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Category: HIMYM (page 1 of 5)

HIMYM 9.22: The End of the Aisle

How I Met Your Mother episode recaps season 9I can’t believe it has taken me a week to watch last week’s episode. Barney and Robin finally make it to the end of the aisle, and for that we are thankful. The episode is well crafted, as well as one of the classic episodes. Before we get to the end of the aisle, Barney is freaking out. Remember how season 9 started? It was with this moment. Barney is freaking out over his choice of tie and Robin is ready to run out of the church.

Robin kinda had hoped that Barney would have found her missing locket. The locket becomes a symbol of true love for Robin. Ted has it in his pocket, but he gives it to Barney and tells him he needs to give it to Robin and that Barney found it. Robin knows that Barney didn’t really find it. She knows it was Ted. When Ted comes back to her room, she asks him about it. “You always go big for me,” she says to Ted.

Robin is already questioning if marrying Barney is the right thing. Has he really changed? And now with Ted going all Indiana Jones and finding the locket, she is wondering if she should be with Ted.

Robin: Maybe I should be marrying you.

These are words that Ted has been longing to hear for the longest time! And in this moment, things could go in one of two ways. Ted could run away with her to Chicago, or he could be the better man, and affirm Robin’s relationship with Barney. He does the latter.

Ted: I’m not that guy.

entertainment weekly

entertainment weekly

In the meantime, Barney is still working on his vows. Lily and Barney try to help me. But Barney reveals to them that they haven’t kept their wedding vows. Story after story, Marshall and Lily come to terms that the vows they made to each other on that faithful day, were no longer true.

Marshall takes Lily into the sanctuary. “We are different people than we were in 2007,” he says to Lily, “maybe we need to update our vows.” And that is what they do. In the church, with the cross at the center of the frame, they update their promises to each other.

Marshall: One set of vows cannot cover a lifetime of growing and changing with you.

Barney is in the back of the church, watching. He quietly walks out of the sanctuary. In the meantime, Robin has locked Ted in her room, and runs through the church. She trips and lands into the Mother. Robin admits to the Mother that she is having second thoughts. The Mother, proving yet again to a wisdom guide, tells Robin to take some deep breaths.

The Mother: Sometimes three deep breaths can change everything.

Robin turns around, and there is Barney. “I’ve decided to only make one vow to you,” Barney says, clearly influenced by what he witnessed in the sanctuary. “From this day forward,” he tells Robin, “I will only be honest with you, because I love you.” And oh, by the way, Ted found the locket. Robin, knowing that he is telling the truth, kisses Barney. Ted stumbles in, sees them kissing, and quietly walks away.

This leads us to one minute before the wedding – finally! Barney starts to freak out about his tie again, Marshall slaps him, the last slap. A bear comes down the aisle as the ring bearer. But we get to the end of the aisle. And that is what is important here. Barney and Robin are going to make the commitment to one another out of love.

Photo: Richard Cartwright/CBS

Photo: Richard Cartwright/CBS

While in the room with Robin, Ted tells her, “Love doesn’t make sense.” What struck me about this was during this scene, as in scenes with Barney in his room, the scenes are shot to include a portrait of Jesus – Jesus as the Good Shepherd; Jesus praying in the Garden; Jesus and the Last Supper. I know that the wedding is happening in a church, but they did not have include so much Jesus. But they did. And talk about a love that doesn’t make sense!

Jesus faced so much criticism because he not only expressed love, but was love in action, to so many people who society said did not deserve that love. The blind man. The bleeding woman. The little children. The woman at the well. And the list can go on and on. This love does not make sense. And yet, that is the same love that is extended to us as well. A love that does not make sense.

As the episode comes to a close, future Ted in his voice over narration says some pretty profound things about the weekend, but also about marriage and relationships. Here are a few of them.

It was a long weekend – more ups and downs – long twisty road that lead to the end of the aisle – not everything was perfect – none of us can vow to be perfect – in the end we only promise to love each other with everything we got. Because love is the best thing we do.

