This episode was everything HIMYM fans have wanted this season. It tackled a lot of the problems head on and was a very desirable episode. The majority of the episode features The Mother in a prominent role and showcases Andrew Rannells as Darren, the Mother’s bandmate.
It’s 10pm on Saturday—the night before the Wedding is to take place—and Marshall is walking to the Farhampton Inn after watching the fireworks with baby Marvin from the previous episode. It’s a pretty bland opening save for the fact that: “Kids, that’s how Marshall met your mother.”
We’ve already seen Lily and Barney’s first interactions with the Mother, respectively, but now seeing how well she and Marshall hit it off, the character is really starting to grow. A few have complained that the Mother is too nice and a pushover and emotional—well, they’re wrong. Ted has proven he’s a hopeless romantic, and it’s fitting that the Mother has all of these traits, even the annoying ones.
The plot goes into the fact that the Mother hates Darren, who is the lead singer of the band she started. He has begun edging her out, and she claims he is the devil. All of this is intercut with Darren ruining the relationships between Lily and Robin as well as Ted and Barney. It was great to see Rannells in such a diverse role. He wasn’t playing the flamboyant gay character he has perfected; instead he is a mischievous bro. He gets in between Lily and Robin first, claiming that Robin wants Lily to stay and is siding with Marshall in the whole Rome/New York debate. He does the same later by revealing to Barney that Ted is about to bail and move to Chicago in two days.
These problems have been an underlying secret for all of the characters throughout the end of last season and the entire final season. Now that they are slightly out in the open, more plot can unfold more rapidly.
The episode culminates with Marshall returning and the gang drinking a bottle of $600 scotch that Ted stole to prove he was a true bro to Barney. Marshall’s back—so we can all breathe a sigh of relief that his terrible cross country drive plot is finished—and he and Lily are on a timeout from their fight. Ted ends up punching out Darren for braking said bottle of scotch, which results in the Mother unknowingly buying Ted a drink for the first time. The emotions it stirred up hit hard for long-time viewers. It wasn’t how they met, but it was a nice culminating moment to cap off the first half of the final season.