Last week Robin’s (Cobie Smulders) new boyfriend Kevin (Kal Penn), who is a therapist, pointed out that the group had a lot of issues. These included Ted (Josh Radnor) and Marshall’s separation anxiety, Robin’s trust issues, Barney’s pathological lying and denial, and the whole group’s generally abnormal social behavior. My apologies to my thousands of fans for not getting around to doing a recap for last week’s episode (delusions of grandeur). However, when the gang found out that Lily was going to have a boy and all rallied together around the good news, Kevin decided that they were all good at heart.
This week, when Barney’s brother James (Wayne Brady) pointed out that Nora was a lot like their mother Loretta (Frances Conroy) he asked what Kevin thought. He said that it was perfectly normal for someone to end up with somebody who embodies some of the traits of their parents. The advice seemed reassuring, but ended up with everybody looking deeper into who they were with.
Lily (Alyson Hannigan) was already having some anxiety about her baby weight, but when Marshall (Jason Segel) brought out a Lily themed board game he invented, it started snowballing. Her father Mickey (Chris Elliot) was an aspiring board game inventor. Was Marshall like her father? Marshall had the whole topic in the back of his mind too. He quickly dismissed it, saying that Lily was nothing like his mother, but then some things started creeping into his brain. Lily had always been one of the guys. Was she a lot like Mr. Eriksen (Bill Fagerbakke)?
Meanwhile, Barney was going on a date with Nora, and the similarities to his own mother had still not been pointed out to him. Barney had high hopes for the outcome of the date (wink, wink) but it quickly began spiraling out of control. First Nora broke her tooth ice skating, then later a rat jumps off a building onto her head, and later at Barney’s apartment a man commits suicide by jumping off the roof. Barney begins to think that it is hopeless to turn things around. Then Nora comforts him, and he sees for the first time the similarity to his mother.
The next day at the bar, Lily, Marshall, Ted, Robin, and Kevin are still a little freaked out about their emotional issues. Then Barney walks in and says that he noticed that Nora is kind of like his Mom. Marshall asks if that freaked him out. Barney responds, “No, my mom is one of the best people I know. If Nora is even a little bit like her then I’m a really lucky guy.” Barney’s outlook helps everybody else relax a little, even when Ted sees a little of his own mother in one of the girls at MacLaren’s.
This episode had some pretty funny moments, but overall I think it was mostly just uncomfortable to watch. Some people really love uncomfortable comedic moments, but that’s not really for me. It was fun to see all of the parents of the characters come back and guest star for the most part. However, I really wish I didn’t have to see that scene with Chris Elliot and Bill Fagerbakke on the bed. It kind of ruins the fact that the last time we heard from Mr. Eriksen was in the episode “Last Words,” where the gang went out to Minnesota for Mr. Eriksen’s funeral. It was easily the most powerful episode of last season and one of the best of the series. The storylines have centered heavily on the supporting cast in the last few weeks, and while I did enjoy the side story involving Ted and Weird Al Yankovic this week, I am really looking forward to the focus getting back on our main character and his ongoing quest to find his soulmate.
The legend continues Monday 8/7c on CBS with “Perfect on Paper” written by show creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas!