had no choice but to figure out what was happening, which involved following him to an unknown house in the 'burbs. And that, my friends, is where tonight's episode took place.
As it turned out, Barney was visiting his mom. And his wife. And his son. That's right, Barney was visiting his mother, his wife (Betty), and his son (Tyler). Barney. Wife. Oh yes, it's true.
Or, not so much. Thank god after the credits we found out that it wasn't true. Betty was an off-Broadway actress who Barney hired (real name Margaret) to portray his wife when he thought his mother was dying. You know, a make the old lady happy before she croaks kind of a thing. Unfortunately for Barney, his mom got better and Betty had announced to the old lady that she was pregnant (hence Tyler). I guess they've been doing this family dinner ritual for quite a while now.
During the dinner prep, in the kitchen — and I tell you this not because it's relevant, just because it's awesome — Barney's mom admitted to Marshall and Lily that she had been a whore when she was younger. Seriously, she said "whore." She didn't mean that she got paid for it, just that she did it with anyone she possibly could ever get her hands on, anywhere she could get her hands on them. Oddly, she didn't mention bedding Bob Barker at any point, the way I see it, if Barney's mom was easy (apparently she spent two weeks with Grand Funk Railroad "getting passed around like a bong"), maybe she did sleep with Bob Barker. Maybe Bob Barker is Barney's dad. Maybe Bob Barker did the whole "spay or neuter your pet" thing because he had been with a woman who so clearly needed to have her sex drive curbed.
Frankly, I think Barney's whole charade could have gone on indefinitely had Ted not hit on Betty. After dinner, as folks headed into the kitchen for a delicious ice cream sundae bar, they all walked in on Ted (Bertolt Brecht fan) and Betty (who had acted in a Brecht play) bert-holding each other. Barney's mom was more than a little upset, and Barney was livid, not that his wife was cheating on him, but that Ted had destroyed Barney's little game.
If you ask me, Barney could have found a lie to get out of the whole thing, he nearly got his mom to believe a story which had Tyler dying soon and Betty swearing to attempt suicide once the runt was out of the way. But no, Barney backed off and told his mom the truth. Sad, just sad. Where was Barney's commitment there? All evening he had spent his time angry at Grant for not playing Tyler correctly, for not committing himself fully to his craft, and here Barney let his own side down. Not cool.
Oh sure, you'll tell me that it all worked out well, that Barney's mom happily announced that she had never liked Betty or Tyler, that Barney's pretend friends (Ted, Lily, Robin, and Marshall) were horrific, but I can't buy that. I wonder if perhaps she only told Barney what she knew he wanted to hear (save for the fact that Bob Barker was really his dad).
I can however admit that all's well that end's well. Lily taking Margaret's advice on how to pretend like she was getting along with Marshall's mother worked. Barney doesn't have to recast the role of Tyler. Ted has a new, and I'm sure temporary, girlfriend. Barney's mom is alive and well. Yet, if I were Barney, I would have just kept upping the ante, like his admitting that he rooted for Hans Gruber in Die Hard, the Terminator in Terminator, and Johnny Lawrence of the Cobra Kai Dojo in Karate Kid. Well, maybe that bit was true, maybe Barney wasn't just committing to the part there.
Odds and ends:
- The quote of the night comes in two parts. First part, the attractive blonde to Barney as he was casting the role of Tyler – "You said that if I slept with you my son would get the part." Part two, Barney's response – "Well, apparently I'm a better actor than your kid… bring in the 11 o'clocks."
- So, now that you've met Barney's mom, what do you think, did she get a shot at Bob Barker?
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