HIMYM returned last night and so did Joe Manganiello as Brad, Marshall’s old law school buddy.  The episode “World’s Greatest Couple,” where Brad and Marshall have a bromance back in season two is still one of my favorites. Marshall finds Brad a bit down on his luck, and offers to get him an interview at the law firm at which he is working. 

When the gang finds out about this, they relay to Marshall that he gives out too many recommendations, calling him the “Stamp Tramp.” By giving out so many stamps of approval, they have basically become meaningless.  Needless to say, the interview ends up going badly, and now Marshall is in the doghouse with his boss about recommending Brad in the first place.

Meanwhile, Barney decides he can no longer go to the lusty leopard anymore since Quinn has gone back to work there.  All of the clubs in town want Barney to be their new regular customer, making him the hottest “free agent.”  The numerous sports references were pretty funny.  Robin agrees to be his agent, negotiating with the strip clubs for better perks. I believe Robin took the job because she subconsciously wanted to keep Barney at arm’s length, and even tries to steer him towards the Golden Oldies strip club, whose older strippers would never be able to compete with Robin. 

Being in the doghouse with his boss has made Marshall like a ghost at work.  He does everything he can over the next several days to get back into good graces with his boss.  When it finally feels like Marshall has clawed his way back, disaster strikes. When they show up at the courtroom for the case they have been preparing for, Brad turns out to be the lead council for the defense.  Brad had used Marshall to get inside the Cootes law firm and do some recon work for the case.  This infuriates Marshall’s boss, and he says, “Win this case Eriksen, or you’re fired!”

After Barney finally makes his decision to “take his talents to Mouth Beach (a reference that may never get old),” Robin and Barney head over there together.  They come stumbling out of the strip club and down the street to head home, talking about what a good time they had.  Then Barney spontaneously plants a big kiss on Robin.  She says, “No this can’t happen,” and runs off. 

The episode ends rather abruptly right there. I was expecting a little more to that scene or a humorous tag scene but it just went straight to the credits. Some find it frustrating, but I actually find it kind of fun to know what the end result is here and watching the events unfold that lead up to it.  I don’t expect to find out much about it next week, which is supposed to be a stand-alone episode.  As Marshall fights to win the biggest court case of his life, the rest of the gang reminisces their biggest run-ins with the law to argue over who was the biggest delinquent.  Sounds fun!

The legend continues Monday at 8/7c on CBS.