10/08/2013 12:04 am ET Updated Dec 07, 2013

'How I Met Your Mother' Season 9, Episode 4 Recap: A Weekend At Barney's In 'The Broken Code'

Spoiler Alert: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 9, Episode 4 of CBS' "How I Met Your Mother," titled "The Broken Code."

Within the first few moments of this episode, last week's cliffhanger is neatly tied up (or so it seems). Barney says he's not mad at Ted for comforting Robin at the carousel, and they cry over spilt $600 scotch.

Thus begins Ted's confusing episode arc. The whole gang is finally sort of united by Lily's Marsh-pillow creation -- a Franken-pillow topped with Marshall's telecommunicating face. But all of a sudden Ted becomes the best man to end all best men. He trades rooms with Barney's great aunt who can't get up the stairs. He houses doves in his terrible new room. He plays calligrapher for the table settings and has ordered a deck of cards with Barney's face in place of the kings' ... and naked ladies in place of the queens.

But why? Ted was never gung-ho about the wedding. He's used to being the absolute best friend and saving the day, but he also almost didn't come to the wedding. Does his incessant need to please his friends overshadow his heartbreak? The short scenes in which Ted plays selfless best man revert back to an old Ted -- one who was over Robin, comes up with catch phrases like "The best man is on it" and would do anything to ensure the happiness of his friends. Not the present Ted, the one who is running away to Chicago in two days.

Soon enough, Barney admits to sending Ted on a wild best man chase. Of course he's mad that Ted was holding hands with Robin at the carousel. With video-chatting Marshall, the guys search through the Bro Code to see if Ted broke it. We're still not sure if he did. Barney's actually mad at himself for playing laser tag instead of being in the park with Robin. He knows he wasn't there to hold her hand. The bros are cool.

That is, until Ted finally tells Barney that he still has feelings for Robin. (We're just going to fly by the fact that they were holding hands on the beach in the rain, because it was just a little too heavy-handed for our taste.) In the third Ted-spiring monologue of the season, he tells Barney, "I hate myself for having these feelings." He promises to try to move on from Robin and live with it. "The question is, can you?" he asks Barney. His bro can too.

Over in ladies-land, we're falling even more madly in love with Lily and Robin's friendship, if that's possible. After nine seasons, their friendship is one for the TV history books, reminiscent of early Marshall and Ted. So, it's sweet when Lily says she wants Robin to have more female friends, especially now that she's off to Europe in six days. But as soon as a potential friend pops up -- a New York Rangers fan crying over a loss to the Boston Bruins will do just fine -- Lily freaks out. For a while, we really thought Robin's new best friend would be "The Mother" and this episode would kick off their beautiful friendship. Alas, we should have known better. It's way too early for frequent Mother pop-ups. We can dream.

Random things we want more of:
  • Wendy Davis references ("What are you, filibustering later?!")
  • Marshall. We want more Marshall.
  • Hidden lines referring to Marshall and Lily's wedding -- remember when Lily couldn't fit into her dress? Apparently Robin now loses weight rapidly, too.
Moments we can do without:
  • Colonial references and flashbacks to the Stinson family everything.
  • Bro Code's international takeover.

"How I Met Your Mother" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

What did you think of this week's episode? Do you believe that Ted is really over Robin? What do you think of Robin hating female friends? When do you think we'll get Marshall back IRL? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

How I Met Your Mother