The best thing we do is love. But, marriage is hard work. No matter how long you have been married, marriage is hard work. And sometimes the promises we make to one another need to change, because life changes. Perhaps that is why Barney and Robin had cold feet and freaked out a little bit. Marshall and Lily had a huge fight in this season, showing us that marriage is hard work. The bold move that Marshall and Lily make in informally making new vows to each other is a perfect example of instead of rekindling what was in the relationship, kindling the future they will have together.

Love doesn’t make sense, but love is what we do best.

“And it was legendary.”

HIMYM 9.21: Gary Blauman

This week’s episode brings us closer to the end of the series. And we are reminded of the overarching theme this show: friendship.

A quote by Amanda McRae has been floating around Facebook recently about friendship:

from Facebook

from Facebook

The quote is a good summary of HIMYM but also of this episode, embodied by Gary Blauman. Gary is that guy who shows up every now and then, but has significant impact on the group. We last saw him in season 5 being played by Taran Killam (SNL), the real-life husband of Cobie Smulders (Robin).

Gary stopped Lily, after a break up with Marshall, from getting a tattoo of Sugar Ray. He was the guy Ted thought he was in combination with in flirting with a woman at a party. Gary was the guy who didn’t order anything at MacLaren’s, but stole fries – including the coveted accidental curly – from Barney. And last, but not least, he was the guy James had an affair with resulting in the break up with his husband.

Gary shows up at the Inn for Robin and Barney’s wedding, but there was no RSVP from Gary. Which means there is no seat for him! Marshall, the self-proclaimed seating chart expert takes on the task.

Meanwhile, the Wednesday after the wedding, we see Ted and the Mother on the first date. It is a pretty typical Ted Mosby date, complete with epic story telling. Until, the Mother spots her ex-boyfriend, the you know the way that proposed to her and she turned down? What happens is the “I’m not ready for a relationship yet” conversation. Ted, sursipely does not give up, and even though they get to the Mother’s apartment, they end up still walking around telling stories.

The heart of the episode is about three minutes, and it reminds us how good this show really is. And we almost forgive the shaky beginning of this season. In these three minutes we see the endings for some of the most memorable guest characters. Ranjit gets wealthily  after winning big in the stocks. Carl’s sons work with him at MacLaren’s. Patrice gets her own radio show. Scooter marries Stripper Lily. Jeanette get arrested and meets Kevin in court-appointed therapy. Blah Blah’s name is Carol. And James and his husband, Tom, get back together.

These were all characters who, though they didn’t become permeant fixtures to the gang, they kept track of them. They are considered a part of the circle of friends. Future Ted says, “You will be shocked, kids, how easy it is in life to part ways with people forever. That’s why when you find someone you want to keep around, you do something about it.”

And those are our real friends.

HIMYM 9.20: Daisy

How I Met Your Mother episode recaps season 9We finally find out where Lily went when she left the Inn. She and Marshall had just had a huge fight after he accepted a judgeship without talking to her. She stormed off, called someone, got in a car, and left.

Who did she call?

The Captain. Yep, the captain. She made a stop along the way at a convince store. Ted, while the guys are at the Captain’s place in the Farhampton, thinks he has figured it out. Ted unravels recent events that led to Lily’s disappearance, including gum chewing Lily, the anxious car ride with Ted, and the daisy pot in the Captain’s bathroom, with the conclusion being that Lily is smoking again. (Remember season 5’s “Last Cigarette Ever”?) But, that’s not the case.

Far from it.

Lily left the Inn for the Captain’s to take a pregnancy test. And there, buried in the dirt of the daisy pot is the little blue plus sign. Right away, without missing a beat, Marshall tells Lily that they have to move to Italy so Lily can live her dream, because he is living his again!

A year later, we see them in Italy debating in Italian about the eating of Funyuns. Lily’s dad is there. Marvin is there. And so is baby Daisy.

Other Stuff:

  • Linus is still putting drinks in Lily’s hands, but they are non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Tracey Ullman as Robin’s mom = why didn’t we have this sooner!
  • Robin gets scared that she’s marrying her father while listening to her mom.
  • Lily finally gets to tell the gang that she can indeed keep a secret.

