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How I Met Your Mother- Episode 9.21 "Gary Blauman" Review- A great episode strikes close to home


Kids, let me tell you a story before I review the episode. This is the story of my own group of friends. We met at school, we’ve been together since the 5th grade and ever since graduating from high school we have been regularly meeting on a monthly basis (even weekly when it’s summer vacation). We have been together for more than 10 years, we even initiated a tradition, in which every year we go to the beach for a whole week and just do our stuff, we play magic the gathering, video games, board games, we cook, we play basketball, swim, laugh, talk, we do anything we want to do. This group started as a group of 8 people, but with time life drifted some of us apart. One of us went to Switzerland and we haven’t seen him since, another one just kind of disappeared, two other just pop out time to time, but mostly are too busy on their own things. In the end the core of our group is the 4 people that are left, and among those we know our plans for the future may drift us apart.

I study Psychology and I want to make a living out of writing while living in the south area of my country, one of my friends studies architecture (he watches the show too and he sees himself on Ted plenty of times) and he will probably do something to stand out such as going to a foreign country, another one studies engineering and has no immediate plans for his future and the last one studies History and will probably travel abroad too. The reason I’m telling you this is so you understand that one of the reasons I love this episode so much is because it touches a very delicate topic that it is like a cloud over most of our meetings: life may drift us apart, and that’s something we don’t want because we’re basically a family.

“Gary Blauman” is a remarkable episode that deals this topic with greatness while also being a typically hilarious HIMYM episode. Three days after the wedding Ted takes The Mother out on their first date, they are both a little bit awkward at first, but soon the ice breaks when they stomp with live music on the restaurant (fusion of Mexican and Scottish food) where they were going, so instead they look for another place, and Ted tells her about the tale of Gary Blauman.

Robin freaks out when Blauman shows up out of nowhere and Marshall tries to calm her by assuring her he will find him a good seat. As he sets up to do so he finds out what everyone around him think of Gary Blauman, starting with Ted who hates him because he blew off his chances with a girl who also read the biography of Teddy Roosevelt. It is very funny to watch how Ted got so much into the biography on how the gang was getting sick of his facts (which he still delivers around the episode) and his battle of wills with Blauman is not less impressive (Ted: “Then, days passed”, Marshall: “I’m sorry, days?”, Ted: “Days… passed!”), their telepathic discussion is pretty funny and the outcome is hilarious as well (Ted: “Would you choose one of us already so I can either have sex or go to sleep?!”, Robin: “Smooth, bro”).

Not everyone hates Blauman though, Lily was saved by him from getting a Sugar Ray tattoo- and we are remembered of Ted’s butterfly tattoo (Marshall: “Oh, I forgot you had a butterfly tattoo, will you ever stop being hilarious?)- so she insists that they find him a good seat.

In midst of the storytelling Ted is interrupted as she hides from Louis, his ex-boyfriend, who is around. She tells Ted about how bad her break up with him was and it seems as if she becomes scared, scared of what dating Ted could cause her, so she decides to call this one off. Ted offers to take her home, and The Mother agrees, so he keeps the story going.

Marshall takes the issue to Barney and he learns that Barney also hates Blauman, as they were once in a bar and he took four of his fries and one of them was an accidental curly (Marshall: “You take a man’s wife before you take his accidental curly!”). There’s nothing like Barney acting over the top, and his rage when he punches (and breaks) the wall and the despair on his face when Blauman s taking the curly fry is epic. Then Zabka pops up and it turns out that he actually wants Blauman to stay as he is one of the few people who recognizes him for his poetry. But things get really interesting when James comes into the picture.
Back in the premiere I pointed out how much I didn’t like that James became single out of the sudden with no build up, but this episode finally treats this topic as he reveals that he cheated on James with Blauman. It’s a twist that came unexpectedly and that I came to love for its pay off near the end of the episode.

Once Marshall decides that Gary Blauman stays on the wedding the story once again halts as Ted and The Mother get back to where they started; they got to The Mother’s place again and now Ted must go home as she enters her own.

