The moment that How I Met Your Mother has been building to for so long has finally come to pass. The identity of that mystery character we’ve all been waiting to meet has finally been revealed. With all of this pontificating, you know I’m not talking about Ted’s future wife. (If that were the case, there would probably have been quite a few exclamation points involved by now.) No, it wasn’t the Mother, but instead Barney’s Father. It was obvious, though, that the reunion wasn’t everything Barney himself had built up in his own head.
That Barney had incredibly high expectations for his long lost father was far from surprising. The “fake” first meeting Barney told the gang about was exactly as I’d imagined the perfect reunion to look like. From the same scotch order, to Jerry getting a girl’s number in record time, Dream-Jerry was just a little too perfect (in Barney’s eyes, not mine). When Barney’s emotions finally crashed, Neil Patrick Harris proved that he’s good for more than just a quick punch line. HIMYM has gone for the gut again and again this season, and Harris’ performance owned the day.
I know I cover this show week in and week out, but I feel like I missed a significant twist in the origin story of Barney’s dad. That, or HIMYM has dropped the continuity ball in a way that I’m not sure it ever has. How did we go from Barney thinking that Bob Barker was his father to having gone and met ZZ Top with him? Was Jerry some kind of “friend” when Barney was growing up, and I completely forgot?
As funny as all of Marshall’s attempts to get the gang to make fun of him were, the best part of his arc (specifically relating to his father) was his convincing Barney that he was going to Jerry’s for dinner. The look on Barney’s face when he reacted to Marshall’s “no Barney, I’m never going to talk to my dad again” was heartbreaking; right up there with Alyson Hannigan’s moment in “Bad News.” As important as our blood families are to us, our chosen families are just as much so. Tonight, Marshall prevented his friend from making an incredibly bad decision.
I am not one of those HIMYM fans that thinks the show has done a disservice by not finally revealing the identity of the mother. I’m a little frustrated with the posturing of Carter Bays and Craig Thomas about this season, with the implication that Zoey could possibly be the mother, only to switch again. I do think, though, that these two writers are talented enough to continue telling the story after the big “meet” occurs. All of that being said, there was a throwaway line in this episode that could potentially be a big clue as to a potential mom candidate … or could just be another dead end. This show doesn’t often create a character and leave them off screen without the intention of bringing that character in at a later date. If this wedding where Ted finally meets the titular mother is in fact Barney’s, then meeting Swarley‘s half-sister Carly there isn’t too much of a reach. And, she’s a college student. Stranger things have happened.
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