I’m not ready to say goodbye. Well, yes I am. But also not. Actually, it’s ok. Not really. Ugh. Welcome to my brain for the last six weeks.
Here’s the problem: When How I Met Your Mother is good, it’s really, really good. And when encountered with one of those Really, Really Good episodes, my heart swells five sizes, I smile like I just found five accidental curlies in a basket of straight-cut french fries…and I also become very upset that How I Met Your Mother is almost over. Tonight’s episode — “Gary Blauman” — was one of those really, really good episodes of which I speak.
What made the episode — about a polarizing wedding guest Gary Blauman — particularly special was that it was told both as a story from Ted to the kids and from Ted to the Mother, who was hearing the tale three days after the wedding while she and Ted were on their first date.
Blauman, as you’ll recall, is a name we’ve heard before. He used to work at GNB with Barney and Marshall, and in this episode, Robin is surprised by his appearance at her wedding because she never received his reply card. In other words, HE HAS NO WHERE TO SIT! Marshall is the first to tackle the seating chart disaster, but soon discovers that Gary is anything but a welcomed guest. In fact, several people HATED Gary Blauman.
Ted was among them. As Ted recounted, Gary once Teddy Roosevelt-blocked him while Ted was trying to pick up a girl at a party using facts from the president’s biography. And Barney hated Gary because he once stole four of Barney’s french fries. Yes, that sounds petty, but here’s the kicker — one of said fries was an accidental curly. THAT BASTARD!
Lily, meanwhile, had a different opinion on Gary because he once stopped her from making a huge mistake. After she and Marshall broke up, she recalled, she almost got a giant Sugar Ray-themed tattoo on her shoulder, complete with tacky multi-colored butterflies. About a half butterfly into her new ink (something she’s covered up over the years using make up and and strategically placed straps), Gary stepped in and stopped her. (“Gary Blauman saved you from a lifetime of having to look at Sugar Ray every time we do it on your birthday,” Lily told Marshall. TMI.)
When we were two to one on the Great Blauman Debate, Zabka came in and stood in Lily’s corner, giving his support to Gary because Gary loved his poems. That’s when James stepped in, and dropped a whopper: Blauman was the man he cheated on his husband with. “Because of Gary Blauman, everything that matters to me is gone.”
James would have dealt the KO in this argument — but eventually Marshall ruled that Gary had to stay because it was the bride’s wish. By then it was too late, though. Blauman had split after Barney and him exchanged words in the hall, and their attempt to stop him fell flat.
By this point, Ted and the Mother had been interrupted a few times, the most notable being when they had a near run-in with her ex (the one that proposed just days earlier) and she decided it was too soon to be dating. On their way back to her apartment, Ted continued his story until they reached the door of her apartment building. Coming to a crossroads, Ted awkwardly stopped mid-story and reluctantly said goodnight. “Eight years earlier, I probably would have given some embarrassing speech, confessed my love and scared her off because somehow, I just knew this was all going to work out,” Future Ted said. As he walked away, the Mother called him back. “Do you at least want to finish your story?”
And Ted did.
After Gary took off, the gang thought they’d never see Gary again. But they did. He came back and apologized for storming off, saying the wedding was important to him.
In telling this portion of the story to the kids, Future Ted gave his usual nugget of advice — the ones I’ll miss so much when this show is gone. “You will be shocked, kids, when you discover 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.”
Back in post-wedding time, the Mother took this lesson to heart. As she and Ted prepared to end their evening, she stepped in and gave him a kiss. She may not have been ready for a relationship, but something inside of her clearly told her Ted was worth keeping around.
After their kiss, the Mother invited Ted to continue walking around, and he agreed. As she walked ahead, she stopped when she noticed he wasn’t moving. “What are you doing?” she asked. “Remembering this,” he said.
Best quote: “Wait, Blauman is gay? That means that night, the real battle was between Blauman and the girl and the prize, was this guy!” — Ted
Best quote, the sequel: “No more books, Ted. I don’t like the person you become when you read books.” — Barney
Awesome moment: Remember the two minute date? Of course you do. Well, at PaleyFest this weekend, creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas teased that this week’s episode had a sort of Two Minute Date Part Two, meaning another super-difficult long shot that could only be accomplished by masterful direction and coordination. And boy did they pull it off again. The scene took place in the parking lot of the wedding, where Future Ted, while talking about the people he kept up with in his life, closed out the stories of some of our favorite supporting characters. (Also, holy guest stars, Batman!) The highlights?
+ Carl is still behind the bar at MaClaren’s, where his son also helps out.
+ Jeanette (Abby Elliott) got arrested and received psychological counseling from Kevin (Kal Penn), with whom she fell in love. They live in Poughkeepsie.
+ Ranjit made some wise stock choices and now owns the limo company.
+ Patrice has a radio show, where she gets screamed at. Naturally.
+ William Zabka became famous for his poetry and even got a prestigious award.
+ Zoey (Jennifer Morrison) continues to stump for good causes.
+ Scooter (David Burtka) met and married stripper Lily! (“I guess something about her helped him get over Lily,” Future Ted said.)
+ Blitz (Jorge Garcia) had a gambling addiction but kicked it.
+ Future Ted doesn’t know what happened to Blah Blah but he did remember one thing — her name is CAROL!
+ Sandy Rivers (Alexis Denisof) got fired from his job but was soon hired at a Moscow station, where he’s as sleazy as ever.
+ And James and Tom reunited. Awww.