This week on How I Met Your Mother, Zoey and Ted admit that they are in love. And although this has been fairly evident to the audience for quite some time, romantic comedies, sitcoms, multi-episode dramas, and Lifetime Movies have dictated that simple attraction can never be enough. In this world of scripted relationships, writers assume that there must be tension, complications, twists, epic monologues about what one character hates and/or loves about the other character, grand kisses, and community involvement in order for an audience to feel connected to a romance. The "will they/won't they" trope is a classic one, and in spite of how divorced it might be from reality, it remains fun to watch.
It's explained that after his father's sudden death, Marshall decides to stay in Minnesota for a bit to take care of his mother. Craving some sense of normal, he begins to rely on the phone for updates on what's happening in New York. The writers are too smart to fall into conventions, and instead of a linear narrative, they frame the episode around this series of phone conversations, with a remote Marshall acting as the anchor and the wisdom, piecing together the details from his friends' accounts to arrive at the truth. Though the episode doesn't exactly achieve narrative brilliance, the experimentation in storytelling form was interesting enough.
Eventually, thanks to Marshall (who discovers the key piece of information that Zoey and The Captain have separated), his borderline-offensive but well-meaning mother and brother, a game of Clue used to connect the various elements of the stories, and Barney's new fondness for disposable cell phones ("I'm up on burners, player!"), Ted and Zoey kiss. Ted is a relationship guy, and it's been too long since he's had a win, so this development makes a lot of sense. The only truly upsetting implication of "Oh, Honey" is that we might have seen the last of Kyle MacLachlan's "The Captain."
And yet, in true HIMYM form, despite the classically appealing plot, the episode wasn't promoted as a "will they/won't they'" show. Ted's relationship woes aren't quite enough to excite an audience. Celebrity guest star Katy Perry is. As Zoey's hot cousin "Honey" (Future Ted can't remember her name), Perry sports her best Marilyn Monroe voice, Kim Kardashian eyeliner and tan, and burlesque-worthy bustier, but plays an innocent, painfully naive of her own sex appeal.
Although the overexposed Perry was a weak comedic addition to the show (not entirely her fault, since her character is so unbelievable) her presence managed to instigate rapid plot advancements as only an outsider can do, and set up some great moments from the principles (Barney's imagined account of Ted's failure to woo Honey: "Blah, blah, architecture anecdote, blah, blah, something about a bridge").
"Oh Honey" wasn't a great episode, but it wasn't a disaster either. With nine episodes left in season six, we may not be much closer to wrapping up the pesky Mother Question, but at least we can rest comfortably in HIMYM's fun gimmicks and unrealistic standards of friendship.
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