How I Met Your Mother "Gary Blauman" Review: Remembering This

By Kaitlin Thomas

Mar 18, 2014

How I Met Your Mother S09E21: "Gary Blauman"

As the wise poets Death Cab For Cutie once wrote, "But we just talk about the people we've met in the last five years, and will we remember them in 10 more?" The great lesson of How I Met Your Mother's highly entertaining "Gary Blauman" is probably one of life's greatest lessons, and it's that some friendships and relationships are meant to last forever, but most of them are not. Most of the people we meet are just passing through our lives on their own path to some far-off destination. Ted's journey toward meeting the Mother was full of these transitory relationships, which means they've all been a part of our lives for the last nine years. But come March 31, it'll all be over. Will we remember Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin, Barney, and the Mother for the rest of our lives? Maybe. It depends on whether or not we make the active choice to keep their memory alive, and whether or not we pay our Netflix bill. But relationships and friendships are very seldom permanent fixtures in our lives. It's not because we're a**holes (okay, it's not completely because were a**holes), it's just a fact of life. Which is why, as Ted said, that when we find those relationships we want to keep and hold on to, we need to be proactive and make it happen.

Ted's first date with the Mother was three days after the wedding, and in pure Ted fashion, he attempted to take her to a Scottish/Mexican fusion restaurant, and when that didn't work out, spent the entire date walking around New York while telling her a story about Gary Blauman (Taran Killam), a seemingly unimportant character who arrived at the wedding only for Robin to realize there wasn't a place for him to sit at the reception. From there, the episode became a series of flashbacks inside a flashback as each of the gang recalled a time they interacted with Blauman which caused them to either love him or hate him. 

Ted hated him because he thought he was fighting against Bauman to win a date and/or sex with a girl who shared his love of Teddy Roosevelt. Lily loved him because he stopped her from getting a full tattoo of a butterfly, which turned out to be just the beginning of an entire back tattoo of Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath surrounded by butterflies. Barney also hated him, because Blauman had the audacity to eat four of his french fries, including the accidental curly, which everyone knows is just something that you do not do, while Billy Zabka adored him because Blauman loved and appreciated his poetry. But the biggest kicker of all was the discovery that Blauman was the man James had an affair with, thus ruining his marriage. 

After Barney threatened Blauman with bodily harm if he didn't leave the wedding, Marshall ruled that Robin's wish was the only wish that mattered because it was her wedding day, and you don't eff with the bride on her wedding day. As the gang attempted to salvage the situation and apologize to Blauman for being unwelcoming and rude, he decided they were jerks—which they were—and drove off leaving them to ponder their relationships with the people in their lives at that exact moment. As Marshall wisely pointed out, he thought the people present as his wedding were people he'd be friends with forever, but he hasn't seen most of them since that day.

It was this revelation that led to one of the most elaborate scenes the series has done outside of the two-minute date in "Ten Sessions." As the camera panned around in a single shot, we caught a glimpse of  what happened to certain characters from the gang's past over the years. Carl's still the bartender at MacLaren's, Scooter married Lily's doppelgänger, Kevin is now Jeanette's therapist, Patrice has a call-in radio show (which apparently Robin frequents), Billy Zabka won the American Humanities Prize for Literature, James and Tom worked out their differences, Sandy Rivers is doing the news in Russia, BlahBlah's name is actually Carol, Biltz still has bad luck, Ranjit is a baller, and Zoey's still protesting shit, but now also getting attacked by birds. This was a fun, sweet way to bring back as many former guest-stars as possible, and an even sweeter way to examine Ted and the Mother's first date. 

Ted has always been the character to make the first bold move in relationships, but it was the Mother who kissed him first this time. He'd already resigned himself to not be That Guy, the Ted that we've come to know and love despite his pretentiousness, despite his sometimes gag-inducing optimism and persistance. By having the Mother make the big gesture—especially after having told him it was too soon since she'd only just turned down her ex's proposal three days earlier—it was just another sign that she's the one Ted's supposed to be proactive about. She's the one he needs to do everything in his power to keep in his life. 

As we get closer and closer to the series finale, it's getting more and more difficult to watch this series from a completely objective point of view. This journey has been a part of our lives for the last nine years, and I've come to look at Ted and the rest of the gang as a permanent fixture I can always count on to bring me laughter and warm my icy heart on Monday nights. Tonight's "Gary Blauman" really drove the point home that it's all coming to an end soon. The episode perfectly balanced the saccharine with the hilarious, and continued the series' recent streak of mostly excellent episodes leading up to the finale. After tonight, though, I've realized that Ted and Marshall are right; some relationships are fleeting, but How I Met Your Mother has made a lasting impression on my heart, and it'll probably continue to live on in there for many years to come.


