Robin, Barney and Ted sit squeezed into one side of the booth, sad that Marshall and Lily have officially moved to Long Island (46 minutes away by train). But Kevin and Barney agree that they should not let this get them down, so the show turns into How I Met Your Barney, complete with a totally awesome new intro and theme song. And as the self-proclaimed new leader of the group, Barney thinks they should do some fun things that they could never do while naysayer Lily was around. Things like visit the Lusty Leopard. We even get a new Legendary, in the form of “It’s going to be Legen- ‘wait, are we sure it’s a good idea to go to a strip club?’ ‘Shut up, Lily. I’m in charge now.’ – dary.” This is paired with Kevin and Robin playing relationship chicken, as neither of them wants to admit they don’t want to do things like take butchering classes, go bungee jumping or go to strip clubs. It’s like this show almost remembered what we liked about it.
Once at the Lusty Leopard, we’re treated to a performance by Jasmine (aka Lily’s doppelganger). She quickly is deemed Better Lily, as this one is Russian and mean and has a thug boyfriend who is New Marshall (more new opening credits). The gang follows their new besties to an underground poker game in a “mostly abandoned insane asylum.” And then Ted starts getting drunk and stupid, winning poker chips and stacking them in an NYC shaped skyline, singing “We build Chip City on all your dough.” I appreciate the Starship reference, but Ted gets really moronic at this point, and the episode starts going sharply downhill, as instead of going to a hot party at a slaughterhouse as promised, Better Lily and New Marshall steal all their cash (actually Ted willingly forks it over) and leave them on the street sad in the wee hours of the morning — forcing the gang (sans Kevin, who finally quits playing relationship chicken) to get on a train to Long Island (and they make it there quickly, which is impossible because the LIRR schedule at that time of day is remarkably terrible) to visit Marshall and Lily just in time for pancake breakfast at their booth-style kitchen table.
While all this craziness is happening in Manhattan, Lily and Marshall are in the suburbs dealing with her father who doesn’t want to leave. The guy tortures Marshall with all the knowledge he has from growing up in the house, and Marshall is forced to kick him out. But the story culminates with a power outage and Mickey being creepy and Marshall walking around in black light and some vaguely threatening conversation over an intercom. This subplot may have turned into a successful board game (Lites Out) for Mickey, but it made me want to bang my head into the wall on purpose so I wouldn’t have to watch it anymore. Obviously, he still gets to stay around at the end… mostly because he makes pancakes.