The Autumn of Break-Ups - Recap

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The episode begins with Barney finding a dog for himself. Ted is in denial. He hasn't been noticing all the hints that Victoria is dropping about moving forward in their relationship, but Marshall and Lily see it. Barney introduces his wing-man Brover, a dog, to the gang, saying, "A bro that puts all other bros to shame. The bitches love him. He buries bones all day. No one chases tail like him". Barney apparently is acting a bit too close for comfort with him. Basically, they kiss with tongue. Robin is worried about Barney and feels that Barney is lonely after his breakup.

Marshall mainly notices it though, like Victoria mentioning her job offer in Denver, because Lily has been training him so he can give unsolicited relationship advice too. "I hope to one day earn a 'testify,'" Marshall says, elaborating more about how much better he is getting at it. Part of Ted's problem is he thinks that he and Victoria have only been together for a few months. He doesn't think their relationship, or time, before counts, as he feels when two people date after a break the clock resets. But Marshall, Lily disagree and mock Ted’s naiveté. To help Barney, get back on his feet and to make him feel better Robin and Nick decide to invite him over for dinner.

Nick on his part is more concerned about what his signature cooking catchphrase will be on his cable-access cooking show, Nick the Bad Boy Chef. He runs a line past Robin but she doesn’t seem too crazy about it. Ted asks Victoria if she is dropping hints about a deeper commitment during their conversation, which he isn’t latching on to. She assures Ted that she would be direct with him if she wanted a deeper commitment. She then shows Nick she found a wedding dress when she was cleaning her apartment. “Should I keep this wedding dress, or you think I will never ever need it again” she asks him angrily. Victoria then tells Ted that Lily and Marshall were right.

Victoria tells Ted that they have dated before and that time counts. Barney brings Brover to dinner, and they're both wearing ties. Victoria feels there is some reason she and Ted aren’t on the same page. Despite his experience with "The Mosby Brothers," a band of children "detectives," Ted doesn't have a clue either. "Wingmanship is a two-way street," Barney on the other hand claims, as he talks about the way Brover and him pick up girls. Like sometimes Barney is the jerk by playing tug of war with a gal dog, so Brover can be the hero. Ted brings in Lily and Marshall for assistance. But all Marshall does is channel his inner goddess and give some random useless advice.

Ted receives a call from Brover's owner. Turns out, she went out of town, and Brover ran away and now that she his back Barney has to return him. Barney in his grief tries to jump off the balcony. Ted decks out his apartment in roses and then proposes to Victoria. She says "yes" but has a condition that, Ted has to stop being friends with Robin. Victoria feels there is too much history between him and Robin. Victoria gets that Robin is happy now with Nick for now, but she knows she'll always wonder if something could end up happening between him and Robin in the future.

Victoria basically tells him that he has to choose between her and Robin. Robin has managed to get Barney down from the balcony, and she knows she needs to be there for Barney when he bids farewell to his dog, even if Nick just flambéed crepes. After all, Barney was there for her when she brought all her dogs up state to her Aunt's. Marshall thinks Victoria is being unreasonable, but his snap sister Lily doesn't agree. Lily feels Robin and Ted have a lot of history together. Lily basically gets where Victoria is coming from. Ted admits that he can’t imagine a life without Robin. Even though he knows she will never be in love with him and that she'll never be his wife.

Ted also feels that Victoria is someone he could grow old with, unlike Robin. Barney returns Brover to his owner, and the lady mistakenly assumes that they're a couple. Robin backs away though, claiming she's a lesbian farmer like her aunt and as Barney backs away into the woman's apartment, he says, "Best wingman ever". But he's not looking at the pup. Once back home, Nick tells Robin that he'll have to accept she has close guy friends and just then Ted sends her an urgent text to meet. Ted in the meantime is shown telling Victoria that, he isn’t in love with Robin, but she is like family to him and therefore he can’t stop seeing her.

Ted asks her if she can accept that. “I really hope you get her someday” Victoria says with tears in her eyes. She then walks away. Ted tells Robin he called her to tell her that he wants to write a series of young adult mystery novels. He makes up the excuse that Robin is in the media and that is why he thought she would know people. Next day, he tells Robin that Victoria and he have broken up. “We just wanted different things” he says. Ted is shown asking Marshall and Lily to promise that Robin would never find out why he broke up with Victoria. The two reluctantly promise. Turns out, Robin does find out eventually. The episode ends at this point.