REVIEW: How I Met Your Mother “Bad News” S6 E13

06 Jan

I’m still upset about this episode.  I knew something was coming (thank you not so subtle countdown clock) but I thought it would be something entirely different from what actually happened.  If you still haven’t seen Monday’s HIMYM then stop reading now because we are going to talk about the surprising event that happened at the end of the episode.   Last chance!!!!!!!!

The whole episode was mainly about Marshall and Lily thinking one of them is infertile.   They go to see Dr Horrible, I mean Dr Howser, I mean Dr Stengel who turns out to be Barney’s Doppelganger.  Ok I know my next comment will be stupid considering everything that happened but wouldn’t it have been a little funnier if he was Dr Howser instead of Dr Stengel?   It’s small and minor but just a thought.  Anyway, Lily and Marshall were both very concerned about this and both get tested.  Lily gets the good news first and Marshall now worries it’s him.  When he tries to generate a sample (like how I phrased that) it isn’t working so he goes home to do it only…his parents are there.  When he goes to the bathroom, it’s hilarious but a little creepy that his mom and dad are talking through the door to him and bothering him to the point that he can’t produce his sample.  When he goes to leave to go back to the clinic, Lily begs him to tell his parents what is going on.  He tells him and they are incredibly supportive and his dad tells him there’s adoption, sperm banks, maybe a friend willing to give a sample.  He tells him that he loves him and supports him no matter what.   When Marshall gets his test results back, he finds out he 100% fertile and there is nothing wrong him.   Yeah for Marshmellow!!!!  However, I did find it strange that the first person he wants to call is his father and not his wife but I am going to assume he has already told Lily since he is at the bar with the gang when he decides to call his dad.  This is when the bomb drops.

My husband didn’t recognize the numbers in the episode.  It didn’t dawn on me until 26.  I remembered the camera making a point to show “36” on the beer can, which I thought was odd.  And I thought I remembered “40” on the book Ted was reading.  It must have started at the beginning of the episode but I didn’t remember anything standing out before 40.  But thanks to you can see it started at 50 from their first doctor’s appointment.  The clock is counting down to the “bad news” that is evidently coming at the end of the episode.  I don’t know why people were so confused by this element of the show.  I thought it was an interesting side part to spot the numbers but didn’t take away from the story at all.  And in my opinion, it helped build the tension of what was coming.  You knew the bad news wasn’t Lily and Marshall not being fertile because they were still on “8” when the news was revealed.  So what could it be?  When Lily wasn’t with Marshall or at the bar, I thought something had happened to her.  When Marshall walked outside to call his dad, my husband thought Marshall was going to get hit by a car.  As I have mentioned before, my husband gets very enthusiastic with TV shows where you have to figure something out (even thought he doesn’t always like to admit it) and as Marshall walks outside he shouts “He’s going to be hit by a car!!!!!” very excitedly.  I’m embarrassed to say that it made me chuckle at first because he was so sure that he figured it out that the excitement sounded more like him being excited over Marshall getting hit by a car rather than him being Sherlock Holmes.   But we were both wrong and what happened next, we didn’t see coming at all.  Lily gets out of a cab and Marshall hugs her with excitement and when she pushes back you can see she is crying.  She tells Marshall that she has some bad news.   Marshall’s dad had a heart attack and he didn’t make it.  “My Dad’s Dead” is all Marshall says.  She nods her head.  I am completely crying at this point.   Marshall looks completely stunned and Lily hugs him.  Then you hear Marshall say: “I’m not ready for this” and he loses it (and so do I.)  It’s usually at times like this that my husband laughs at me because I am crying so hard at a TV show (and rightfully so.)  This time, all he did was grab me a tissue and put a hand on my shoulder.  It was so sad and so unexpected we didn’t really talk for few minutes because we couldn’t believe what happened.  I was heartbroken for Marshall.  Jason Segal and Alyson Hannigan knocked this scene out of the park.  So much so I almost felt like I was intruding on a real couple’s private moment.  It was gut wrenching.  Segal’s facial expressions were incredible.  He goes from elation to shock to disbelief to confusion to utterly destroyed in a matter of a minute.  I’m always impressed with actors who can portray so much emotion with just their face and you know exactly what they are thinking and feeling because they exude it so effortlessly.

HIMYM has really gone to another level this season.  Not only are we going to be witness to how M&L deal with this loss, but we started to see Barney learn that maybe his father wasn’t really his father after all and possibly his uncle, we see Ted stepping up to be there for his friends in a way he never was before, M&L have been going through trying to get pregnant and how that affects couples, and Robin and Lily had some friendship issues when Lily wanted to get pregnant and Robin, who hates kids, was worried how Lily becoming a mom would impact their friendship.  I know this is a sitcom but we have grown to know and love these 5 friends for 6 years and we are invested in them.  If we didn’t care about these people, none of these storylines would work.  But the show has done an solid job of slow building the series to the point where they can tell these types of stories and they work.  One of things this show has always done an excellent job with is the running storyline.  Whether it be slap bet, Robin Sparkles, the Erikson family, or Barney’s family life, there is a payoff to the loyal viewers who have been with the crew since the beginning.  Some of the funniest episodes have revolved around Marshall’s family.  Remember Fight Club with the Erikson brothers?  Or the first Thanksgiving with the Eriksen family for Lily?  But besides all the funny moments, I love how they showed the relationship between Marshall and his dad.  All throughout the series, Marshall always talked about how much his dad means to him.  Even in this episode he made the comment about how things don’t seem real to him until he talks to his dad.  That’s what made the end of this episode so brutal.

I wonder how the next episode will handle this?  Will we see a funeral and the return of Marshall’s family?  I hope so.  I hope they don’t skip over that part and jump to right after and how M&L deal with this.  I want to see Marshall’s mom and brothers because weird as it sounds, I care about them (through Marshall) and want to see how they respond.  I have no doubt the crew will be there to support them every step of the way.  But don’t you think this has to change Marshall’s character to some degree?  I do.  Not completely but I think it will make him slightly different…how could it not?   To wrap this up, I just want to give huge props to the cast, the writing team, the directors, everyone involved in this episode.  It was beautifully done and perfectly executed.  Even though it did break my heart!

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Posted by on January 6, 2011 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews


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