How I Met Your Mother Season 9, Episode 10 “Mom and Dad”
Written by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Airs Monday nights at 8pm ET on CBS
With the Mother wish fulfillment journey on hold for the time being, How I Met Your Mother turned back to Farhampton for another round of unfunny hijinks, centered around Barney and James’s selfish competitions to get their mother to sleep with their birth fathers. If that doesn’t sound like fun, Ted’s in the background arguing with Billy Zabka over a photograph of Wayne Gretzky – another entertaining round of adventures so terrible, I couldn’t believe the script is actually credited to the series’ creators. Make no mistake: this is one of the worst episodes of the series, an episode that doesn’t take a single breath between bad jokes to actually find anything meaningful in its story.
There’s just no stakes to the petty argument Barney and James are having: which father Loretta ultimately picks has no bearing whatsoever on the direction of the narrative – something the writing reinforces when Barney’s sadness over not having his childhood dream come true lasts about five seconds. There’s no time for emotional resolution: instead, we get a two-plus minute song and dance with Wayne Brady and Neil Patrick Harris singing and dancing lame songs! From beginning to end, it’s an empty story: an in fact, one that’s decided before it even begins, considering Loretta’s been “Loretta” for some time now with James’s birth father.
On the other side of the inn, Billy and Ted fight over a photograph. That’s it: throw in a few lame “everybody hates Billy Zabka because of The Karate Kid jokes” (jokes the show already made before, and better) and that’s all there is to it (that is, unless the calligraphy thing still makes you laugh). Again, there’s nothing important in any of these plots connecting them to the Big Stories of the show (the only thing we’re still tuning in for at this point), as much as the episode tries to shove the “kids understand who shows up” angle down our throats through Daphne (adios, one-note character!) and Isolated Marshall on the final leg of their shared adventure – something that in the end, doesn’t really even apply to Barney and James in any tangible way.
It just doesn’t work: and to boot, none of it is funny, be it Ted running around yelling at everyone for sabotaging his place in the wedding (a wedding he’s still planning to sabotage, in case you forgot), or Barney and James having a slapfight that doubles as a black-and-white musical number. It screams of time wasting – and there’s nothing harder to watch than an old comedy biding its time until it gets close to the end.
– one funny moment: Ted finally giving up on figuring out The Pineapple Incident.
– Billy Zabka said “deep tish” instead of “deep tissue”… these are the kind of jokes “Mom and Dad” passes off as funny.
– Ranjeet kidnaps Barney’s stepmother with plans to murder her – hilarious!
— Randy Dankievitch