by Grace Crawford

Images courtesy of Bay & Thomas Productions and 20th Century Fox.

Images courtesy of Bay & Thomas Productions and 20th Century Fox.

9×17: “Sunrise”

So remember how in last week’s review I got all serious and said how, what with the Mother losing the love of her life and doubting if she would ever luck into that again? And how overall the episode was about moving on?

Well, this week’s episode, “Sunrise,” was about letting go. This may be crazy talk, but I’m sensing a theme here.

In this week’s episode, we find out what Barney got up to after sneaking out of Ted’s room in a drunken haze. He happens upon a couple of random schmoes who are completely out of luck with the ladies, and he declares he’s going to teach them how to live. Of course guiding the hapless boys, Justin and Kyle, through their uncertainty and immaturity involves taking them to a strip club.

There's a reason it's called The Crab Shed, and it's not because of the free buffet.

There’s a reason it’s called The Crab Shed, and it’s not because of the free buffet.

Then he takes them to his tailor, Tim Gunn. And then he gives them a copy of The Playbook that he’s scribbled down on either a stack of napkins or a pad of giant sticky notes (seriously, that book is like the cockamouse; it just doesn’t die), and declares that life is only legendary if your friends are there to witness it. And he leaves to either throw up again or catch a couple hours of sleep before getting married.

Meanwhile, Marshall is in bed, having a strange ghost-fantasy about Present Lily and 2006 Lily. He’s trying to convince himself that he’s won the argument because the real Lily stormed out. But with the help of Present Lily and his father (who is suddenly there for no reason, and I don’t think I want to know), he realizes that he’s going to lose Real Lily unless he stops thinking of their marriage as a contest.

Just as he realizes that, Real Lily returns. Marshall apologizes, but Lily says they’re going to stay in New York, and they kiss and make up. Only thing is, Lily doesn’t look happy. In fact, she looks miserable. And I think it’s something more than just cancelling their move to Italy.

While all that’s happening, Ted and Robin are wandering along the beach searching for Barney. After not nearly long enough, they decide he’ll find his own way home and get all reminiscent and crap. Robin asks him about his exes, for some strange contrived reason, and we see the long journey Ted took in trying to get Robin’s locket back, with each stop landing on an ex-girlfriend.

"This is awful. I can't find my fiancee ANYWHERE." "Want to awkwardly talk about our feelings all night in the cold sand until the sun comes up?" "...yeah, all right."

“This is awful. I can’t find my fiancee ANYWHERE.”
“Want to awkwardly talk about our feelings all night in the cold sand until the sun comes up?”
“…yeah, all right.”

First there’s Stella, who informs him that he’s doing a weird thing and says that the locket is probably in her storage unit. While rummaging through his former fiancee’s stuff, Ted calls Victoria, who is wearing the locket around her neck–in Germany. She, too, tells him that he’s doing a weird thing. But she airmails the necklace to him, and it’s intercepted at Ted’s place by Jeannette, who is, of course, guano loco.

She tells him to meet her on a bridge in Central Park, because of course, and Ted makes a big impassioned speech about love and how you can’t let it go. Jeannette says that’s a weird thing, and she drops the locket in the water under the bridge. (And then says they should get back together, because that’s a thing crazy people do.)

And intercut with all this is a series of confessions from Ted, who fesses up about the real reason he and Victoria broke up (Robin), the move to Chicago (because Robin), and the only person he’s ever really loved (…oh, you know). And intercut with all of that is a story from Ted’s childhood, when he was best friends with a balloon and accidentally let it go into the wild blue yonder.

Somehow, all of that ties together into the greater theme of letting go. Barney lets go of his old life and passes his legacy on to a younger generation as he prepares to move on to the next stage of his life. Marshall lets go the way he’s always viewed his relationship with Lily. Lily lets go of her dream to move to Italy (and judging by the look on her face, I’m a little worried she might be letting go of Marshall, too). And Ted lets go of the idea that he and Robin will ever be together, readying himself for the coming day.

In fact, the only person who doesn’t do any letting go is Robin. And for all that she’s been the cool, calm, and collected one this whole time (with the exception of the Loretta War), I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a meltdown in an episode or two. It might be because of the ring bear. It might be because of Barney. It might be because of Ted. But whatever it is, she’s just had a bomb dropped on her, and she’s handling it way too well.

Final Grade: B-


Items of Note:

  • The question still hasn’t been answered: who did Lily call, and where did she go?
  • It was more than a little annoying that 2006 Lily kept tossing out all these references to things that are apparently from 2006, all of which I’ve literally never heard of before.
  • Oh, Marshall. Only you would refuse to get the air-conditioner repaired because it would mean admitting that ghosts don’t exist.
  • That song at the end. I hate it. It was so loud I couldn’t hear any of the dialogue, and they literally played the entire thing. NO DARLING I WILL NOT GIVE YOU MY HAND, I DO NOT FEEL YOUR HEART BEATING, AND I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU’RE DOING THIS TO ME. That is all.

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