By Meryl Gottlieb| firstname.lastname@example.org| @buzzlightmeryl
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS
Rating: 3.5/ 5
Every week I say this and every week I mean it: I don’t think there’s really going to be a “bad” episode this season on How I Met Your Mother. The past few episodes have been full of fluff storylines that, in the end, paid off fairly well. Though tonight’s episode, “Mom and Dad,” was entertaining, it didn’t do much to serve the overall plot. However, I still wouldn’t consider it a “bad” episode. Once the ball got rolling in each storyline, the humor picked up and my time was well spent this week. I have to say that, as a fan, this final season is a really nice way to say goodbye to one of my favorite shows.
Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) are still without a reverend, but luckily, James’ (Wayne Brady) father, Sam Gibbs (Ben Vereen) is a reverend and has arrived to save the couple.
At the same time, Barney’s dad, Jerome (John Lithgow) has come in for the wedding. After seeing his parents interact for the first time in many years, Barney hatches a scheme to get the two back together, even though Jerome is happily married. He traps the former lovers in the elevator and essentially has Ranjit (Marshall Manesh) kidnap Jerome’s wife by saying he’s driving her to meet her husband for parasailing. While they are in the elevator, Barney lowers a tray with wine, candles and condoms to help set the mood. Obviously, this fails.
James tries to talk Barney out of this nonsense, but not for a good reason. It’s because he thinks Loretta (Frances Conroy) is going to get back together with his dad. Thus, we have the battle of the black and white ‘50s-esque cut-aways. These musicals moments were top-notch, and easily one of the highlights of the night.
James “wins” — even though it’s not a competition, of course — for Loretta has rekindled a relationship with Sam sometime after he was reunited with James those few years ago. Barney laments his loss at reuniting his family, but Robin says that it’s maybe best James got this since he just lost his family.
Barney was his usual crazy, hilarious self and tonight’s episode was an excellent highlight of that. Neil Patrick Harris never fails. Plus, think about how realistic this storyline is. Someone who comes from a broken home, thought Bob Barker was his father for quite some time, is finally getting to start his own family; it’s very plausible that he’ll want to make his original family whole again. These may seem like obvious and little storylines but in order to be truthful to the characters’ lives, they need to be done.
Barney puts Ted (Josh Radnor) in charge of guarding his signed Wayne Gretzky photo. Unfortunately, Ted’s calligraphy ink is spilled all over it. Mistake you say? Nay, twas sabotage! Detective Mosby is on the case — even if his last case, which has taken eight years, didn’t pan out so well. Cut to a board referencing THE PINEAPPLE INCIDENT. Yes, folks. It’s here. No, we don’t get an answer, but I absolutely LOVED how they tied it back in. “I’m calling it,” Ted says as he knocks the board over. I guess we will really never know what happened. Mark it down as the eighth wonder of the world.
In the end, we discover William Zabka was behind it all — a “Zabka-tage!” After being the bad guy in nearly every ‘80s film — cue a hilarious parody of ‘80s clothing and Zabka himself — Zabka wanted to be the good guy again, even “the best man” to Barney.
I don’t know why but I really enjoyed the end of this storyline. It started out slow, but after the reveal of Zabka’s plan and that ‘80s movie-going montage, I was cracking up. The HIMYM writers really know how to use their guest stars well.
Meanwhile, Marshall (Jason Segel) and Daphne (Sherri Shepherd) are driving along, jamming to “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” when Daphne gets bad news: since the delay, her daughter doesn’t want her to come to her model UN speech anymore.
Before I get into that, I have to mention how much I am loving all of the throwbacks to fan favorites. That montage of the Marshall, Daphne and Marvin driving and singing was spectacular.
Daphne explains that her daughter lives with the father and the issue is that she sees him as the hero because he’s there. “Kids can’t understand logic; they only remember who shows up.” This was such a well-written, beautiful statement in the midst of a lot of silliness. It’s such a tragedy that happens with separated families and the children. Thus, I loved the resolution that much more. Marshall makes it a point to get Daphne to her daughter’s school in time for her speech, which just happens to be about the power of oil. Oh my goodness. They really know how to make a story come full circle.
And that’s it kids. Not much, but it was still good.
What were your thoughts about the small resurgence of the pineapple incident? Would you “boo” William Zabka if you saw him in the theater? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl?