How I Met Your Mother-Mom and Dad-John Lithgow, Neil Patrick Harris, and Frances Conroy

On this week’s How I Met Your Mothersiblings just don’t understand. “Mom and Dad” are something for Barney and his brother to fight over. William Zabka returns and reprises his role as the thorn in Ted’s side. But fortunately, it looks like Sherri Shepherd might be done being a thorn in ours.

The Players:

  • Director: Pamela Fryman
  • Writers: Carter Bays and Craig Thomas
  • Cast: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Cristin Milioti, Bob Saget, John Lithgow, Wayne Brady, Sherri Shepherd, Ben Vereen, William Zabka, Marshall Manesh, Robert Belushi, Napoleon Ryan, Tre Moye, Kyla-Drew Simmons, Bruno Amato, Elizabeth Pan

Episode Title: “Mom and Dad”

Barney’s parental plan worries Robin while Ted investigates a fishy accident with Lily’s help.

The Good:

  •  Zabka-Tage: We knew Zabka would return to exact revenge on Ted and of course he followed through. One of the best parts about Ted’s war on Billy was his and Lily’s choice to ignore Barney’s familial drama in favor of keeping Robin’s surprise Wayne Gretzky picture safe. Ted’s exclamation at the loss of a bottle of calligraphy ink was delightfully typical. The story did drag a bit while they were searching for the cause of the accident but once Lily tackled Billy everything picked up. Please, let’s think of more problems that can be solved by Lily tackling people. So far she’s taken down two foes; maybe this could be a running gag this season? Ted accepting the blame for Zabka’s mess was a bit of weak sauce but hearing Zabka be booed by everyone for his ’80s era run as an on-screen bad boy made up for it in spades.
  • Kid Goggles: No matter what your age, the politics of separated parents remains the same. The child will harbor a tiny island of hope that they might get back together. The writers chose the perfect childish battle for Barney. There’s a possibility that the entire fight was constructed so Neil Patrick Harris and Wayne Brady could battle sing over whose dad would be better with their mom, which is perfectly okay with us.
  • Para-Sail Away: Barney’s stepmother’s disappearance was a tiny slice of the story, yet extremely satisfying. After nine seasons the writers know that if they need to squeeze humor out of the most insignificant bit, stick Ranjit on the job.  The parallel between Robin and Jerry was hilarious; Robin immediately knew her fiancé was the culprit while Jerry read Barney’s fake note full of his catchphrases and misspellings without ever suspecting Barney. Even more rewarding was watching Ranjit somehow block Cheryl’s cell phone from receiving a signal in the limo. Oh Ranjit, how do you do it all?

The Bad:

  • Drill Baby Brill: We learned that no amount of The Proclaimers or seeing Marvin drive a ginormous SUV could make us care about this road trip. Since the show is ticking off the days leading up to the wedding it makes sense that Marshall and Daphne’s journey would still be in the car 15 hours later. However, 10 episodes later, the reasoning is less defendable. Perhaps if they developed Daphne’s character more? It looks like it might finally be over: Marshall dropped Daphne off at her daughter’s model UN Speech where she glorified oil just like her mother. With any luck, this will be the end of it. It’s too bad though, after seeing Shepherd’s amazing run as Angie Jordan on 30 Rock our hopes were high.

The Quotable:

  • “Hey, quick favor, I want to give this to Robin. Gretzky’s her hero. She says his name sometimes in bed, I’ve accepted it.”— Barney

Overall:

“Mom and Dad” proved it’s the little things that count, like Ranjit and Lily, something the ever dragging Marshall and Daphne should be grateful for. Of course one has to celebrate the show’s perfect pun, Zabka-Tage, and all that came with it. We’re hoping the whole gang will be together soon. With that we’ll leave you with these important words, “Zabka rules, Ted drools, Stinson out!”

Rating: 8.5/10

How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

What did you think of the episode?