How I Met Your Mother- Episodes 9.12/9.13 "The Rehearsal Dinner/Bass Player Wanted" Review- Surprises and more surprises!
Posted by Pablozky at Tuesday, December 17, 2013 13 Comments
With that said, I haven’t decided yet how I feel about “The Rehearsal Dinner”: I have watched it several times and there’s only one thing clear for me: there are parts that I love and parts that I hate.
Three weeks ago “Bedtime Stories” was an episode solely made to fool around and relax a little bit before getting into the real stuff; HIMYM does this time to time before bringing up the big guns. Two weeks ago, Barney’s surprise was kind of a big gun, one that HIMYM usually pulls off great, but here something really weird happens (at least for me): I considered the build up to be extremely weak and the payoff really satisfying. When a bad episode ends on a high note you are left confused; it’s like the final scene is so good that it can lift pretty much all the pieces that didn’t seem to fit, and the same goes for the other possible scenario, in which a great episode can be ruined by a bad ending. That’s because the ending will leave you with the after taste and if it’s good, you can probably ignore what happened before and if it’s bad, it can destroy the good will. Instead of narrating the whole plot and putting my thoughts on it, I’ll outright tell you what worked and didn’t worked for me.
What worked: It’s an understatement that How I Met Your Mother has one of the best casts on television; I have said this several times, but one of the things that really lift the episode is how well Neil Patrick Harris plays Barney this week in particular. He plays a fool of everyone with so much energy and charisma that is hard to complain about that.
Lily’s troubles to keep secrets are ok: it’s more than explored ground on the show, but I appreciate that the shows keep this little quirk; every single character has some quirks and its part their identities. There was a moment I didn’t care much (when Lily stressed out to Barney that she could keep a secret), but mostly it’s fine. Lily also helps deliver two good moments: when she tells Ted and Robin about Marshall decision to be a judge (and Robin’s response “I have time for your drama”), and the moment Ted decides to let her in Barney’s secret.
And of course, I couldn’t leave out Barney’s surprise: it was really poignant that he is so committed to make Robin happy that he left his feud with Canada behind. The whole thing is beautiful, the falling snow, the ice skate indoor track, the music, James show, Ted’s failure at figure-skating, it’s all so well-crafted that it’s really impossible for me to be mad at this episode… but that doesn’t make it perfect either.
The whole thing of having Ted dress up as Liberace was kind of fun at first, but it somehow grew old because this is something Ted wouldn’t mind doing; it would be way wackier (and fun) if we knew Ted would never do such a thing, but it’s really his kind of thing and so this gag didn’t really live to its fullest. Talking about gags… I didn’t really like them in this episode; I felt like there wasn’t much to grab on to laugh aside from some moments. It felt a little stale in the comedy front, being much stronger in the emotional side, but the latter doesn’t get much time to make this an episode to be remembered.
I hope you enjoyed the episode more than I did, it felt quite disjointed. Still, this is far from being the show’s worst, it’s not even bad at all, it just… is. I see it as a mixed bag, and I would rather focus on the good stuff rather than the bad ones.
As soon as the episode started with Future Ted stating that we had another instalment of Marshall vs the machine, and with The Mother picking him up, my mind already thought “yep, this episode will get a straight A!”, and sure enough, this episode is just so great that you won’t have to wait to the end of the review to know the grade: it’s an A; god, it’s an A+, it’s a 1000 out of 10! This episode just hit the right combination of funny, conflict, drama and poignant that makes HIMYM so great. The gang is back together and The Mother is looming around, and now we’re up to a classy dance of avoidance until Ted and the mother finally meet.
As they travel together they bond, and as soon as Marshall gets to know she is not going to stay on Farhampton he tries to convince her to stay; this episode really makes a clearer picture of who The Mother is; now we know she, just like Marshall, is not very good at confrontation, she is sweet, and probably a push over. She decided to quit her band so she didn’t have to suffer from Darrin the lead singer (we’ll get to that), but Marshall thinks she shouldn’t give him the satisfaction. The way they bond feels really pure and honest; it takes just some minutes and it feels like they’ve been great friends for ages. Both the script and the acting work wonders for this pair.
