How I Met Your Mother Episodes

2005, TV Show

How I Met Your Mother Episode: "Doppelgangers"

Season 5, Episode 24
Episode Synopsis: In the fifth-season finale, Marshall and Lily make a vow to try to have a baby if they see Barney's doppelgänger; and Robin is offered her dream job.
Original Air Date: May 24, 2010
Guest Cast Brian Huskey: Sal David Henrie: Son Lyndsy Fonseca: Daughter Bette Rae: Margaret Ben Koldyke: Don Bonnie Bailey-Reed: Flo Bob Saget
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Season 5, Episode 24
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Length: 21:35
Aired: 5/24/2010
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and VUDU
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How I Met Your Mother Episode Recap: "Doppelgangers" Season 5, Episode 24

So remember a couple of weeks ago, when Lily and Marshall agreed that if they ever find Barney's doppelganger, they'll start trying to have a baby? That agreement is put to the test in the Season 5 finale, when they finally do catch a glimpse of Barney's lookalike. Meanwhile, Robin is offered a great opportunity — in Chicago. Robin has always put her career first, but will her budding relationship with Don complicate things?

Future Ted reminds his kids (and the viewers) that at this point in the story, the gang had managed to spot four doppelgangers: Lesbian Robin, Mustache Marshall, Stripper Lily, and Mexican Wrestler Ted. He also reminds us about Lily and Marshall's baby pact if Barney's double was ever spotted.

A couple of weeks after making that pact, Marshall asks Lily how serious she was about it. Because...he's just seen Barney's doppelganger. Sure enough, we see a taxi driven by a dark-haired Barney. Lily wonders if it's really Barney pulling a prank. Marshall calls Barney at work to verify that it's not him. Barney answers, confirms that he's at work, and signs off with a "Gotta go, Big Chief." Convinced, Lily tells Marshall to "put a baby in [her] belly."

Later, at MacLaren's, Lily and Marshall share a champagne toast. Marshall is giddy with excitement about telling the rest of the gang about the baby pact. Lily doesn't think they should share this information, because it's like inviting everyone else into the most intimate moment of their lives. Marshall sees her point and agrees.

Ted and Robin arrive, and Lily excitedly shows off her pictures of Barney's doppelganger. They ruminate on how Barney looks better with blond hair. "Not everyone can pull off that blond look," says Robin. Ted mentions that he once rocked the blond look during a summer of lifeguarding. Marshall, Lily and Robin telepathically agree that they have to persuade Ted to go blond again, because it would be hysterical. Knowing that Ted will do anything if everyone tells him not to do it, Marshall tells Ted that there's no way he could pull off blond. Robin and Lily emphatically agree. Ted plays right into their hands: "I'm going blond!" The others can barely contain their glee.

Meanwhile, Future Ted informs us that Robin and Don were becoming closer than ever and working really well together, both on and off the air. As far as work goes, they were so popular as a team that the station started letting them guest host other shows, including a puppet show called "Monty and Moo-Moo." The episode they host is supposed to have a "Drugs Are Bad" theme, but Robin's puppet admits that she's actually experimented with "home-grown" drugs. (According to Future Ted, it was the highest-rated episode of "Monty and Moo-Moo" ever.) After the show, Don kisses Robin and tells her that he'd given up on everything, but that she made him want to try again, and he loves her for that. (Note that Robin does not respond in kind.)

Later, Marshall catches Cab Driver Barney getting into his taxi. He catches up to him and thanks him for being an important person in his life. "Important? More like legendary," crows Cab Driver Barney...because he is Barney. He rents a cab and poses as a driver in hopes of nailing hot foreign chicks coming in and out of the UN. (He has a map and a goal to bang a chick from every country in the world.) Problem is, nobody wants to have sex with taxi drivers. Marshall moans that now he'll have to tell Lily that Barney's doppelganger was a fake. Barney wonders why she would care, so Marshall's forced to tell him about the baby pact. True to form, Barney tells Marshall that he shouldn't have a baby until he's at least 45. "Do you ever read my blog? It's gotten a lot better." Marshall says that he's ready to be a father, but Lily needs a sign from the universe.

But the fake doppelganger isn't the biggest shock of the day. Cut to Robin, who's on the phone and looks surprised and more than a little stressed. She calls Ted and tells him she has big news. She meets up with him at the salon, where he's getting his hair dyed. She tells him that she's been offered a lead anchor job. In Chicago. Starting next week. She isn't sure if she should take it because of her relationship with Don. "It's a never-ending battle of my life: career vs. romance." Ted points out that so far, romance has always lost to career with Robin. He suggests that she talk to Don about it. Robin says that she's too confused to talk to him and would rather make the decision on her own. (Which I take as a sign that this relationship isn't as serious as they've made it out to be all season. Why wouldn't Robin want to talk to Don about this if she really cares about him? Not only is it a huge deal for her career and something she should want to share with him, but it's a decision that will have a huge effect on the relationship no matter what she chooses.) Ted tells her that he can't be objective about Robin possibly moving away.

After Ted's hair is done, he and Robin head to MacLaren's. They meet up with Barney, who laughs hysterically at Ted's ridiculous blond hair before Robin drops the bomb about her job offer. Barney gets fairly upset and says that they all need to weigh in on this. They need to find Marshall and Lily.

The happy couple, meanwhile, is on Night No. 1 of Operation Babymaking. But Marshall feels guilty about the fact that Cab Driver Barney was fake so he starts to tell Lily about it. Lily cuts him off and says that she knows what's bothering him—Cab Driver Barney didn't look anything like Barney. Marshall, who realizes how dumb that line of thinking is, starts to argue with her. But Lily is convinced now that Cab Driver Barney was actually a short Asian dude with a soul patch and a potbelly.

