How I Met Your Mother Season 7-03 ‘The Ducky Tie’ Recap

#Burn #DuckTieSlams

How I Met Your Mother returned last week and delivered a big, fun surprise for long time fans. Ashley Williams returned as Victoria, Ted’s (Josh Radnor) first big relationship on the show. The two came to an end when Ted cheated on her with Robin (Cobie Smulders). Now, Ted will relate the story of their brief reunion.

Interrupting Ted’s story is the fact that Lily (Alyson Hannigan) has her pregnancy boobs and they are spectacular. So spectacular, in fact, that Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) puts into motion an elaborate plan to manipulate Marshall (Jason Segal) and Lily into letting him touch them, a plan that he has been crafting and laying the groundwork for, for five years or more.

Barney’s plot involves conditioning Marshall to choose a particular restaurant, learning to cook like the chefs at said restaurant and making a wager in which Marshall challenges Barney’s newly acquired cooking skills. Given what we have seen Barney accomplish in past elaborate schemes, this one actually feels plausible.

The wager is thus, if Barney can cook just like the chef at the restaurant, he will get to touch Lily’s boobs. If Barney loses, he must wear Marshall’s Ducky Tie for a year. The negotiation of the length and breadth of the touching was a real highlight as was Marshall and Lily’s ingenious uncovering of Barney’s scheme and a wonderful twist ending.

Back to Ted’s story, as told to Robin who has nothing else to do in this episode, though, on the bright side, she figures in Ted’s twist ending; more on that later. Ted gets Victoria to invite him to her bakery where he will wash her dishes and no; that is not a metaphor, Ted actually does the dishes.

The story of Ted and Victoria is told really well, even with the Lilly’s boobs interruptions. Fans of the show from the beginning get closure on this story in unexpected fashion and then Victoria drops a bomb that will no doubt resonate through the rest of this season. No, it’s not that she’s getting married, though that did hit hard.

Back to Lilly’s boobs, once Marshall has uncovered Barney’s plot a deal is proposed: Lilly will allow Barney to see her boobs in exchange for calling off the bet. Cut to the alley behind the restaurant where Ted is not allowed to look but Robin is. That is until Marshall further uncovers Barney’s evil scheme. The bet is back on but unfortunately, Barney wasn’t kidding about his cooking. In a classic How I Met Your Mother moment, Lily’s Boobs save Lilly from Barney touching her.

Ted’s story has awakened in the How I Met Your Mother writers a good deal of nostalgia. Not only is Victoria back, if only for a cameo, but Ted’s trip to her bakery, just the two of them, alone after a romantic reunion; well of course the circumstances revived the classic “Bangedy Bangedy Song.”

Sadly, the mirth is short lived. As I mentioned earlier, Victoria is getting married. She’s marrying Klaus, a German, from her cooking class six years ago. Could it be that Ted wasn’t the only one who cheated? After a brief bit of ‘Who’s German on First’ we find that no, Victoria didn’t cheat but she didn’t exactly stay single long after Ted cheated.

Nostalgia and mixed feelings eventually lead to a not so unexpected kiss. Sadly, the kiss only reaffirms that Victoria loves Klaus and so ends Ted and Victoria’s story. That is, the story that Ted told his friends. The real story ended a little differently with Victoria explaining that Ted, Robin and Barney’s friendship weirdness is the reason the two of them would never work out.

Suddenly, the elephant in the room is revealed. Ted and Barney each having had a relationship with Robin and yet remaining friends with each other and with her is kind of strange, but neither they or we have ever really talked this scenario out. It’s a clever piece of piece of plotting by the How I Met Your Mother writing team and creates a challenging and intriguing storyline for the rest of this season.

Overall, this was another excellent outing for the show. Barney was on fire and I really enjoyed how they handled the Ted subplot. If things continue on this note, it’s going to be a fantastic season.

Memorable Quotes:

“The Girl Who Beat You Up? The Girl who Ruined the Photo with Slash? The Girl who Made You Get the Butterfly Tattoo? You guys make it sound like I dated a series of Stieg Larsson novels.”

“…the party in my wife’s sweater is a private party and I’m the bouncer.”

“I let you come wash my dishes. I said my oven needed cleaning. I invited you into a porno!”

“Guys, I am all for honoring a bet but who invited Tukumi?”