How I Met Your Mother Season 8 Review “Band or DJ”

Just when I thought Ted had finally let go of Robin, How I Met Your Mother dove right back in to scrape up his last remaining feelings in “Band or DJ.”

With Robin and Barney officially engaged for over three days, Ted and Lily were already in place to battle over the role of official wedding planner. The major debate boiled down to the question of a band or a DJ at the wedding. As expected, both Ted and Lily took their quest for victory to typical HIMYM extremes.

Of course, for Ted, the band became a metaphor for Robin’s decision to marry Barney. When Ted first started mumbling about his frustration with Robin’s decision to be with Barney, I groaned, not wanting to return to this irritating cycle. I had thought we were past all this, but clearly Ted hadn’t closed the book on Robin when he sent her off to meet Barney at the top of that tower.

Lily saw Ted’s tantrum for exactly what it was, and setting aside all their wedding planning arguments, she did what she needed to do to get Ted to snap out of it. We don’t get as many of Ted and Lily’s friendship talks as we did at the start of How I Met Your Mother, but when we do, they’re worth the wait. Lily’s confession about her struggles with being a mother was heart-wrenching and painfully honest, and her performance absolutely stole the show. Lily knew that Ted needed to speak the unspeakable before he could really move on. She needed the same thing.

It wasn’t all heartbreak and tears though, there was plenty to laugh about in tonight’s episode. Although Marshall was relegated to the role of baby holder for most of the episode, the “confetti” explosion at the end was a great HIMYM style gag that got a gross gag across and lightened the mood enough to get us laughing again after the heavy material that Ted and Lily had been dealing with just moments before.

Barney stepping up to the challenge of facing Robin’s terrifying dad was standard sitcom material, but there were still moments of great comedy. Robin’s dad somehow seemed even more intimidating and unstable in his silly Hawaiian shirt, and I enjoyed his deadpan descriptions of all the “fun” things he had been doing since he last saw Robin.

Over the last eight seasons of How I Met Your Mother, we’ve developed a set of expectations about Ted’s mystery bride. Beyond the brief glimpses of her ankles and wrists that we’ve seen so far, she’s got a lot to live up to. Seeing how difficult it has been for Ted to truly let go of Robin, How I Met Your Mother faces the challenge of showing us how the future mother of Ted’s children is not a second place prize for Ted. Ted’s story up until this point has really been the story of the girl that got away. With the announcement of a new season of How I Met Your Mother, I’m hoping we’ll actually get to see Ted tell us the story of how his wife became the woman that made him never look back again.