Sarah Chalke Scrubs In on 'How I Met Your Mother'

Here we are, the second week of "How I Met Your Mother's" triumphant return! The yellow-umbrella-owning girl (akin to Charlie Brown's little red-haired girl) is now without her yellow umbrella; the umbrella is with our hero, Ted (as though Charlie Brown's little red-haired girl allowed him to shave her bald and keep the hair for himself). I couldn't imagine heading into tonight's episode that the umbrella (or hair) would be returned, and I was right. Instead, Britney Spears and Sarah Chalke stopped by for a visit.

"Scrubs'" Dr. Reid, or "Stella" as she was calling herself here, was present to remove Ted's tramp stamp. Ted thought she was also present to date him and he tried to take her to her to see Plan 9 From Outer Space. Ted, apparently, was unaware that AMA rules prevent Dr. Reid, Stella or any doctor from dating a patient. It was in fact a girls' night out, and Ted ended up paying for the doctor and her friends. He didn't even get to sit next to her during the movie.

Dr. Reid took it all a step further, however. She informed Ted she wouldn't date him even once all 10 of Ted's sessions were finished and he was no longer a patient. Ted absolutely refused to give in. He insisted there had to be a way for him to convince the nice doctor that she wanted to date him. Ted's best effort here fell more than a little flat. He figured if he could hit on Abby the receptionist (Britney) maybe, just maybe he could pull the doctor as she would be jealous of the receptionist. Sadly, it didn't work out that way, and Stella ended up asking Ted to go out with Abby because Abby was too shy.

As all this was taking place, Ted's friends were getting in on the act. Barney claimed that he went to see Stella and learned that she had a thing for guys with mustaches. He may or may not have been telling the truth about visiting Stella, but she certainly did not have a thing for mustachioed men: She laughed in Ted's face when he showed up with one the next week. (Barney also won a $10 bet from a year ago where he claimed he could get Ted to grow a mustache.)

Marshall also went to see Stella; he claimed to need to have his dry elbows taken care of and, whilst learning he had a mole that should be checked out, found out Stella had a crush on Ted. Lily informed Ted of this just as he was about to give up on Stella once and for all and move on to other pastures.

Full of confidence and gusto, Ted asked Stella out at the end of his 10th treatment ... only to be denied again.

As it turned out, unlike on Scrubs where Doctor Reid is the one main character without a kid, on "HIMYM" she has an 8-year-old daughter named Lucy and no time to date. She did, however, take 2-minute lunch breaks. Ted set up a little one-on-one two minute speed date with Stella where they went to dinner, saw a movie and had dessert without ever leaving the block where her office was located.

If you ask me, the show was firing on almost all cylinders tonight. It was funny, kinda sweet, and the cabbie during Ted's date was Ranjit, the same one the show has used on multiple occasions (including in a limo on New Year's Eve). Sure, it could have used more Lily, Marshall and Robin, but it was still a cute little story that once again finds Ted ending up with a new-and-different woman.

One caveat: Stella probably isn't the yellow-umbrellaed girl and so we are once again meandering down a path to nowhere. Here were are liking a potential mate for Ted, and yet we are always aware that we're going to be disappointed with the outcome.

Eh, never mind that, the episode was cute. The Britney stunt casting was a little silly -- Abby didn't really have a role except to go to a hotel room with Barney at the end of the show -- but Sarah Chalke was great. The show may not be going anywhere with Stella, but the first ride was fun, and for me that's enough.

Before I go, I'm nominating for funniest moment tonight Barney getting a timeout from Lily for his mini-fireball magic trick at the bar. Apparently, Barney has been warned not to do this sort of thing in the past.

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