and these characters, and most of the more outlandish plots I can chalk up to 2030's Ted being an unreliable narrator with a penchant for embellishment, but I can't imagine that while in our late 20s or early 30s, my friends and/or I would have ever done anything like this. I know this is a sitcom, and I'm good with that, not to mention I think it's one of the better sitcoms out there (along with The Office and 30 Rock), but I like it better when it doesn't use such contrivances to tell me the story.
Before Barney can answer Lily's question, She appears and She is Frances Conroy a.k.a. Ruth Fisher. Lily turns to Barney: "You really don't have a type, do you?" Barney introduces his friends to this woman -- Loretta. She's his... mother. Okay, that didn't deserve the wait-for-it ellipsis, did it? Loretta says she feels like she knows the gang, because Barney goes on and on about them, every day, when they talk. Robin wears her smitten face and asks, "You call your mom every day?" Barney's all, "NO!" then turns to his mother and says, "Mom!" under his breath, and I sort of feel badly for NPH, because he's better than this dialogue, which is supposed to make him sound like an adolescent, but I don't know an adolescent who'd do that Mom! thing within his friends' hearing.