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'How I Met Your Mother': Just friends

May 3, 2010 | 10:03 pm
Can you really be just friends with your exes? For Robin (Cobie Smulders), it seemed like the answer was yes – two of her four friends are exes – but things have gotten complicated. Although they've only been dating a short time, things are getting serious between Robin and Don (Benjamin Koldyke). So serious, in fact, that Robin is considering moving in with him. Wow, is Robin becoming a real, live girl? She didn't even get that far with Ted (Josh Radnor) despite a year of dating. Or perhaps she's moving too fast, rushing into the move. It might also feel that way because we haven't seen any of Robin and Don's relationship since their first date. To go from that to possibly moving in together is a bit whiplash-inducing.

Don and Robin's full-steam-ahead relationship hits a snag when Don discovers Robin is close friends with two of her exes, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Ted. He was under the impression that Ted was gay thanks to his love of calligraphy, baking and “Project Runway.” Before he found out about Barney and Robin, Don admitted to liking Barney, but he felt “bad for any woman with the kind of low self-esteem that would actually date a guy like that.” Ouch. I wish Robin had taken him to task a little for that. Outside of that, Don seems like an incredibly understanding guy and even apologizes for overreacting about Robin hanging out with her exes. To make up for it, he invites the whole gang over for dinner, but by this time, Barney has decided he wants his toy – otherwise known as Robin – back. Ted gives him a letter he wrote to his future self to remind him why he broke up with Robin. All the “other boobs” in the world is key.

Ted also takes out the letter he wrote to himself after his breakup with Robin. She's not the right girl for him because she doesn't want to be in a serious relationship, he wrote. She's perfect in all other respects, but she's not ready to take the next step, so until then.... You can see it dawning on Ted that Robin is taking the next step and it's not with him. He goes on to reminiscence about stealing the blue French horn, their first kiss and the look in her eye when she said she loved him. And now Ted wants Robin back too, which leads to a drunken fight between Ted and Barney over who gets her. Barney suggests sharing her, but not on a every other day schedule. Barney will have her until she's 40 and then Ted will get her.

“It's Barn Door. Guess what? I'm open,” Barney drunk dials Robin.
Not to be outdone, Ted calls Robin too: “It's Teddy bear. Need a little honey?”

In the morning, Robin tells Barney and Ted that she wants to see where this thing with Don is going, so she's moving in with him. But more importantly, and worrying to me, she says she's taking a break from the group. How will this work? Will she still hang out with Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall (Jason Segel), but only when it's just the two of them? This whole splintering of the group thing got real messy and complicated on “Friends.”

Speaking of Marshall and Lily, the ridiculously in love couple decided to get – gasp! – twin beds. This from the couple that couldn't spend one night apart before their wedding. They got the idea when they were mistakenly given a hotel room with twin beds. At first, they were upset – I would have been more upset about the horrid fishing motif in the room – but after 18 hours of restful sleep, they were seeing the benefits. They thought they were onto a modern relationship revolution with their separate beds for sleeping and a bed just for sex. The separation didn't last long though. You just can't keep a big spoon and a little spoon apart.

Readers, how do you feel about Robin leaving the group? And what did you think of Ted and Barney's sudden change of heart about Robin? The episode seemed to leave room for the possibility of a Barney and Robin reconciliation – he still wanted to get her back in his letter at the end of the episode – but I think it's time to put a fork in Ted and Robin. They had their season-long relationship, which was given an honest and heartfelt breakup, which is more than I can say for Barney and Robin. Even though she's moving in with Don, we haven't been given any indication that she wants to settle down in the same way that Ted does – married with kids. Still, it panged me to see that Robin had left behind the blue French horn when she moved out of Ted's place.

– Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)


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Photo: Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Ted (Josh Radnor) try to win back Robin. Credit: Monty Brinton / CBS.