Sneak Peek: How I Met Your Mother Channels an '80s Classic as Ted's Relationship Implodes

On next Monday’s How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 8/7c), Ted and Jeanette’s crazy romance officially goes kaput. But the once-again-single guy won’t mope for long, thanks to Barney’s latest scheme, which involves an homage to the 1989 comedy flick Weekend at Bernie’s.

RELATED | Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on HIMYM and More!

To help his pal land a new girl, Barney whips out an old friend — The Playbook! It lives! — but not for long, judging by the sneak peek below. (Surprisingly, the apparent destruction of Barney’s old Bible isn’t the doing of Robin, who thought her fiancé had destroyed it.)

Check out the gallery below, and then hit the comments with your thoughts.

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9 Comments
  1. GalleyGrl says:

    Barney not in a suit!?!? lengen-wait for it!- dary!

  2. Looks like Weekend at Bernie’s (Barney’s?) I AND II since he’s walking about like a zombie.

  3. justsomegirl says:

    Not happy at seeing the Playbook again, but I’ll give this episode a chance. It better not piss me off like the episode from last night did!

    • Nero theTVFiddler says:

      Yep, I agree, last night’s episode was not legen… wait for it … ahh, forget it. It wasn’t very good. What can I say. The ratings look good however, so that’s something, but having the Captain/Kyle around should have made for a better storyline. [spoiler alert] The Captain is the best – hopefully we’ll see more of him, because the episode did end nicely between he and Lily.
      .
      HIMYM does have a challenge facing it, one I’m certain the HIMYM team is aware of and will conquer successfully. The show has been built for years around some basic pillars, and one of those was the free-wheeling, swinging Barney. That constant of Barney chasing women around – that comic component. Those days [since 'The Last Page'] are gone – Barney can’t be Barney anymore [which is okay]; he has to morph into someone beyond that as his wedding to Robin approaches.
      .
      That pivot point is critical, and at least for a time, someone (Ted?) is going to need to fill those old ‘Playbook’ Barney shoes – that’s where the episodes are right now. But pretty soon that arc will end as well, as we get closer to May’s finale.
      .
      In my mind, that’s what makes HIMYM so unique and compelling a series – they have a chance to make next season [9] quite a different show from the previous eight seasons; a show that will focus on three couples [with the viewers already knowing the back-story of each character] and how those three couples interact and impact one another, for good and for potentially some heartbreak. That could be compelling television.

      • justsomegirl says:

        Hmm, I actually liked last night’s episode for the most part. I was laughing through all the High Ted and Drunk Robin moments, that was golden comedy right there. The one thing that I didn’t like which pissed me off so much, was Barney’s lewd comments throughout the episode. I’m fine with him occasionally relapsing into Womanizing Barney mode as long as it’s very brief, he doesn’t act on it, and he doesn’t say anything about it to or in front of Robin.

        The beginning part, where he’s actually debating that it would be ok for Robin to sleep with the Captain as long as he gets to hook up with someone else too, was unsettling to me. Watching his internal battle though, I thought back to that tagline at the end of “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns” where American Barney fought with Canadian Barney. Some people took it as representing Barney fighting with his feelings for Robin, so that’s what this scene made me think here. Good-Committed guy Barney is fighting with Bad-Womanizing Barney and it’s a battle that CB alluded to in his interviews. So even though I bemoaned at the return of that stubborn bastard, I was okay with it because it’s in front of the guys and Robin wasn’t there to witness that.

        Then, it went too far with Barney ranting on about the “suffocating principles” of monogamy to Robin and then actively suggesting an open marriage. One in which HE gets to sleep around with other women, but SHE isn’t allowed to sleep with other men. That isn’t something you say to your fiancee. Barney was not being funny or cute in any way in that scene, he was being downright insulting. I know this show has misogynistic humor that I always overlooked because it is a comedy, you’re not supposed to take things serious and if you do, you might as well avoid comedies because that’s just what they do. But it’s definitely messing with my OTP and that’s why I’m mad. Robin obviously looked very perturbed by the things Barney was saying and I’m like “Speak up girl! Smack him! Do something!” and she didn’t. She didn’t say a damn word other than “No.” And Barney looked disappointed afterwards, like he really wasn’t joking about what he said and that he wanted that.

