Season Eight, Episodes Eleven and Twelve
Hallelujah! We finally get to the finish line of the whole Barney/Robin story! Or at least I think we did… it’s going to be awfully cruel if the writers keep including conflicts even after they’re engaged. I’m getting ahead of myself like usual.
The first part of the episode was pretty much a throw-away episode with the silly terms that HIMYM loves to use. Here, they describe that everyone has someone in their “pit” meaning they obsess over someone and won’t relinquish their obsession, keeping them in a pit like in Silence of the Lambs. For Ted, his college professor who told him that he’ll never be an architect is in Ted’s pit. Meanwhile, Patrice is in Robin’s pit, and Marshall and Lily are in Daryl’s pit, someone who desperately cares for Marshall and Lily even though they’ve only played hackey-sack once.
Oh, there’s another silly story-line going on during the first part: the jinx. Barney has taken jinxes very seriously after he was hit by a bus the last time he ignored its powers. So when the friends jinx Barney, he doesn’t talk during the entire episode. None of this really matters until the final moment of the episode when Ted finally says Barney’s name to un-jinx him. This is because Barney shows Ted a wedding ring and he spills his name in shock. Barney explains he’s going to propose to Patrice and has Ted promise he can’t tell anyone about it. Ted agrees.
But at this point, we know Ted and we know it’s impossible for him not to butt in his friends’ issues. During the second part, Marshall and Lily are excited to spend a romantic day together since Lily’s father agreed to babysit Marvin for the day, but their plans are delayed when Ted tells Marshall about Barney’s plans to propose to Patrice. Ted wants to tell Robin, but Marshall urges for him not to tell her. It’s been a while since HIMYM dealt with these kind of difficult romantic situations that made the show so great and tough to watch at the same time.
Ted and Robin are heading to Ted’s special night for the opening of his GNB Building, but Ted spills the beans that Barney’s planning to propose to Patrice. Though Robin tries to assure Ted that this is his night and that she’s not affected by this, Ted doesn’t allow her to breeze by it. Robin finally agrees to go to the place where Barney is planning to propose and tell him how she feels about him.
If you didn’t see Barney’s proposal coming a mile away, then you’re most likely not a HIMYM veteran. Barney leaves the last page of his playbook for Robin to leave titled “The Robin” explaining everything he’s done (that lasted the last handful of episodes) to propose to her. She says yes.
While Part One contained many of the problems HIMYM has been dealing with for a long time, Part Two certainly made up for it. Part Two had everything that made HIMYM such a powerful show to watch. With its dynamic characters and real-life romantic situations, HIMYM always tackled the difficult questions without flinching. The conversation between Ted and Robin was eight seasons worth of tug-of-war between the two. Finally Ted encourages Robin to simply “make an ass” of herself. While those two seemed to have everything needed to become a legendary sitcom couple, in the end it just didn’t work out for them. And Barney was right in saying that when Ted let Robin go to tell Barney how she feels, Ted was letting Robin go for good.
While the episode is surrounded by the happiness of Barney and Robin getting engaged, overall it’s a sad episode. The final sequence perfectly portrays this exact tone. Following Marshall and Lily with their family and Barney and Robin embracing in a kiss, Ted stares out the window of the GNB building, alone. It’s time for the only character we truly cared about from the beginning to find his significant other. Ted has been and always will be the heart of HIMYM and I’m hopeful that we’re going to finally be on the direct journey of him finding his love. For that very reason, I’ve never looked forward to tuning into HIMYM than I do now.