Monday, July 18, 2016
HIMYM Monday: Sunrise
Welcome to another How I Met Your Mother Monday! For a die hard fan like myself, choosing a favorite episode from the the series is like picking out which hot glazed doughnut in a dozen from Krispy Kreme you will eat first. You cannot go wrong! In a later post I will choose my top 10 from the over 200 episodes, but today I want to focus on one from the final season that is right at the top of any such listing. It's the episode entitled Sunrise (season 9, episode 16) and the more I see it, the more I love it.
To set the stage, we are only hours away from Barney and Robin's wedding. Barney, having gotten really, REALLY drunk that night, has wandered away from the Farhampton Inn. Ted and Robin begin to search for him. A wandering Barney discovers two lonely young men in need of a mentor and begins to teach them the ways of awesomeness. These two threads rum simultaneously through the show.
Robin and Ted make their way out on to the beach in search of Barney, where they begin to talk about Ted's old girlfriends. Robin inquires about several of them, asking if Ted talked to them lately. We learn through a series of flashbacks that Ted has talked with each of them- all in his efforts to find a locket Robin buried as a young woman and planned use as her "something old" for the wedding, but cannot find. In the course of this, Robin lists her Top 5 of Ted's ex-girlfriends, and does not include herself. Her top choice is Victoria, whom Ted dated two different times and who ditched her own wedding to run away with Ted. When Robin says that she never really understood why they broke up, Ted hesitates to tell her. When she pushes the issue Ted blurts out, Because of you, Robin. We broke up because of you." When Robin inquires "Why?" she gets the following answer:
Ted: I'm not gonna answer the question, because you know the answer. You want to talk about my Top Five? There's no Top Five, Robin, there's just a Top One - and it's you.
Ted wanted Barney and Robin to be happy. He was determined not to undermine the wedding in any way, and he eventually saves the wedding with the locket and a pep talk to both parties. But he knew the truth that he could not turn off his feelings no matter how hard he tried. More on that later...
Meanwhile Barney is schooling his young proteges in the fine arts of visiting strip clubs and talking to women- including introducing them to the game Have you met Ted? At the end of the evening, as the young men debate just who this genius is, Barney delivers the following speech:
Barney: A few final thoughts. Don't get married 'til you're 30. Play laser tag at least once a week. Give as many high-fives as you're gonna get. Teacup pigs are lady magnets but very hard to care for - not worth the effort. The same goes for dogs and babies. And most importantly, whatever you do in this life, it's not legendary unless your friends are there to see it. Good luck, boys. [gives them napkins detailing pages of his fabled Playbook] Take care of the Game for me.
For all of his posturing and narcissism, Barney understood one very important things. Friends make the world go 'round. Whatever you do in life, it's not legendary unless your friends are there to see it. Now that's awesome.
Back to the lost locket. Ted tracks in down with Victoria in Germany (looooong story!) and she overnights it to him- but it is intercepted by another of Ted's exs, crazy Jeanette. She meets him on a bridge in Central Park and upon learning why he wants the locket accuses him of trying to ruin the wedding and win Robin back. She accuses Ted of being crazy. And Ted responds with what to me is one of the greatest definition of romantic love ever spoken...
Ted: I'm in love with her, okay? If you're looking for the word that means caring about someone beyond all rationality and wanting them to have everything they want, no matter how much it destroys you, it's love. And when you love someone you don't stop- EVER! Even when people roll their eyes or call you crazy. Even then. Especially then. Just just...you don't give up! Because if I could give up, if I could just, you know, take the whole world's advice and move and find someone else, that wouldn't be love. That would be, that would be some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for.
Of course Ted does eventually give up and finds "the Mother," but that doesn't change the fact the he stole a blue French horn for Robin- and as he says, would have stolen her an entire orchestra. There is nothing easy about letting go of true love, even if it is unrequited. It's just a magnificent episode that never fails to move me. The 3 quotes I featured today are among my favorites, and the scene with Ted and Robin on the beach at the end- when Ted finally lets her go as the Bangles song Eternal Flame plays behind them- is beyond perfect. It's this kind of humor combined with this kind of heart that made HIMYM so amazing to me.
Join us next week for another HIMYM Monday!!!