“You wrote down all these things to say goodbye to, but so many of them are good things. Why not just say goodbye to the bad things? Say goodbye to all the times you felt lost, to all the times it was a ‘no’ instead of a ‘yes,’ to all the scrapes as and bruises, to all the heartache. Say goodbye to everything you really want to do for the last time, but don’t go have the last Scotch with Barney — have the first Scotch toasting Barney’s new life because that’s a good thing, and the good things will always be here waiting for you.”
Everyone needs a friend like Lily Aldrin. A friend that has known you for decades and a friend that will always listen to you and call you on your bullshit when you need it. For me, that’s my friend Kelly (and actually she and her husband Mark are the Lily and Marshall to my Ted). I’ve known Mark since my sophomore year of high school and Kelly since my freshman year of college. I even helped facilitate them MEETING (you’re welcome, guys). We’ve been together through pretty much every milestone of our adult lives: from their marriage to moving to New York City (only a few years apart) to getting new GROWN-UP jobs to the highs and lows of me navigating the NYC dating scene. When I want some truth-telling or “life lectures”, I go to Kelly and Mark. I can call Kelly up at anytime and say “Drinks?” and we’ll be drinking cosmopolitans and munching on french fries within hours. They are the type of friends who are lifers. We often joke that we will all be in the nursing home together with vodka being fed directly into our veins via an IV and gossiping. It’s our own version of the front porch test.
I have always felt that the friendship between Ted and Lily has been one of the unsung relationships of How I Met Your Mother. From “Milk” to “How Lily Stole Christmas” to their absolutely gut-wrenching conversation last season where they played “who’s the worst person on this roof”, a good Lily/Ted conversation can punch you right in the feels. So I love that the show has been spending a good chunk of the beginning of this final season exploring their relationship.
I think it is perfect that Lily is the only one who knows that Ted is planning on moving to Chicago after the wedding…and more importantly that while she has expressed her displeasure at the idea, she hasn’t tried to talk him out of it. Also it’s damn near miraculous that Lily, a notorious blabbermouth, has managed to not only keep Ted’s secret, but was able to cover for him when Robin found his New York Bucket list. Ultimately, Lily knows how much Ted is hurting right now and how much he needs to get out of the rut he is in, which is why she is choosing to support him, despite her frustration at being the only one who knows his secret plans. But she is also trying to make Ted see reason, but in a gentle way. She doesn’t want him to mess up his friendship with Barney, as she KNOWS he will end up regretting not being there for him in the end, which is why she urges him to change his perspective on the “last scotch with Barney”. Because honestly what is worse? Enduring a bit of awkwardness or damaging the relationship with one of your best friends?
Everyone needs a friend who will always shoot straight with you. A friend that forces you to see the difference between the bad things and the good things in your life. The friend that forces you to take a step back and gain some perspective. Lily is that friend to Ted. She was right and he knew it, which is why he eventually listened to her and made the effort to stop avoiding Barney.
Ah, yes, the New York Bucket List. We all have some sort of bucket list that we would have to do before leaving home. Heck, I have one for every time I go back to Nashville to see my parents. Places I have to eat, people I have to see, etc. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what my New York City bucket list would be, but Ted’s was pretty perfect. From saying goodbye to his beloved “Empie” (maybe THAT is the true unsung OTP of the show?) to correcting the grammar on graffiti, Lily was right. Ted’s list WAS the list of someone not ready to say goodbye, especially to his friends.
And the “one last life lecture from Lily”? While it is most definitely NOT Ted’s last lecture from her, it hit me that it could be one of OURS. And that made me cry.
