Monday, December 26, 2011

HIMYM 7.10: "Tick, Tick, Tick"

“I'm such a mess. Why do you even like me?”
“I guess ‘cause you're almost as messed up as I am.”
-Robin and Barney

“Tick, Tick, Tick” was a generally funny, but also quite bittersweet episode of HIMYM. The plot involving Ted and Barney was especially funny, but the same joke repeated so many times that it kind of got tiring. I liked that more attention was paid to Robin and Barney, but the way that played out was kind of devastating. I wasn’t quite in tears at the ending like a lot of online commenters were because it was kind of cliché, but I’m always kind of a sucker for Barney in pain. I guess I just like when the writers remember that he’s supposed to be a human being, not a cartoon. Poor Barney really went through the wringer in this one. I hope that when the whole series eventually plays out in a couple years his journey will have all been worth it and he and Robin will be an awesome, unconventional globetrotting committee couple who still find the time to return to New York once in a while to catch up with their friends. See! It is possible to write Barney and Robin together in an interesting way!

Anyway, the episode opens with Barney and Robin indeed together. Their make out session in the cab turned into stumbling into Barney’s apartment and having very ill-advised sex. It’s now the morning after, and they’re trying to deal with the fact that they each just cheated on their significant others. Robin seems a bit more freaked out about this than Barney is, harping on the fact that Kevin is such a “nice guy” and doesn’t deserve to be hurt. To make matters worse, the company where Robin and Nora work is hosting a booze cruise that evening, and Robin, Kevin, Nora, and Barney are all supposed to be there. It promises to be quite the awkward event given what just happened. Robin just wants to pretend that her an Barney’s night together never happened because she really wants to avoid hurting Kevin. While Barney doesn’t seem entirely happy about this idea, he goes with it.

Meanwhile, Ted has scored tickets to “Groovapalooza” for himself, Lily, and Marshall. This event is a concert featuring all the gang’s favorite smug 90s bands. Sounds like the type of thing Ted’s subversive college radio DC alter ego “Dr. X” would love. I do love pretentious college Ted. To complete the college throwback theme of the evening, Ted has also managed to score some “sandwiches.” Regular HIMYM viewers know that “sandwich” is a code word Ted uses when telling pot-related stories to his kids. Although they’re teenagers, so they probably see right through it. Anyway, Lily is up for the concert, but not the sandwiches. She thinks that she and Marshall shouldn’t have any, considering they’re going to be parents soon and all.

Barney and Robin meet up at the cruise before their dates arrive. The cruise is hosted by Robin’s boss, Sandy Rivers (played by Alison Hanigan’s real life husband, Alexis Denisof), mostly so he has a setting conducive to banging interns. Barney sort of implies that he’d like to run away with Robin rather than face this evening with Nora. Robin seems kind of surprised and asks Barney if he’s saying he wants to get back together. It’s sort of hard to tell what Robin thinks of the idea. Robin doesn’t get an answer because Nora and Kevin appear. Barney, who had been convinced he was going to act cool for the evening, kind of freaks out. He acts like a complete fool while they’re all eating dinner, accidentally slipping cheating-related words into the conversation. Luckily, Kevin just writes it off as Barney being nervous about meeting Nora’s parents the next day.

At Groovapalooza, Ted breaks out a “sandwich” and tells Marshall that he’s not getting the $60 he contributed towards his purchase back, whether he smokes it or not. Even though he’s sure Lily will be furious, Marshall takes a hit. When we next see the guys, they’re both pretty high, and Marshall is acting paranoid. First, he’s worried that the “sandwich” was laced with something stronger. Then he’s worried that Lily will know he’s high and be upset. When Lily joins them, she hears Marshall tell Ted that he’s high. Surprisingly, she isn’t all that angry. She just asks that if she has to spend the concert sober, the guys get her some nachos. So Ted and Marshall head out to the arena concourse, ready to go on their quest.

On the cruise, Barney and Robin are dancing with Nora and Kevin respectively. The band leader starts to sing this really hilarious song about how Barney and Robin are both scum and should tell the truth right away. After the song, they mutually decide that they are indeed going to tell the truth right then and there. Their resolve doesn’t last long, though, and neither ends up coming clean. Before Robin could tell Kevin, Kevin accidentally had a drink thrown in his face. The drink was thrown by a female intern, and it was actually meant for Sandy. After falling in surprise, though, Kevin hit his head and may have a concussion. Robin didn’t feel like that was the right time to tell him about her cheating. Barney tries to come up with an excuse, too, although his isn’t as good. Nora got a small wine stain on the sleeve of her blouse. Barney makes it clear he wants to be with Robin, though. He has a cute little speech about how maybe their cheating wasn’t a mistake but the story of how they got back together. He suggests that after the cruise docks, they each do what they have to do, then meet at MacLaren’s at midnight. Robin wants to know why Barney wants to be with her, and Barney says it’s because she’s almost as messed up as he is. Score points for honesty at least, right?

Ted and Marshall have quite the nacho-retrieval adventure. They accidentally wait in the ladies’ room line instead of the food line, then they appear to walk around the entire arena. And they still can’t find the nachos. Marshall worries that Lily won’t think he’s a fit parent if he can’t find nachos, and he imagines her making out with the creepy guy with nachos who made Lily crave the food in the first place. The same stoned concert antics continue throughout the episode. Ted and Marshall appear to do more laps around the stadium and wait in the ladies’ room line a few more times before all is said and done. That’s when the joke started to get a little old. Eventually, Ted gets nachos from a creepy guitar-playing guy, and Marshall sees the guitar-playing guy have a heart attack. Both guys realize they still need to lean on each other as friends, but they also realized that they’ve missed the entire concert.

Meanwhile, both Robin and Barney continue to find it more difficult to tell their significant others about the cheating than they thought it would be, even once they’re off the boat. At the emergency room (because of the possible concussion), Kevin tells Robin he loves her. When Barney and Nora arrive at Nora’s apartment, they find that Nora’s parents have arrived early. Nora’s dad goes on about what it’s like to find true love and be with your soulmate, and Barney (in a really sweet montage) can only think of Robin. He knows he needs to tell Nora the truth because Robin is actually his soulmate. I thought this bit was kind of sweet. When Nora’s parents go into the other room, Barney does indeed tell Nora the truth. She doesn’t fly off the handle right away, but she does ask if Barney can tell her that it meant nothing. He says he can’t, and Nora leaves the room.

Back at Groovapalooza, Lily finds Ted and Marshall sitting out in the hallway. It turns out they were only gone for about two minutes, and we see a funny CCTV version of their adventures. They kept walking from one side of the hallway to the other, the creepy guitar guy was actually a cardboard cutout, and Ted got nachos out of a trash can. They end up leaving the concert early, and they arrive at MacLaren’s to find Barney already there. Barney says he and Nora broke up, but he thinks the worst part is over. Robin then walks into MacLaren’s too, followed by Kevin. It’s quickly apparent that everything is not going to be okay. Barney gives Robin a questioning look, and she quietly nods “no.” It turns out that at the emergency room, Kevin had this whole long, elaborate answer when Robin asked why he liked her, so she’s staying with him. Barney is devastated and leaves the bar as quickly as possible. Ted turns out to not be as sober as he thought he was, so he decides to go up to bed to sleep it off. In the apartment, he sees Barney cleaning up rose petals and candles he had left in Robin’s room.

No comments:

Post a Comment