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"Bass Player Wanted"/S9E13

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 3:20 PM

By Dhruv Rao

The beauty of friendship can never be taken lightly. It serves as the central theme of movies, TV shows, literary works and also some very important conversations that you might have (had) in your life. When it comes to friendship, nothing changes although your circumstances may completely change. HIMYM has been one of the shows, like Friends, which has centered its main ideas around a group of friends whose lives are a delicate balance. We've seen the gang go through a lot in the past eight years that they are somewhat their own "Doppelgangers". We've been through Ted and Barney ending then renewing their friendship, Lily giving each of the gang members her thoughtful advice, and Barney agitating everyone with his antics. However, look at the same people now: Marshall and Lily are parents, Ted's moving to Chicago and Barney landed Robin.


A mid-season finale is the final chance to improve the look on the first half of the season. HIMYM has always pulled off this trick, especially with last year's holiday episode explaining why the previous bunch of mediocre season eight flicks seemed like fillers to us. The ruse played by HIMYM last year didn't just stop there: "Platonish" from this season gave us a closer look on those times. The entire season nine layout has been amazing to watch, but there have been some problems. The first is that the viewers (us) forget that this is only taking place over 3 days, so Marshall's day-long road trip will last almost half a season. Another, which goes back to impatience, is the audience's agitation at the lack of Mother activity. However, whenever she did appear, that episode did seem to have its own set of sparks which made the show more attractive. 

This week, it's because of the Mother that both of these issues have been resolved. She picks Marshall up to get him to the Farhampton Inn, and then herself makes one of the best appearances she has ever made. The story spiralled down a bit too quickly, but the main plot was very well connected to this B-plot. The A-plot was about the devil, aka the wedding band's lead singer Darren. He intentionally stirs up the cast in the half hour and eventually pays for it. He's the reason the mother wants to leave Farhampton. He gets Robin to admit that she wants to be selfish: she doesn't want to lose her best friend. It just reminds us of all the times Lily and Robin have had those deep convos during which Lily would give Robin a sisterly hand which she never received. But then, the writers quickly introduced one of the delicate topics this season was supposed to deal with. Darren got Ted to reveal his Chicago plans. Then, the episode starts its emotional run. Barney complains as he thinks that Ted didn't consider him worthy of the news. However, Ted steals a bottle of scotch for Barney, which makes everything right in the world. 

Barney's immediate comprehension of Ted's situation extends the emotions the plot needed. Darren sets a fire, but the strong bonds between the characters seem to put it out. The friends love each other fondly and rejoice the return of Marshall. They open a stolen bottle of scotch, then Darren breaks it, which leads to Ted punching him in the face. The episode has a smart resolution, when the Mother unknowingly buys The Best Man a drink. The writers get ted on the Mother's soft side and the episode ends on a sweet note. In my opinion, the plot wasn't the best the writers could deliver. It lacked the punch and crisp that Carter Bays and Craig Thomas  generally deliver. Also, the energy Andrew Rannells delivered seemed to crowd out that of the rest of the cast. Their "noise" throughout the episode while amusing seemed to aggitate the harmony at the inn. Another problem which alters the way the episode is received, is the ridiculous scheduling CBS has made HIMYM go through. If this episode were to air without any gaps before and after it, the running of the show would be smoother. The long gap between the slap delivernace and this episode ruins it for the viewers, not to mention that "The Rehearsal Dinner" shouldn't have had a week off after it...

Grade: B

Stray Observations:

- Marshall vs. All Machines is back again. That's why Jason Segel was in the recording studio earlier this week.

- The Mother steals the band's van because lily told her too. "Aldrin Justice, baby!" 

- Lily's dream of a platonic relationship with Robin is always something to watch...even if she says something telepathically

- Darren uses the plotlines of The Lion King and Bambi to get people to feel sympathy for him.

- Barney (in anger): "YOU'RE MOVING TO CHICAGO! After ten years of being best friends..." Ted: "Well, actually, Marshall is..." Barney: "Don't even think about it!" (I love Barney's angry faces...)

- Ted: "I swear to Hef!" Barney: "Don't take that name in vain!"

- The Mother is wearing driving gloves. These little details which the show takes care of is what makes me love it even more...

Categories: How I Met Your Mother

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