"How I Met Your Mother" returned for the second half of season eight on Jan. 14, and the episode "Band or DJ?" had a bit of everything that makes this CBS comedy so great.
For one, the main storyline on "HIMYM" was about Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) planning their wedding, and that included Barney attempting to get Mr. Scherbatsky's (Ray Wise) blessing so they could get married. As to be expected that was no easy task -- even for a guy who lives by the mantra "challenge accepted" -- but in the end he won Mr. Scherbatsky over. It just took Barney dying his hair and pointing a gun at a rabbit. That, and having a heart-to-heart talk "spaghetti to spaghetti."
For the first time ever, Mr. Scherbatsky apologized to his daughter, and that really is something special, proving yet again that Barney really does love Robin. (Even if he's still having panic attacks, at least they're fewer and farther between).
For one, Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) are dealing with an unhappy constipated Marvin, and unlike other child-centric storylines this season, the story had both heart and a ton of laughs. Lily is struggling, as she admits to Ted (Josh Radnor) on the roof, because it’s hard taking care of children in the classroom all day and then coming home to take care of Marvin.
It was hard to hear her say, "Sometimes I wish I wasn't a mom. Sometimes I want to pack a bag and leave in the middle of the night and not come back," especially since she ditched Marshall for her art at the end of "HIMYM" season one. Would she ever really leave Marshall and Marvin again? It's totally unlikely, but these feelings are sure to set up some big changes in Lily's life. Here's hoping it just means she'll quit her job so she can stay at home with Marvin and do her art.
Needing to lighten the mood after that revelation by Lily, Marshall changes Marvin's diaper. And in perhaps the best laugh-out-loud moment of "Band or DJ?" Marvin finally gets over his constipation, and "confetti" starts flying everywhere. "Holy confetti," Lily declares as Marshall tries to block himself from the disaster. "And no, it wasn't confetti," Future Ted informs "HIMYM" fans.
Speaking of Ted, how is he handling Robin and Barney's engagement? Not well, despite throwing himself into the wedding planning. But that's to be expected for Ted, who just can't seem to get over Robin. He's even taken the choice of band or DJ very personally, claiming Robin can't pick a band, because, "I'm sure bands seem cool with their nice suits and well-rehearsed moves, but let'a be honest. Bands let you down."
But then Barney wins over Mr. Scherbatsky, and Ted realizes just how much Barney loves Robin. Is that enough for Ted to let Robin go? That remains to be seen, but he will be moving on, and soon.
As Future Ted previews, the unreliable band cancels on Robin and Barney just a week before their wedding. Luckily, as fate would have it, on the subway, Ted runs into his ex and now lesbian Cindy (Rachel Bilson), who thinks her ex-roommate's band is the best wedding band ever. She's the bass player, and we all know who she'll turn out to be: Ted's future wife. We only get a glimpse of her elbow as she plays on stage at the wedding, but it's a fun hint, and "HIMYM" "Band or DJ?" couldn't have ended any better.
"How I Met Your Mother" airs on CBS Mondays at 8 p.m. EST.
© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2013