This episode takes place three days following Robin and Barney Stinsons’ wedding (no word yet on if Robin takes his name or not), and Ted has asked the Mother out on their first first date. Yes, first first date. It’s still adorably awkward.
I realize now that anyone but his future bride would have turned tail the second the words “Let me tell you the tale…” left his mouth. We have nine seasons’ proof. This story, in succeeding most other stories (to leave room for the series finale’s big wedding ceremony), focuses on maybe-good-guy Gary Blauman.
Gary Blauman. The man some people love, and some people love to hate. Whether or not he took your curly, or helped wreck your marriage, he brings to focus what really makes a man worth loving, or hating, or using to re-examine your own trials.
As the tale-telling progresses, we discover The Mother isn’t as ready to date as we’d (or Ted had) hoped, but the night reveals many firsts and many highlights regardless. We get to see Judge Marshall in action. If he’s not a judge in his own right later, we know now he would have been fantastic. We learn what really gets Barney’s goat. We…never quite learn if Robin actually likes Gary Blauman or not. I’m not sure on that point. And we re-learn Billy Zabka’s name. I know you all Googled it like I did.
Gary Blauman stays at the wedding—even exercising Marshall’s seat-arranging mastery—but the highlight to this quiet little gem of an episode has to be the air the episode carried through the whole half-hour: things will work out. And things will work out; James and his partner got back together, Robin and Barney married, and holding off their Scottish-Mexican-fusion restaurant foray didn’t stop Ted and the Mother from realizing they were ultimately compatible. Sometimes good things really are just worth the wait.
Did you know Teddy Roosevelt went skinny-dipping during the wintertime in the Potomac River?
Now you do.