How I Met Your Mother: “Rebound Bro” Recap

Posted by Mike

When we last left the HIMYM gang, Ted had just told Barney that not only does he not want to be bros anymore, he doesn’t want to be friends, either. Barney doesn’t give up without a fight though, and he calls Ted 15 times — and Ted’s parents twice — to get him to reconsider. Ted’s not interested. It’s not that he’s mad at Barney, he’s simply outgrown him. Plus, Ted is very busy spending time with Stella. They’ve been dating for two months, though they haven’t had sex yet. Not even on Martin Luther King Day, when Marshall and Lily did their best to “honor that dude big time.”

After striking out with Ted, Barney decides to go in search of a new wingman. One of his coworkers, Randy (played by Saturday Night Live‘s Will Forte), desperately wants the position — which Barney calls “vice president of awesome.” The problem is, Randy is more like “assistant undersecretary of only OK.” Barney then dips into his little black book of bros and tries to find a more battle-seasoned wingman. Unfortunately, Pete isn’t willing to drop his newborn daughter and head to McLaren’s, Stapleton is currently bros with Doug Stein, and Crazy Willie’s idea of a wild night is as follows:

“Here’s what’s on the rocket docket: My wife and I put the cheese out at 7; Cranium at 8; 9pm, we watch 27 Dresses; everybody’s home by 11. Boo-ya!”

After hearing that, Barney feels compelled to hang up on Crazy Willie, then call him back to tell him, “Hanging up on you once wasn’t enough.” Looks like Randy is going to get called up to the majors after all.

We cut to Ted and Stella, who are eating lunch in Stella’s office as she describes lancing some sort of pus-filled growth on some dude’s back. You know, typical lunch conversation. This, of course, gets Ted all hot and bothered. (He has been celibate for five months.) He wants to have a three-way with Stella and the door. That’s when Stella reveals that she’s got Ted beat — she hasn’t had sex in five years. She’s got trust issues, but she thinks she’s ready to put those aside for Ted.

Ted explains all of this to Marshall, Lily and Robin, and to put it in perspective, Marshall informs Ted that the last time Stella had sex, in 2003, “the movie Seabiscuit had just galloped into theaters — and our hearts,” “the world was just learning about SARS,” and “The Da Vinci Code had just come out — not the movie, the book.” Also, Nell Carter had recently died — news that catches Marshall so off-guard that he tears up a little. We understand. We loved Gimme a Break, too. While Marshall weeps over the loss of Nell, Ted realizes that he’s really going to have to bring his A-game to satisfy “that woman.” Once Robin realizes that he’s talking about Stella, not the not-so-recently deceased Nell Carter, she agrees.

Worried about meeting Stella’s expectations, Ted ever so subtly compares his sexual prowess to a potato skin while eating lunch with her. Seeing what he’s doing, Stella asks him if it’s a length thing, if he’s quick on the draw, or if he’s got an unexpected number of testicles. (Turns out she knew a guy in med school who was “one ball away from getting walked.”) It’s none of the above — he’s just worried about spoiling Virginity 2: Electric Boogaloo for her. (Breakin’ 2 jokes never get old, by the way.)

Randy’s stint as Barney’s wingman does not get off to a promising start, as he arrives at McLaren’s and greets Barney with a “What up, Broseph Lieberman?” Barney informs him that using bro in the name of a failed Democratic vice-presidential candidate is a big bro no-no, and Randy is sadly forced to say goodbye to “Geraldine Ferrarbro,” as well. Predictably, the night goes downhill from there. Randy begins by butchering Barney’s catchphrase. “Tonight is going to be legendary — wait for it — dary!” Later, he cowers under a table to avoid talking to women, gets a drink thrown at him for calling a hot girl a “fat, ugly whore,” tells an animal lover that koala bear meat is delicious, and bleeds profusely from his nose. Most critically, he fails to tell Barney that he was once a cop, something that Barney is finally able to use to overcome Randy’s monumental shortcomings with women.

Ted’s night doesn’t go much better, because Stella finds out that he told Marshall and Lily that she hadn’t had sex in five years. Suddenly her trust issues pop up again, and Ted’s not getting any. Things work out in the end, though, when he convinces Stella that she was just looking for a reason to avoid being intimate with him. Stella finally decides to move the relationship forward, and she introduces Ted to her daughter. And after that, both of their streaks come to a merciful end.

Other Highlights: Ted accusing Marshall of being dead inside because he didn’t like Jerry Maguire; Randy thinking that he’s “dripping with game,” when in reality he’s dripping with nose blood; Will Forte’s performance in general — he’s one of the reasons we still watch SNL regularly, even though we know we probably shouldn’t bother anymore.

Best Barneyism: The best Barneyism of the episode came not from Barney, but from Robin, who came up with the whole “rebound bro” concept. Maybe she and Barney really do belong together …