HIMYM 9.19: Vesuvius

How I Met Your Mother episode recaps season 9It’s 2024 and Ted and the Mother are at the Farhampton Inn for a romanic weekend. They are both trying to come up with stories that the other one has not heard. Finally Ted tells the story about how Robin broke the lamp.

Its Robin and Barney’s wedding day. Robin is playing hockey with her sister in her room, which is how the lamp breaks. Lily made a scrapbook, but Robin would rather watch a really bad romantic comedy based on Ted’s relationship with Stella: Wedding Bride Too.

Ted is helping Barney pick out a suit from a two rooms full of suits. Lily and Robin get in a fight because Lily thinks Robin should be more concerned about getting ready for her day than about what happens in the movie. Lily brought her wedding dress so that she and Marshall can retake their wedding photos using Robin’s photographer, since Marshall took a razor to his head.

Ted convinces Barney to wear the suit that Tim Gunn made him. “It feels weird,” Barney says. Ted explains to him that its new and it holds no memories yet. All of its memories are ahead of it.

Lily finally drops the bomb with why this day is so important. They don’t know when they will all be together again. Sometimes it is best to leave the awkwardness unspoken and spend time with each other.

As Robin goes to get more ice, her mom shows up. The Mother says, “Of course she shows up, a mother wouldn’t miss her daughter’s wedding.” Ted cries when she says this. What does this mean? What secret does it hold?

What is clear is that the writers are setting up for the last few episodes. As is their nature, HIMYM will have a life lesson attaches to it. And as we float from present to future and back again, it will unravel.

HIMYM 9.18: Rally

How I Met Your Mother episode recaps season 9It has been three weeks since we’ve had a new HIMYM episode. Barney got wasted, and on his wedding day has a huge hang over. He can’t open his eyes and is non-responsive. The gang tries various different things to help Barney. They have family photos in two hours to get Barney too.

Throughout the episode, each friend makes a vow never to get as drunk as Barney is, but then in flash forward scenes, we see that each of them breaks that vow. Marshall, in 2020, gets Barney-like-drunk when he assumes that he has lost the New York State Supreme Court election. But, he does win, and has to make a statement drunk, where he talks about protecting Gothem City and using the Bat Signal more often. Robin gets drunk in Buenos Aires in 2016. She and Barney are jared awake by the crying of a baby. Robin picks her up, and then the baby’s mother comes into the room yelling at Robin and Barney that their room is across the hall. Lily gets this drunk after they drop Marvin off at Wesleyan in 2030. After giving him the “No under age drinking,” speech, they bump into each other at the local bar.

Ted does not make that vow.

The gang is trying to figure out what the secret ingredient is to Stinson’s Fixer Hangover Elixir. It is a drink that all of them have been given by Barney when they were at their worst. They learn that the whole thing was a lie that Barney created to give his friends strength during their worst hangovers. The worst being that they were hungover after the worst thing could have happened in their lives. Marshall didn’t bass the bar and Ted was left at the alter. “He lied,” Robin observes, “so we’d be okay.”

And so the gang returns the favor. They lie to Barney that they pulled off Weekend at Barney’s. They didn’t of course, they told Robin’s dad that they couldn’t do the family photos, and while Barney thinks that his future father-in-law is okay with him, in truth, he is pissed.

The best part of this episode was having the five actors play off each other like old comedic vets. This is each of them at their best! And this is what we will miss the most when the show bows off the air. It also reenforces what the show is about, friendship above all else. It was an epiphany moment for the gang to realize that Barney lied to them about a hangover fix to help them through their worst life-moments. And it did it because he loved them. And so did they.

Worth Mentioning:

  • The episode begins and ends with scenes of the Mother before and after an epic New Year’s Eve party.
  • Marshall’s future hair is lacking.
  • Ted grew up thinking that he was allergic to bacon. He eats bacon for the first, and last, time. It is heaven!

HIMYM 9.17: Sunrise

How I Met Your Mother episode recaps season 9After last week’s 200th episode which was pure gold, this week confirms that we may be over the hum of good-not so good-good-not so good pattern of episodes. “Sunrise” was more HIMYM gold.

