After a few weeks off, How I Met Your Mother
finally returns to its tumultuous autumn of relationship status changes: while Ted faces pressure from Victoria to commit more fully, Barney adopts a new canine wingman named "Brover."
A Modest Proposal
Victoria's pressure to commit comes to a head at a dinner party with Marshall and Lily: The latter couple scrutinizes Victoria's every not-so-subtle hint of dissatisfaction, while Ted laughs the night away obliviously. It isn't until Marshall channels a southern advice Goddess -- don't ask, 'cause I don't know -- that Ted finally realizes how ready Victoria is for marriage.
Up to speed at last, Ted surprises Victoria with a marriage proposal; she accepts, but only on the condition that Ted break off his friendship with Robin. As Lily notes, its a somewhat understandable position: Ted's feelings for Robin sabotaged their relationship the first time around, and there really is no telling who these people will fall madly in love with next. Ted is unwilling to break it off with Robin, and Victoria leaves.
Doggy and Style
On a lighter note, Barney's new dog friend is, in many ways, the companion he's always wanted: Brover attracts all kinds of female attention for Barney, and Barney reciprocates by hooking Brover up with female dogs. Their partnership is short-lived, however, as Barney receives a call from the dog's legitimate owner; fortunately she's hot, and Robin's more than happy to wingman for him in a pinch.
Ted's breakup with Victoria is a welcome development: their getting back together never made much sense, and his character hasn't developed much in that context. It occurred to me while watching this episode that Robin really has been the closest thing Ted's had to a consistent romantic interest, simply because we won't meet his real soul-mate until the series is ending. Though hardly a great match, Robin really is the Pam to his Jim simply by default--have fun sorting that out, HIMYM writers!
Barney's plot was, of course, not particularly relevant to the arc of the season, and the biggest laughs of the evening barely had anything to do with that story anyway--on that note, go ahead and add "Nick the Bad Boy Chef" to How I Met Your Mother's list of inspired fake TV shows. It's fun to just kill time with the How I Met Your Mother crew, but it's also high time we find out what's going on with that Barney/Robin wedding.
(Image courtesy of CBS)