In the end Marshall gets through The Mother and convinces her to fight for her band; as she arrives to the inn, she prepares for her confrontation, but she feels like she is hopeless and gives up, buying a Kennedy package from Linus (and we got a “Thank you, Linus” from her) and talks about how one hopes karma gets the bad guys eventually, but how in reality that doesn’t necessarily happens. And then she sees Darrin who has been hit on the face by the best man and he decides to leave the band to The Mother and storms out; it’s a sweet moment and after seeing Darrin screwing everyone’s life is really satisfying that he got knocked out this fast, and even more satisfying that The Mother bought the best man a drink. This was the first drink The Mother ever bought to Ted; they haven’t even met and they are already off to a great start.
Now, let’s back up a little; the whole gang is reunited minus Marshall and soon everyone starts picking sides on the Lily/Marshall spat; Barney is with Marshall (so he can get out of public urinating tickets), Ted doesn’t comment (though last episode he made clear he sided with Lily) and Robin tells Lily that she supports Lily. All its good until Darrin comes along to ruin everything.
The Mother tells Marshall that Darrin is the kind of person who will pop up with the sole intention of ruining everyone’s life, just because it amuses him. In this case, he gets to good graces with Lily and Robin, then as Lily momentarily leaves, Darrin makes Robin tell him how she really feels about the whole Marshall vs Lily thing; and he spills the beans as soon as he gets the chance, creating conflict. He does the same with Ted and Barney; he makes Ted open up to him about moving to Chicago and he tells Barney as soon as he had the chance.
There’s no way around it, I hate the guy! (I do love how his eyes go on fire when he plays evil and how you can hear “Darrin! Darrin!” in the intense background music though), but it’s the kind of hatred that you’re ok with, because you know it’s serving the plot right.
Darrin gets Lily and Robin to fight over multiple things, while it didn’t take much to create a rift between Ted and Barney; as Barney learns that Ted is leaving to Chicago on Monday (the day after the wedding) he thinks that he means nothing to Ted, while Lily feels already so betrayed by Marshall that she can’t take it when Robin sides with him.
And here comes the emotional stuff: first (and the lightless) Robin confesses that she sided with Marshall because she was selfish and wanted Lily to stay; they are best friends and she doesn’t want her to go, but she must give Lily her support, so to prove it she bring pillow-Marshall so she can beat the doll down. It’s funny and sweet. The heavy stuff, however, comes from Ted and Barney: Ted steals a 600 dollar bottle, something he could end up in jail for (“that’s the dream”) and as Barney tells him how while Marshall and Lily are in Italy, the three of them (the classic Ted-Robin-Barney triangle) could hang out everything becomes clear to him; they can’t, it’s just too much for Ted who just can’t shut his feelings for Robin, not until he meets the right girl. This makes for a very poignant moment.
The episode was full of fun gags, the mother proves that she belongs with the gang as chemistry sparkles and there are all kind of funny and emotional beats that just comes natural. This is exactly what I would hope for the show to be every week, this is HIMYM’s perfection.
-Barney needs to touch buttons so badly that, even when there was a pregnant lady involved, he couldn’t help but to press every single button on the elevator.
-Barney tasting some “apple juice”: “Classic apple juice after burn”.
-Lily: “Ted won’t be playing the piano”.
Robin: “Oh, really? Ted, you didn’t have not to do that for me!”
Ted’s confused face is priceless!
-A lot of telepathic conversations! I love it! My favorite? Lily thinking on having a threesome with Darrin, then he getting tired, and she and Robin get to do all kind of stuff. “That would be so stupid… so stupid…” Oh, Lily… I’m going to miss your attraction to Robin when the show is over.
-One thought shared by everyone in the telepathic conversations: “I just love how he gets how adorable and hilarious I am!” Not even Linus could help but fall for that.
-A lot of “that’s the dream” named by Ted, but there’s one I clearly remember from episode 6x13 “Bad News”: Barney: “You can’t get a girl pregnant! That’s the dream!”
-Lily: “Why don’t you get a Team Marshall T-shirt? What size are you? Extra-traitor?” I just found this so hilarious! I don’t know why.
-The Mother is driving with gloves, just like Ted does. The show is great with details!
-The Mother’s band name is “Super Freakonomics".
-The Mother: “I can’t handle confrontation”.
Marshall: “Yes you can!”
The Mother: “You make some good points”.
I had a Déjà vu to a moment where Marshall and Daphne argued; good stuff.
-Brace yourselves. The slap is coming.
-See you all in January 13! By then I’ll be done with college and will have plenty of time to write and upload my reviews way faster!
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