How I Met Your Mother returned tonight with the first new post-strike episode. It wasn’t one of their best but it served a very important function. In HIMYM‘s first season I loved Ted. He was the hopelessly romantic, extremely picky, cute, sweet, laid back best friend of a perfect couple who was looking to find a similar happiness. In season 2 he was Robin’s boyfriend. He was still the guy from season 1 and that was fine. Season 3 came and, after his breakup with Robin, Ted has had multiple one night stands, had a three-way, forgot the name of a girl he met on the Internet and dated for awhile, pretended to be from out of town to get girls and done much more to make him not the Ted I loved. Tonight’s episode topped them all: he ditched Marshall and Lily, he ditched his date, he kissed a married woman, he even ordered champagne on someone else’s bar tab. At the end of it all though, he came home and, over breakfast, Marshall showed him who he’d become- another Barney, “we don’t need another Barney”. It seems as though Ted has finally found season 1 Ted again and the chain of events that will lead to his meeting the mother has begun with him picking up a yellow umbrella. This episode leaves me with the hope that by next week we will be re-introduced to the sweet and sentimental guy who would steal a girl a blue french horn and who once believed in love so strongly that he convinced the sky to rain.