Ted recalls that his best friend as a child was a red balloon. The balloon was his friend until the day his mom set out the hot dogs. The flashback shows a child-Ted dressed like a cowboy (and the balloon, too). When the hot dogs are set out, Ted let’s go of the balloon and it floats away.

That little flashback is the theme of this episode. And the lesson to us all.

Barney, in a drunken stupor,wonders out of the Inn. Along the road outside the Inn, Barney meets two young men, Justin and Kyle. They are lamenting how they were not able to talk to any of the girls at a party. Barney takes them under his wing and teaches them all that he knows, including a trip to see Tim Gunn to get a wardrobe make over. At the end of the night, the two men pass, and Barney hands them a stack of napkins. The top napkin reads, “The Playbook.” Barney, in the early morning hours of the day he will marry Robin, let’s go of his former ways.

Marshall calls the front desk to ask for a repair on the AC. The front desk guy says that since his room is the room of a ghost, no repair person will come up there. The only ghosts in the room was Ghost Lily 2014, Ghost Lily 2006, and Ghost Marshall’s Dad.  Marshall and the ghosts discuss the fight that Marshall and Lily had. Ghost Marshall’s Dad tells him, “Because she hurt you, you get to hurt her. It doesn’t work that way in a marriage.” Marshall comes to realize that winning and losing a fight isn’t important, because even if he wins the fight, he runs the risk of losing Lily. Lily shows back up at the end of the episode (we still don’t know who picked her up), telling Marshall they will stay in New York. Marshall apologizes and says to her, “I missed you so much!” Lily and Marshall let go of their fight.

The bulk of the plot centers around Ted and Robin. They go out looking for Barney. As they are walking along the shore, Robin shares with Ted that the gang had a running list of Ted’s best and worse girlfriends. The best was Victoria and the worst was Jeanette. The side story is that Ted has recently been in touch with Stella, Victoria, and Jeanette because Ted was in search for Robin’s locket. He flew to LA to look through Stella’s storage locker, only to find out that Victoria was wearing it. She overnighted it to Ted from Germany. But Jeanette, the creepy-stalker girlfriend, was checking Ted’s mail and took it. They arrange to meet in Central Park, only for Jeanette to throw it into the lake.

This combined with the truth bombs that Robin and Ted shared with one another. Robin didn’t understand why Ted and Victoria broke up. Ted relieves that it was because of Robin. Ted still had feelings for Robin. Ted also dropped that he was planning to move to Chicago after the wedding.


Robin and Ted sit and watch the sun rise as “Eternal Flame” sings in the background. As they stand to leave, they shake hands, and when Ted let’s go of Robin’s hands, she floats away, like the red balloon. Ted has officially let Robin go.

This is huge, mostly because now Ted is emotionally available to meet the Mother. Robin is to Ted what Max is to the Mother. They both have someone in their lives who met so much to them, and they have been places where it hard to imagine their lives without that person. The Mother has let go and is ready to move on. Ted has let go and is ready to move on.

As the sun rose, Robin says, “new day.” Indeed, it is a new day. We can only assume that lives are going to change on this day.

HIMYM 9.16: How Your Mother Met Me

How I Met Your Mother episode recaps season 9We still  have not witnessed the meeting of Ted and the Mother, but we are getting a lot closer. This 200th episode of HIMYM is by far one of the best and most elegant episodes in years! The writers truly delivered on this one, though I would not want to be them, having to follow this episode.

“How Your Mother Met Me,” is told completely from the Mother’s perspective (complete with her own opening credits), starting in the fall of 2005. Along the way, we see how her life and the lives of the HIMYM gang overlapped. Which when you think about it, it is a lot of stuff to cover in a thirty-minute episode. But it was done well and with grace.

We learn that the Mother (whom we are still calling the Mother) turned 21 in September of 2005. Her red-headed roommate/BFF went to the wrong MacLaren’s to celebrate. “I went to the one on the west side,” she tells the Mother on the phone. As the group is celebrating the Mother’s birthday, they wonder where her love – Max – is. The phone finally rings, and the Mother thinks that it is Max. Only it is the worse news she could possibly receive.

Max died.

