Wednesday, December 7, 2011

HIMYM: Trade-Offs

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I held back on talking about this episode so I could let it sink in a little bit. The got pretty good reviews across the board on the internet, but I was less than impressed. In fact, I didn't particularly care for the bulk of this episode. And the part that I liked the least - Marshall's house-decorating storyline - was the plot that seemed to earn the most acclaim from others. I've thought about it quite a bit at this point, and all I can attribute it to is different tastes. Other than that, I've simply got nothin'. Weigh in and let me know what you think...

How I Met Your Mother "Symphony of Illumination" (S07E12): The episode opens with a Robin voice-over telling her two kids about the time she told their father she was pregnant. Then we see Robin in the bathroom with Barney, where we left off last week. Robin is a week late, yet Barney's first comment is "are you sure you're not just getting fat?" No better is his second remark, "no one told your boobs." [I can't say I was 100% surprised, but I really thought that Barney would carry himself differently in this situation.] After Robin explains that Barney would have to be the father (apparently she and Kevin have not yet slept together), he's excited and says it's wonderful... and she faints.

At the bar, Robin drinks iced tea and talks about how she never wanted kids. [trade-off #1: you have to give up liquor. iced tea isn't ideal because of the caffeine, but baby steps.] The pair is interrupted when Ted, Marshall, and Lily show up. Lily is headed to register for the baby, but Marshall is placing more importance on decorating the Long Island home for Christmas, in an attempt to have more visitors than anyone else in the area. [trade-off #2: sometimes you have to decide between doing something for your future and doing something for the present. Lily and Marshall have different outlooks on this one.] So, Robin and Barney go with Lily, and Barney runs into his old best friend - InsaneDuane, who now has four kids. [trade-off #3: Duane no longer has time to spend with Barney - he had kids.]

At the doctor, Barney and Robin find out that she isn't pregnant, and they both party. In fact, Robin parties hard - with a cigar, liquor, and sushi. However, Robin soon learns that she's infertile, and that comes as a crushing blow, even though she never wanted to have children. Her doctor suggests that she talk to someone about her feelings, but Robin anticipates that everyone's reactions would be bothersome. She imagines Ted trying too hard to comfort her, Lily imploding, Marshall barraging her with questions, and Barney stopping at nothing to make her laugh. [I thought that this was really well done... each of those scenarios seemed pretty true-to-character, in my opinion.] Caught with something on her mind, Robin tells the gang that she just found out that she can't be an Olympic pole vaulter for Canada. [this part rang a little close to home. During the 2004 Olympics, it hit me that I'd never win an Olympic medal, and I shared that with a few people I worked with. A few days later they presented me with a construction paper medal, and it's still a cherished memento. But, I digress...] Strangely, the gang all acts just like she thought they would in the other scenario.

Marshall makes friends with a neighborhood teen, Scott, who is going to help him with the lights. Marshall is pretty stoked, even introducing himself as "Mr. Erikson" and whatnot. It starts off all innocent, with the kid spotting the ladder, but soon the kid makes an excuse to go inside (offering to get Marshall a beer), and knocking the ladder away... trapping Marshall on the roof. The kid goes into Marshall's home, smokes weed (via the ever-so-clever sandwich metaphor that Carter & Bays have going), steals a case of beer, and has a party. [trade-off #4: you can be friendly with someone, but you have to remember that they may have ulterior motives. Poor Marshall was just trying to be Minnesotan, and it backfired.] To keep Marshall quiet, Scott even takes a picture of his genitalia with Marshall's phone! [CBS had this happen TWICE this week - the other time with Oleg on 2 Broke Girls.] The kid even talks Marshall into letting him have the party another 30 minutes. Lily returns home and pays the kid $50 for helping Marshall... then she walks into the house and sees how torn up it is. [hahahahahaha!]

Barney and Robin return to the registry store with Lily, and they find kids cute again, now that she's not pregnant. [LoL.] Later, Lily and Ted try to figure out why Robin is upset. Ted invites Robin to go with him to Cleveland for Christmas, but she doesn't want to go. [trade-off #5: you can try and guess what would make someone happy, but you could be completely wrong, so splurging on something that is only a hypothesis might not be the way to go. Also, oddly placed LeBron joke.] Robin yells at Ted, telling him that it's not his job to cheer her up. She goes for a walk around Manhattan and we learn that the kids that Robin has been talking to are ficitonal. Robin returns home to a decorated apartment with lights set to "Highway to Hell." Ted appears, claiming that it IS his job to cheer her up, of course.

Future Stories: Robin a bull-fighter. [plus, let's not forget, she also has to go live in Argentina, Morocco, and Greece...]
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