How I Met Your Mother
Season 7, Episode 3 – Ducky Tie
Not gunna lie—I was a little worried at the start of tonight’s “Ducky Tie” episode that it was going to be a let down after last week’s premiere. The jokes I assumed were throwaway lines at the beginning, however, morphed into great payoffs as the details of tonight’s stories came together. And I truly do mean stories plural—because we had two very separate stories put together in a disjointed manner. But like I said, what started as awkward became something awesome.
Smile and Tell:
- Queen Victoria reigns supreme! OK, so she is not a real queen, but of all the girlfriends we have seen Ted with, Victoria was by far his best match. Back in season one, their chemistry was palpable. And now, six years later, it still is. Kudos to Ashley Williams and Josh Radnor for capturing that dynamic again. I love when this show plays with perception—Ted’s re-telling of how smooth he was versus Robin’s viewpoint of the awkward reunion. I also enjoyed how Ted and Victoria were able to get right back into a place of banter, “I said my oven needed cleaning…I invited you to a porno!” Or when Ted asks her if she believes in fate, her response is one that knows Ted all too well: “I believe that you’re about to give a big speech on fate!” When Ted learned that Victoria is going to marry her boyfriend Klaus whom she met in her German class (yes, word play scene!) they both wonder the big ‘what if.’ And then, I think we all fell in love with Victoria again when she gave Ted a big healthy dose of truth: Robin continues to play a bigger role in his life than he realizes…and that the friendship trio of exes Ted+Robin+Barney is an unstable formula. This has not been confronted so explicitly since season five when Robin dated Don and separated herself from the group for a while (incidentally that involved another classic episode revolving around a duck). Now I am even more curious about Barney’s future wedding–as if I wasn’t before!
- Conversation banter was at full-force, and I appreciate when this show really lets its characters fly their freak flags. For example, Ted mentions to his pals that he ran into a girl from his past…which opens the door to any number of guesses. Or Marshall offering up a corny but fun joke, “Enjoy your mai tai…because soon you will be wearing my tie.” And then there was Robin’s response to Lily fearing the moment Barney would win the bet and get to touch her pregnancy boobs: “Yeah it sticks with you…And the email reminders don’t help.”
- And finally, the call-back of the week: “I said a bang, bang, bangity bang, bang bang bangity bang!” (Ted, you are not fooling anyone when you say you will wash Victoria’s dishes just to atone yourself for cheating).
Show and Yell:
Tonight’s “Show and Yell” is a total cop-out because what began as episode weaknesses actually turned into strengths…and a very solid episode.
- The ugly duckling: So, I was completely shocked when this episode started right off with Marshall’s ducky tie—which we were teased about only last week in ‘The Best Man.’ This show never delivers on a tease that quickly! Just as I was about to be disappointed that the ducky tie reveal was not going to amount to much more than some bad tie jokes, it actually morphed into something pretty awesome. It’s just like the tale of the Ugly Duckling (ha!) that became a beautiful swan. It makes perfect twisted sense that Barney would spend years setting up an elaborate plot to trick Marshall and Lily and save the reward for an opportune time (i.e. Lily’s pregnancy boobs). I am going to call this trickery ‘Slap Bet 2.0—A Duck’s Tale.’ Actually, if you think about, it sounds like Barney started messing with Marshall’s mind and Hibachi restaurants about five years—around the time he lost the slap bet. We still have one more slap to go on the infamous Slap Bet…and now we also get to look forward to Barney wearing a ducky tie for a year! Somehow I think the ducky tie will hurt Barney (or at least his game) more than the slaps.
- More Robin please! Didn’t get too much of Robin tonight, which makes me a little sad. She seemed to slip back into her one-liner supportive role from the past season. But, everything I have read about this season says that big things are in store for her, so I will let it slide.
What did you think of tonight’s duck tales? Was the return of Victoria everything it was billed to be? In the words of Marshall and Lily: I’m going to duck out! It’s going to be a good year!