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How I Met Your Mother “Bass Player Wanted” Review (9×13)

16 Dec

670bec5d155b49cdc93f15464a249fd2How I Met Your Mother has had a shaky final season thus far, but the midseason finale, for the most part, is able to be emotionally resonant and funny all at once.

There are several reasons this episode works; one is the Mother. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Cristin Milioti imbues her character with such charm and relatability that it’s hard to take your eyes off her; she has this endearing quality that permeates the atmosphere of the show and lends itself to the themes of interconnectedness and community. This is very present tonight in her interactions with Marshall, and Segel and Milioti play the scenes beautifully; once again, we see shades of just how well the Mother fits into the narrative and the group of friends, and this time, I like how someone else is giving the advice. I never wanted to see her relegated to solely a wisdom-giver, and I’m glad we’re seeing more organic interactions here.

Speaking of interactions, how about the fact that everyone is back at Farhampton? One of the bad aspects of this season is the show’s insistence on keeping Marshall separated from the rest of the group, and oh man, am I glad to see them all back together again. It’s a very moving reunion scene–Marshall and Lily looking at each other is excellent–that brings various problems to the surface amidst all the love, and it’s a wonderful bookend to the half season.

Yet, if there’s one gripe I have, it’s about the way we arrive at that point. Although I like Rannells, his character is a mere plot device that contrives certain situations for our characters; I guess he’s mildly amusing, but I never warmed up to Darren.

Still, it all circles back around to the Mother, who seems to be the anti-Darren. The show does a nice job with the subtle parallels between her and Ted; for example, she hates confrontation, and it’s nice to see her talking about and revealing more about herself. In fact, many of our other characters do so as well; although the Lily-Robin story is fairly inconsequential, it does allow for some feelings to come bubbling to the surface. With Barney and Ted, the episode conveys how much Barney’s matured, but it also doesn’t skimp on Ted’s loyalty to his friend. All in all, the show is able to sell all these arcs without over-emphasizing them, and this is one of the better episodes of the season.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-I liked the Pause reference.

-The Mother’s band was Superfreakonomics. Nice.

-Now we know the back story behind the bandage on Ted’s hand at the Farhampton station.

-“Ass player wanted?”

-See you next year for the final 11.

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