The midseason finale of “How I Met Your Mother” aired Monday night, and brought the drama and laughs. With Marshall still out on the road, Lily upset about Rome and Ted’s Chicago secret still under wraps, the CBS sitcom was waiting for the perfect storm … and it arrived in the form of Hurricane Darren.
Episode 13, “Bass Player Wanted,” kicked off on Saturday at 10 p.m. with 20 hours left before Robin and Barney’s wedding. Last time viewers left the gang, Marshall’s bus had broken down five miles from the Farhampton Inn. Thinking the close vicinity to be a godsend, Marshall quickly figured out that walking five miles with baby Marvin was no easy task. Fortunately the father and son managed to hitch a ride – with none other than Cristin Milioti’s “Mother” character!
Grateful for the ride, Marshall quickly became frightened of his mysterious driver (who just so happens to be wearing driving gloves) when she begins to spew facts about his life – everything from his visit to Minnesota to getting his red-headed wife angry about ruining their plans to move to Rome. Just when Marshall was getting freaked out enough to jump out of the moving car with baby Marshall, the Mother revealed that she was just kidding and had ridden the train with Lily earlier that weekend.
As Marshall gets to know the Mother better, the rest of the gang is relaxing at the hotel bar – before Hurricane Darren swoops in.
Reminiscing about the two bottles of $600 Glenn McKenna they broke over the weekend, the guys and gals split up. While Lily and Robin have a conversation about the move to Rome and Marshall’s judge offer, an unknown man moves in on their conversation and begins to shower them with compliments. Initially believing that the guy is trying to get in on a “tricycle,” they quickly figure out that he’s part of the wedding – but they can’t figure out who he is.
Buttering them up and then hitting them with a heartbreaking story about losing his mother at a young age, the mysterious wedding guest gets Robin to reveal that she’s on Marshall’s side in the Lily vs. Marshall moving to Rome debate. And while Robin believes she’s confiding in a trustworthy friend, what she doesn’t realize is that his name is Darren and he’s the lead singer of her wedding band – and he enjoys ruining people’s lives for his own amusement.
Things quickly turn chaotic when Darren turns around and tells Lily that Robin’s on Marshall’s side and then abandons the pair to fight. While the two rip into each other about being traitors, the Mother is giving Marshall the complete lowdown on the lead singer of her band … and why she’s quitting the band before the wedding.
While explaining that he uses a Disney movie plot as his sob story (usually “Bambi” or “The Lion King”), “How I Met Your Mother” viewers watch as Darren works Ted and Barney over just as he did Robin and Lily.
“Tonight, maybe I found two brothers,” Darren tells Ted and Barney, completely suckering them in.
“Once your guard is down the emotional prostate exam begins,” the Mother reveals to Marshall.
But why is she quitting? Milioti explains that she started her band, the Super Freakanomics, “with a couple of dorks from business school.” She had initially brought Darren in to split the vocals, but eventually Darren pushed her out of all the vocals. She was okay with strictly being the bass player until she discovered an ad online – “Bass Player Wanted.” That’s when Milioti decided that she wasn’t being fired from her own band – she was quitting.
Marshall tries to convince her not to quit and to fight back, but Lily already got to her first. “You must steal that d**che monkey’s van and then run my husband over with it,” the Mother reveals Lily told her. And while Milioti didn’t run Marshall over, she did steal the van.
Darren proves to be just as bad as the Mother said when he drops the moving-to-Chicago bomb on Barney. Needless to say, Barney is pretty upset that his best friend didn’t tell him that he’s leaving … that Monday. In order to make things up to Barney, Ted breaks into the liquor store where Lily stole the bottle of $600 scotch from and steals his own bottle. Handing it over to Barney, he tells his friend that he needs a new start and Barney understands why Ted must leave.
With everyone on good terms again, Robin tries to help Lily get over her problem with Marshall by having her beat up Marshpillow. And as Lily fights the doll, Marshall comes up behind her with baby Marvin. Putting their fight on pause, the family happily reunites.
As Marshall rejoins the gang and they break out the Glenn McKenna, the Mother begins to talk to Linus the bartender about her problems with the lead singer. (She orders the Kennedy package as well, which thanks to Lily ended up being a “very popular package” for the weekend.) Wishing that karma would get Darren, the mother gets her wish when the lead singer backs up into Ted as he’s pouring everyone the scotch. The bottle falls on the ground and shatters, leading Ted to punch Darren in the face.
Darren runs into the bar and asks for some ice because “the best man just punched me in the face for no reason.” Seeing the Mother, he tells her that he’s quitting and going back to his old band, the New Guns and Roses.
“Whoever that best man is, I’d like to buy him a double of your finest scotch,” the Mother tells Linus.
The scotch ends up being a Glenn McKenna 35 year (something the gang didn’t realize they had at the bar), and the drink ends up being the first one that the Mother ever bought Ted.
But that’s not how the midseason finale ended – episode 13, “Bass Player Wanted,” concluded with Marshall giving Barney a present. And while Marshall tells Barney that he should wait until after the wedding, Barney begs for his gift. Marshall reached into his pocked but his gift was not in any superficial material form – it was his hand ready for the fourth slap.
“To be continued …”
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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