Finally, How I Met Your Mother serves up a real hit. “Bass Player Wanted” featured the Mother and the measured hand of the show’s creators. Although this is a great episode, it took way too long for it to get here.
- Director: Pamela Fryman
- Writers: Carter Bays and Craig Thomas
- Cast: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Cristin Milioti, Bob Saget, Andrew Rannells, Robert Belushi, David Grammer
Episode Title: “Bass Player Wanted”
A guest of the wedding stirs up drama while Marshall finally arrives at the Farhanpton Inn.
- The Devil Wears Suspenders: Guest star Andrew Rannells really lends himself to the role of fire-starter friend. His voice has a natural edge that adds to his thinly veiled divisive remarks. People like this do exist, and they get joy out of witnessing the strife a few secrets can cause friends. Lily and Robin mistaking Darren’s interests as romantic was a spot on moment of vanity which snowballed into Lily’s continued crush on her best friend. Darren’s recipe for disaster was fun to watch, particularly because anyone is susceptible to being called hilarious and adorable.
- Mother May I: While we can’t use Marshall’s journey with the Mother to excuse his lengthy separation from the group, it forgives the Mother’s absence. Just like when she spent time with Lily, we were pleasantly surprised to see how well she worked opposite a seasoned member of the gang. Marshall would be the best person to try and spook playing psychic, and Cristin Milioti pulled it off easily. Obviously, Marvin’s first words were the best part of Marshall’s effort to make the Mother take her band back from Devil Darren. The fact that the Mother will always know that Marvin’s first words were actually, “skunk junk,” will bind them forever. Seeing the Mother request The Kennedy Package from Linus was another tickle, but nothing held a candle to Lily and Marshall putting a pause on the monster battle they’re a moment away from, to give us a proper reunion shot.
- That’s the Dream: The beauty of Darren’s character was that his discord spread throughout the episode. His truth bomb about Ted’s move to Chicago means at least someone else knows Ted’s leaving. It became a bigger symbol for Barney and Ted’s relationship, bringing out Barney’s touching side yet again. The way the writers used their strife to manipulate the story back to Barney and Ted’s original disagreement was a thing of beauty. Barney’s overuse of the phrase, “That’s the dream,” gave viewers another list of ridiculous Barney things to love, like a suit made of prosciutto so you can eat yourself naked or a pack of lions fighting a Tyrannosaurus. It also provided Ted the perfect way to repair their bond. Stealing another bottle of Glen McKenna for Barney would have been the best if Ted hadn’t punched out Darren. The Mother and Ted are headed for the best meet-cute ever written.
“Bass Player Wanted” restored our faith in Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. This was a unifying episode, with all the members of the group battling the same foe. The Mother finally met another member of the gang with much success. They were even able to reference two old favorites, Marshall versus the Machines and another round of Aldrin Justice, stolen-band van style. With the threat over Marshall’s next slap hanging over Barney, we hope we won’t have to wait this long to see another episode this good.
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
What did you think of this episode?