Tuesday, December 17, 2013
How I Met Your Mother 9x13: Bass Player Wanted
Well, at least the show went into its winter break on a strong note, finally bringing Marshall into the fold at the Farhampton Inn and revealing Ted's upcoming secret Chicago move to Barney while featuring a big helping of the Mother and perhaps the season's best use of a guest star. Best of all, it avoided most of the pitfalls of the season's worst episodes: no schlockly pre-wedding hijinks and the characters acted like real people: for the most part, the Lily/Robin and Ted/Barney interactions were grounded and realistic, with the broadest bit being Ted stealing the scotch, but that happened mostly off camera and, as broad whacky hijinks go this season, was relatively mild. This wasn't the funniest episode or an all-time HIMYM classic or anything, but it at least avoided sending what has thus far been a wildly uneven season into the holiday break on a down note.
I'm not nearly as excited at Marshall delivering one of the two (?) remaining slaps as I imagine some people are, but hey, glad the show isn't forgetting about that, and it's certainly the closest thing the show has to a cliffhanger to drop on the end of an episode before a break (for what it's worth, I believe the title of the first episode back next year is "Slapsgiving 3").
That sure was a long five mile drive Marshall and the Mother were on, but at least their interaction was enjoyable to watch. Having them bond over their respective bands was a nice way to establish a foundation for their friendship, and I like that the Mother is already taken by Marvin.
I was also all ready to call shenanigans on the Mother having a van when we saw her riding the train with Lily, but that was quickly addressed, so I'll be quiet and remind myself to hold my objections until the very end of the episode.
For as shrill and unlikeable as Lily has been at times this season, the moment when she and Marshall finally reunite and call pause on their fight was a great reminder of just how well-drawn their relationship is, and that the writers are still capable of writing these characters well when the plot doesn't demand otherwise.
I can certainly buy that Ted and the Mother could spend most of this weekend at the Farhampton Inn circling and missing one another (heck, they've apparently been doing that in New York for the last nine years or so), and I liked the idea of Ted inadvertently helping her out even before he meets her, but I'm still wondering how Ted will be able to avoid at least seeing her in the band during the reception - which makes me worry that we're heading toward some kind of contrivance (probably involving his feelings for Robin) that will keep Ted away from the reception.
So the Mother has now met Lily, Barney and Marshall, leaving just Robin and Ted, though I would still like to see some reaction from Barney when he realizes the lead singer of his wedding band is the woman who helped him realize he wanted to be with Robin.
A couple of nice little details in this episode: the Mother's band, Super Freakonomics, formed in business school (she was in the economics class Ted accidentally taught his first day as a college professor), and, like Ted is wont to do, she was wearing driving gloves.