How I Met Your Mother returned last night with “The Poker Game.” The episode began with 48 hours to go before Barney and Robin’s wedding. Last week left off with Ted throwing a “best man poker game” for Barney, and the game continued into this week’s show.
The poker game quickly devolved into a match between Robin and Barney’s immediate family. Robin gets tired of hearing James trash marriage. James and his husband were in the middle of a divorce, so he wasn’t real keen on the idea of his brother getting married at the moment. James ends up losing his ring in a hand against Robin. When Barney’s mother gets in on the action, she literally loses her shirt to Robin.
Marshall continues on his seemingly never ending road trip back to New York. As they drive through Chicago, Marshall begs to stop at Gazolla’s. This of course is the same pizza place Marshall and Ted drove to in a previous episode. However, Daphne refuses to stop.
Meanwhile, back at the Inn, Lily is steaming over the great gifts that Ted has for Barney and Robin. It turns out that Ted had somehow forgotten to buy Lily and Marshall a wedding gift and Lily never forgave him for it. Marshall had not so subtly tried to drop the hint to Ted that he hadn’t given a gift. Ted never picked up on it. Lily finally decides to confront Ted about this, but Ted says that he in fact had gotten them a coffee maker, and had always wondered why he never got a thank you note. Lily responds that she did send a thank you note for the coffee maker… to Stuart and Claudia, the ones whose names were on the card.
The dots all begin to connect: Stuart had in fact forgotten a gift and stuck a card from him on the coffee maker from Ted. Lily goes to Stuart, who was at the inn as a guest for Barney and Robin’s wedding. He confirms this to be the case, but begs her not to tell Claudia. Supposedly things in their relationship had been a lot better ever since they received the thanks from Lily for such a thoughtful wedding gift.
Ted has one more gift for Marshall. He instructed a Gazolla’s delivery man to find Marshall’s big yellow suv on the highway and pass him a pizza through the window.
This episode was chock full of a lot of fun call backs to earlier episodes. It was fun to have Frances Conroy back as Barney’s mother. She is really good in this role, and you can tell she has a lot of fun playing it. In the tag scene, she proclaims to Robin that Robin had won the battle, but that she would win the war over Barney’s heart. It’s also always fun to see Stuart and Claudia. Matt Boren was once again very funny, and Virginia Williams is still looking very good.
Cristin Milioti was absent for the fourth straight week. After the scene at the tail end of the premiere, I was really beginning to think we would get to see a lot of her and slowly get to know her. Apparently, that is not the case.
Next week, Barney and Robin must prove to the minister that their relationship is worthy of being celebrated in his church. The legend continues Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.