How I Met Your Mother Season 5, Episode 8: ''The Playbook'' - Review

This week's How I Met Your Mother makes no qualms about its focus: lovable lothario Barney Stinson. The rest of the cast took a backseat as the gang obsessed over Barney's latest creation: "The Playbook." Poor Ted barely had a role to play aside from deciphering MILTSWANCAs as "Mothers I'd Like to Sleep With And Never Call Again" and his confirmation that Barney's scam named after Ted does indeed work. Your enjoyment of this episode depends heavily on how much you enjoy Neil Patrick Harris's Barney. If, like me, you can't get enough of NPH and Barney's ridiculous get-laid-quick schemes, then this week's episode was like a gift from the writers to make up for sitting through some rather subpar episodes this season.

The scams, cons, flim-flams, strategems and bamboozles illustrated ranged from creative to barely trying, but they all fit perfectly as creations of Barney Stinson. One of the best cons was "The Lorenzo Van Matterhorn," which required "basic knowledge of web design," "a really good fake name" and "preferably a girl with a real nice... phone." The fake webpages displayed had some wonderful little tidbits in them, from Lorenzo's listing as the Balloonist World Record of "Awesomest Flight -- Forthcoming" on The Balloon Explorers Club to the doctors journal Extremities Quarterly likening Van Matterhorn's penis to "a tree trunk", "the length of anchor rope," and "a barber's pole" before informing the reader that "science can't help him" (all next to a very Doogie Howser-ish picture).

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