Kids, sometimes you’ve just got to put a little belief in ‘Enigmas of the Mystical’.
Tailgate begins with Marshall visiting his dad’s gravesite one year after he died. He attempts to have a private day with his dad; drinking beer, eating hamburgers and watching a football game. His alone time doesn’t work out too well as his brothers and an array of mourners from a nearby funeral soon join him.
Marshall acts as storyteller in this episode as he recounts what happened to his friends on New Years Eve. First of all, he and Lily were decorating the nursery for their soon-to-be-born baby when Marshall finds out Lily’s yet to tell her father she’s pregnant. He’s outraged and tells her she has to call him. She does and the ever disappointing Mr. Aldrin merely responds with, “Great. Thanks”. Lily is deeply saddened by this and stumbles across a book titled Enigmas of the Mystical (cue awesome spooky 90s music). Turns out it’s Marshall’s favourite childhood book because his dad taught him to believe in everything, Lily’s devo because she realizes the only thing her Dad taught her was that she could only rely on herself.
Meanwhile, Ted & Barney attempt to get into their local pub McClarens only to be told there’s a huge line, it costs money and they have to wait on the street. They remember the good old days where they talked about opening a bar called ‘Puzzles’ and decide to make it happen, opening their apartment up to the people of New York. They recruit Kevin as the friendly barman, Doug the bouncer from McClarens to keep the crowd in order and come up with an amazing tune to describe what a wonderful place Puzzles is (think Cheers).
While watching her channel’s New Years Eve coverage with Sandy Rivers, Robin gets frustrated as Sandy gets drunker and more embarrassing as the broadcast goes on. Kevin talks to her about getting back on screen instead of producing and she’s keen on this idea. Robin receives a call from an inebriated Sandy who says he can’t go on with the broadcast because the producer of World Wide News that he’s been sleeping with has broken up with him. Robin rushes down to save the day and produces the broadcast but when they’re just about ready, Sandy Rivers disappears.
At Puzzles, things are starting to get out of control. Ted, Barney and Kevin decide they need to keep the crowd in order by raising the drink prices. As any of you will know, this is a party no-no and the crowd disappears, leaving the three to rue their bartending days. Kevin does a quick check of the house to make sure there are no stragglers only to find Sandy Rivers in the bathtub. Robin calls him distressed because she can’t find him and they’re about to go on air so good old Kevin lies and says he’s not seen him and that Robin will have to jump on air and take his place. Future Ted tells his kids that this is the turning point of Robin’s career.
Back in the present day, Marshall is still attempting to have a private moment with his dad but is surrounded by a crowd of funeral go-ers and his brothers. He’s cooking for everyone, sharing all of his beer and is unable to tell his stories without being interrupted. When one man opens a beer on his dad’s grave, Marshall almost rips out his Dead-To-Me look before remembering this is exactly how his dad used to roll. He would cook for strangers, share his drinks and tell stories to groups and Marshall decides private moments are kind of overrated.
Back in New York in the present day, Lily is pottering around the house being a bit of a misery guts because of her dodgy dad when she hears a knock at the door. There’s Dad with a giant teddy bear ready to be there for his daughter. When Lily asks him why he was apathetic on the phone he tells her that as soon as he heard the news he went a bit cray-cray at the Board Games Convention, drove all night from Chicago (sharing the driving with Big Ted) and is so happy to be there for her. Lily gets all teary (therefore so did I) and we have ourselves a happy ending.