How I Recap “How I Met Your Mother” — “Splitsville”

Season 8, Episode 6
“Splitsville”

Oh, look. Judging by the title of this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother, and being that it is indeed The Autumn of Break-Ups, it looks like we’re in store for another totally expected and in no way surprising break-up. This means that Robin and Nick are probably going to be the ones visiting Splitsville, as I’m pretty damn sure that Lily and Marshall will not be affected by this breaky uppy time of year. Well, let’s see…

We find out in the opening minutes of the show that Robin and Nick are really clicking and going strong… and that this is the case because they are having great sex. So when Nick hurts his groin by playing for Marshall’s team in an over-30 basketball league, and he and Robin stop having sex so that his groin can heal and he can get back to hoopin’ sooner, Robin becomes a little disillusioned with Nick and their relationship.

This all comes out while the gang are eating dinner in Marshall and Lily’s apartment. We also learn that Sex-Obsessed Lily is back, because she takes a conversation about Nick icing his hurt groin and then goes on a spiel that starts with groin icing and ends up all sexy and such.

Ted also says that he’s the captain of a team playing in the basketball league, and his team is made up entirely of architects. Though, apparently they didn’t get to actually play basketball, because they spent the whole time talking about the aesthetics of the court.

So, since Robin and Nick are no longer having sex, she’s realizing that Nick is kind of dumb. Didn’t they do this whole too-dumb-to-date thing before? Also, Nick seemed pretty with it last week when he was mature enough to take Robin running out on him twice after he made a nice dinner for her. But anyway… they go through examples of why Nick is dumb. One of these being that he doesn’t know that Gypsies are an actual ethnic group. Um… but didn’t Robin think that there was no such place as the North Pole, and that there wasn’t such a thing as a reindeer? Okay… anyway…

Cut to Robin trying to break up with Nick, but she gets distracted by the fact that he’s shirtless. When she tells the gang this, Barney says that he’s come up with more incentive for her to break it off with him because he knew that she’d cave and not do it. So, he puts together, this…

And he tells her that if she doesn’t break up with Nick by 8 p.m. this invite goes live. Voice-Over Ted then tells us that Patrice is Robin’s co-worker who is obsessed with her, and if she ever got an invite like this, she would NEVER leave Robin alone.

Marshall hates the idea of Robin dumping Nick because he needs him to be right for the basketball playoffs. So he says if she has to do it, she should let him down easy. Barney suggests an ice cream place called Splitsville, which is apparently THE place to end a relationship. Robin and Nick go. She tries to break it off, he doesn’t get any of her hints, then he gets a phone call that makes him so upset that he starts crying. After he hangs up, he tells Robin he’s too upset to talk about the call. Robin starts to feel bad because the dude’s crying about something that he just got a call about, and here she is and she’s in the middle of dumping him.

Robin calls the gang at the apartment from Splitsville’s bathroom. She tells Barney that he needs to delete the invite because Nick just got some really upsetting news. He tells her that the invite is going to go out unless he hears her dump Nick on speakerphone in the next five minutes. He says he’s saving her, because once Nick’s groin heals, they’ll be having sex again, and then she’ll never dump him.

At Splitsville Nick tells Robin his bad news. The phone call he got was the result of an MRI he had done on his groin. It’s worse than he thought. He’s out for the season. Back at the apartment, Marshall, who is listening to the conversation on speakerphone with the rest of the gang, is obviously upset about this.

Robin, now realizing that Nick’s news is not really that bad, starts to break-up with him again, but he cuts her off saying that since he doesn’t have to worry about the timetable of his groin getting better (you know, because he was trying to let it heal for basketball, but now that’s moot), that they should start having sex again. They cut to the apartment where the gang is listening and Barney walks out after Nick says this.

Just as Robin’s about to cave and go home with Nick, Barney comes in. Quick side note here: I’ve never had a relationship where the sex was SO good that it would keep me from breaking up with a person who I knew was absolutely wrong for me. I gotta admit, though, the idea is VERY intriguing. Maybe I’d like to give that scenario a spin. #MyShelteredLife

Annnnyway… Barney comes in and says to Nick that Robin can’t go home with him because HE and Robin are in love. And I’m thinking… okay, I didn’t really see that coming, which is a surprising thing when we’re talking about the How I Met Your Mother writers. Just after this line is uttered, though, we break for a commercial. And it’s during that commercial break that I start shaking of the mild shock of the moment and realize that no matter what happens here, Barney is just going to play it off as him helping Robin out of a bind, and that he wasn’t really serious.

