Sunday, November 11, 2012

HIMYM 8.05: "The Autumn of Break-ups"

“Sorry we're late. We just came from the tailor. Brover couldn't settle on a tie, so I just bought them all. You say no to that face!"

I don’t really know what to make of this episode of HIMYM, and considering I’ve blogged about this show regularly for over three years, that’s probably not a good thing. There wasn’t anything that I overtly hated about it, although there were some developments that made me wary. We finally saw the end of Ted and Victoria, which happened for pretty much the same reasons they broke up the first time (I don’t know if that should be a lesson to anyone thinking of re-starting an old relationship or just lazy writing). We were treated to yet another dose of Cartoon Barney, although this iteration took a decidedly dark turn. But there were dog jokes. So there’s that. Oh, and I can’t decide if I found Marshall and Lily’s attempt to channel the “sassy but wise black woman” trope as they doled out advice to their friends an admirable take-down of the trope or offensive. They definitely straddled a line with that one. So yeah, much like my thoughts right now, this episode was all over the place.

The first plot that really gets going in this episode centers around Barney. His latest transition back into single life following the break-up with Quinn is not going very smoothly. Barney has taken his quest for the perfect wingman to new lows. This time, the wingman is a little stray dog that Barney has named “Brover.” For a little while, Barney’s interaction with Brover was funny in the same sense that Cartoon Barney showcases like “The Playbook” are funny. There’s giggles at the very mildly raunchy humor, and that’s about it. But there were dogs, which made it a bit more palatable to me than past Cartoon Barney showcases. I’m a dog person. So sue me. The captions of Brover talking back to Barney made me laugh, I’ll admit it. Robin, however, sees through the outward humor and realies that Barney’s attachment to Brover is a sign of loneliness. The story takes a dark turn when Brover’s owner calls and wants him back. Barney’s having dinner with Robin and Nick when he gets this call, and after hanging up, he tries to throw himself off a balcony, only to be saved by Robin. The show tries to gloss over this by making it all happen quickly and having most of Barney’s realizations happen when he’s back to sitting on a couch crying, but it’s kind of a big deal. No matter how the creative team tried to sugar coat it (which is a touch offensive, now that I think about it), Barney Stinson attempted suicide.

The main plot in this episode centers around Ted and Victoria. Ted is having a chat with Marshall and Lily, and they point out that at the couples night they had earlier in the week, Victoria was dropping major hints that she wants Ted to propose. This seems like a colossally bad idea to me considering Victoria called off a wedding not all that long ago, but according to the creative team behind HIMYM, any late-20’s early 30’s lady just wants to get married RIGHT.NOW before it’s too late. I pretty much consider “New Girl” my new HIMYM now, as in the show that really speaks to the point I’m at in my life and the things I’m experiencing. I think a big part of that is because “New Girl” actually has respect for women. The creative team behind HIMYM is just plain clueless in that department. Another aspect of this that kind of irked me was that Marshall and Lily were delivering this advice to Ted in the context of Lily trying to teach Marshall how to be the next Oprah and tap into his “inner Goddess.” It was just plain silly, and like I said before, I washing sure whether or not to be offended.

Anyway, Ted confronts Victoria about whether or not she wants their relationship to be more serious, and after trying to drop more hints instead of being straightforward (she freaking pulls out her wedding dress from the called off wedding), Ted finally get the hint and Victoria confirms that yes, she wants their relationship to get a lot more serious very soon. Ted’s not quite sure what to make of this at first, but then he decides that he has indeed known and loved Victoria long enough to commit to her. He fills the apartment with roses and makes a rather quick proposal to Victoria, and Victoria says yes, but under one condition. Ted can’t be friends with Robin anymore. Victoria feels like Robin has been what’s been holding their relationship back. She is the reason they broke up the first time, and as long as Ted and Robin are still in regular contact, Victoria’s going to feel like she’s in her shadow. Shallow but understandable, I think. Anyway, Ted thinks long and hard about this, including having another conversation with Lily and Oprah!Marshall, and it seems like he’s going to cut ties with Robin once and for all. He even calls her away from a dinner with Nick just as Nick is expressing some frustration with Robin always leaving him in the dust to go hang with Ted and Barney.

The camera zooms towards MacLaren’s, but the person in the booth with Ted getting the important talk is Victoria. Ted explains to Victoria that he’s not in love with Robin any more, but she is like family, and he’s not going to cut off all contact with her. Ted hopes that Victoria can accept this, but she can’t, and she leaves the bar and breaks off the engagement. When he tells Lily and Marshall what happened, he makes them promise never to tell Robin that he gave Victoria up for her. Narrator!Ted informs us, however, that she would eventually find out. Yet another story thread that the creative team is going to have to pick back up later. I’m guessing that learning this information is what causes Robin’s pre-wedding freak-out. And it pisses me off. Robin and Barney are a much better fit for each other than Robin and Ted ever were. Barney is “it” for Robin, and for the writers to drag this mess out any further is just disrespecting the fans. And I’ll end my rant here before it gets tiresome.

No comments:

Post a Comment