How I Met Your Mother eased back into the second half of its eighth season. At first it was lumpy, but by the end of it, it was clear this romantic comedy was in the process of bringing these characters full circle.
“Band or DJ?” may have seemed to be about Ted and Lily fighting over who will help Robin plan the wedding or Barney’s attempts to win over Robin’s hard-nosed dad (Ray Wise). But really it was all about acceptance.
Lily has to accept that she may never be an artist after not picking up a brush for months and dealing with a constipated Little Marvin. The whole while she just seems to be a part of a fight with Ted, but she is instrumental in keeping the lightheartedness of the episode up by yelling, “I’ll cut you, bitch,” at Ted in one scene and then performing a somber revelation at the end of the episode. More on that in a second.
The fun, slightly overused plot of the guy having to ask the gal’s father for permission seemed a little bland for HIMYM standards, but the show twisted it to reveal Robin Senior was no longer a badass and was in fact a Jimmy Buffet-following Parrothead. Robin was shaken, but the problem rested deeper. At first it was funny that she didn’t know anything about Senior’s life (his significant other Carol and his move to NYC) because she wasn’t friends with him on Facebook, but of course this is about much more than that. She learns her father is married and she decides Barney’s attempts for permission, which include dying his hair black and attempting to shoot a bunny, don’t matter because her father doesn’t care about her.
Ted rushes in to save the day after his previously mentioned conversation with Lily. She knows that he is heartbroken over Robin’s engagement to Barney, but he won’t admit it. So she admits something “way more awful” in that sometimes she doesn’t want to be a mom. She knows she’s just in a rough patch and reminds Ted that everything gets better and that she loves Little Marvin like nothing she’s ever loved.
So, Ted learns to accept Robin and Barney’s fate and the show gets back to what its whole purpose is about: finding Ted’s wife. The episode ends with a big revelation. (Read: not that big, but big enough.) It turns out that Future Wife probably isn’t going to be Barney’s step-sister, but instead will be a band member who plays the wedding. Are we finally closing in on an answer to the show’s titular question? Only time will tell.