Season 8, Episode 5
The Autumn of Breakups
On this eve of election day, several members of our beloved gang were also at a crossroads in their lives and had some choices to make, perhaps none more so than Ted. Tonight’s “Autumn of Breakups” picked up with October’s theme of big relationship endings. We knew at the start of this season that Barney and Quinn would not make it, nor would Robin and Nick or Ted and Victoria. Up until tonight, Barney’s was the only relationship to crash and burn over issues of trust. In this “Autumn of Breakup” episode, we learned that Ted and Victoria would also call it quits over trust issues. But not before a proposal!
50 Shades of Grey
Every relationship has its shades, and Ted and Victoria probably have close to 50 given their tumultuous history spanning about 6 or 7 years. Even Marshall wanted to channel his “inner goddess” and use his feminine side—with Lily’s coaching of course—to assess the many complexities impacting Ted and Victoria’s future. It becomes very clear to Marshall and Lily (sans baby this week) that Victoria is dropping some rather obvious clues that she wants Ted to make a commitment. This is because in her opinion (and the opinion of Marshall’s inner goddess) their relationship clock only paused way back when they broke up years ago. But Ted and the Mosby Boys tend to be better at solving missing retainer mysteries, because he misses all the signs and believes that their relationship clock reset when they rekindled their romance a mere five months ago.
Honestly, both have compelling arguments in this case. On the one hand, they already had the whole ‘getting to know you’ phase a long time ago. But on the other hand, it isn’t a bad idea to take time to get to know who they are now—since both have been through a lot. On that note, it is also important to consider the rather dramatic events that their brief courtships have already experienced. Back in season one, their relationship was cut prematurely short when Victoria moved to Germany and Ted started dating Robin. Now in round two, their relationship only started from the ashes of Victoria’s suddenly aborted wedding to Klaus. I think deep down inside both knew that beginning a life together under such drastic circumstances was probably not going to work out, but they so wanted it to. So, Ted went ahead and took the plunge by proposing to Victoria in his apartment full of roses. And she said yes, but with a catch: He can no longer be friends with Robin.
I said it last week and I’ll say it again…Ted Mosby and Ross Geller would totally be nerdy professor friends with matrimony issues. Victoria’s condition for Ted was certainly reminiscent of an untrusting Emily needing Ross to end his friendship with Rachel. Even though in both cases the couples loved each other and desperately wanted it to work, Victoria/Emily couldn’t fully trust that Ted/Ross would ever be ‘over’ Robin/Rachel and wanted to ensure that the former partners stayed out of each other’s lives. And also in both cases, just when we thought that Ted/Ross was about to abandon one of his greatest friendships in an effort to move on to a marriage, he realized he couldn’t cut out a true family member. The big difference between HIMYM and Friends, though, is that while Ross does end up with Rachel at the very end of the series, we know that Ted does not marry Robin one day. Nevertheless, it was bittersweet when Victoria listened to Ted’s heartbreaking choice and left him by saying that she really hopes that Ted does get Robin one day.
Farewell Victoria…I always did think you and Ted made a great couple, but it just wasn’t meant to be. My only complaint with how this relationship came to its predicted end? Well, we knew that a year ago Victoria thought of Robin as a roadblock for Ted, but he stopped living with her and Victoria did not seem to mind their friendship at all these past few months. But I guess when considering a marriage proposal, those uneasy feelings resurfaced.
Meanwhile, the rest of the gang experienced a touching tale about a man and his dog. Or, errrr, about a man using a dog to chase some tail. Barney is still readjusting to single life post-Quinn and finds a sweet (and so well behaved!) dog on the street who buddies up with him. Grover ends up being the perfect wingman for Barney, and Barney kindly returns the favor by hooking his buddy up with some “bitches”—but not the lady dogs over five because that is just too old. Robin starts to worry about her friend’s sanity, but I have to say that this is probably one of the cutest and least shady pick-up tactics that Barney has used…hmmm, maybe that’s why Robin is worried.
Robin invites Barney over to dinner at Nick’s, much to the latter’s dismay since he wanted to prepare a special dinner for his girlfriend. We actually learned what Nick does for a living—apparently he hosts a local cable cooking show and it just won an award despite him not having a classic chef line just yet. I have to note here that I think the cutaways to Nick’s show fell a bit flat—the jokes just didn’t really hit for me, other than Nick trying out some potential lines like “Bon AppeSWEET.” But Nick will soon have bigger problems because the groundwork has been laid for his eventual breakup with Robin…
Barney gets a call from the found dog’s owner and he sadly must return the adorable suit-wearing fellow. Robin puts her friendship with Barney above her special dinner with Nick and accompanies Barney—even reminiscing about when Barney had gone with her to bring her dogs to her lesbian aunt’s farm (who Robin only now realizes is a lesbian). Just when Nick seems accepting of Robin’s closeness with her male friends, she rushes off after getting a phone call from Ted to have an emergency meeting. We know that Ted intended to tell her that he could no longer be friends, but that Ted ended up choosing to keep Robin in his life instead. But I do agree with Robin and Ted: “The Mosby Boys” should be a published detective series.
What did you think of tonight’s big breakup? And how long before Nick calls it quits with Robin over the same exact issue Victoria had with Ted—the fact that Robin puts her relationship with Barney above her relationship with Nick? And how will Robin one day learn the real reason why Ted and Victoria broke up?