What are your thoughts on comedy that makes you cry? Good thing? Bad thing? Thing you’d like to avoid but will happily take part in when necessary?
I fully expect your opinion to directly correspond with your opinion of last night’s How I Met Your Mother, which left your recapper (and your recapper’s AIM chat buddy) in an ugly, gasping cry by the end of the episode. And for the record, I love it when I can laugh and cry in the same half hour, which is exactly what I did during an episode that found Barney and Robin dealing with the repercussions of their night together.
Yup, night together. The show didn’t bother wasting several episodes navigating the path from passionate, in-the-moment kiss to hook-up. No, they sprinted from one to the other. As I told you yesterday when I brought you a first look at the episode (you’re welcome), I didn’t expect that. But I was definitely okay with the fast track. After all, it made for such great drama.
We opened this week’s episode in Barney’s bedroom immediately after the deed, with both Barney and Robin talking about what it meant and what they would tell their significant others. Nothing, they agreed. The only problem is that they would have to keep their secret while trapped on a boat together during Sandy Rivers’s annual cruise. (YAY! Sandy Rivers!)
Meanwhile, Ted and Marshall attended Groova Palooza in a B plot that not only held up well against the show’s main storyline of the evening, but acted as a wonderful, hapless escape from the emotional turmoil of Barney and Robin’s story. After “eating sandwiches” (continuity = A+) to prepare for the epic evening, Marshall and Ted went on a quest for nachos for preggo Lily that resulted in some of the quickest self-discovery we’ve ever seen on the show.
After failing for much of the episode to locate the nacho line (we’ve all been there), the pair had a temporary falling out over Marshall’s inability to let loose like he once did. But it turned out to be even more brief than we initially thought. It all happened in two minutes real-time, and it was Lily who pointed this out to her blazed friend and husband.
It was an incredibly fun twist that, like I said, was a great, signature HIMYM way to lighten the mood of the episode. The best part? When Lily was eating the trashcan nachos. It was a tiny part you have to look for, but I encourage you to find it. It highlights Alyson Hannigan’s knack for subtle hilarity.
Not that Barney and Robin’s plot was a total downer. They shared an awesome-to-hilarious guilt-inducing song, and their awkward dinner is practically entirely transcribed for you in quotables. But I’ve never been shy about my love for the tragic push-and-pull of this pairing, so I won’t start trying to hide it now. But I will say that regardless of your opinion about RoBarn, there’s no denying that there was some great acting last night.
The first such instance came when the pair decided they were going to come clean with their dates about their affair. “I wish last night had never happened,” Robin told Barney. “I don’t,” he replied. “What if this whole thing isn’t a story about how we both made a horrible mistake and ruined our relationships? What if it’s actually the story of how we got back together?”
The last line particularly made the Mother nerd in me swoon, because what is the show about if not about spin, making sense of one’s experiences with perspective. Barney’s notion that they could make their mistake what they wish was romantic, hopeful, and everything I love about the show and the Barney-Robin storyline wrapped into a single Neil Patrick Harris-delivered line.
So the two “messed up” people decided to come clean, but that was easier said than done. Kevin was blinded by a flying cocktail and injured himself, while Nora had a wine-in-clothes emergency (ha!) that prevented either of them from confessing. They decided to break the news in private after the party and meet up at MacLaren’s at midnight to talk.
But then Kevin — likely concussed — had to go and drop an ILU bomb, which sounds as dangerous as it is. Just as Robin was getting ready to tell him everything, Kevin told Robin that he loved her as he sat in the ER with an ice pack to his head. Robin’s face said it all — “WTF?! NOW?!”
Meanwhile, at Nora’s apartment, where her parents made an early landing, Barney realized more than ever (after a fantastic montage scene) that he needed to tell Nora the truth — and he did. “Can you tell me it didn’t mean anything?” a distraught Nora asked after he dropped the bomb. “No,” he said.
Back at the bar, he told the gang of the breakup but declared, “I think the worst part is over,” not knowing what was to come.
NEXT: The week’s best lines