Synopsis: Barney Stinson been acting normal — which, for Barney, is totally weird. His actions suggest that he’s in a committed relationship, and when the gang tracks him from McLaren’s to his mother’s house, they find out he is. Sort of. Seven years go, Barney’s mom Loretta (played by four-time Emmy nominee Frances Conroy, Six Feet Under) got really sick and looked like she wouldn’t pull through, so Barney decided to fulfill her wish that he wouldn’t end up alone by hiring an actress to play his fiancé, Betty. Problem is, he hired an actress who liked to improvise, and a fake son named Tyler was written into the script. Then, Mom unexpectedly pulled through, and Barney has been keeping up the charade ever since.
Marshall and Lily try to convince Barney that he needs to come clean, and their case gets stronger when Loretta walks in on Ted and Betty making out in the kitchen. Upon hearing the truth, Loretta is relieved because she can’t stand Betty and Tyler — or Barney’s fake friends. Oops. She also tells her son that when he finally does meet someone special, to never let her go. And suddenly Barney seems recommitted to his pursuit of Robin.
What We Liked:
• “Nowhere. The beach. It’s winter. Laser tag. Home. Shut up. You’re going somewhere!” — Barney’s not-so-smooth cover when Lily asks where he’s going.
• Barney using a bag of flour and a Chucky mask to fill in for Tyler one Christmas when his mom was liquored up on eggnog.
• Barney’s claim that “child actors were way better back in the ’80s.” You said it, Doogie.
• Barney’s plot synopsis for The Karate Kid: “It’s the story of a hopeful young karate enthusiast, whose dreams and moxie take him all the way to the All-Valley Karate Championship. Of course, sadly, he loses in the final round to that nerd kid. But, he learns an important lesson about gracefully accepting defeat.”
• Barney’s mom’s admission that she was a dirty whore. According to Loretta, “there is no thrill equal to looking into some guy’s eyes and thinking, ‘I don’t know your name and you don’t know mine, but for the next eight minutes we are going to rock this gas station bathroom right off its foundation.'”
• Loretta’s story of spending three weeks on tour with Grand Funk Railroad, being passed around like a bong. (To be fair, no woman could resist the wild, shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner, the bone-rattling bass of Mel Schacher and the competent drumwork of Don Brewer.)
What We Didn’t Like:
• “Tyler no likey.” Worst. Catchphrase. Ever. We kind of wanted to punch that kid.
Best Barneyism: “When I watch The Karate Kid, I root for the karate kid — Johnny Lawrence from the Cobra Kai dojo.” He also roots for Hans Gruber, who died hard in Die Hard; hardass teacher Richard “Dick” Vernon in The Breakfast Club, because he wore a suit; and the terminator in The Terminator.
Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.