Tonight’s episode of How I Met Your Mother found Ted trying to pick up the pieces of his non-marriage to Stella. He initially claimed that he was totally over her and that time had healed his wounds (that was only one day after the wedding was supposed to have taken place). I didn’t buy it, but Ted was certainly acting happy. Barney suggested that maybe Ted actually was really happy, but I knew there was no way that there wasn’t going to be an emotional breakdown tonight.
The breakdown did in fact come immediately after the opening credits, but it came from Lily who was pissed that Ted wasn’t upset and that she and everyone else couldn’t help their friend. Marshall suggested that Ted "release the berserker" and get angry, but Ted wasn’t having any of it, he was, he said, fine. Of course, he had also made a map of where in New York he couldn’t go because he might run into Stella, so he was probably not being quite honest. Ted further argued that people from Ohio just tamp down bad feelings, but I didn’t buy that either (I’ve known people from Ohio).
Lily suggested that they all go to a lovely new tapas place in the white zone (the Stella-free zone), and they headed there only to bump into… Stella! You see, Stella had told Lily about the place — something Lily hadn’t remembered until Stella walked in (or so she said). What choice did Ted have? He couldn’t possibly confront Stella, he simply had to dive under the table in order to avoid his ex. Everyone thought he was crazy for doing it, but they jumped under the table too. Ted then tried to have them recall people from their own past whom they wouldn’t confront given the chance, but it didn’t work out quite as he planned.
Before we get to the results though, let’s delve a little into the stories, shall we.
Lily’s dealt with a boy back in high school whom she blamed for passing some gas that had in fact emanated from her own backside. Young Lily even got the kid, Michael Sasser, nicknamed Gasser. Poor Gasser had to change schools. Lily, being the goodie-two-shoes that she is, said that she would absolutely talk to him today given the chance.
Barney’s story dealt with a woman prisoner he had been visiting in jail in order to have a conjugal relationship with someone who couldn’t really spend more time with him than was required for the conjugal part of the visit. He messed it up by trying to hit on another woman in the jail when the first one was still there and ever since had been receiving threatening letters from his prison pal.
Lastly, there was Robin’s story, the most serious and touching of them all. It dealt with her father always wanting a boy. Robin ended up leaving her father’s house to go live with her mother and claimed that she, to this day, wouldn’t talk to her father given the chance. But, as she talked more about it, it became clear that she would love to confront her father and tell him how he had made her feel.
So, Ted realized that he still had the opportunity to close this chapter of his life, something that the other three didn’t have. The only problem was that Stella had already left the restaurant. Everyone ran out of the tapas place without eating anything but a few almonds and jumped into a cab to follow her.
Oddly, insanely, ridiculously, Ted still wasn’t angry at her, he just wanted to talk to her. It wasn’t until the cab didn’t enter the Lincoln Tunnel and Ted realized that Stella had moved into the city with Tony when she was going to make Ted move to Jersey that Ted got angry. Ted was finally ready to tell Stella about how she had made the wrong choice, about how she had done the wrong thing (he even imagined that she would admit it).
However, when it came time to jump out of the cab and tell Stella how he felt, he simply couldn’t do it. Stella walked up the steps to Tony’s place and out of the door came Tony and their daughter. Ted saw how happy Stella was. He saw that where she was and who she was with was completely and totally right. Ted’s anger went away, and just like that, magically, he was over the relationship.
Odds and ends:
- I had a little bit of trouble choosing a quote tonight, but in the end it was Barney who delivered the best line. In talking about the advantages of his prison love he said "…and I never had to pay before dinner. Well, that’s not true, I pay taxes. Then again, I guess we all paid for dinner. Thanks a lot guys!"
- The question of the week — what do you think, could you let go of that kind of relationship nearly as easily as Ted did? I don’t think I could.
The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews – where we hold grudges, no matter what our therapist says is best for our "well being."