To start off the new How I Met Your Mother season, Bob Saget returns as the old Ted, telling his kids that this season is going to be all about how he became who he had to become in order to meet their mother. Cut to the present and what we have all been waiting for “…dary. Legendary!” And Barney is back!
Barney immediately offers to get Ted a date, but Ted says he is not ready, and Barney wants to know when he will be. After growing his “breakup beard,” and repainting the apartment Ted insists he is still not ready. What it takes is Robin coming back from Argentina with a man for Ted to decide he is ready. Gael (pronounced Guy-el and played by Enrique Iglesias), Robin’s new beau, is not just a man — he is a masseuse. Ted is completely convinced that Robin is trying to “win” the breakup.
While Ted and Barney decide to head out to pick up women, Lily and Marshall are going on a double date with Robin and Gael. Barney and Ted head out to the bar and Barney begins to give Ted an inspirational speech about getting women for Ted. Before he gets too far into the speech though Ted is already hooking up with a rather biker-looking girl named Amy… oh wait, that is Mandy Moore! Go Ted!
Back at the apartment, Robin declares the whole double date weird and Marshall queries whether it is weird because Robin used to date their best friend or because Lily thinks Gael is incredibly hot. Robin laments the awkwardness between Ted and herself right up until Gael starts giving her a massage, at which point she forgets everything.
Barney gets Ted to end his lip lock because Barney wants to try and keep his party schedule. Ted is completely against it because Amy is super-hot. Barney tries valiantly to explain Amy that he is Ted’s wingman and consequently Ted would never ditch him. Sadly for Barney, Ted is already smooching with Amy again.
Flipping back to the apartment, Marshall is preparing Gael’s dinner, and purposely not washing his hands as he does so. When he reenters the living room, Gael is giving a massage to Lily. Marshall pulls her aside and complains. He also notices that Lily is no longer wearing a bra.
At the bar, Ted, Amy and one of her friends are stealing liquor, with Barney playing the good guy, explaining that they go there all the time and are going to get into trouble. Amy, it turns out, has a hot tub at her apartment, so they are all off (and so are their clothes). After some schmoozing in the hot tub a little boy enters and calls for his parents. It is, it seems, not Amy’s hot tub, it is the hot tub of the people she used to work for as a nanny.
After they successfully get out of the apartment, Ted, due to Amy’s prior urging, opts to get a tattoo. Barney on the other hand will be having sex will Amy’s friend. At the tattoo parlor Ted continues to drink, and, Bob Saget aged Ted tells us, that is all he remembers. Just before the commercial break, as Ted heads out of his bedroom the next morning, the audience gets to see a beautiful butterfly on the small of his back.
In the living room, Ted tells Lily and Marshall all about his night, including “almost” getting a tattoo, you see, Ted has no idea that the butterfly is there. Marshall and Lily spot it however and call Barney, who nearly faints upon seeing it. Barney tells Ted a story about Ted’s having gestated and coming out of a cocoon. He even gets Ted to say the word “butterfly,” patting Ted on the back as he does so. This pat alerts Ted to some soreness and Ted discovers the butterfly. The pain brings back everything that happened the night before, starting with the fact that it was Amy’s ex-boyfriend who gave Ted the tattoo.
Ted frantically searches for ointment to soothe his wound, finding instead Spanish massage oil. He knows that Gael has to play a part and Marshall confesses that the previous evening got weird. It appears as though Marshall got a massage from Gael and may have become somewhat smitten with him. Ted, furious, leaves the apartment and heads directly to Robin.
He explains to her that he did not head over there to try and get her back. He explains to her that their polite breakup was a mistake and that he needs to yell irrationally for a while. Robin accepts this, feeling terrible about the entire situation. Robin explains to Ted that she ended up with Gael because she was in no way over Ted, she was just trying to “survive” it. When Ted pushes Robin on Gael, upset that Gael is completely perfect, Robin looks at him and tells Ted that he is in fact bigger. Ted relates this to Marshall and Barney back at the bar before heading out into the rain and passing right by the famous yellow umbrella under which is Ted’s future wife.
The last scene features Marshall calling Barney late at night, for some reason Barney is still at the office, but that is unimportant, because Marshall directs Barney to a website, slapcountdown.com. There are less than 56 days people, it’s going to be legendary.
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