There are many things that I expected to see in season 9 of How I Met Your Mother, but a return of Taran Killam as Gary Blauman was certainly not one of them. Sure, this season does revolve around his real-life wife’s character’s wedding, but his previous four episodes didn’t really leave any reason for him to return. Ignoring that fact completely, the writers found a way for him to fit into this season with an episode called Gary Blauman, and the result is absolutely incredible.
Basically, Blauman shows up at the wedding even though Robin never saw his RSVP. Seeing this as a problem since her seating chart is locked tight, she tasks Marshall with working out the seating arrangement. Unfortunately for him, his job is hindered by everyone sharing their stories of why they love, hate, hate to love, or love to hate Gary Blauman.
This episode succeeds in the place where so many similar episodes have failed in recent years. Instead of trying to make it seem like Blauman was more significant of a character than he really was, the writers show us that a friend you occasionally see is often times a friend that’s still worth keeping. It also shows that the interactions you have with your acquaintances can still have an effect years later, and most of all, it shows just how important everyone in Ted’s story has been.
The episode begins with the first date between Ted and the Mother, which is a wonderful way to begin. The date starts out much more awkwardly than most of Ted’s dates that we have seen, but it feels appropriate that he’s going to be less than suave with the woman who is actually “the one.” The episode builds off Ted telling a story about people telling stories, and while that can sometimes be a confusing technique, it usually works pretty well on this show, and tonight is no exception.
All of the stories about Blauman are very entertaining. They’re funny, they’re in character and they set up the situation that’s going on in the wedding timeline quite well. Ted’s story is especially good, as it sums up his character perfectly. Also notable is Barney’s tale, thanks in large part to Neil Patrick Harris’ hilarious telling of the catastrophe that took place at MacLaren’s. Still, all of those scenes pale in comparison to what happens at the end of the episode.