How I Met Your Mother Recap – Tailgate

Season 7, Episode 13
Tailgate

Aaaaaand we’re back! It was so nice to kick off a new year with a solid episode of HIMYM. Unless I am getting soft on my HIMYM trivia, I don’t think we have had a New Year’s-themed episode since season one (which was a great one, by the way). If there is one show that truly represents the spirit of a New Year—remembering what has passed and preparing to move forward—it is How I Met Your Mother. That is why I especially appreciated the reemergence of Puzzles the bar (Season 4, “Three Days of Snow”).  But we also had Marshall taking the time to reflect on his dad’s passing, which occurred a year ago, and Robin trying to overcome a particularly challenging year. Oh, and let’s not forget Lily’s dad’s penchant for board games.

Tailgating in a Cemetery
It sounds wrong, but it was so right for Marshall…and his deceased dad…and his brothers…and other Vikings fans. Marshall flew to Minnesota for New Year’s day to visit his father’s grave and catch him up on his exciting changes the past year. To honor his dad’s tradition, he brought tailgating gear for the Vikings-Bears game. One by one, his excessively large brothers showed up to have some ‘one-on-one’ dad time, and then everyone else at the cemetery who wanted to check the scores started joining in. Marshall was a little pissed at first that all these people were robbing him of his father-son time, until he realized that he can be welcoming and inclusive, just like his dear dad. Lily was relegated to a B-story plot, meanwhile, as she and Marshall began prepping their baby room. What began as a simple—and amusing—debate about a book called Enigmas of the Mystical turned into a deeper conversation about Marshall wanting to teach their child to believe in the magic of the world (as his dad did) and Lily only learning disappointment from her own absent dad. In a very predictable but sweet ending, Lily’s dad showed up on her doorstep with a teddy bear for his future grandchild.

  • Fun moment:Shoplifter doesn’t promote crime, it celebrates it!” (the newest Aldrin board game, sold separately from Slap Bet).

Why is it called Puzzles?
As you may recall, years ago Barney and Ted discussed why it would be totally awesome to own a bar—one that had no last call and lots of hot girls. They even gave it a test-run one snowy night at MacLaren’s. The bar would be called Puzzles, because people would ask ‘why the name’—and that is the puzzle! This New Year’s Eve, Ted and Barney have trouble getting into MacLaren’s thanks to a steep cover, a loooong line, and the large bartender, Doug, who featured in the episode “The Fight.” What to do? Why it’s simple—take fellow line-dwellers upstairs to the apartment for their bar. Puzzles is a hit and quickly ‘blows up on the Twitterverse.’ With cheap drinks, an awesome banner that looks like the Cheers sign, and an equally catchy theme song, plus a VIP Room (i.e. Ted’s bedroom), what’s not to love? It was nice to see Kevin again, since he was M.I.A. as Robin’s boyfriend during the last few difficult weeks. I even liked that he got to spend quality dude time with Barney and Ted and his enthusiasm to participate in the bar antics…I mean, a therapist is practically the same job as a bartender, except in the later you don’t have to hide the alcohol as you listen to people’s problems.

  • Fun moment: Ted and Barney’s theme song is hilarious—as are all songs that HIMYM delivers. “At Puzzles we all fit together”… “And we bang chicks in Ted’s room…” I was bummed at first when I went to the website (because http://www.puzzlesthebar.com had a placeholder). But I am happy to report that after the episode aired on the West Coast the site went live and you can now experience the lovely bar theme song and more on the site!

Countdown
The reason Kevin hung with the guys on NYE and not his girlfriend was that Robin got called in to work. It began as a crappy night for her, since she had to deal with a very drunk Sandy Rivers trying to host a NYE special. It was great for us though—because a drunk and inappropriate Sandy Rivers is always a good time. I won’t dwell on the reality (or lack thereof) of Robin being the only person from the network who would be there to wrangle the talent and how on earth she could get around Manhattan so quickly on NYE. I will focus instead on the fact that 2011 was a pretty crappy year for Robin and the poor girl was desperate to put it behind her. Fortunately for her, she got the chance of a lifetime to go live on the air to fill in for Sandy (who Kevin found passed out at Puzzles—i.e. the bathtub in Ted and Robin’s apartment). As we learn from Future Ted, this wound up being a turning point for her career and led to her being a co-anchor at WorldWide News. While it was no surprise that Robin would step in at the last minute (literally the last minute of 2011), it was still a nice moment for her character and it was touching to see the three main men of Robin’s life—Ted, Barney and Kevin—catch it on TV.

  • Fun moment: Sandy taking a leak on air, and the Twitter comments running at the bottom of his New Year’s coverage…including “Switch over to Seacrest!”

And with that, 2012 is off and running for our gang. Honestly, Ted’s teenage daughter pretty much needs to be born this year or next given how old she looks in 2030, but we all know that is not going to happen. Instead, 2012 will bring us major developments for the others: especially a baby for Marshall and Lily! I am excited to see what else it brings. I am sure Alyson Hannigan is as well, since she has confirmed that she is expecting a baby in real life, right around the time of her TV baby. Talk about great timing!

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