TV: “Gary Blauman” brings closure and a few firsts on ‘How I Met Your Mother’

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS
The HIMYM series finale will air on March 31st
Rating: 5/5

Gary Blauman

How I Met Your Mother has had a pretty phenomenal last season. Obviously, a lot is owed to Cristin Milioti for her flawless performance as the titular character and her natural chemistry with Josh Radnor. A lot is also owed to the writers for knowing the fans want closure and being able to wrap up the series cleanly.

The previous two weeks have had particularly strong episodes in “Daisy” and the mind-blowing “Vesuvius,” and this week’s episode, “Gary Blauman” is no different.

It’s Wednesday at 8 p.m., three days after the wedding. The Mother (Milioti) is going on her first date with Ted (Radnor), whose first idea to go to a Scottish-Mexican fusion restaurant blew up like one’s stomach would had they eaten there. So they go for a walk, and Ted tells her the story of Gary Blauman.

Blauman, if you remember, was Marshall (Jason Segel) and Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) coworker at GNB and is played by Taran Killam, of SNL fame, who is also Cobie Smulders real-life husband. In fact, just about every one of the main cast’s significant others makes a reappearance tonight, but more on that later.

Blauman for some reason is at the wedding even though no one planned on him coming, causing a frenzy about the seating arrangement. Luckily, Marshall is the seating chart master and takes the job, but it’s no easy task. Feelings of love and hatred for Blauman are high among the wedding guests.

Ted hates Blauman after he made him lose the chance of hooking up with a girl who shared his love of Teddy Roosevelt. That might have been the nerdiest battle of wills I’ve ever seen. It was so quintessential Ted, and I loved it. Lily (Alyson Hannigan) loves him because he stopped her from friesgetting a giant Sugar Ray tattoo on her back in 2006. Typically, Lily’s allusions fall flat, but this was hilarious. Barney loathes him for one time stealing four of his French fries, including the accidental curly!! The over-dramaticness of this scene is what sold me. NPH is a comic genius; his facial expressions can be matched by no other. Also, I totally agree with his outrage! You simply do not take another person’s fries. It’s savagery. There are cruel acts, and then there is taking another man’s fries. William Zabka loves him because Blauman is the only one who recognizes him for his poetry. The continuing Zabka gag is actually amazing. It’s so random that it works really well. James (Wayne Brady) hates him because he is the one he had the affair with that ended his marriage.

Somehow, Gary Blauman is actually important. I agree it is rather random to bring this character, of all the minor characters, back. However, he is Smulders’ husband, so it’s not hard to see the creators’ reasoning, and this storyline ends up being really good so don’t dismiss it yet.

Marshall rules on the case and decides to let Blauman stay, but Barney has already yelled at Blauman to leave. Everyone rushes to the parking lot to catch him, but even after their pleading, he decides to leave.

Here is where this storyline is made. Bob Saget finally chimes in to narrate about how easy it is for people to disappear from your life. He then informs us of what happened to the people he did keep up with.

In the fashion of the amazing “two-minute date,” we are walked through a quick montage of the futures of some of our favorite reoccurring characters. Carl (Joe Nieves) still works at the bar and has a son. Jeanette (Abby Elliott) is arrested and has psychological counseling with Kevin (Kal Penn), and the two end up together. Ranjit (Marshall Manesh) hit it big on some stocks and now owns his own limousine service. Patrice (Ellen D. Williams) has a radio talk show. Zabka won an award for his poetry. Zoey (Jennifer Morrison) is still protesting. Scooter (David Burtka) ends up happily married to Lily’s doppleganger!!! Steve Henry “The Blitz” (Jorge Garcia) still has bad luck. We finally learn Blah-Blah’s (Abigail Spencer) name is Carol. Sandy Rivers (Alexis Denisof) was kicked out of the U.S. for inappropriate behavior but still does it overseas. Lastly, James gets back together with his husband Tom.

Patrice and Scooter are my two favorite minor characters. I was praying they would bring back Burtka as Scooter. Burtka is a cherub, and I love those flashbacks to Lily’s goth days. Patrice has always been amazing; she should have had more time this final season. I think we all would have accepted her just popping up and Robin yelling at her. I need a few more of those scenes in my life.

I understand you might still not be sold on tonight’s episode. You may not be the biggest HIMYM fan and not care that much about these minor characters — even though you should. This story is actually monumental in Ted and the Mother’s love story.

After the two ditched the Scottish-Mexican fusion restaurant, they went walking and Ted told this story. Everything is going great until the Mother sees Louis (Lou Ferrigno Jr.), the man who proposed to her during Barney and Robin’s wedding weekend, which was just three days ago. Upon seeing him, she changes her mind about dating and thinks she needs more time. She lets Ted walk her home and continue the story. Ted’s almost done with the story when the two realize they’re at the Mother’s apartment. However, she encourages him to finish the story.

Blauman came back to the wedding, further illustrating how fleeting people can be in our lives. Saget narrates, “That’s why when you find someone you want to keep around, you have to do something about it.”

Despite her initial proclamation, the Mother leans in, and she and Ted kiss for the first time. Instead of forgoing their first date, the Mother says they should go walk around some more. Before they leave, Ted takes a moment, saying he wants to “remember this.”

first date kiss

first date walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excuse me as I try to scrap up my melted heart off the floor. As an uber-fan, I loved the minor character wrap up. The HIMYM universe is quite vast and includes a lot of people I cared about at one point or another. I’m glad the writers realized just how important Patrice, Scooter, Carl, Ranjit and co. are to the fans. Just a reminder: We do know what happens to Wendy the Waitress (Charlene Amoia) because of the episode “Garbage Island.” She’s married to Meeker after the two bonded over their hatred for Marshall and they have kids. At first, I was disappointed they didn’t mention anything about our favorite MacLaren’s waitress and then remembered that episode from season six. I figured I should cool all your jets as well.

As usual, every scene with Radnor and Milioti together was perfect. Their chemistry is out of this world and you can tell these two people are instantly in love. It may be a bit hard to believe because we still haven’t seen the moment they met or any time between those three days, however it seems natural to me that these two connect so instantaneously. Their first date was adorable, and something I would wish for as my first date with my soulmate. Hello, if you’re out there, I like nerdy things, musicals, cities, good food (but I will accept great pizza as a substitute) and romantic gestures. Get working.

There’s only one more episode until the finale, folks. Let’s get those tissues ready.

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