Barney gets a visit from his father. While he's doing that, the rest of the gang wait in the car because apparently they have no lives.
Spoilers after the jump.
Okay, when the door opened and it was John Lithgow standing there, did anyone else yell, "RUN! HE'S GONNA KILL YOU!!!"? Just me? After doing his best psychotic stare, he reveals that he is in fact Barney's father Jerome. Who knew? Barney tells the gang a fishy story about his night at the bar with his dad. I knew it was a crock when he did the five second pick up - they've played with this sort of thing before on the show, the one I remember most clearly being Ted's sign language when he first met Barney. All of Jerome's supposed stories also sound a little too similar to what Barney would like and considering they haven't had any father-son contact in his entire life is somewhat unrealistic, although not as unrealistic as not knowing how to pronounce chameleon I suppose.
It of course turns out to all be a lie concocted by Barney who was disappointed to find that his father was such a square. What hurt the most though was discovering that Jerome had moved on with a new family upon whom he had lavished the love and support never afforded to Barney. It's something he hasn't come to terms with by the end of the episode and perhaps never will. He does however, have a deeper appreciation for the future Ted is seeking for himself. Now more than ever, I bet he regrets throwing away his chance at establishing that with Noora.
The 'B' story in which the rest of the gang mostly sat around waiting for Barney wasn't particularly well formed but did have some great jokes. Considering the Arctic Circle is pretty much directly connected to Canada, it seems implausible that Robin wouldn't know that the North Pole was a real place, but she just pulls it off so well. Then they went from talking about "gaps in peoples knowledge" to outright listing flaws. Lily's lack of aim is less a gap in knowledge, more a mechanical defect. It was great watching Marshall stretching the limits of the groups tolerance following his father's death. It's true of many people that they treat people coming off tragedies with extreme care. Usually I don't - I'm not sure if it's because I try to respect people by treating them equally, or if I'm just a jerk.
"How I Met Your Mother" airs Mondays on CBS at 8:00 pm EST.