How I Met your Mother 6.13 “Bad News” Review

Just when I thought the title of tonight’s How I Met Your Mother was ironic, BAM! We were hit with some horrible and shocking news.

Marshall’s father was dead. He had a heart attack and didn’t make it. It was an unexpected event that I never saw coming.

As Marshall was about to call his dad to tell him the good news (his ‘sperm is fine!’) we were stabbed right in the gut. Tonight’s episode of HIMYM was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, from the high to the very low. I laughed out loud (multiple times), gasped and shed some tears.

The episode began with Marshall and Lily in their doctor’s office wondering why they’re not getting pregnant even though they’ve had sex everywhere, in every position and at all times of the day. Their doctor suggests they visit a fertility specialist, Dr. Stangel (Neil Patrick Harris), who just so happens to be Barney’s doppelganger.

Upon meeting Stangel and realizing this, Lily is convinced ‘this is like a black cat walking through my uterus.’She and Marshall have always said they wouldn’t try to have kids until they found him (Barney’s doppelganger).

Convinced it is Barney trying to get a peek at her lady parts, Marshall and Lily make him stay in the room, with headphones and eye shields on, as she is examined. We find out later that she is extremely fertile and Marshall begins to wonder if he is the problem. After going through ghosts of sperm givers past, constant interruptions and a fake out by Barney in his quest for a laser tag partner, Marshall is finally able to give sperm and sees that he too is fertile.

The Eriksons can have a child (Yay! Even though we already knew this from ‘The Mermaid Theory’episode)… and THEN that’s when the bad news dropped like a bomb. According to viewers on Twitter and upon my second viewing, we see there was a gag countdown until the bad news hit. It seemed a bit odd to me that they’d do this, given the sad event it was counting down to but perhaps if I had I seen this during my first viewing, I would have been more prepared for the news. Without it, it was a complete and utter shock to my system. Perfectly acted by both Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel, the moment was powerful and their sadness was palpable. It almost made me forget everything that happened before it. It was extremely affecting.

While I’m left with the overwhelming feeling of grief from tonight’s episode, there were some really funny moments leading up to the ‘˜Bad News’and some hilarious quips of the night (see below). I didn’t particularly care for the secondary storyline of Robin starting her new job at Worldwide News but did love seeing Alexis Denisof back on the show. (Any Whedonverse alum on TV makes me happy). Overall it was a great episode that packed the one-two punch of funny and serious quite well (minus the inappropriate gag countdown). Here’s hoping the writers of HIMYM can keep delivering strong episodes like tonight.

Some additional thoughts:

  • Lily and Marshall having sex 203 times in the past 4 months. Awesome.
  • The montage with Marshall and his dad was very sweet, especially given the end of the episode.
  • Laser Tag is awesome.
  • Just the thought of Robin getting hit by an owl is hilarious.
  • In The A.V. Club’s review of the episode, Donna Bowman lists when every number took place for those who were as unaware as myself.

My Quips of the Night:

  • ‘[…] This is like a black cat walking through my uterus’—Lily
  • ‘Wow, it is like looking into a poorly dressed mirror’— Barney re: Dr. Stengel
  • ‘How ya doing Lily? …Should I have a boner?’— Barney (screaming as he is blinded and deafened during Lily’s exam)
  • ‘Problem? You can’t get a girl pregnant. That’s the dream. I’d give my first born to not be able to have children’— Barney

So what did you guys think? Did you like the episode? Were you as shocked as I was at the ending? Did you notice the countdown? What do you think his Dad’s death will do to Marshall? When will Lily finally get pregnant? Leave your comments and thoughts below!


  1. Rye January 4, 2011
    • Lauren January 3, 2011
  2. Mohith Subbarao January 4, 2011
    • Lauren January 3, 2011
  3. Vindhya January 4, 2011

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