'How I Met Your Mother' Review: "Band or DJ?"

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How I Met Your Mother’ season 8 bands together with its thirteenth episode of the (no longer) final season “Band or DJ?” as Ted confronts his feelings about Robin's engagement to Barney, while seeking the approval of Robin Sr. (Ray Wise) causes difficulties for Barney and Robin, and Marshall and Lily get backed up dealing with Marvin

Last year's ‘How I Met Your Mother’ winter finale “The Final Page, Part 2” saw Ted wrestling with whether or not to tell Robin of Barney’s proposal to Patrice en route to his big GNB unveiling, while Marshall and Lily found it difficult to leave Marvin behind for a night out, so what did tonight’s all-new episode bring?  Are we any closer to learning how the last year for Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall and Lily plays out?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 8 episode 13, “Band or DJ!”

As Ted remembers how he felt getting a text message about Robin and Barney’s engagement, Marshall and Lily worry about Marvin’s recent constipation over dinner at McLaren’s. Robin shows up, prompting Lily to offer her services planning the wedding, though Ted already beat her to it plotting a May 25 date with a DJ booked.

Robin worries that their discussion might be premature, as even with Barney’s lessening panic attacks he never actually asked Robin’s father Robin Sr. for permission. To rectify, the pair met with Robin’s surprisingly upbeat father, who horrifically claims to have become “fun” since moving to New York for his new lady Carol. Also, to Robin’s surprise, he’s living in New York with a woman named Carol! Surprise.

Even so, Robin Sr. disapproves of Barney’s blonde hair, and while Ted and Lily squabble over “Band or DJ?,” Robin reveals that her father declined to give Barney permission. Barney even met Robin Sr. at the restaurant again the next day, having dyed his hair black, but Robin Sr. believes Barney’s request is nothing compared to his own grizzly (read: killing a family of bears) proposal to Robin’s mother.

While little Marvin still hasn’t strewn any “confetti” in his diaper just yet, Robin reveals that Lily’s band has been booked, and Ted continues pressing the idea of a DJ. The gang also advise Robin not to accept her father’s many Facebook friend requests, while the man himself attempts to coax Barney into at least shooting a bunny back at his apartment. Before he can, Robin interrupts with shocking news, as her father’s Facebook page revealed him to have married “Carol” months ago without telling her, for which Robin accepts Barney’s proposal and un-invites her father to her own wedding.

Back at her apartment, Lily confronts Ted about being the one to hire the wedding band, but Ted’s defense clearly suggests his real problem is with Robin’s decision to marry Barney. Lily takes Ted to the roof to get him to confess, and Future Ted admits over narration that the earlier engagement text message hurt him more than he’d ever been hurt before.

Understanding of his feelings, Lily offers him an out from the guilt  by admitting that she occasionally regrets being a mother, and sacrificing her passion for art. Moved by her confession, Ted admits to being jealous, and the pair resolve to accept their lot for now. Meanwhile back downstairs, Marvin sprays “confetti” all over Marshall, to which a returning Lily remarks “holy ‘confetti.’” Cute.

Barney brings Robin Sr. to meet his daughter at the restaurant once more, having convinced the man to apologize for not including Robin in his wedding, even offering to divorce her out of shame. Instead, Robin only explains that she wants a more normal father, one to dance at her wedding, to which she later relays to Ted that the man agreed to Barney’s blessing and a solitary dance. Robin takes Barney’s actions getting her father to apologize as a true sign of their love, to which Ted congratulates them.

Jumping ahead a bit to four months later, Ted explains to an unseen figure on the subway that Barney and Robin’s band cancelled at the last minute. Revealed to be Cindy (Rachel Bilson) and her wife, the pair explain that they’d just met with Cindy’s ex-roommate, whose stellar wedding band recently freed up to potentially play the wedding. Ted reluctantly agrees, and we flash forward to Robin’s wedding, wherein we see Ted notice the mother playing onstage for the first time.

Before the credits, Barney’s appearance on screen teases something big and Superbowl related going down in February 2013!

We've often found that 'How I Met Your Mother' tends to stumble a bit out of the gate following big episodes, which we might have lumped "Band or DJ?" in with had it not been for the sweet scenes and exciting resolution. Ted's petty jealousy took a much-needed heartfelt turn when Lily admits her own regrets about being a mother, something we're sure to revisit in upcoming episodes. It was nice to see Rachel Bilson's return as well, putting Ted's eventual meeting of the mother in a much clearer context. The next few days will likely bring more 'HIMYM' news as a ninth season renewal is officially announced, hopefully previewing how the series makes its adjustment for an additional season.

Was 'How I Met Your Mother's 2013 return “Band or DJ?” worth the wait, or did it feel too cartoon-y?  Do you think it made for a solid premiere to the no-longer-final season? Join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ episode “Ring Up!” on CBS!

Filed Under: CBS, How I Met Your Mother
Categories: TV News, TV Reviews
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