There is a really great moment here, as Ted is walking away Future Ted says “eight years earlier I would have probably given some embarrassing speech, confess my love and scare her off. But I didn’t, because somehow I just knew this was all going to work out”. For the first time ever Ted doesn’t need to go too far, he doesn’t need to do anything spectacular for her, because deep down he knows they work out together. Going back to my Sunrise Review, it is as if it confirms my approach on love. If you are too desperate for love and shower someone on too much romance you are only going to drown them, things have to come out naturally, and that’s what happens here.

The Mother calls him back and Ted immediately goes back to her so he can finish his story. He tells her how he and the gang go back to tell Blauman that he can stay, but he refuses and he tells James that he has to stop blaming him for the choices he made, and as he leaves James asks Barney for his wedding ring so he can fight for what once meant everything to him, James and his kids. It’s a beautiful moment that creates real closure for James.
And speaking of closure here we go on the best part of the episode: Ted tell us that even the people you love so much may not stick around, because life drifts you apart, you just lose touch, but then he speaks of the people he did have track of. If you read the Scene of The Week yesterday, you already know I picked this one. Getting to know what happened to Carl, Jennete and Kevin, Ranjit, Patrice, Zabka, Zoey, Scooter (he is with Stipper Lily!), Blitz, Blah Blah (Carol! Her name is Carol!), Sandy Rivers and James is more than I ever expected from the show, it took me off guarded and I loved it, it’s a final bow for all those great secondary characters and they deserve it. It’s an amazing way to sending them off.

Gary Blauman comes back after cooling off and Future Ted says something that really gets to me: “You will be surprised kids when you discover how easy 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”. Coming back to the story I told you at the beginning, this is the part when the tears came down my cheek, as I think that even if I part ways with someone we can do something about it. In my future I want to make some drastic life changing decisions and I always feared that making them would drift me apart from my family and my friends, so I would always hold back a little, but upon watching this episode I realized that it will only happen if I let it happens. It’s a powerful realization that has given me the strength to keep fighting for the future I want, for the life that I want to achieve. And as Ted and The Mother kiss on a burst of chemistry and they decide to walk around, I just can think about moving forward so that I can step into the same great future Ted has.

It might seem as I’m biased on this review, and I’m totally am. One of the reasons I love the episode has to do with what I’m going through, so it’s hard to be objective. But as I re-watch the episode over and over again (which is way it took so long to make this review) I realize that everything is a perfect fit, the jokes, the acting, the drama on it, the direction, everything is just as it has to be and at the same times it strikes close to home, inspiring me to continue to pursue my dreams. So, after all that, how could I not grade this episode with an “A”?

Grade: A

Stray Observations:

-Epic reaction to the struggle of finding Gary Blauman a chair:
Marshall: “This is the Robin’s hair of sitting chairs.”

-Barney: “No more books Ted! I don’t like the person you become when you read books!”

-I think I would have liked the episode way more if I knew something about Teddy Roosevelt, but I only know about the presidents here on Chile.

-Barney: “Gary Blauman? Blauman, Gary?”
Lily: “Point, get to the damn!”

-Lily: “If you want a curly fry so bad, why don’t you ask them in the first place?”
Ted: “Yeah, yeah, cuz that’s what you want. All curly fries!”
Marshall: “Regular fries, with some accidental curly on it, that’s what you want!”
Barney: “That’s the dream!”
Ted: “He is right, that’s the dream.”
I love how the three of them react to Lily’s solution.

-Ted: “Wait… Blauman is gay? So that night the battle was between Blauman and the girl… and the prize… was this guy *points to himself*!”
Ted just loves feeling flattered.
About the Author - Pablo
I'm currently studying Psychology while also writing fantasy books (one already published in my home country, Chile, you can check it out on the facebook icon). I watch many different types of shows, including my favorites Revenge, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time and about 23 more. Currently writing reviews for Once Upon a Time, How I Met Your Mother and Community

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