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October 21, 2014

'How I Met Your Mother' Season 6, Episode 15 Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 7th 2011 11:30PM
Neil Patrick Harris and Katy Perry in 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Oh, Honey' on CBS['How I Met Your Mother' - 'Oh, Honey']

Did Carter Bays and Craig Thomas kill off Marshall's dad in order to accommodate Jason Segel's movie career?

It certainly feels like it after watching this episode. Under the guise that Marshall has to stay in Minnesota to help out his widowed mom, we see Marshall for the most part interact with the gang via phone. It feels like those scenes and the early flashback scene he was in allowed him to shoot his scenes for the week before anyone else did so he could go play with the Muppets or whatever other movie project he's on right now.

What the finished product ended up being, though, was a cute story told in an awkward fashion. Think what you will about Jennifer Morrison as Zoey, but she's been Ted's most promising girlfriend in a few years, and it was fun to see Ted try to be mature about his feelings for her. It was also good to see Katy Perry's guest shot go from gratuitous to actually being involved in the plot.

I can't imagine that, if they had their full complement of players, that Bays and Thomas would have told the story like this. This episode was rife with flashbacks, multiple versions of stories, and other 'HIMYM' classic time shifts and misdirections. And the ultimate payoff, with Marshall calling up both Zoey and Ted to tell them what's truly going on -- Ted loves Zoey and Zoey is divorcing The Captain -- made for a sweet ending.

But if Segel were around, all of that could have been done a different way with the same effect and all the awkwardness would be gone. Sure, hearing Mrs. Eriksen and Marshall's lunkheaded brother Marcus join in on the conversation would have been gone, as would the fact that Marcus, a grown man with kids, still insists on giving his little brother a "Hertz Donut." But these are professional sitcom writers here, folks; they would have come up with something just as good.

How are you folks liking Zoey as a love match for Ted? They certainly have more of a history than, say, Ted and Stella did. It's not the pinnacle of Ted relationships, like Robin and Victoria were, but his feelings certainly seem more organic and believable than with some of the others. I like that this relationship isn't starting with Ted making grand romantic gestures or talking about soulmates. It started from hatred, settled into friendship, and blossomed among misunderstandings and Ted's decision to do the right thing and not get involved with a woman who he thought was married.

In fact, I would have loved see a few more episodes where Ted was tortured by the fact that he can't act on his feelings because Zoey was married, and not just because we would have seen more of Kyle MacLachlan. It would have been interesting to see Ted struggling with things while taking the high road. But that just wasn't in the cards. Now let's see how long the two of them last.

I give credit to the writers for making Perry's guest shot reasonably meaty, especially in the episode's second half. The naïve Honey -- named that by the gang because she's so trusting that the only thing you can say to her is a resigned, "Oh, honey..." -- could have been played by anyone, but that also means that it's a safe spot for a high-profile, non-actor guest like Perry to make an appearance. And she played too-innocent well, even managing to get Barney to break down over his estranged father just by returning his "Who's your daddy?" come on line with the simple, "Who's your daddy?"



More fun stuff:

-- Barney's tears over his dad were sincere, and it was fun to see him wrapped in a blanket holding a cup of tea, just like Robin says she wants to do with Honey. But he still knows that it could be used as a come-on, as he was able to weave his usual lies -- he has four Nobel Prizes while his dad only has three -- in between sobs.

-- The Best Barneyism of the week was his method of "explaining" what went on between him and Honey. So many people have done the tasteless bedspring noise to indicate vigorous sex, but not to the length Barney did. He then also gave his "explanation" to Zoey, who he barely knows. Second best: "He fell on his sword so she could fall on mine."

-- Ted brought back interventions so the gang could talk him out of his feelings for Zoey. But I'd rather see the interventions for his coffee breath, shoulder hair and grandmother's watch.

-- Lily to Marshall: "We hate Ted now. Get on board or the sexting stops."

-- "Barney accidentally left the phone at my apartment ... in the garbage." Oh, honey ...

'How I Met Your Mother' airs Mondays at 8PM ET on CBS.

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tony

Did anybody else like the Lochness poster above Marshall's bed? I thought it was a great episode and I like the Ted and Zoey story line. It feels more natural than Ted and Stella.

February 08 2011 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Natalia

I actually loved that Marshall was in Minnesota for this episode. Far too often in TV land, characters just carry on with normal life after the death of a loved one and often that isn't the case. Since Marshall lives so far from his family and his mother has just been widowed, it makes sense for him to stay on a bit longer.
I also enjoyed the awkwardness of the story telling. HIMYM often does episodes like this and it makes them entertaining and a bit more interesting.

February 08 2011 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sammusubi

did you guys catch the fact that Ted wore Purple, Zoey wore White, Barney wore Green, & Honey wore red in all their scenes? the colors represented the Clue characters (Professor Plum = Professor Mosby, Mrs. White = Zoey, Rev. Green = Barney, Miss Scarlett = Honey) in Marshall's explanation towards the end of the episode. If the Captain appeared in the episode, he'd probably be wearing Yellow, as he was represented as Col. Mustard.

February 08 2011 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
simpsonfn4

I am her therapist...best line

February 08 2011 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
VSJ

I know Im nitpicking but Im actually getting annoyed with the pop star cameos (Katy Perry, Britney, J.Lo, Carrie Underwood). Just plain bugs me.

Did think it was one amusing moment when Robin's taunting of Marshall's struggle not to answer call-waiting despite not recognizing the number because "it would be rude!"

February 08 2011 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stacie

You would think that Zoey is not the mother, given the fact that "Honey" is Zoey's cousin, so if Zoey and Ted were married don't you think that the kids would know their mother's cousin's name. Other than that tiny let down, I do think this was one of the best episodes in a very long time. I thought it had all the elements that we have grown to love about the show, and it wasn't as goofy as it tends to get sometimes. There were some real moments, and although Jason Segal was only there via phone it was a good vehicle to tell the story. I definetly enjoyed this episode.

February 08 2011 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Stacie's comment
Anthony Wickizer

Well, we know she isn't the mother because he meets her at the wedding. No need to analyze all of those little clues about each of his girlfriends like we did with Stella.

February 08 2011 at 1:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Anthony Wickizer's comment
Stacie

That's true also. I just get annoyed every time a female guest star comes on and they say "Is She The Mother?", when she isn't every single time. But I guess it comes with the territory.

February 08 2011 at 1:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
onigiri

Also because we know the mother is the roommate of his student that he had that brief flirtation with. I don't really care, though. It's adorable and I'm looking forward to seeing where it's going.

Something else Joel didn't mention that about killed me: That Barney, ten minutes after telling Marshall he's taken to using disposable cell phones (all right, I guess in episode-time it was actually several hours *before* telling Marshall, but you get me) he's all distraught because he sent his biological father his phone number and Dad hasn't called. Then he proceeds to throw *that* phone away before leaving Katy Perry's house. Um...

I think this calls for an "Oh, honey..."

February 13 2011 at 1:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anthony Wickizer

I loved the awkwardness of the storytelling device. That's what the whole story was. I think the only problem with it was the very beginning. But they settled into a nice rhythm between Marshall, the phone, and the flashbacks. and as for the brothers and family, that's what happens when you go back him. A lot of times, it's like you never left. What else would you expect from an older brother in a family that still plays Baskiceball.

Thought it was a great episode. It will be interesting to see where this relationship takes Ted. Plus it was awesome to see Barney's father story pushed forward.

February 08 2011 at 12:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Anthony Wickizer's comment

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