After last week's controversial episode, where half of the cast dressed in yellow face, I had low, low hopes for "Unpause." But, the episode based around Barney getting "truth serum drunk" was surprisingly delightful, filled with old school "How I Met Your Mother" lore.
"Slapsgiving 3" was offensive to many viewers, and the creators took to Twitter to apologize to fans. A handful of wonderful episodes won't make everything better, but judging "HIMYM" by this one installment alone makes me excited for the final stretch to March 31.
We open at the Farhampton Inn in 2017, just after 2 a.m., where the Mother is pregnant for the second time. She and Ted took a last ditch trip together, and we're reminded of Ted's mother's rule: "Nothing good happens after 2 a.m." Fast forward to 2:01 a.m., the night before Barney and Robin's wedding, and settle in for a bumpy night.
Marshall realizes that his imminent fight with Lily (his judgeship vs. her dream to go to Italy) will be "paused" until after they spend time as a gang, and then further into the night, after they have reunion sex. So, he keeps the night going with extra rounds of shots and one of Barney's special sex pills.
He and Lily retire before everyone else, leaving Robin, Barney and Ted in the bar. Barney flies through his different stages of drunkenness -- "Big plans with strangers drunk" and "Jabba drunk" -- and lands on "truth serum drunk." Robin and Ted can ask him anything and he'll tell the truth.
In what could have been a slightly hokey plot, creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas use this time wisely. We find out that Robin is wealthy. Like, six thousand Canadian craploads wealthy. We find out what Barney's job is, and that two months after the wedding he'll bring down that guy from the coffee shop who stole his hippie girlfriend. It's a storyline that feels like Season 3 or 4, where oddball things fit into place. Yes, it makes sense Barney has been holding out on a 15-year-revenge plot. Of course, Robin's super rich, but never picked up the bar tab.
Oh yeah, and the ring bear vs. ring bearer question was finally answered. Kind of.
But, back in Marshall and Lily's room, things fall apart, harping back to Ted's mother's rule. Nothing good happens after 2 a.m. Marshmallow and Lily Pad have the fight to end all fights. He brings up her selfish trip to San Francisco and calls their life together her consolation prize. Lily bolts, calls someone and leaves the Inn. It's heartbreaking to see two characters who have been emotional rocks for viewers since the early seasons hurt one another so deeply and obviously. We know they'll come back together, as real-life couples do. But for now, it stings.
What did you think of "Unpause"? Did you get the answers you wanted out of Barney?
"How I Met Your Mother" airs Mondays, 8 p.m. EST on CBS.