27
Sep
2010
How I Met Your Mother: Season 6, Episode 2
Cleaning House
Sam
This week's How I Met Your Mother, felt a bit flat. It was a stand-alone episode which, like all stand-alone HIMYM episodes, has absolutely nothing to do with the mother and in tonight's episode, Ted.

Barney is able to convince the gang to head up to Barney's childhood home to pack up his things. Upon arrival everyone learns just how much Barney's mother (Francis Conroy) has lied to him over the years. Whether it be the Post Master General apologizing for losing all of his birthday invitations or his being cut from the pee-wee basketball team because he was just too good, Barney's life has been padded by a mother who had to protect a fatherless child.

Barney's belief that his biological father is actually The Price is Right's host, Bob Barker, made for one of the show's best episodes earlier in the series. Now, alongside brother James (Wayne Brady), they figure out that Sam Gibbs (Ben Vereen) is one of the brother's biological father thanks to a labeled photograph of the pair as youngsters.

They seek out Gibbs and he opens the door and is clearly James' father as he is African-American. Barney of course stupidly takes this realization to mean that he is in fact half black. This plot really goes nowhere as I don't particularly care about James and his father even though I've liked the work Brady has done on the show. Barney's heart-to-heart with his mother was sweet and punctuated nicely with the montage of her making up all the lies to make him feel better.

But what this episode came down to was not a lot of laughs and a story that didn't even have anything to do with the search for the mother which is only a problem when an episode isn't really funny. The B-stories in this episode were pretty lame with Robin talking to Ted about how she's described him to a co-worker and his subsequent freak-out that he's been oversold. There was a micro-plot with Lilly and Marshall talking about how much they would or wouldn't lie to their kids. This went pretty much nowhere as well and didn't really yield anything.

All of that being said, Neil Patrick Harris was still able to pull something out of nothing. Barney's singing during the newly reunited father and son was fun and the emotional moments felt pretty on the mark. The problem is it was hard to delineate how crazy Barney was going to be. On the one hand, his belief that Bob Barker was his father was just something to keep him happy, but in the end never really believed it. This is understandable, but that he had to be told by his mother that Gibbs was not his father seemed a bit much.

HIMYM can never be ONLY about the search for the mother, but when it isn't, it should really pull out all the comedic stops largely because it's more freeing for writers to not have to deal with Ted's quest for his soul-mate. Nothing about this episode, as mediocre as it was, screams out that this season will be doomed. Four more of these in a row? Then we'll talk.

C+

Observations:

-Ben Vereen! Of Zoobilee Zoo fame! OK so I may have been the only person to watch the Canadian children's show, but it kicked ass.



-Would have liked to see how Barney got the gang to go out to his house but the joke still worked.

-Love auto-tuned Barney

-The Post Master General definitely looks like Barney's imagination pictures him.
Tags: How I Met Your Mother
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