It looked like Robin and Barney were opening up new chapters in their lives.  Robin (Cobie Smulders) was in a relationship with Kevin (Kal Penn), and things seemed to be going really well between Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Nora (Nozanin Boniadi).  However, at the end of last week’s episode Barney and Robin made out in the back of a cab.  I, for one, was kind of upset about this turn of events because I was really rooting for the Barney-Nora relationship, and didn’t know what this meant for their future.

The opening of Monday’s episode, “Tick, Tick, Tick,” revealed that the two went back to Barney’s place and slept together.  Immediately the enormity of what happened and the problems ahead is felt by both of them.  Did this mean something?  Will they tell Kevin and Nora?  Robin and Nora’s news channel was having a party on a boat, and all four of them were planning to attend.  

Barney and Robin decide initially to go to the party and just pretend like nothing happened.   The guilt, however, is too much to handle.  They realize they can’t keep the secret and dread having to tell their significant others.  Then Barney says, “What if this isn’t the story of how those relationships ended, but instead is the story of how we got back together?” 

A powerful statement, indeed, and Robin had to ask if this was really what Barney wants.  He says that it is, and the two agree to break up with Kevin and Nora and meet back at MacLaren’s later that night. 

Surprises get sprung on both Barney and Robin.  When Barney gets back to Nora’s place, her parents have arrived a day early.  Kevin unexpectedly says, “I love you,” to Robin.  While Nora’s father is talking about how a great relationship should be, how that person should make you feel, visions of Robin swirl in Barney’s head.  He realizes he has to go through with it and tells Nora all about last night. 

Barney goes back to MacLaren’s, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Robin.  Ted, Marhall, and Lily, arrive, and ask what happened to Nora.  Barney says that they broke up.  When Robin gets there, Kevin is with her.  Barney looks at Robin, and she shakes her head no.  Barney is clearly crushed, says he has had a rough night, and makes a quick exit.

It is tough to make Barney a sympathetic character, but they did a pretty good job of that in this episode.  In the tag it Ted goes back up to the apartment and finds Barney cleaning up a romantic candlelight set up intended for Robin, and Ted realizes what has just happened. 

This whole thing makes me pretty upset.  I really liked Barney with Nora, and he worked so hard to make that relationship happen.  Now he appears to have lost both girls in one night (reminiscent to what happened to Ted with Victoria and Robin in the episode “Nothing Good Happens After 2 AM”).  This whole thing brings up many new questions.  Are Barney and Nora over forever?  Will Robin realize she has made a mistake?  Who is Barney marrying in the aforementioned wedding where Ted meets his future wife?  Logic would say either Nora or Robin, but could it be someone else entirely?

On a lighter note there was a pretty funny side story involving Ted, Marshall, and Lily.  The three went to a concert, and the writers brought back the “eating a sandwich” reference for smoking marijuana.  Ted and Marshall get high and then go on what felt like a two hour quest to find nachos.  When they finally find Lily it turns out they were only gone 2 minutes.

The legend continues every Monday 8/7c on CBS.