Flash forward to 2008, and we find her BFF trying to convince her that its time to date again. The Mother is reluctant to date again, which we can all understand. Some of us may wonder, “How did she end up with Ted?” Others of us may be thinking, “This is what makes her perfect for Ted.”

They go out and she meets up with an old music teacher. She decides to leave the club to give the music teacher her old cello that she doesn’t play anymore. She comes out with the cello, and music teacher is not naked music teacher. “Even the nice guys turn into creeps,” she says. (Who does that sound like?)

She leaves her yellow umbrella at the club. Ted, who is there with Barney, picks it up to use on his way out.

As awkward as it was, the naked music teacher ask the Mother, “What is it you want to do with your life.” Her answer: “End poverty.” He basically tells her that every decision she makes from that moment on should be in regards to ending poverty. Which is how she ends up in an economics class. That on the first day, Ted walks in to teach. Only to realize that he is in the wrong classroom.

Turns out, she thinks she’s in the wrong classroom before he does. She packs up all her stuff and runs out of the room. She realizes, as Ted runs past her, that she was in the right place and he wasn’t. Ted will eventually go out with the Mother’s roommate, who was sitting next to her in the economics class that Ted tried to teach. Ted comes over to their apartment, and loves everything of the Mother’s. It is clear to the roommate that he’s not that into her. They break up. Ted leaves the yellow umbrella he brought with him at the apartment.

Roommate: He’s got a thing for you.

The Mother: What!?!?

The roommate leans in and kisses the Mother and says, “I might have some stuff to figure out.” This is the same roommate that Ted bumps into on the subway with her girlfriend. Ted asks her about her old roommate’s band, because he needs band for a wedding at the Farhampton Inn.

Flash forward again to 2012, when the Mother is at MacLarn’s on the west side and meets Lewis. The last time Lewis was at the bar it was called Puzzles. The Mother likes Lewis, but still is not ready to date. As she leaves the bar, Ted walks in wearing a green dress. “Now we’re even!” he tells Barney.

The Mother eventually decides to date Lewis. She stays at his beach house when she goes to Farhampton to play for the wedding. The day before the wedding, she sees the ad “Bass Player Wanted.” She calls Lily up and meets for advice. Lily tells her to steal his van. The Mother does, and as she is driving off sees Marshall and Marvin walking along the road. She stops and picks him up.

Flash forward a little bit more and we hear the Mother ask the bartender to buy the best man (Ted) a drink after he punches Darren. When the Mother goes back to the beach house, Lewis is there, on his knees. He proposes to her, and she quickly runs outside. She looks up to the heavens and has a conversation with Max.

I’ve been holding myself back from living again. Because I can’t let you go. Would it be okay to let you go?

As a strong wind blows through, the Mother takes that as a yes. She walks back into the house and gives her answer to Lewis, “My answer is no.”  She packs her bags and leaves and heads for the Farhampton Inn.

The desk clerk hears her story and tells her that he has the perfect room. “Room #6 is for you.” The Mother goes outside on the balcony with her ukulele and plays and sings “La Vie En Rose,” which you can download on iTunes.

While she is singing, we see Marshall on his bed crying after he and Lily unpaused their fight. We see Lily being driven away (which means I was wrong, she didn’t call the Mother.) We see Barney lying on a cot in Ted’s room drinking. And then we see Ted, on the balcony of his room listening to the Mother sing next door.

How Your Mother Met Me


Ted walks back inside and Barney is gone! A total set up for next week’s episode.

If there were any doubts about Cristin Milioti as the Mother, there are erased. In fact there is talk in the blogosphere world about her getting a guest Emmy, which she deserved by this episode alone. A perfect 200th episode for the series.

We know that Ted and the Mother get together. Ted has spent 10 years falling in and out of love, much to our dismay. In the meantime, the Mother found her true love in Max and spent 10 years grieving the unexpected and tragic lost of that love. The Mother had entered into the final stage of grief, acceptance. She has accepted that she has lost Max. And with that acceptance comes the possibility to move on. Yet, the Mother possesses a world’s worth of wisdom. She has accepted that she needs to move on with her life after Max, but not just with anyone. If she is going to move on, it must be with the right man.

