Robin wants more girl time with Lily, so Lily brings her to Giddy Ups, a honky-tonk cowgirl sort of club, to meet up with Lily's co-worker Jillian and friends. Robin sneers at the atmosphere. Lily denies that the club is Jillian's speed, but meeting up with Jillian and all her cowgirl-hatted friends debunks that claim. Jillian may be an erudite, dedicated second grade teacher by day, but by night? She's a total Woo Girl. Saget!Ted explains: "A Woo Girl is the type of young woman, who, like the cuckoo bird or the whippoorwill, gets her name from the signature sound she makes." Almost anything can elicit a, "Woo!" from a Woo Girl: a good song; half-priced shots; or just remembering she fed her cat. While Lily is appalled, Robin acts appalled, and Barney gets wind that his friends are out with Woo Girls and shows up because he's Barney.
For most of the episode, Barney's story revolves around his rededication to the quest of beating out Marshall as Ted's best friend. Goliath National Bank is seeking an architect to design its new headquarters. Barney's on the search committee and has recommended Ted, who will get to pitch a design from his firm. If Ted gets the job, all three guys will be working at GNB, together. Ted can be included in Marshall and Barney's faux conference calls, which is their cover for ducking out of work to drink beers on the roof, then chucking the crumpled-up cans at pigeons (well, Marshall doesn't do that, but Barney does and Ted's game). Ted's still hurting over his break up with Stella, so getting a shot at realizing his dream of contributing a building to the Big Apple skyline means so much to him.
Ted aces the GNB presentation and leaves feeling good about his chances. Later that night, a grief-stricken Barney meets up with Lily, Marshall and Ted outside of MacLaren's and informs Ted that the board decided to go another way. Before they can react, a stretch Hummer Limo drives by, and who is wooing out the moon roof but our very own Robin. As the guys are leaving MacLaren's so Ted can go pee on the current GNB headquarters, Robin shows up. Lily confronts her about her secret life as a Woo Girl. Robin explains that sometimes she needs to go out with other single women and get her woo on.
The next day at work, Marshall hears from co-worker Bilson that it was Barney's fault GNB chose the Sven Architecture Collective over Ted. He was enthralled by their pitch, which featured a fire-breathing, T-Rex-shaped building. Marshall confronts Barney in one of their rooftop conference calls and gives him Hell for screwing over Ted. He informs Barney there'll be no more conference calls, gives a pigeon-esque bird call, then locks Barney out on the roof. Barney is left there to contemplate his sins -- all alone, at least until the pigeons come.
That night, Lily shows up at Giddy Ups and tries to fit in with the Woo Girls, but she's the square peg. Robin consoles her by pointing out the desperation behind all the woos, and reminds us how lost she's been feeling since she left her job. They resolve to spend more best-friend time together. The guys show up, and Barney tells Ted that GNB has fired Sven and wants to hire Ted and his firm. He nearly confesses he was responsible for choosing Sven, but Marshall takes pity on Barney, and covers for him, blaming it on Bilson. Saget!Ted tells us Marshall caved 10 minutes later and told Ted it was Barney's fault, so they tied Barney to the mechanical bull, set it to "paint mixer" and went home.
End tag: Barney gets off the bull after 3 hours and is so dizzy, he can't walk, but he nearly kills himself trying -- in order to get to Jillian and her friend, who are planning to find a guy for a three way. The women walk off in search of that cute guy... Ted. Wooo!
I have to hand it to Craig Thomas and Carter L. Bays who wrote this episode, and to director Pamela Fryman, and of course, to this talented cast and crew. Woooo! makes great use of all the elements that make How I Met Your Mother unique. In this episode, the narration is not just exposition -- it serves the story; it reminds us that we're hearing this story 22 years later, from an unreliable narrator who loves to tell us his side. The acting is superb (I have one acting nit and I'll pick it when I get there). There's a nice sprinkling of running gags, but the pace is tight. The dialogue delights. I know I've been rough on a few episodes this season, but that's only because I love the show so much when it is at its best. Good job, show. Let's get to it, shall we?
We open on a beautiful shot of the New York City nighttime skyline at its twinkly best. Saget!Ted reminds his children that in the fall of 2008, their Aunt Robin was floundering. "So she valued her friendship with Aunt Lily more than ever." Don't let Saget!Ted give your eulogy. At MacLaren's, Robin is excited that Marshall has to work late on Friday, and proposes a ladies night to Lily, who already has plans to attend her co-worker Jillian's birthday party. Robin is jealous. "I've never even heard of this Jillian person before, and suddenly she's like your best friend. You can't shut up about her." Lily tries to soothe Robin's jealousy by reminding her they hang out all the time. Robin rejects this, because she says Marshall's always there and they never get to talk alone. When Lily says that isn't true, we...
Flashback to Lily and Marshall's apartment. Robin's telling a story and just as she gets to the good part, Marshall plops down on the couch next to her, so Robin switches to non-specifics. "We go to the... place, and then that... guy asks about the thing, with the stuff that I told you about at that place that time. Long story short? Events transpired." Marshall says, "Oh my God, you and the guy from the Mayor's Office did it in the U.N. building under the desk of the Ambassador from Zaire? Nice!" He pats her back, but Robin is dismayed that he's broken her clever code.
Flash forward to MacLaren's. Robin says she just wants some girl time. She loves Marshall, but he's always talk-blocking her. Talk-blocking! (Zach, I think you're going to have to work on addendum to "How I Met Your Mother: The New Verbiage.) Lily invites Robin to come out with her and Jillian. Robin accepts the invitation, but doesn't want to stay out too late. Just as she's about to explain why, Marshall and Ted wander over to their booth, so she slips back into code: "Because... remember that, um, thing last month, after I went to the place? Well, you-know-who said it's fine, but she gave me some stuff." Marshall grimaces. "You've still got that yeast infection, huh?" Ted just looks at her. I try to stop imagining a month long yeast infection, or in fact a yeast infection of any duration. Someone save me! Let's holler at Lily, because she's obviously keeping Marshall abreast of Robin's gynecological health. Lily, knock that off. Loose lips sink ships. Yes, I should have spared you when my mind went there, but why should I suffer alone? Bartender, we'll have a round of brain bleach, thanks.