HIMYM: What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted?

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: 7.10 “Tick Tick Tick”

Perhaps I’m putting too much on the line by saying this, but I think last night’s episode of How I Met Your Mother returned us to some of the favorite things we love about the show. Things we desperately needed back.

Sure, it was predictable that we’d find out that Marshall and Ted were only gone for a short time. Of course, I knew those nachos came from the trash. And hey, we’ll add a little frustration over the fact that the writers felt the need to explain the “sandwich” joke all over again when it’s been a running gag in the series. But beyond that, we had a pretty good episode.

I’ll start with Marshall and Ted first because, let’s face it, this isn’t the part of the episode we’re going to remember anyway. I knew all along that they weren’t gone for the entire concert, but I did think that they were circling the arena. And I didn’t realize that the guitar player was a cardboard sign. It was nice to see the pieces put together — and realize that I myself didn’t even notice that the womens’ room line was the same people each time. That would have given it away. Either way, it was entertaining.

Plus, you had Todd from one episode of Community playing the bearded guy Lily made out with in Marshall’s fantasy. Just sayin’.

Anyway, this B-plot had little substance and decent entertainment value, so I’ll move on. The real story here was that between Barney and Robin, who after cheating on their significant others in the last episode leaves them complete messes.

The interesting part about this episode was not that Barney and Robin want to be together. It’s not that Barney ended up breaking up with Nora. It’s actually most surprising that Robin stayed with Kevin.

Let’s be honest. None of us really cared about Robin’s relationship with Kevin. We saw Barney fight for Nora and finally get together after staying in a diner for hours on end. But Robin and Kevin were together after one episode. There was no effort on our part. We didn’t have much invested.

But now, we see that the relationship we invested in — in fact, two — fell apart. While we may not care too much about Barney and Nora, we do want to know who that bride will be at his wedding, and she’s a good candidate. And we did spend time waiting to see if they got together. We also lost Barney and Robin. We may not have seen them together in a while, but after Robin’s breakdowns earlier this season and their professing their feelings for each other lately, we were back in the game and wanting them together. At least I was.

But that’s not how it worked out. In typical HIMYM fashion, we even had to pause for the inordinate amount of seconds as Robin shook her head at Barney. Time stood still, literally and figuratively in our own living rooms, and in the end, Barney left heart-broken to clean up the remnants of roses and fragrance he left in Robin’s apartment. Shocking, sad, and ultimately, well done.

What will happen next? I can’t see good things, and I see this as the first step toward what Ted hinted at in his voiceover only a few episodes ago, that Robin can’t be part of the group. I thought it had to do with Ted, but perhaps Barney’s the real focus for what falls apart in the group.

So what does become of the broken-hearted? Where do Barney and Robin go from here?

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