How I Met Your Mother took a turn from last week’s episode that focused on Ted (Josh Radnor) and the mother, instead placing Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) in the spotlight. The great Wayne Brady returned as Barney’s brother James, and the two went on a journey to find their real fathers.
At the bar, as usual, the episode begins with Barney regaling the table of Lilly (Allison Hanegan), Marshal (Jason Segel), Ted and Robin (Cobie Smulders) about his escapades with some hot girl at the zoo. Just as he is about to get to the great moment in the story, he stops, telling the gang that, while he knows that they look forward to his awesome stories, he just can’t do it. Barney reveals that he is too sad to share the rest of his awesomeness. His mom is moving out of the house that he grew up in. (We wish we had heard the rest of this story- it left off just as the monkeys were going to give him a standing O). Barney has already volunteered everyone to help with the two day packing project. They scoff and refuse, but, apparently Barney has some magical ability to talk people into anything (he got the queen to fist bump him?) and all of the sudden everyone is indeed helping Barney’s mom move out of her house. What we wouldn’t give for powers of persuasion like that. We would definitely have less problems sets to do. James arrives to help, showing off pictures of his son, Eli in diapers and a Dolce & Gabana suit that Barney bought him. Poor kid is destined to be ‘that guy’, or maybe just as awesome as his uncle. We shudder at the thought. Meanwhile, Robin has been talking Ted up to a makeup girl at work. However, Ted is aghast when Robin tells him how she described him. (Cascading waves or orgasm, he knows a woman’s body better than she knows it herself). Ted insists that he can never live up to that, which is probably true. Know any boys who can? Send them our way. Lilly discovers a tiny jersey from Barney’s days with Pee Wee Basketball. Barney brags that he was the best player; he was so good that he was kicked off the team because it was unfair to the other kids. But once Barney leaves James tells them that he really was kicked off the team, but it was because he sucked. Surprise. For some reason, we just can’t picture Barney playing basketball. Then, James revealed all the lies that Barney’s mom, Loretta (Frances Conroy) told Barney growing up, including a great one about why no one came to his 8th birthday party. According to the Postmaster General, who has handwriting identical to Loretta’s, the invitations got lost in the mail, and it had nothing to do with him throwing up when they turned off the lights at the Planetarium. No, no one even noticed that. When digging through boxes in the living room, Barney and James found of picture of them when they were about 5 in an envelope addressed to a Sam Gibbs, with “your son” written on the back. They ask Loretta who Sam Gibbs is; she gasps, and then says she has no idea. They keep digging, and eventually she admits that he is the Mayor of Yourson, South Dakota, and that they were kayaking and rescued some dogs from the rapids, earning them statues as heroes. Barney buys it, James does not. He is one of their fathers. So, the gang is off to find Sam Gibbs. The drive to Long Island, in a moving van which is the way everyone should travel, with Robin and Ted riding in the back of the truck (unsafe) and Lilly and Marshall eating Loretta’s sloppy joes as Barney and James discuss the potential of meeting their father. When they finally get to the house, just as James is about to ring the doorbell, Barney stops him. He says he has to prepare himself, and goes into a heartfelt speech about how much it is going to mean to him to meet his father, finally admitting that Bob Barker is not his father. James rings the doorbell, the door opens, and Sam is…black. James and Sam embrace, and the gang is feeling bad for Barney, until he creates the delusion that Sam is his dad too. He is obviously black because he was so good at basketball. “Try to hail a cab in Manhattan, no one’s stopping for this”. James and Sam try to bond, singing “Stand by Me” (with Barney chiming in, first like a gospel choir, then with a mike that made him sound like T-Pain), and sitting on the porch looking at pictures of Eli, with Barney running by begging Sam to look how fast he can run. Barney returns to Loretta’s house at the end of the day, and she offers to tell him who is real dad is. She confesses that she tried so hard to be a great single mom, and that she was hurt whenever they asked who their dads are. Barney flashes back to his childhood, realizing all that she has done for him, and tells her that she is amazing, and that he doesn’t need to know who his dad is. Awww. Cue us almost crying. This episode brought up the important issue of parents lying to their children. How far is too far? Barney’s mom was trying to protect him, but she also damaged him. Emma did not want to tell her children about Santa Clause, a view which Lily supports in the episode. However, when Barney flashed back to his mom dressed up as Santa, putting presents under the tree, her heart melted. This is obviously a problem for Future Emma to handle. Best Lines: Robin, writing an email about Ted to Liz: “He’s clean, open to criticism, not into any weird stuff, not bad at all. The first few times aren’t great, and he will ask you if you’re finished more times than a waiter in a busy restaurant…” Lily: “When Marshall would get hyper, his mom would decide he was sick and give him cold medicine until he passed out” Marshall: “I think that’s what stunted my growth. I hit 6’4” in the fifth grade and just stopped” Marshall: “Sometimes people need the lie. Like when we tell Ted he will find the right girl and settle down with her”.
Original Author: Emma Carlsson