I can’t even tell you how much I squealed in delight when Ted broke out the swords. I’ve said it many times before that HIMYM excels in callbacks to previous episodes and this was another great one. I knew as soon as the swords came out that they would be responsible for the demise of Lily’s perfect mix of slutty and classy cocktail dress (Gurrrrrrrrrl…I feel your pain) and I got a kick out of Lily and Robin having a sword fight of their own. The whole arc of the cocktail dress and the “scotch” reminded me a bit of all the hijinx in season 2’s “Arrivederci, Fiero”. The gang loves to try to cover-up mistakes and accidents and blame them on outside forces and it is always amusing to see how those cover-ups come back to bite them in the ass. Because of COURSE Ted would drink the disgusting scotch and pretend that it was amazing. He is the guy who pronounces it “EncycloPAEdia” after all.
This week R-Train and B-Nasty dealt with the arrival of their elderly relatives. It was a light and fluffy storyline that also had a real weight behind it. How DO you keep the spark in a marriage? I hate the often used cliché that sex and romance goes away right after you say “I do”. If THAT happens, maybe you shouldn’t get married in the first place. But 10…20…30 years down the road? That’s a valid question and fear. Marriage is WORK (says the unmarried blogger of television shows) and you can’t get complacent in your relationship. Naturally Barney and Robin’s reaction is to sneak off and hide from their relatives and get some good sexytimes in before the madness begins…because this could be the beginning of the end. So, in their quest to have as much sex as possible in naughty places (not THAT place!), when Robin and Barney stumble upon her great grandparents getting it on in their hotel room, it is both disgusting and comforting. At the beginning of the episode they were saying “In 60 years that’ll be us” with a bad connotation. By the end…it was a good one. Some couples really do stay in love forever and that was definitely something they needed to see. Even if it WAS mentally scarring.
Since Season 8 was added to Netflix this week, I went back and watched “Something Old”, which has the scene at the carousel Barney refers to in this humdinger of a cliffhanger. Heap upon heap of hate has been piled onto Ted for his inability to fully let go of his feelings for Robin. But here’s the thing: there’s a reason Ted can’t let go and that reason is that Robin won’t let him fully off the hook. Sure, she has told him that she’s not in love with him. Sure, she’s engaged to one of Ted’s best friends. But she has still left that door open to Ted…just a teeny tiny crack, but the door is open nonetheless. And until she fully and completely shuts that door on him, Ted is always going to think he has a shot. Ted went to that carousel with no intention other than to help a friend in distress. He spent the entire time telling her that she should marry Barney, that she should stop freaking out about supposed signs from the universe. ROBIN is the one who made that conversation sexually charged the moment she took his hand and looked at him in that pleading way. As the camera pulls away, look at them. SHE is stroking his hand with her thumb, not the other way around.
And I am NOT just saying this because I am a Ted apologist. Go back and watch the scene. I’m right.
Ever since “Something Old” aired I have wondered what exactly happened between Robin and Ted after the camera panned away. Did they kiss? Did they just sit there holding hands staring schoompily at each other? Did they realize the awkwardness of the situation and laugh it off? WHAT HAPPENED??
(Shut up, I know that Ted and Robin are fictional creations.)
Whatever happened between them, Barney saw and it was enough for Ted to drop a $600 bottle of (shoplifted) Scotch when he realized that Barney knew. I’m pretty sure we will be seeing what happened and I can’t WAIT to see what did.
Bits and Pieces from the episode:
– Between all the shout outs to The Princess Bride and using his name as a beacon for the elderly, it was a good episode for Mandy Patinkin.
– Just how drunk IS Lily now?
– Daphne continues to be delightful and I love that she and Lily are pals now.
– If there is not a ring BEAR, I’m gonna be pissed.
– Marshall’s hatred of Wisconsin = Ted’s hatred of New Jersey.
– I love how they are using James so far. His sacrifice to the relatives was a brave and noble one, and shall not be forgotten.
– Lily always comes up with the best punishments when she is wronged. “I think YOU should have to wear something you don’t want to.”
That’s it for this episode! As we wait for Monday…what do YOU think Barney saw at the Carousel? DOES Robin still have Ted on the hook or is it all in his head? Let me know in the comments!