Last week's cliffhanger wraps up, and the box to end all boxes is discovered
How Mother Pressure
Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
''Um. Why is Jon Cryer in NPH's spot?" says commenter MKS. ''How can the Emmys ignore Barney's tear-jerking yet touchingly funny journey with his reunion…

Sometimes there’s an episode of TV that just leaves you feeling satisfied. While last week’s cliffhanger left us with gaping mouths, clutching our remotes in horror as Ted, out of the blue, told Robin he loved her, this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother tied itself up in a neat little bow. Kind of.

Picking up right where we left off last week, Ted continues his effusive love confession to Robin, explaining that they’re great together even five years after they officially ended. Personally, I could have used my own slap bet at this point to give a fierce one straight to Ted’s chubby little cheek. Come on. Enough!

Ted leaves Robin to give her some time to consider his confession. She needs, oh, about two minutes before she’s back down in their apartment, knocking on his bedroom door and planting a big, fat one on him. Full disclosure: If the Ted and Robin romance had continued, it would be with a heavy heart that I continued watching this relationship beelining for more heartbreak and regret.

Robin and Ted are trying to wrap their minds around their new confessions of love when Robin’s arch nemesis, Patrice, knocks on the door. Apparently, the two need to hightail it to the airport to catch a train to Russia where they’re covering a butter festival for World Wide News. Yes, though Robin referred to Patrice as her arch nemesis, this was the first time we were meeting Patrice. Wouldn’t you love to know how this feud came about, especially since you love a feisty Robin? See: Laura Bell Bundy’s Becky from season 5.

With Robin now gone, Ted calls Marshall to demand a morning powwow to debrief him on what just transpired. Marshall rouses Lily, and they’re treated to a delightful and unexpected surprise of a third bedmate spooning them. It’s Barney, who ended up in the suburbs after a maddening night on the drunk train.

Marshall heads out to meet Ted, but is followed closely behind by Lily. Clad in very skimpy bedroom attire, she’s trying to trying escape from a hungover and leering Barney. As she heads off, she warns Barney to keep out of their stuff. Barney’s interpretation? Find. A. Sex. Tape. Surely there must be one! So he calls his housekeeping minions and as they tear the house top to bottom, he finds something much, much better: Long-Term Bets, a box Lily and Marshall have filled with bets they have placed over the years (Marshall bets Lily that Robin will never return their hairdryer; Lily bets Marshall that Ted will go bald; it goes on). Consider the jackpot hit.

Over at McLaren’s, Ted is recounting to Lily and Marshall what just happened with Robin. Readers, one thing that I loved about this scene was showing the two interpretations of Robin’s departing words of “We’ll continue this when I get back,” to Ted. In Ted’s mind, Robin said it in a sultry, suggestive way, but Lily points out that Ted could be remembering it the way he wants to, and Robin could actually have put it much more cautiously. How many of you felt like this scene was plucked from your own life and thrown onscreen? It’s all in the intonation…

NEXT: Robin and Ted decide to…

After hearing what went down with Robin, Lily and Marshall are giving Ted conflicting advice: Lily’s words of wisdom? Go to Russia! Surprise her! Fill her voicemail with messages! Basically, she’s only offering suggestions that would surely push Robin away, while Marshall’s response is more subdued. If only Ted knew that Lily’s sabotage was due to her betting Marshall that Robin and Ted would never end up together. Oh, but wait, he’s about to find out…

Persuaded by Lily to rush off after Robin, Ted is about to leave just as Barney enters with the bet box, ready to divulge all of its secrets. At this point, we learn that the boxes’ inception was 10 years ago when Marshall and Lily were looking for a new head-rushing hobby. Because nothing provides a turn-on quite like the sweet smell of money, right?

With all the bets out on the table, Ted finds the one Lily placed saying she thinks Robin and Ted won’t end up together and realizes why she was trying to interfere. Saddened by Lily’s betrayal, he heads upstairs just as Barney bursts into his apartment. He has found the sex tape and is ready to revel in Marshall and Lily’s secret sexual affairs. But before he can pop that baby in the VCR, a light bulb goes off in Ted’s head: Robin is still in love with Barney. That’s why her feelings for Ted never returned despite all of his continued romantic gestures. It seemed a little bit of a stretch for me to believe that this would all dawn on Ted so suddenly, but hey, minds works in mysterious ways in HIMYM land.

