For How I Met Your Mother the future is now. “Band or DJ” tackled Barney and Robin’s impending nuptials and Marvin’s pesky constipation. After eight years, was last night’s episode enough to hook us for season nine?

The Players:

Episode Title: “Band or DJ”

Robin demands Barney ask her father for her hand in marriage before announcing their engagement. Meanwhile, Ted uses wedding planning as a distraction from his feelings.

The Good:

  • Binders Full of Weddings: If any two people were going to get into a dog fight over wedding planning, it had to be Ted and Lily. And though the argument developed into debate over musical entertainment, we wish they’d taken this joke further. Ted and Lily are formidable opponents and a hilarious pair. We savored every moment of their conflict. 
  • Vampire in the Daylight: As usual, Ray Wise impressed with his slightly terrifying portrayal of Robin’s dad. Anyone who can challenge Barney’s manhood is a rarity; watching him force Barney to bust a cap in Flubbernutter the bunny was particularly enjoyable. But the most startling addition to the character is his role as a Facebook parent.  Members of the more seasoned generations have struggled with social media. The show stated what many are afraid to: block or unfriend your parents people. No good comes from having them follow or friend you.
  • Manners: In Canada, decorum dictates you slaughter and dismember a family of bears with your bare hands to ask for a girls hand in marriage. This and other fun facts about our brothers of the north should get everyone excited for the new Robin Sparkles episode coming February 4. Experience has taught us, where Robin Sparkles goes, a wealth of Canadian jokes will follow.
  • Hey Mr. DJ: Ted’s feelings for Robin didn’t disappear when he pushed her into reconciling with Barney. His montage of mortal agony was a nice flashback, but it could have been the kiss of death for the episode. Luckily, a round of real time roof talk with Lily effectively killed those lingering desires. (Although it would have been great to watch Marshall and Ted pretend to be in The Departed for just a little longer. Those horrific Boston accents were worth the laughs.) To show that Ted really will move on, we got another glimpse of his first meeting with The Mother and a brief guest spot from Rachel Bilson to boot. Seems like The Mother will be a part of the wedding, instead of a random bus station beauty, as previously designated.
  • Holy Confetti: The show continued its run of honest and relatable story lines for the Erikson’s. Lily’s desire to run after weeks without sleep and a constipated infant shouldn’t be shocking at all. Overcoming the urge to run from your responsibilities is part of what makes someone a good parent. At one point or another everyone feels like running.  Having an open an honest dialogue is good, even if all it amounts to are two minutes on a sitcom. HIMYM’s tendency to substitute harsh images with pleasant ones worked to their advantage. The exploding diarrhea of confetti in Marshall’s face was the perfect light note to end their story.
  • Cheeseburger in Paradise: Barney’s proposal left a lot of questions in our heads about Barney’s true intentions. It would be ridiculous to believe that someone as promiscuous as him would make a commitment without any doubts. The snapshot of his anxiety attacks took care of that. But if anyone needed evidence that his feelings for Robin are deep and real, they should take note of the apology he got Robin Sr. to give his daughter. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Barney knew what Robin needed and did what he could to make it happen. 

The Quotable:

  • “Sorry, I haven’t slept in January.” –Lily
  • “This is Barney? This man is blond. Grown men are not blond.” –Robin Scherbatsky Sr.
  • “I left the meatball at home so we could talk spaghetti to spaghetti.” –Barney
  • “Oh no, Flubbernutter peed all over my pants.” –Barney

Overall:

“Band or DJ” needed to reignite our interest in the show’s future. News of a confirmed ninth season made us feel weary of where  it could go from here. The snippet of information about The Mother and the assurance that Robin and Barney will definitely be wed was a billboard advertising the possibilities.

Rating: 9/10

How I Met Your Mother airs Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. on CBS.

What did you think of this episode?