It’s already starting to feel like the end. But before we get there, before we say goodbye to the gang, let’s break down the latest episode into great detail.
So Marshall finally arrived at the wedding. Thank goodness! It’s been way too long since we’ve seen him interact with the entire gang—and even though we only saw a small scene of interaction last night, it’s safe to say it was brilliant. After a somewhat dull season of useless storylines, dragging plots and boring Farhampton scenes, Bass Player Wanted felt like the episode that breathed fresh air into the show. It was the final episode of 2013, but one that is definitely worth remembering for a while.
For one thing, we saw the Mother again! And a whole lot of her too. Milotti is absolutely adorable and her interactions with Marshall were freaking hilarious. When I first saw her park the van in front of Marshall and Marvin the Hitchhikers, I was a little skeptical about how this storyline was going to pan out. Yes, for one thing, this was big because that’s how Marshall met the Mother but I had a feeling it was going to be another boring drive home that’s going to take about 10 other episodes. Fortunately though, the writers knocked it out of the park tonight and gave us exactly what we wanted: Marshall and the Mother arriving at the Farhampton Inn.
Which brings us to Marshall and Lily. Lily is still furious about her husband’s sudden decision to become a judge and not go with her to Italy for a year, so Robin helps her take it out on MarshPillow. Lily beats the crap out of that disgusting, huge thing just as Marshall (yes, the real Marshall) walks in. There’s something quite beautiful about that long pause the two characters (plus Marvin) take as they stare at each other. And I love when they call it a Pause, which was a great callback from early season one where Lily and Marshall paused their fights and pretended that nothing was wrong. Kudos to the writers for bringing that up again.
One thing I didn’t quite enjoy about this episode was Darren the Devil whose role seemed tedious and meaningless at first only to serve quite the essential purpose later on. I get that he was only used to move some storylines along—including the Ted-moving-to-Chicago story arc. What originally started as a funny scene turned into a well-written emotional saga of Barney realizing he was losing his best friend forever. Side-note: I also loved the callback to Barney saying that he (and not Marshall) is Ted’s best friend.
The two-minute scene between Ted and Barney where they talk about when and why Ted was moving is stunningly beautiful and emotional in every way possible. This is something we haven’t seen How I Met Your Mother do in quite some time now: integrate the funny with the emotional aspect while using flashbacks to tell a beautifully crafted story (Ted climbing down that window into the storage room to steal yet another $600 Glen McKenna is hilarious!) And Barney stating that they’ll still see each other—him, Ted and Robin—only to pause after that because he realizes that that’s why Ted needs to move to Chicago… it makes you realize that these characters are no longer one-dimensional like they’ve been drawn for the past 10+ episodes.
And then finally the great part: that ending! Goosebumps, anyone? The Mother bought Ted his first drink ever. Yeah, sure, he doesn’t know it yet but it was still pretty amazing.
So that’s how How I Met Your Mother ended 2013: Marshall coming back, more of Mother, moving storylines forward and the Mother saying “Thank you Linus”. For me, it was a consistently good episode with so many callbacks to earlier seasons (Marshall’s obsession with BigFoot, the devil eyes, the gang talking to each other telepathically, MarshPillow…) with a strong yet funny premise.
Slaps & Bits
– The return of the slap! Marshall gets ready to slap Barney in the closing moments of the episode, leaving fans anxiously waiting until 2014 for the next episode.
– Did anyone else notice that the Mother was wearing driving gloves? Amazing!
– The Mother’s laugh was adorable. I think I may have a crush on Milotti.
– Who pulls off the “Thank you Linus” bit better: Milotti or Hannigan? I personally think everything that comes out of Lily is comic genius.
– The next episode, titled Unpause, won’t air until January 13. After that, there’s Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmara before the 200th episode How Your Mother Met Me. Some pretty good-titled episodes coming up.
A brilliant episode with heartwarming and funny moments, ending 2013 with a bang (errr, slap).