By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated April 19, 2011 at 05:20 PM EDT
Credit: Carin Baer/Fox

I was extremely vocal about my renewed love for How I Met Your Mother after they killed Marshall’s father earlier this season. (That sounds awful, I know.) But the sudden heartbreaking loss was such a massive punch to the gut that the show was forced to take a breath of fresh air in the episodes following, and it turned out to be the exact reboot the characters and their respective journeys needed.

With only a few episodes left until the finale, however, I’m feeling a little fatigue on the whole daddy issues thing. Marshall’s emotional repercussions were understandable — it was his father that kicked the bucket, after all. And it was also understandable that Barney would stop and re-evaluate his relationship with his father, Jerry, in light of the tragedy. But last night’s episode, “Hopeless,” which found the gang taking Barney’s dad, Jerry, out for a wild night on the town in attempt to find his lost inner party animal, almost put me over my threshold for dad-centric storylines.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved John Lithgow’s fantastic two-episode run as Jerry. I practically forgot that he also played the scariest father known to man on Dexter. (I say “practically” because you can never completely forget Trinity. Shudder.) I also enjoyed seeing Barney’s more vulnerable side during this arc — the first episode featuring Lithgow, when Barney walked away with a basketball hoop that he gave to Ted, was particularly good. Yeah, I bawled at the end.

Last night’s episode, however, was a mixed bag. The whole bit with Jerry pretending to party down (and Barney loving it) was not my favorite because, as Barney pointed out, it was all a lie. Barney appreciated the fact that Jerry lied so he could spend time with him, but I wish he had done something else to prove his love for his son. Something that really showed that he regretted his absence in Barney’s life.

It all had an emotional pay off, though. In the end, Barney went fishing with his father and half-brother and concluded that he could possibly have already met the woman of his dreams. So I’ll take those major milestones as a signal of an end to the daddy drama. It was a lovely run, but it’s time for us to move on — like Marshall. Or else we run the risk of this great season becoming slightly anti-awesometic. Agree, readers?

Other talking points: What did you think of Robin’s longtime crush? Do you mind that he’s sticking around? (As talking Ted teased, there is more to that story later.) Did you noticed (as EW’s Kate Ward did) that Clark from cycle 11 of American’s Next Top Model was the girl with Barney in the cold open? (For the second time, apparently!)

Follow Sandra on Twitter: @EWSandraG

Episode Recaps

How I Met Your Mother

Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lilly remind us all of the joy of slap bets

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