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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How I Met Your Mother - Bad News recap/review

This episode was entitled “Bad News” and we even got a countdown to the bad news. The countdown started with the number 50 in the first scene at the doctor’s office and continued until the number 001 on Lily’s cab, just before the bad news. We didn’t like the countdown, because it was sort of cheap and lessened the impact of the bad news. A lot of people didn’t even catch the countdown and didn’t know the name of the episode. It seems like an effort to be clever that didn’t quite pay off. If you care, here are all the numbers you might have missed:

But let’s go back. Lily and Marshall were worried that they hadn’t conceived yet, so they saw a fertility specialist. The specialist, Dr. Stangel, was Barney’s doppelganger. Marshall and Lily were afraid that it was really Barney messing with them and trying to see up girls’ skirts, so they had the real Barney attend the checkup so they could see both Barneys at once. Lily’s womb was cleared by the doctor, so Marshall started wondering if the problem was in his own junk. Because he only likes to give his father good news, he avoided his father’s phone calls. While he was trying to masturbate into the little cup that he had taken home (for privacy), his parents showed up for a visit. Lily explained to Marshall's parents what was going on.

Barney ended up posing as the doctor to tell Marshall to play laser tag with him, saying that it helps with sperm count, but he got caught. Dr. Stangel (the real one) told Marshall that his swimmers were strong.

Robins started her new job at World Wide News. Robin’s former co-host that no one (especially Ted) could stand, Sandy Rivers, is the host at her new station. Sandy started showing everyone all the funny things that have happened to Robin during her time with the media, including Robin Sparkles and falling in horse poop. Sandy also found a Robin Sparkles Owl Attack video that Ted thought was funny, but we (unfortunately) didn’t get to see. And to top it off, Sandy lied and told everyone that Robin slept with him. To defend Robin, Ted crept by Sandy’s house using some very lame ninja moves, and he got a picture of Sandy without his toupee and about to engage in sex with some … uh … interesting people. We’re pretty sure he’s a furry. Unless it was a real bear ...

Rather than out Sandy for the toupee, which turns out to be the one thing he’s keeping a secret, Robin humbled herself and wore a Robin Sparkles jacket to work. Future Ted let us know that she had a good career there and everything went fine after that, especially once a guy spilled coffee all over himself and became the new punchline.

The episode (and countdown) ended with Lily finding Marshall and telling him that his father died of a heart attack. Lily cried, they hugged, and Marshall said, “I’m not ready for this.” So, so sad. Probably the most serious and tragic moment in How I Met Your Mother history. It doesn't swing from zany comedy to emotion as well or as often as, say, Scrubs. Despite the fact that the end was such a downer, we think it’s good that Marshall and Lily have an issue to work through that doesn’t involve pregnancy now. We already know that she is going to get pregnant. We liked the twist. It was a surprise that the bad news wasn’t about pregnancy, and it was emotional. The episode wasn’t as funny as other episodes though. We need more Barney.

Episode Grade: B

You can watch this one at


  1. I thought the countdown was kind of fun, but then again I really like scavenger hunts. Solid non-baby-related twist at the end!

  2. Yeah, some people thought the twist was manipulative. We thought it was great.