HIMYM 9.15: Unpause

How I Met Your Mother episode recaps season 9In episode 18 of season 1, Ted tells us that “nothing good happens after 2 a.m.” So when we see that it is the after 2 a.m. the day before the wedding, we know this cannot be good. There are three basic story lines in this episode. One is Barney gets drunk and the other is Marshall and Lily unpause their fight. The third takes place in 2017, when Ted and the Mother are at the Farhampton Inn, pregnant and about to give birth to Luke.

Marshall and Lily had called “pause” on the fight they knew was coming when Marshall finally arrived at the Inn. Marshall does everything he can think of to hold off the fight. But the fight finally happens. Lily tells Marshall that taking the judgeship job without telling her was the more selfish than anything she has never done. Marshall replies back, “You broke up with me and moved to San Fransico.” That was seven years ago. Has Marshall been hanging on to some unresolved feelings for seven years?

I could theorize as to what Marshall means or what Lily means. But, remember it’s after 2 a.m. and nothing good happens after 2 a.m. Lily can’t believe that Marshall has brought up this event from seven years ago up. Lily leaves the room, makes a phone call to ask someone to come get her. “It’s after 2 a.m.,” she says, “I have to get out of here.”

Who did Lily call? We don’t know. The car pulls away without ever seeing inside. I think its the Mother, whom Lily had met on the train up to Farhampton, and who is staying at the Inn.

Meanwhile, in the bar. Barney has entered the Jabba phase of drunkenness. In this phase he starts talking like Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. As Ted and Robin prepare to put Barney to bed, he enters a whole new phase. The truth serum/trance stage. Barney cannot lie. Ted and Robin use this chance to ask him anything and everything they have ever wanted to know.

Robin wants to know that the ring bearer is not a bear. And Barney confirms that it is a ring-bearER. It will be the son of a woman he works with. Ted wants to know what Barney does. Everyone has asked and they ever get a straight answer as to what Barney does. Barney’s answer: Please. Turns out, his job is to Provide Legal Exculpation And Sign Everything. Ted and Robin can’t believe it, he could get arrested for the shadiness of it. Barney reveals his master plan. He is working with the FBI, and a few months after the wedding, they will arrest his boss.

When Barney slips back into Jabba mode, they get him to bed.

Flash forward to 2017, after 2 a.m., Ted and the Mother are rushing out of the Farhampton Inn because Luke is about to be born. This is the exception to the 2 a.m. rule.

HIMYM 9.14: Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra

Ponderings - HIMYM Recap - SlapIt’s Sunday 1AM – 17 hours to go before the wedding. Marshall is in mid-slap about to deliver what has been promised as the slaps of all slaps to Barney.

Recall that there is this slap bet that has been a common thread throughout a good chunk of the series. This slap, before we can see it, has a back story. Marshall tells a very elaborate story with the pure intention of imitating Barney.The story involves Marshall going to Shanghai to learn from the masters of slapping. Each of the three masters are Red Bird (Robin), White Flower (Lily), and The Calligrapher (Ted). And despite Barney’s efforts to expose all the loose ends, Marshall, and the rest of the gang, reassure Barney that it really did happen.

The writing is okay. It feels gimmicky at best. The comedy is slapstick and maybe they did that on purpose. I don’t know about other HIMYM viewers, but I think we are looking for more than this. We know Marshall is going to slap Barney, that’s the whole point of the episode. But doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the slap. It’s suppose to be unexpected?

Instead we got this Slap Countdown Clock.

The mystery of the slap was taken from us. But, there is still one more slap left.

The one redeeming factor was that we got more Marshall. Jason Segal is always on top of his game and is able to carry the episode, despite its flaws.

The whole Boyz II Men thing was, well, yeah. Their slap themed song provided background for a montage of the other slaps Marshall delivered to Barney throughout the years.

I’ve said it before, this season has been a roller coaster of good and bad episodes. The last few were really good, but it seems we’re going back down.

HIMYM 9.13: Bass Player Wanted

How I Met Your Mother episode recaps season 9There is no denying it, season 9 has been a roller coaster. It has had some okay moments and even more not so okay moments. This is an ensemble comedy, but it has not had its whole ensemble. The lack of Marshall being present with the group has really put a dent in the comedy. Not only that, now that The Mother has been introduced, there is a hole in the ensemble where she belongs.