        Okay, I know Barney can’t change his attitude towards monogamy overnight or over a few months of being engaged, but we are talking about YEARS of serious character growth here. Barney has shown since season 6 time and time again that he is DONE with that life. In season 8, he hardly womanized at all except for in “Nannies” and even then, he seemed exhausted and very displeased with himself. He burned the Playbook for Robin to show her that he was done with that life and he wants to be committed to her and to her alone. In “Ring Up”, without even thinking about it, he declared meaningless one night stands disgusting and he doesn’t approve of them anymore. This is also the same guy who said he loves Robin and she’s the only woman he wants to be with. This Barney I saw last night could NOT possibly be the same Barney who spent weeks crafting a beautiful proposal to Robin or getting jealous over the thought of her loving someone else to the point of obsession in her teen years. This isn’t even old womanizer Barney, this was just atrocious writing of Barney. He was completely OOC and it made me livid. It pains me because Barney is my favorite character of the show and I always appreciated how the writers handled his character development over the years, but they took leaps backwards on his development last night.

        The only way I’ll ever make peace with the Barney in last night’s episode is if next week, when he’s doing the Playbook scheme (ugh), Robin will finally reach her breaking point and there will be a fight. There needs to be. Robin looked really unhappy while Barney was going on about how he supposedly nailed Shelly and her hot sister and he didn’t even care! At the moment, I do not foresee a wedding that they go through with. This better be a build up to something big, otherwise, I’m going to pretend Barney was out of town for business and that was Larney we saw last night , Barney’s evil twin.

        • Nero theTVFiddler says:

          What you describe is what makes HIMYM so different from other series/comedies, and in the end, I think that’s why this show [unlike so many others] will get better as it gets near the end of its run next season. They don’t take the easy way out – they could, but Bays/Thomas never seem to do that. Which is good – they really balance this series on a pin. Happiness in this show, as in life, is always fleeting. Bays/Thomas I think want to see some friction and frustration in Robin – they want that struggle, and maybe she’s earned that struggle. That’s why Barney is going to need time to make his adjustment from bad-boy to good-husband, and Robin is going to need to be patient and tough it out with him – sometimes look the other way. I think that may be the second-to-last pivot point of this series – the struggle is not between the two bros anymore (Ted and Barney) – the struggle will be within Robin.
          .
          I think that’s why Robin doesn’t put up a big fight with Barney over his behavior. Barney is not the only one having the internal struggle. Robin knows who Barney is, knows he’s trying to transform to be that ‘better man.’ But, maybe most important, Robin also knows that if she really wants someone different than Barney, no problem, she can have him, she’s already found him. He’s sitting right across the MacLaren’s table from Robin and Barney. The second she pushes Barney to be a ‘settle down’ guy, that’s the moment (which she may have already reached) she’ll realize she trying to push Barney to be more ‘Ted-like’. That can’t end well, and she knows it.
          .
          That’s the tightrope Bays/Thomas have crafted for the series. It’s a good thing – not many shows at this stage keep pushing limits. Other shows start taking shortcuts – not this one. HIMYM continues to push their five lead characters, not giving them complete happiness, always forcing them to question themselves and their actions. At the end of ‘Ducky Tie’ [one of my favorite episodes], Victoria warns Ted that this ‘thing’ that Ted, Robin and Barney have going can’t end happily, and future Ted realizes that – but present Ted, Robin, Barney just can’t see it – they’re blindly living a kind of tortured dance. That’s why I’m hoping we’ll see ‘the mother’ in season 9 and her interacting with Robin, Barney and the Eriksens. That’s the final piece that will put all five (six) of the characters on equal relationship footing at the same time. Then I think we’ll see a really interesting story and final season of the dynamic between these three couples. If Carter/Bays can do this just right, balance these three couples on a pin, HIMYM has a chance to end its run at full speed, something unique to other nine year old series. And then we’ll be able to say this series was indeed truly …. (wait for it)….

          • justsomegirl says:

            Wow, actually Nero, you just made me feel like 100 times better about the whole thing. Like I said, I didn’t mind if Barney saw a chick and was like, “wow she’s hot” or checking out girls, because that’s just what guys do. Like the part at the beginning where he seems to have an internal battle with himself over him hooking up with other chicks if Robin slept with the captain. That’s fine, I don’t mind (too much) at seeing that, just as long as Robin isn’t around to see it, because by now he should know what hurts her and try to avoid it. He went on about nailing Shelly and her hot sister in front of her and it just really bothered me about what he said to Robin, actually joking, but not really, of having an open marriage. Anyway, I think everything will be resolved in this upcoming episode anyway, and I’m hoping for a B/R fight or at least “clear the air” of sorts because Robin looked very disturbed last episode.

        • Nero theTVFiddler says:

          …. legendary.

  4. lei says:

    Nice callback to the episode when Barney and Robin broke up back in season 5, Barney talk to ted in a tape saying that if he was dead, ted had to recreate Weekeng at Bernie’s

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