• Gina Denny

Episode 1.14 - Zip Zip Zip

Updated: Jun 16

This episode starts with Ted telling the Marshall and Lily that he and Victoria spent the entire weekend in his bedroom, but didn’t have any sex. Ted says they are planning to take it slow, Victoria wants to wait exactly a month to start a physical relationship.

Lily and Marshall are preparing for a romantic anniversary vacation (I don't know what this anniversary is, since Marshall and Lily got together in September, but this is January?), which they bail on.

Barney asks Robin to "suit up" and have a bro-night. They smoke cigars and drink Scotch and play lasertag and make fun of Ted a lot.

Then these three pairs settle in for the real meat of the episode:

Ted and Victoria go back to Ted's place to finally have sex, but since Marshall and Lily bailed on their vacation they are stuck in the bathroom. Robin and Barney go back to the bar to try to get lucky.

Ted and Victoria are actually only on screen together for 122 seconds total throughout this entire episode, even though their storyline is the one that’s really moving the plot forward.

Their relationship milestone is highlighted by what’s happening to the other “couples” around them: Marshall and Lily are wrestling with keeping the romance alive in a long-term relationship and Barney and Robin are wrestling with the awkwardness of single life.

Ted and Victoria are together, but their milestone is highlighted by what it’s NOT.

This episode is subverting a trope in some ways: we expect the episode to be about Ted and Victoria’s first time, and while they do finally have sex, the audience doesn't even see them move it to the bedroom.

This episode is using foils in some ways: other couples are shown to highlight Ted’s relationship status. Ted's not in a long-term relationship, running out of "firsts". Ted's not single, hanging out with his bro at laser tag.

But the point of this episode is this: Ted is in a new relationship.

We’re calling this Braiding Around the Big Stuff.

The writers could have just had an episode about Ted and Victoria finally becoming physical, lots of sitcoms have done it. But they chose, instead, to have an episode that shows where Ted was and where he's headed while, yes, technically furthering the series plot.

By focusing on the other relationships, they pull the focus off Ted and Victoria and instead have us pay attention to how Ted, specifically, fits into the bigger picture. It's subtle, but super effective.

Writing Prompt: Take three stories that you often tell and mash them up into one mega story

Listen to the episode here

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