I had a strange sensation during the opening six minutes of "Hopeless." It felt Michael Jacobs and the rest of the BMW writers possessed the HIMYM staff and forced the writers to create situations straight out of Boy Meets World. I don't understand why How I Met Your Mother resorts to tired and outdated sitcom tropes in any Barney episode. How can a group of smart and talented individuals collectively decide that tired, outdated sitcom tropes should make the production draft of an episode? Barney planned a night that would hopefully mark the return of Crazy Jerry, the man his father was before he settled down and straightened himself out. For whatever reason, Barney altered the identities of his friends. The exact same thing happened when Topanga's parents came to Philadelphia in the sixth season finale of Boy Meets World. Cory provided his parents with note cards. The plan went terribly. I digress.
The arc for Barney Stinson throughout the sixth season seems to be his transition into an actual 30something year old. Jerry tells his son that he needs to settle down. Barney, of course, only remembers Crazy Jerry's last words to him: "Don't Stop Partying." The line tried to explain Barney's behavior throughout the course of the series, effectively retconning Barney. The retcon is always dangerous because I loathe the retcon. Other fans may not care but the obvious retcon is no-no in The Foot. Barney needs a stable, healthy relationship with his father before he transitions into a life in which he settles down with a nice girl. Barney's clueless about how to cultivate that relationship or, rather, reluctant to cultivate a relationship with his father. Remember, Barney walked away from his father at the end of "Legendaddy." Between the end of that episode and "Hopeless," something changed. Last week's episode certainly didn't hint that Barney felt any differently about his father. Besides Barney's disdain by Jerry's insistence that he settle down, Barney's less bitter and more open to allowing his father into his life. The show never provides a clear answer as to why Barney's feelings have changed.
Their father and son night has a few enjoyable moments. Lithgow's sometimes so over the top and NPH reacted accordingly. At night's end, Jerry reveals that he faked Crazy Jerry just so he could spend time with his son. Barney feels betrayed. Jerry realizes that he'll never make it home in time for the fishing trip with his son. Barney feels responsible for his dad's predicament. On their ride to Jerry's house, the two finally bond as father and son. Barney admits that he's broken, that he's not in love with his lifestyle, that he wants to settle down. Jerry tells him that it takes one good girl to change a man. Barney feels regretful that he may've met that woman and allowed her to slip away. Jerry provides the support, encouragement and love that any father should bestow on a son when that son needs it. Barney decides to join his half-brother and his father on that fishing trip. The story began badly but ended nicely.
Meanwhile, the four other friends had their nonsense stories as a result of Barney's identity shake-ups. Lily argued that she'd be the more financially successful of the married couple if she were like Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada and Marshall a successful Tony award winning playwright. Lily bases her theory on their relationship history, obviously forgetful that her credit card nonsense forced Marshall into that lucrative position at GNB. Ted and Robin acted like they dated. Some guy that Robin met at a department store was in the same club as she. Nonsense occurred. It's not worth summarizing. All you need to know is that Future Ted promised us that we wouldn't see the last of department store guy.
"Hopeless" was a solid C. Parts of it were terrible. Other parts weren't so bad. Lithgow brought the laughs though. The rest of the cast acts like an NBA team during the regular season i.e. they're mailing it in. They're capable of more but it's the nature of a veteran sitcom. I have nothing else to write about "Hopeless."
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK