A hundred episodes into "How I Met Your Mother," and we're finally granted a glimpse of the mother of Ted's future children. A glimpse of her foot, that is, as she exits stage left. (You're such a tease, Ted.)
More importantly, though, the show marked the 100-episode milestone Monday night with the cameo trifecta of Tim Gunn, Rachel Bilson and Stacey Keibler's legs, as well as Barney's song-and-dance tribute to his closet of tailored, Italian suits.
Note to fans of "500 Days of Summer": consider Neil Patrick Harris' Broadway-style extravaganza a superior version of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's overly celebrated "I just got lucky with Zooey Deschanel" dance number in that movie. I love Hall and Oates revivals as much as the next child of the 1980s, but Harris is the true song-and-dance man.
(But please, HIMYM, no more singing solos for Jason Segal, however brief they may be.)
Before we get to Barney's showstopping close, though, we're led to believe this is the night we finally get to meet future Ted's love of his life. Instead, he meets her roommate Cindy (Bilson), the PhD candidate writing a dissertation on "foreign direct investment and intergenerational linkages in consumption behavior." I have no idea what subject that is, but it's enough to convince Ted that she could be the one.
Cindy is obsessed, though, with keeping Ted away from her roommate, who has the apparent ability to make all of Cindy's suitors fall in love with her. Ted assures her that won't happen, but he can't help but be intrigued by Cindy's rants about her roommate's "bizarre" paintings of robots playing sports and her tendency to make her breakfast food sing show tunes.
Ted the lovesick architecture professor just about convinces Cindy to ignore the university's strict policy prohibiting faculty-student canoodling, until she notices that he's drawn to the only three things in her room connected to the unseen roomie: the Unicorns' classic "Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?" CD, a T.C. Boyle novel and the roomie's bass guitar.
So Cindy kicks out a dejected Ted, who just misses catching a post-shower glimpse of his future wife as she steps into her bedroom. But in his disappointment, he leaves behind the yellow umbrella that HIMYM viewers with too much time on their hands recall will help him identify her later on.
But not Monday night. Barney, though, has much greater luck seducing the sexy new bartender (Keibler) at MacLaren's. First, he has to ditch the suit, because she's done with dating investment bankers. He eventually wins her over by showing up every night wearing faded T-shirts and jeans, but the withdrawal symptoms from dressing down lead him to stash a suit in a bathroom stall for the junkie's occasional quick fix.
When the bathroom suit gets torn, enter Gunn, Barney's personal tailor. A distraught Barney collapses in the arms of Gunn, whose sympathies dry up when Barney's tears stain his silk tie. The suit can't be saved, but Gunn advises him to donate its buttons, organ donor style.
Lugging the ashes of the destroyed suit around in a funeral urn, Barney preys on Keibler's smoking hot sympathies, as he allows her to believe he's mourning the loss of a 7-year-old friend who was classy, Italian, and "boy, did he have a way with the ladies."
What he needs, Barney says, is a moment of silence, "followed by 20 minutes of grunting."
Watching this from afar, or at least from their favorite booth at MacLaren's a couple feet away, Marshall ticks Lily off as he continues to insist that Keibler is nowhere near as hot as Lily. She doesn't buy the good husband act, mainly because Lily concedes that even she has indulged in the occasional Keibler fantasy.
"I would wear that thing as a hat," Lily says about Keibler's moneymaker.
At this point, I move for every HIMYM episode to include at least one lustful reverie by Lily about another woman. This wasn't the first one, and it never fails to draw a laugh. Plus, if you're so inclined, it's hot.
T-Shirt Barney is about to close the deal with Keibler when she discovers his closet of suit and forces him to choose: her or the suit. Cue the big song-and-dance number with Barney spinning around light poles and leading the rest of the suit-clad gang through the studio-set version of New York City.
It's not exactly "West Side Story" or "Oklahoma," but "Come on, Lily, get your head out of your [butt]," could be a song lyric for the ages.
Naturally, after Barney's drawn-out song-and-dance about how he could never pick a girl over his suits, Barney decides he can lie to Keibler for one night.
Such a suit thing to do.