Thursday, March 22, 2012

HIMYM 7.17: "No Pressure"

“Barney, that was my VCR!”
“Ted. It was a VCR.”
-Ted and Barney

While “No Pressure” did nothing to advance Barney and Robin’s relationship (in fact, it set it back significantly) I really liked it. There were some hilarious moments, and many things that needed to be discussed and said were finally, at long last, discussed and said. We got a greater degree of closure to Ted and Robin’s relationship (although the very last scene makes me think we still have just a bit further to travel on that journey before all is said and done). Ted and Barney now both know about each other’s most recent romantic encounters with Robin. Robin and Ted finally acknowledge that they can’t remain friends and still live together, because their romantic past will always be there. Lots of heavy stuff going down in this episode. The best episodes of HIMYM mix the heart with the comedy, though, and “No Pressure” achieved that. The idea of Lily and Marshall making “long term bets” their couples hobby was funny, and Barney’s enthusiasm for finding their potential sex tape was even funnier. I’m never going to say no to an opportunity to see Neil Patrick Harris do physical comedy.

This episode picks up right where the last one left off, with Ted making his big declaration of love to Robin. It’s obvious from the start that this can’t end well, but Ted isn’t willing to see that yet. He makes his big speech, then he kind of freaks out about what he just did and scrambles back down the ladder to the apartment. Ted lies on his bed and starts trying to come up with excuses to Robin for why he did what he did, but his thoughts are interrupted by Robin knocking on his door. When Ted opens the door, Robin kisses him, but before they really have a chance to figure things out, one of Robin’s co-workers arrives at the apartment. Robin’s coworker says they need to leave for Russia immediately (Robin had misread the time of the flight). Robin gives Ted another quick kiss, then rushes out the door before anything can be really resolved.

Ted calls Marshall, who agrees to meet him at MacLaren’s immediately, even though it’s 7 AM. Before he gets out of bed, though, Marshall and Lily make the unfortunate discovery that Barney is in their bed as well. He took the Drunk Train the night before and got stuck on Long Island. I thought Barney’s random appearance was pretty hilarious. Marshall goes into the city to see Ted, and Lily leaves too, after telling Barney not to not to go snooping around, because Lily and Marshall have not made a sex tape. Of course all Barney hears is “sex tape,” and he’s instantly on the phone with his housekeeper. He needs the housekeeper and her staff to clean up Marshall and Lily’s house after he ransacks it looking for the sex tape, of course. In the process of ransacking, Barney doesn’t find a sex tape, but he does find something else quite interesting. It’s a box with “Long Term Bets” written on it. Inside are bets Lily and Marshall have placed on the lives of their friends. One of them is a bet that Ted and Robin won’t get back together (Marshall thinks they will and Lily thinks they won’t).

At MacLaren’s, Marshall and Lily are giving Ted conflicting advice about the Robin situation. Saget!Ted says the conflicting advice was because of the bet, and that makes me a little sad. I can’t really believe that Marshall and Lily would let a bet affect their advice to one of their closest friends. But they sort-of do. Lily starts suggesting that Ted go to Russia and make some big, romantic gesture to Robin. Because we all know how much Robin loves Ted’s big, romantic gestures. Marshall suggests taking things slow, but Lily is especially persistent. Thankfully, Barney arrives with the Long Term Bets box just as Ted is about to go book himself a flight to Russia. Barney tells Ted about the bet, and we see a flashback to when Marshall and Lily first started the Long Term Bets game. They were really bored and building model airplanes one day, and they bet each other on whether or not Ted would break his leg on a ski trip. It turns out he broke both his arms instead. We also learn through one of the bets in the box that Marshall and Lily did actually make a sex tape. This leads Barney to hilariously run out of MacLaren’s to go looking for it again. Lily tries to explain that she’s not really rooting against Ted and Robin as a couple, but there must be some reason why they didn’t get back together for five years.

Barney’s housekeeper does indeed fid the sex tape during ransacking Marshall and Lily’s house round two. Barney rushes to Ted’s apartment to watch it because Ted is the one person he knows who still has a VCR. Ted informs Barney that Robin and Kevin broke up, and then Ted realizes why Robin might have been kind of luke warm after his big speech. He thinks she’s still in love with Barney. He finally puts two and two together about something happening recently between Robin and Barney and Barney cleaning up the rose petals and candles from Robin’s room. Barney and Ted have a much-needed heart-to-heart about the issue. Barney is fine with Ted potentially dating Robin again, because he wants her to be happy, and whatever he thought they had, she clearly didn’t agree because she chose Kevin. Marshall and Lily rush into the apartment, too, because they have discovered their tape is missing. Marshall is trying to stop the tape viewing and Lily is trying to encourage it, and they’re both doing this by trying to describe the contents of the tape. It’s pretty funny. Barney can’t take the back-and-forth, and he ends up smashing Ted’s VCR. I guess there might have been a little Robin angst behind that VCR smash, too.

When the trip to Russia is over, Ted picks Robin up from the airport and they have a nice dinner at the restaurant with the infamous blue French horn. Back at the apartment, they finally talk about their relationship and how it isn’t really going to happen. Ted wants to end the “we’ll get married if we’re still single at forty” pact because he thinks it’s holding him back from seriously trying other relationships. He also gets Robin to admit that she doesn’t really love him. Although he knew it in his heart, hearing it hits Ted pretty hard, and he calls for Marshall to meet him at MacLaren’s again. After their conversation, Marshall is a good best friend to Ted and tells Robin she needs to move out. Robin already knew that, and she does indeed agree to move. Saget!Ted tells us he was happy to be truly free from the baggage of his relationship with Robin, and we see Ted walk outside into a sea of people carrying yellow umbrellas. Back on Long Island, Lily asks Marshall to finally pay up on their Ted and Robin bet, and Marshall says “not yet.” I really hope that doesn’t mean what I think it means.

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