Last week we were offered the first decent episode of the experimental last season of How I Met Your Mother. This week follows with a Barney-centric plot that used to be the type episode that would derail the flow of a season. This season, on the other hand, makes the episode more welcoming because it deters from the slow crawl that the wedding weekend has offered.
Barney and James are fighting with each other trying to get each of their fathers back together with their mother. It’s something that really comes full circle with Barney’s life-long journey to have a nuclear family again. There aren’t a lot of jokes that come into play, but the plot does feature a black-and-white Leave it to Beaver type musical number where they both sing why their birth father should end up with Loretta. The two decide to call it truce, but then they see James’ father making out with their mom. It was a total waste of John Lithgow returning as a guest star, but you know he has to be back again.
The B plot revolves around Ted trying to figure out who ruined an autographed Wayne Gretzky photo that Barney gave to him for safe keeping until he gives it to Robin. Detective Mosby is on the case and targets Billy Zabka for the crime. There are a series simple scenes strung together that don’t amount to a lot, but in the end there is a huge payoff—we are treated to a Beastie Boy “Sabotage” type sequence that is totally worth it. Also, we did get a flashback to Ted trying to solve the “Pineapple Incident”—referring to the tenth episode of the entire series where Ted wakes up after a one night stand to nothing but a pineapple.
Finally, Marshall is closing in on New York. He and Daphne seem to have made amends, until they’re not. It turns out Daphne’s daughter is mad at her, and now she’s taking it out on Big Fudge. That is until he saves the day. Sorry if that is a short synopsis of the plot, but that’s literally how much time was devoted to the uneven plot. My biggest problem is this: Marshall is driving from Minneapolis to New York in two days, because the snowstorm shut down the Minneapolis airport. Now they’ve crossed Ohio and are closing in on the destination, and it hasn’t been snowing in episodes/hours. Why not just go to the nearest airport and fly to New York to cut the travel time down in half? Oh, because it would end the worst plot on the show this season and that is a ludicrous idea? That makes sense.
At least it is almost certainly clear that the gang will finally be back together for the rest of the season. Plus, next episode looks like another flashback episode. Maybe we are on an upswing the rest of the way.