‘How I Met Your Mother’ Season 8 has some tough decisions to make in its third episode of the (potentially) final season “Nannies,” as Marshall and Lily struggle to find a nanny for Marvin, Barney tries to get his mojo back and Ted and Robin share important realizations about their respective relationships.

Last week’s ‘How I Met Your Mother’ episode “The Pre-Nup” saw Barney’s insistence that Quinn sign a ludicrous pre-nup before their marriage leading Ted, Victoria, Robin, Nick, Marshall and Lily to confront their respective issues with their partners, so what did tonight’s episode bring?  Are we any closer to learning how the last year for Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall and Lily plays out?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 8 episode 3, “Nannies!”

In October 2012, the Autumn of break-ups as Future Ted continues to describe it, Barney celebrates his return to the single life with “Bangtober” merchandise and t-shirts, in spite of Robin’s claims that he needs time to heal.  But Barney isn’t the only one preoccupied, as Marshall shows up to inform the gang that Lily’s father Mickey has come to stay with them, having burned down his home.

Moments later, Lily arrived to dump young Marvin on Marshall, given that the pair haven’t found a suitable babysitter.  Lily scoffs at the suggestion of using Mickey, given his own history of neglect as a parent and frequent trips to the race-track.  Ted and Robin however, are too busy competing with one another over their relationships with significant others Victoria and Nick to care.

The next day, Marshall and Lily find the perfect nanny in the elderly Mrs. Buckminster, but her exorbitant salary makes it a dream deferred.  Robin and Ted continue their bickering another day, while Barney shows up to MacLaren’s once more, only this time depressed that he can’t seem to find a seduction technique special, or original enough to celebrate his return to the single life.

Lily meanwhile continues perusing nannies online, what with her limited income making addicts or nymphomaniacs the only seeming possibilities.  They do however find a seemingly perfect candidate in Julie Jorgensen, from the same Minnesota town as Marshall, happily offering her the job.  When they call her that night to confirm however, she reveals she can’t accept, having fallen in love with a single father at her latest interview…who else, but Barney?

Lily and Marshall rush to confront Barney, exposing his lies to Julie in the process, who refuses to work for anyone associated with such a monster.  Marshall quickly finds himself distracted by the wealth of toys Barney kept around to keep up his ruse, as Barney lays out the various seduction methods he employed that were inspired by Lily’s search at the bar.  Dejected, Lily drags Marshall away from his new-found train-set to storm out.

That night, Ted and Robin continue trying to one-up the other, but in a moment alone reveal that Robin finds Nick entirely too sensitive, while Ted finds Victoria a disgusting slob around the apartment.  Meanwhile, Lily prepares to call in sick her first day back at work, when Mrs. Buckminster shows up for work, having her salary paid by Barney as an apology.  Lily finds however that she can’t bear to put her child in the arms of a stranger, and indeed vows never to let him go at all.

With Ted and Robin still sulking over their relationships at the bar, Barney shows up disheveled, having been confronted and attacked by all the nannies he’d deceived and slept with.  Robin reasons that he can’t just become single Barney again so soon after losing Quinn, but even in his ragged state Barney can’t help himself from hitting on an attractive woman at the bar.  Inspired, Ted and Robin both toast the fact that their difficult relationships are making them grow as people, but Future Ted reminds us the relationships would implode within a month.

Marshall arrives home to find Lily asleep in the nursery clutching her bundle, but instead of little Marvin, it’s a monkey doll!  The couple’s panic is soon allayed when Mickey walks in the door with the baby, having taken him off Lily’s hands and performed all the requisite babysitting tasks with great aplomb.  Surprised, Lily wonders when he got so attentive at parenting, to which her father explains that for the first several years he was a model father to Lily while her mother worked.  It was only after Lily entered pre-school that Mickey’s life went to the dogs, literally and figuratively, but he resolves to be there for Marvin.

In fact, he explains that it wasn’t potato salad Robin’s news show caught him rushing into a burning house to save, it was a family photo album that proved how present Mickey was with Lily as a baby.  From there, we see multiple still shots of Mickey indeed being present in young Marvin’s life, taking us several years into the future until the day Lily and Mickey see the boy off to pre-school.

Over the credits, Barney tries his hot cop routine on another woman, but quickly finds her shooed off by a responsible Mrs. Buckminster.  Proud of him for trying to change, she places his hand on his, and…well…you can see where that was going.  Five times, it went.  Yeesh.

For the moment, 'How I Met Your Mother' season 8 seems to be treading water, unwilling to get rid of the relationships it's already spelled out doomed for, and trapped in a holding pattern while we wait for news of a ninth season.  It's still too early to say if this pattern will continue over the next couple of episodes, but "Nannies" doesn't seem to add much other than some brief heart-tugging between Lily and her father.  Perhaps once the dead weight is off, and the future clearer, 'How I Met Your Mother' will find its footing again.

Did you get your ‘How I Met Your Mother’ jollies from “Nannies?”  Do you think it made for a satisfying entry into the potentially final season?  What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ “Who Wants To Be A Godparent” on CBS!