– "This is the Robin's hair of seating charts!"

– "Have I ever told you how I met your father? It was at a party."

– "Oh, but he was not good thanks! He was not good thanks at all!"

– Seriously though, who just eats another dude's accidental curly?

– Neil Patrick Harris's delivery of the entire speech about the french fries was perfect. Ever since Modern Family premiered and started dominating the Supporting Actor category at the Emmys, NPH has been largely shut out of the race, and that's terribly is unfortunate. Even when HIMYM has stumbled, NPH has always been a constant pleasure to watch. Not having him on my TV week after week is really going to force me to up my stalking game.



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  • ashtray4241 Apr 09, 2014

    I am not sure if anyone is reading this old review or not (because, finale), but I just want to confirm something --- "Was the old lady who took over Blitz' slot machine same as the one who appeared in the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. episode, sparring with Phoebe"??? I really think she was, and the scene was just a homage to Friends.

  • lilysophiaful Apr 09, 2014

    Totally loved this episode! It was great to see what has happened to previous characters on the show. Your review was really good this week. This episode really reflects our lives and how people come in and out of them but the ones that remain are our true friends who will always be with us. I'm really going to miss this show

  • chartah Mar 29, 2014

    Not a great episode, more like a filler episode. Blauman has been on the show for years, but not really centered until now. Also find it hard to believe he was the one having the affair with James... He "suddenly" appeared in the wedding. Why? 'Cause he's Cobie Smulders husband in real life. Too obvious. And the ending felt rushed too...

  • Paradine Mar 25, 2014

    I liked so much this episode! Was perfect.

  • nikkei22 Mar 20, 2014

    Liked the ending, reminded a little of the scrubs finale (the one before the "spinoff").
    I stilled missed some like Randy Wharmpess, Quinn, Daryl (seth green), but it gave the writers a fun way to incorporate some former guest stars.
    I'm wondering how much time will actually be spent on the wedding itself and on the time after the wedding where Ted meets the mother for the first time (although he sees her playing at the wedding as seen in an earlier episode).

  • Asdrubal_Ribeira Mar 20, 2014

    Hey Kaitlin are you going to watch How I Met Your Father??

  • Asdrubal_Ribeira Mar 20, 2014

    The only thing i didn't like about this episode was the Telepathic conversation between Ted and Gary, because it's something that only happens between the gang. other than that it was a great episode! And Gary isn't exactly a new character ( )

  • tdm260 Mar 20, 2014

    I didn't click the link, but is he the guy that got fired and tried to pee on the table? lol

  • Asdrubal_Ribeira Mar 21, 2014

    Well if you had clicked the link you'd know!! But yes he is! lol :)

  • rainbowstar7777 Mar 19, 2014

    I get the impression that they really wanted to include all "significant others" in a storyline as a symbolic farewell to the HIMYM universe, unfortunately however Killam's character has never been as prominent a character as scooter or sandy rivers, so it probably would have made very little sense to include him in the end sequence like the others. I doubt many would have remembered him from a 5-seconds glimpse, so they made the entire soryline about him, which was a clever choice if you will, it maybe felt slightly forced at the beginning, but it worked in the end.
    I love Killam and I think he had the potential to be a fantastic asset for the show but whatever the reasons he was never really exploited, that is of course unless he plays an important part at the wedding.
    That being said, I loved the episode. At first I thought it was kind of a filler and I was upset because you do not deliver a filler with 3 episodes left, but it wasn't really. The show is providing closure, episode after episode, and I appreciate it. It feels like they had all these closing sequences planned for a while and they were just waiting for the final episodes to deliver them, which is good because the show will end and on a high note. Too bad the "waiting part" was not always planned aswell.
    HIMYM has always been good with endings in my opinion, so I expect greatness for these final hours, I expect surprises, I expect tears (mine will definetely be there) and laughs and sweetness. And writers, do not *dare* to kill anyone, or I will never forgive you!

  • stanthekaddy Mar 19, 2014

    Am I insane or was Blauman one of Marshal's law partners?? They didn't mention it anywhere in the episode but Im positive he was.

  • tdm260 Mar 20, 2014

    He's the guy who worked at GNB with Barney and Marshall. The one who said he was quitting and tried to pee on the table as an F U to Bilson

  • Glenn9999 Mar 19, 2014

    I have to keep asking this to myself, I'll go ahead and say it here: Why no Jessica Glitter? Robin Sparkles IV needed her, if they really made up, what they're doing now is crying out for an appearance. I don't think Nicole Scherzinger is doing anything too specific, so why not make it happen?

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