‘How I Met Your Mother’ Recap: Barney vs. Female Barney

HIMYMS7E18: The most important thing to take from this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother, “Karma,” is this: the writers of this show really hate Long Island. And it’s an irrational, haphazard hate. One week, they depict Long Islanders as a bunch of Rosie Perezes circa Do the Right Thing. Now, they’re switching to a sort of Stepford retirement community. Just pick a stereotype and stick to it. But I guess there actually are more important things to focus on regarding “Karma.” For instance, Karma.

“I swear, I never say crap like this. But I think, maybe, the universe is telling us something.” – Barney

Barney drives the A-story in his attempts to get to know Quinn, the girl he slept with around Valentine’s Day. He learns that she’s a stripper at the club he frequents (he’s not really one for eye contact), but does not let her profession stop him. Barney admits to genuinely liking and feeling challenged by Quinn. So, he makes an attempt to take her out. But here’s the kicker: she’s exactly like him.

Quinn lies to Barney—tricking him into thinking that buying dances at the strip club is the only way he can spend time with her due to a fictitiously vigilant manager. Barney is head over heels for Quinn, so he eagerly gives into all of her tricks…right up until he notices her pulling the same exact game on some other guy at the club. Barney has a rare moment of profound reflection, recognizing that he deserves everything she is doing to him and then some. But he also admits that he is trying to be a better person, and that he actually has sincere intentions with her—due, naturally, to the fact that they’re practically kindred spirits.

“I am so sorry. Your clothes accidentally ended up in this bag I donated to Good Will.” – Lily

At least a little bit moved by Barney’s speech, Quinn agrees to give him a chance. Two reformed sociopathic swindlers making a go at falling for one another. If that ain’t true romance…

Can we hope that Barney’s fling with Quinn is just filler until he gets together with Robin? It is getting a little close to the end of the season for a Stinson-Scherbatsky reconnection/courtship/engagement/marriage. Could Quinn be the one Barney ends up with? A female Barney capable of turning him into a better man as he turns her into a better woman? Is this the fate we are meant to accept?! A little dramatic, I know, but we shippers are a passionate bunch.

“Also, diary, I think writing in you is stupid, but you were a gift from Lily, and she’s watching me right now.” – Robin

Speaking of Robin, she decides to stay with Marshall and Lily out in East Meadow, LI, for the time being (she moved out last week thanks to Marshall’s recommendation). Unfortunately, Robin finds this to be a hostile arrangement. Marshall and Lily have become boring suburbans who compulsively rope her into their mundane ideas of fun…and they won’t let her leave.

Eventually, Robin gets it out of Marshall and Lily that they, too, hate Long Island, and need her there to ease the pain of living in what these writers apparently think is the worst place in the world. I believe it needs to be pointed out that Long Island is famous for its exquisite array of beautiful beaches, haunted locations and terrific bagels. So ease up, HIMYM.

Marshall and Lily insist on staying, despite their misery, because they believe it’d be better for their baby—but more so, because they seem to be afraid or ashamed of “backing out” of this commitment. Robin tries to convince them that they should do whatever makes them happy, but to no avail. Until Ted comes along.
“Shirley’s forty-two and rides a rascal. I swear, it’s the second half of Wall-E up here.” – Robin
All episode long, Ted is dealing with his own misery. The misery of losing Robin, and of being alone, and of finding himself incapable of wood crafts and meat-smoking (he takes up a lot of hobbies to get his mind off his unhappiness).

All the while, Ted talks to an imaginary Robin, who tries to convince him that all of this is a waste of time, and that he needs to do something more substantial to rid himself of the loneliness he feels in his apartment.

And then, the real Robin shows up. They discuss a few things. Marshall’s and Lily’s unhappiness on Long Island, for one. More substantially, they discuss the end to their on-again-off-again ordeal…tacitly, but hardly subtly. Ted understands a little bit more that he really needs to move on, so that he can find something more meaningful than just a distraction from what he really wants…

And he does. Ted calls Marshall and Lily, asking them to meet him at the apartment. But when they get there, all of his stuff is moved out, and there is only a note to greet them: he has given them the apartment—and they’re pretty thrilled about it. But the questions arise: what is Ted going to do now?

Is this when he gets back into actually being an architect and building that skyscraper in the New York City skyline? We know it won’t be ‘til May that he meets the mother, so I predict a whole lot of existentialistic futzing around on Mr. Mosby’s part. In other words, I feel like there is a chance we might be in for a lot of Marshall/Lily/Robin/Barney-centric episodes—which is a shame, because when Ted is at his best, he is my favorite character. But we’ll have to see where this new conquest takes him.

On the same token, where is Robin living? Are both of them homeless? Will the economy finally take a toll on this group of over privileged alcoholics? Let us know what you think about where Barney, Ted and Robin will go from here in the comments section, or on Twitter @Hollywood.com and @MichaelArbeiter.