Barney, Robin and Ted burst into Marshall and Lily's bedroom (don't they lock their doors?). Barney takes in the scene and correctly deduces that Marshall didn't tell Lily about the fake doppelganger. Lily is upset that Marshall lied to her, but Barney and Ted interrupt so that Robin can share her big news. Robin tells them about the job offer and then explains that she's already made a decision. She has to take it.

Later at MacLaren's, a very depressed Ted, Barney, Lily, and Marshall sit at their table and commiserate over the impending loss of Robin. Lily telepathically communicates to the others that Ted's hair is actually starting to look good. The others agree just as Ted admits that the hair was a mistake and he's dyeing it back. Robin comes in and explains that she just got off the phone with the Chicago TV station. She'd called them, all ready to accept the job, but a photo of herself and Don caught her eye. She's decided to stay. Everyone cheers.

The next day, Marshall and Lily go for a walk. Marshall tells Lily that the fact that she didn't think Cab Driver Barney looked anything like Barney is a sign that maybe she's not ready for a baby yet. "Our baby can wait for the real Doppelganger Barney," he says. No sooner are the words out of his mouth than they see a Barney lookalike street performer across the street juggling swords. (Just as an aside, I love it when the show gives us glimpses at how multitalented Neil Patrick Harris is. He's juggling swords, people.) Marshall and Lily approach him and quickly figure out that it's actually Barney posing as a street performer named Cristoph Doppelganger. Marshall surmises that Barney actually wants them to have kids. Lily tells Barney that Robin's impending departure has him thinking that a baby might not be so bad. She lets Barney know that for all his talk, he's actually a great guy who will make a fantastic uncle someday because he's family to them. As Lily and Marshall leave, Barney is approached by a sword-swallowing street performer from Estonia, a conquest that would close out the Baltics on his map.

Back at Robin and Don's apartment, Don comes home with some big news for Robin. He was offered the job in Chicago...and he took it. Robin is understandably extremely upset about this. Don asks her to put herself in his shoes. "Can you imagine what it's like to have the phone ring, and it's your dream job on the other end?" Robin blinks back tears as she chokes out, "Yes, I can. Good luck in Chicago, Don." She leaves and goes straight to Ted's apartment. In tears, she asks Ted if she can move back in. He gives her a big hug and agrees.

Later, Robin and Ted get very drunk and she asks if she's the biggest idiot in the world. And Ted's response is one of my favorite things the show's done all season long. He tells her that five years ago, when the gang first met Robin, Marshall and Lily had just gotten engaged. Now they're married and are talking about having kids. Barney was never going to commit to anyone, but he fell in love with Robin. Ted went from chasing girl-of-his-dreams Robin to being best friends with current Robin. And five years ago, Robin totally would have taken the job in Chicago. But now, she's ready to put her career on hold for a relationship. Robin thinks that makes her dumber than she used to be. Ted disagrees. She's not dumber—she's braver. He points out that over time they all are slowly becoming their own doppelgangers. They still look like themselves, but they're all changing as they grow up. "Five-years-ago Robin? That girl? She was pretty great," Ted admits. "But Doppelganger Robin? She's amazing."

And then they almost make out. Until Robin removes Ted's baseball hat, realizes his hair is still blond, and cracks up. "And that's the story of how dyeing my hair blond kept us both from doing something we would have regretted that night," Future Ted tells us.

Four months later, Lily totally spots Barney's real doppelganger—a pretzel vendor outside MacLaren's. She rushes into the bar, confirms that Barney's there with everyone, and rushes everyone outside. Except...once everyone's out there, we realize that the vendor looks nothing like Barney. But Lily just sees what she wants to see. She's ready to have a baby.

I'll be honest. On my first viewing of this episode, I wasn't sure if I liked it. It's been a very rocky, uneven season, and this initially felt like a rocky, uneven season finale. But upon re-watching, it grew on me. It's still probably the weakest season finale the show has ever done — I mean, "Come On," "Something Blue," "Miracles," and "The Leap" are tough acts to follow. But it's easily the best episode of this season. And for the first time in weeks, it felt like my show again. The characters were real, and Ted's absolutely correct assessment of how things have changed and will continue to change as they grow older was spot-on. I'm also very glad that Don is out of the picture now, although I feel terrible for Robin about how that all went down. All in all, it sets things up nicely for Season 6, which will hopefully be more consistent than Season 5 was.

Other things I liked:

  • 1) Robin's puppet voice
  • 2) All the jokes about Ted's hair, particularly Marshall's "What is Ellen DeGeneres doing in my room?"
  • 3) The aforementioned sword juggling by NPH.

What about you guys? Was this a worthy finale? How do you feel about a potential baby Eriksen joining the group? Will we ever see Barney's real doppelganger? Discuss, enjoy your summer, and join us in September for Season 6!

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So remember a couple of weeks ago, when Lily and Marshall agreed that if they ever find Barney's doppelganger, they'll start trying to have a baby? That agreement is put to the test in the Season 5 finale, when they finally do catch a glimpse of Barney's lookalike. Meanwhile, Robin is offered a great opportunity — in Chicago. Robin has always put her career first, but will her budding relationship with Don complicate things?

Future Ted reminds his kids (and the viewers) that at this point in the story, the gang had managed to spot four doppelgangers: Lesbian Robin, Mustache Marshall, Stripper Lily, and Mexican Wrestler Ted. He also reminds us about Lily and Marshall's baby pact if Barney's double was ever spotted.

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Premiered: September 19, 2005, on CBS
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: A man named Ted tells his kids how he met the love of his life, through flashbacks, years in the future. The bored kids sit on the sofa and listen as dad regales them with tales of his pursuit of romance.

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