We come back from commercial and Barney goes on a rant: “This woman has a hold on my heart that I could not break if I wanted to. And there have been times that I wanted to.” (Cue the How I Met Your Mother Tender Indie Rock Song of the Week at this point… though in reality it may just be guitar-fill background music. Either way, it’s all tender and shit.) “It has been overwhelming, and humbling, and even painful at times, but I could not stop loving her any more than I could stop breathing. I am hopelessly, irretrievably in love with her. More than she knows.”

Nick asks Robin if this is true, and while still being slightly flabbergasted at Barney’s gushing, she replies, “You heard him.” Nick sits down, saying that he feels like he has a pulled groin muscle in his heart. He’s crying, and then we realize that he’s sitting next to some woman who just got dumped and she is crying, then another woman comes over who has just been dumped and she is crying as well, and Nick asks them both if they want to come back to his place. So, at least all works out in the end for our good buddy Nick. After this happens, Voice-Over Ted tells us, “Thus concluded The Autumn of Break-Ups.” PHEW. Marshall and Lily ARE safe.

Back at the apartment, Lily goes on another sex-filled fantasy rant while Marshall is doing handstand pushups. Ted then asks them why they aren’t having sex, because he knows them well enough to know that Lily only gets this sex obsessed, and Marshall only gets this into fitness, when they aren’t. They say they don’t have time because of the baby (nevermind the fact that they dedicated an entire episode of the show this season to the two of them finding a nanny who could, like, you know, take the kid out for a while so the two of them could play sexy games… I don’t know). So Ted says he’ll take Marvin out for a while. And he does. And Lily and Marshall have sex.

We cut back to Barney and Robin. Not surprisingly, Barney is saying that he’s a great actor. Robin says that his rant was pretty convincing. Then they have a moment where it seems like they’re going to kiss, but Robin’s phone rings. Okay, at this point the whole cell phone ringing to interrupt something important that’s happening in the scene has gotten mega-turbo-stupendously old, trite, tired, and boring. Couldn’t something else happen? ANYTHING else? Dios mio! You’re writers, show some friggin’ imagination!

This is like the 90th time the phone ringing (or a text) interrupted something that was going to push the plot along. And seriously, if you were in that situation and your phone rang, would you even THINK to pick it up? I don’t even answer it if I’m out to dinner with a friend (you know, unless I’m expecting a call of dire importance), and I’m sure the hell not even gonna get the chumpy out of my pocket if it rings when I’m about to mack out with someone. Would you? Would ANYONE?

To make this particular scenario even dumber, the person who’s calling Robin is Patrice, who is thrilled to death because she just got the invite to BFF Fun Day. Okay, with the way that ALL of these people are HELLA-attached to their phones, I feel fairly certain in saying that Robin’s would have the most basic of features: caller ID. So, she’s about to have a moment with Barney. The phone rings. For some inexplicable reason she just HAS to get it out of her pocket. At that point wouldn’t you just look at the fucker and see that it’s someone you REALLY don’t want to talk to, send it to voicemail, and proceed two seconds later with where you left off. Just dumb, LAZY writing. Ugh.

This week’s episode ends with Ted’s basketball team taking him to Splitsville and throwing him off the team.

Wow… I thought this episode was kind of terrible. I mean, there actually were some KIND of funny jokes and sight gags, and Sex-Obsessed Lily is always at least a little funny to me. But the whole Nick being dumb thing felt forced and like it came out of left field. It was like the HIMYM writers sat around and said, “We don’t know why to break them up, so… umm… let’s just say that he’s dumb even though there were NO indicators of this in any of the past episodes he’s appeared in.”

And then there’s the whole LAZY cell phone thing. I’m still annoyed about that.

Anyway… until next week when we can look forward to some more forced and/or repetitive storylines… be well!

 

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