How I Met Your Mother: The Autumn of Break-Ups

Not as bad as it looks.

Season 8, Episode 5

This episode couldn’t have started off any worse for me. I really thought we were heading into a disaster of an episode as soon as Barney found that dog, but good thing it rebounded almost immediately after the opening credits. In fact, it’s a little weird that the bookmarks of this episode which both involved Barney and the dog, were the worst parts of the episode and just from those two scenes, it almost felt like it was something out of another episode. In other words, it didn’t really fit in with the rest of this episode.

Ever since Barney’s break-up with Quinn, he seemed to devolve back into the same person he was before that relationship as well as the relationship with Nora. They teased that perhaps Barney was doing all these things because of how much he was really hurt from the fallout of the relationships. Well, in this episode, it was finally explored further, sure, they had to throw a dog in there for some reason, but at least they finally dealt with the ramifications of Barney’s break-up and just like that, Barney immediately became a more sympathetic character.

I really did love the way they dealt with some of the issues that have been lingering in the air for a while now and I loved the episode in general, but before we get into that, I’ll get into the thing I didn’t like. After being the major focus of the last two episodes, Marshall and Lily take a bit of a backseat this week, and really there’s no complaints there, but the way they were handled was a major issue and a pretty big annoyance. Lily was Lily so it was no big deal there, but man, it hurt to watch Marshall take so many steps back this episode and act the way he was acting. Marshall acted as an advice-giving, Oprah-inspired, sassy black lady, and really I just felt sorry for the man. Jason Segal is looking better than he’s looked in quite a long time, but even that couldn’t save him from looking horrible in this episode. It was the writers’ fault more than anything, but still I wish he would have vetoed it or something. Maybe it was just me, but at this point all I want is for progress to be made for all of the characters, especially since we are so close to the finish line.

Now, going in I really had no idea about specific plot points in the episode, except for of course, the spoiler-y title of the episode. With only two couples left standing, we knew that one, if not both, of the couples would be doomed by the end of the episode and really the only question that remained was, which one would it be? It was great to finally see more of both Victoria and Nick and allowing Nick to have some fun with his cooking show was also a nice touch, even if he did seem a bit out of his element with some of the more comedic parts. For a while I did expect both of the couples to split up in the episode especially since Robin kept walking out on Nick to help out Barney and then Ted. It’s quite obvious that Robin is still very much into Barney so the only question concerning Robin and Nick’s relationship is when will they actually break-up.

For now, that couple survives another week, but sadly the Ted-Victoria relationship is officially over. It was great to see more of Victoria, even if she did act a bit out of character throughout the episode, or perhaps you can call it growth and evolving over the past 7 years? Either way, more Victoria on our screens is always a good thing. It was a bit weird seeing Victoria nagging to Ted and constantly reminding him how he owed her since she walked out on her wedding day for him. Most of her complaints however, were very reasonable as really what woman would be just fine with her boyfriend/fiancé/husband remaining such close friends with a woman who was not only his ex-girlfriend, but really so much more than that.

That leads us to Ted’s proposal. I have to say that I loved the moment, and almost wanted to just stop the episode right there and then and kind of just enjoy it for a moment since of course, we knew it wouldn’t last. I began to wonder if they’d go through the proposal for another week, another month or perhaps end it in this very episode. It wasn’t really too much of a surprise that it did end in this episode before it ever really began and thinking about it now, it’s probably for the best that they didn’t drag it out for a couple more episodes since we are so close to the finish. I smiled at how quickly Victoria said yes after Ted popped the question, and thought to myself, “That’s how it should be.” There was no hesitation on Victoria’s part as of course she already knew what she wanted.

There was however, the huge thing that was holding the Ted-Victoria relationship back and that of course was Robin. That led to Victoria’s one condition of Ted no longer being able to see Robin again. Ultimatums in relationships hardly work so as soon as she gave him the ultimatum you knew it wouldn’t end in a positive way. It also reminded me of Friends and the whole Ross-Rachel-Emily thing. This series has always had certain comparisons with that show so it’s not like it was a huge deal. As I said before, Victoria’s request wasn’t insane or anything, but you just knew Ted would not go for it. And just like that, the sad song plays and the Ted-Victoria relationship is officially over, for good this time.

It was great having Victoria back for a couple episodes and even if it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be, at least her appearance brought some closure to another one of Ted’s huge former relationships. Ted’s close to meeting the woman of his dreams and before he can fully be prepared for that, a couple more doors will have to be closed. Tonight we saw a great chapter close and some progress made. We knew that Victoria would not be the one, but it was still great to believe for a second that she might be.


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