When we last left that five-headed cyst of cacophonous narcissism regularly found occupying the subterranean rat’s nest known as MacLaren’s Pub, it had undertaken one of its biggest, albeit least surprising (and certainly not any less toxic than its usual efforts) endeavors: two of its tendrils — namely, the spindly albino not weighed down by the irons of conscience (“Barney”) and the callous vat of black bile (“Robin”) had gotten engaged. Cheers all around.
In fact, as one might surmise, cheers would not resonate from all corners of the bar-set pentagon: Ted was, whether he could admit it or not, miserable.
Picking up just a week or so following Barney’s proposal, the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother delves into the emotional turmoil enveloping overgrown child Ted in the wake of his best friend’s engagement to the so-called girl of his dreams. Feigning support by manhandling the wedding plans, Ted is insistent on date, venue, and above all else, the employ of a deejay. He is vehemently anti band. The reasons for this are hardly comprehensible, but they have something to do with his still being in love with Robin. For whatever reason, Ted has assigned himself the allegorical symbol of deejay and Barney that of band.
It is only with Lily’s help that Ted is able to admit his straggling feelings for Robin and resultant animosity for Barney. And in trade for Ted’s admission, Lily reveals her own “dark secret”: the occasional resentment of her new motherhood and sporadic desire to run out on Marshall and Baby Marvin in the middle of the night. Although her words are treated with the severity of an appalling explosion, what Lily admits is hardly anything that any new parent — the most loving new parents included — wouldn’t be able to relate to. Having a baby is difficult, especially when you and your spouse are already working fulltime jobs. Her every-so-often craving for something more — for a respite from the madness, for a return to her artistic passions — is not only understandable, it’s far more understandable than the alternative of just slipping complacently into this arduous new lifestyle. Unless the show is gearing up for another Lily-runs-off storyline like we saw back in the early years, this “Holy cow!” revelation isn’t really worth the muster of its musical sting.
Ted, under Lily’s guidance, keeps a lid on his own feelings. And although none of this is anything we haven’t seen before (Ted pining for Robin, silently and otherwise), a flash forward epilogue lands Ted on the subway beside an alleged ex-girlfriend — now a lesbian — who, the wake of Robin and Barney’s wedding band canceling at the last minute, sets Ted up with a new band in the knick of time. A band that saves the day. And a band that, somehow, plays catalyst in his meeting of — who?! — the mother.
Now, a hint is dropped that T.M. is actually a member of said band, but we don’t know this for certain (this show loves to dabble in trickery). We’ll have to see exactly how the musical troupe comes into play in the union of the future Mosbys come springtime. For now, we can rest easy with at least one more stone paved in the path toward the long awaited answer.
Meanwhile, paradise has not yet taken hold of Robin and Barney. Before their relationship can truly incept, Barney must earn permission to wed Robin from her terrifying father, Robin Sr., before she can comfortably ease into their engagement. But in addition to being a bear-murdering, emotionally abusive loon, Robin’s dad is now also a Hawaiian-shirt wearing kook with a new lady friend whom Robin has never even heard of. In fact, in approaching her dad for his blessing on Barney’s proposal, Robin learns that he now lives in New York City and is, in fact, married to this mystery woman.
The revelation relieves Robin of any approval she once sought from her father. Understanding just how little he seems to want her in his life, she decides to deal him the same fate, informing him that he no longer has the right to grant or deny Barney “permission” to marry her, nor is he welcome at their wedding. But Barney (after a tearful refusal to shoot a rabbit, as demanded by Mr. Scherbatsky to earn his respect), manages to bring father and daughter together, mending their relationship just enough to provoke an apology from him and earn his presence at their big day. It is a deed that proves just how much Barney cares for Robin — to her, to her father, and to Ted, allowing him to happily give his own blessing to the pair. He’ll be fine in due time. Remember? The flash forward? The band? The mother? Soon, young ones. Soon.
[Photo Credit: CBS]