Cristin Milioti is so good as The Mother. Bass Player Wanted gave us hope that with her the show will get to the place where so many of us remember it being. We had more Robin and Lily in this episode as well, which was also good. But Lily without Marshall,honesty, was starting to get on my nerves. Glad that Marshall finally made it to the wedding.

Marshall is walking, wearing Marvin, pulling a suitcase or two, and is getting tired. A van pulls up, being driven by The Mother, and offers to give him a ride. She totally freaks Marshall out by knowing things about him and Lily, causing Marshall to hide in the back seat before The Mother reveals that she met Lily on the train.

Marshall is now the third member of this friendship group that has met the Mother, after Lily and Barney. In both Barney and Lily’s encounters with her, The Mother was a gentle breeze of fresh air, offering wisdom and advice. She does the same here with Marshall, but Marshall does it for her too. For she has found herself in a stolen van dilemina.

She tells Marshall about the band that she started and now is quitting. Marshall, who would be in a band if he could, doesn’t understand. Darren, played by Andrew Rannells, came in and took over. She describes how he meets people and then causes them to fight.

We know Darren by this point, because we have already seen him to do this to Lily and Robin. While Lily is getting drinks from the bar, he gleans information from Robin. When Lily gets back, he drops that Robin hopes that Marshall wins the soon-to-be fight. Darren quickly leaves the table.

HIMYM 9.13 recap

Darren will do the same to Barney and Ted, gleaning from Ted that his is moving to Chicago and dropping that bit of information in front of Barney. This causes Barney and Ted to get into a fight. “It’ll be easy to say goodbye knowing how much I mean to you,” Barney says to Ted, and then quickly walks out of the room.

Marshall gives The Mother (I’m hoping in 2014 we will learn her name) a pep talk that encourages her to take her band back. But once inside the Inn, she loses her courage. She practices with Linus, the bartender, but does not do so well.

In the meantime, Ted has stolen a $600 bottle of scotch for Barney. “You could go to jail for this,” Barney says. (Note that in earlier seasons, Barney would have encouraged this behavior.) Ted replies, “That’s the dream.” Ted is saying he would go to jail for his best friend, affirming that he values Barney’s friendship.

The episode ends with the gang together, drinking the scotch. As Ted is pouring, however, Darren bumps into him, and the bottle breaks – again. (If you’re counting, this is the third $600 bottle of scotch that has broken). Without hestitation, Ted punches Darren. Darren goes to the bar to ask for ice, The Mother inquires what happened to him, and he tells her the Best Man punched him. “I don’t need this,” he says, and quits the band. The Mother asks Linus to give that Best Man the best scotch he has.

Ted and The Mother are so close . . .  yet so far away. And now we have to wait for the winter break to be over to find out how they meet.

I feel that Bass Player Wanted is THE episode that has been able to keep up with the changes in character development AND be like the HIMYM we learned to like so much. A lot of that has to do with the ensemble being back together, for this is very much an ensemble comedy. If Jason Segal did not renew his contract, there would be no HIMYM without Marshall.

The episode is also what the whole series has been about – aside from Ted telling a really long story about meeting his wife – friendship. Darren represents the anti-friend – what friendship is not. He maneuvers his way into a relationship, opens up to them (with emotional lies taken straight from Disney films), and then creates drama destroying friendship. But what Ted, Barney, Robin, Lily, and Marshall have is true friendship. They would even go to jail for each other. Ted’s punch represents the putting to an end of fake friendship and affirming real friendship. The friendship they have developed over the last nine seasons.

Worth Mentioning:

  • On his walk to the Inn, Marshall sees Big Foot smoking.
  • Marshall has a gift for Barney – the final slap, which started with “Slap Bet.”
  • The Mother learns that Darren is booting her out of the band when she finds an ad for a bass player online.
  • The metaphorical cat is out of the bag. Barney now knows that Ted is planning to move to Chicago Monday after the wedding.
  • Marshall and Lily agree to “pause” their fight.
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