Sitcoms usually call attention to its ending. The Boy Meets World gang decided to move to New York City, a not-too-distant drive from Philadelphia, but the move was treated with more gravity and emotion than one imagines a move from Philly to NYC would cause. Great, long, epic books do not end by making the viewer aware that it’s ending, that what you enjoyed for the previous hundreds of pages will continue and that it will be absent from your life when you read the final sentence and close the book. How I Met Your Mother has hit the stage of the final season when the characters address the ending of the story they’re part of; when the writers decide to join with the audience’s wistful sadness to assure those watching that they feel as sad and as wistful about the show ending. So, we have “Gary Blauman,” which introduces Gary Blauman, in an episode that pays tribute to the supporting characters that populated this fictional world for nine seasons.

“Gary Blauman” put the bow on a number of significant supporting characters in the third act’s panoramic shot set outside, which was probably HIMYM’s most ambitious shot in the series, its very own True Detective heist sequence. The gang’s stories of Gary Blauman precede the last act’s nod towards those minor but endearing characters. Blauman touched the lives of each character. He helped Lily calm down after breaking up with Marshall; he took a surprise curly fry from Barney’s order of French fries; he had sex with James, which led to the sundering of James’ marriage; he loved William Zabka, author of six poetry collections; he competed with Ted for a lady; and he needed a seat at the wedding. Robin asked Marshall to find a place to seat Gary Blauman, this floating figure in their lives that came and went like a passing squall. Marshall agreed to honor Robin’s request because the bride gets what she wants on her wedding day.