Now that the cat’s out of the bag, Barney tells Ted everything about the recent events with Robin, from their taxicab kiss, to subsequently ending his relationship with Nora. What Barney didn’t know, however, was that Robin and Kevin have broken up, and as Ted drops the bomb, Barney, (in a rather surprising move) doesn’t care. Whether she’s with Kevin or Ted, Barney just wants Robin to be happy. In my optimistic mind, I’m chalking up Barney’s selflessness and maturity to a massive foreshadowing of an impending reunion between the two. Call me wistful, sure, but I can’t shake the idea that these two are the legen- to the other’s -dary.

With Barney’s approval to go forth and prosper with Robin, Ted picks her up at the airport, whisking her off for a little date down memory lane (hey there, blue French horn). It all seems to be in typical Robin and Ted fashion, but when they arrive back at their apartment, the reality sets in.

“Everything in my life is unstable,” Robin tells Ted. “You’re one of the few things that I can count on. I really don’t want to mess that up.” And with that, fellow Tobin eschewers, we bid adieu to the storyline that came and went, quickly and cleanly. Or did it? I’ll get to that in a second because I absolutely loved what was about to happen…

NEXT: Marshall steps up

After hearing Ted say that he knows ending it with Robin was for the best, Marshall heads up to Robin’s room to tell her what he knows Ted can’t: ”You got to move out,” he says.

Did you expect that, readers? I know I was not only surprised at Marshall’s audacity, but was also supremely moved that he thought to do that for Ted. I know I should never be surprised when these characters do great things for each other, yet I find myself touched every time.

While so many episodes lately have left us shouting obscenities at our TV screens in agonizing frustration (or is that just me…), I return to my original statement: This episode left me feeling satisfied. Sure, I love when the HIMYM gang digs themselves further and further into their relationship holes, but real maturity was shown last night. Robin, for knowing that her relationship with Ted was, at best, a strong friendship; Ted, for having the courage and the insight to start to move on; Barney, for choosing Robin’s happiness above everything else; and Marshall, for making a bold move to protect his friend despite believing that there is still something left between Robin and Ted.

Before we go, it would be foolish of me not to mention the brief appearance made by the woman with the yellow umbrella at the beginning as older Ted was recounting to his kids the first time he said ‘I love you’ to their mom. I know we could only see her back as they leaned in for a kiss, but did anyone else catch a glimpse of blonde hair peeking our from underneath that beanie or were my eyes just playing tricks on me? I have to know! Curse you, beanie. Curse you.

So, readers, did you find this episode to be a welcome change from the past few weeks? Are your heads and hearts back in the How I Met Your Mother game? Did you think that ”Shake It Out” by Florence and the Machine provided a perfect close to the episode? And did anyone else catch Conan O’Brien making a blink-and-you-missed-it appearance at McLaren’s?! Let’s discuss in the comments below!


“I took the drunk train and got stuck out here. Oh, god, I am so hungover. Oh god, Lily’s not wearing a bra! Shhhhh.” –Barney (showing us it’s perfectly acceptable to shush yourself)

Barney: Do you think that if we did it, and I did a really good job, that I could turn that (points to Lily’s stomach) into my baby?

Lily: I think I’m gonna throw up.

Barney: Morning sickness?

Lily: Nooope.

“God, if you help me find this sex tape, I am going to make some changes in my life. I am going to stop sleeping around, quit drinking so much…no more shenanigans! I’m going to devote my entire life to doing good deeds and praising your name.” –Barney

Ted: You’ve really grown up, you know that?

Barney: Thanks. Now let’s watch our two best friends have sex on tape.

Episode Recaps

''Um. Why is Jon Cryer in NPH's spot?" says commenter MKS. ''How can the Emmys ignore Barney's tear-jerking yet touchingly funny journey with his reunion…
How I Met Your Mother

Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lilly remind us all of the joy of slap bets

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