Feb 7 2011 11:01 PM ET

'How I Met Your Mother' review: Katy Perry was a Honey, and Jennifer Morrison just as sweet

Katy Perry may have been the guest-star attraction on this week’s How I Met Your Mother, but this nicely intricate episode shifted the focus away from her to focus on Jennifer Morrison’s recurring Zoey.

Indeed, Perry was used as bait for both viewers and the show’s characters. Playing Zooey’s “hot cousin” known only to us as “Honey” (because her ditzy gullibility inspired Marshall to say, repeatedly, “Oh, honey!”), Perry wiggled and batted her eyes and played a very funny scene with Neil Patrick Harris’ Barney, totally buying into the romantic con-man’s claims that, among other things, he has four Nobel Prizes.

But the half hour was really about Ted’s crush on Zoey, and how being in love with a married woman affected all of the show’s characters. One of the consistent charms of How I Met Your Mother is that, while the show talks a nice game of naughtiness (Barney, of Ted, re Honey: “He fell on his sword so she could fall on mine”), the series has a moral center about the notions of friendship, commitment, and loyalty.

HIMYM continues to make the aftermath of the death of Marshall’s father believable rather than just a plot point to flee from for the safety of comedy. In fact, the episode hinged upon the idea that we heard about the Ted/Zoey dilemma via phone calls to Marshall, who’s still with his remaining family in Minnesota. (Jason Segel plays the scenes with his mother and brother with lovely exasperation.) In a cross between Rashomon and the kids’ game Telephone, we heard and saw a series of misunderstandings between the pining Ted and the married Zoey.

Jennifer Morrison also gave a wonderful performance this night. Every time I see her now, I think that she was suppressing comic-romantic talent behind the grim mask of Cameron on House. It was fun to see her and Perry work their charms on the HIMYM cast, and to see the cast respond with typically adroit skill.

What did you think of this week’s How I Met Your Mother?

Twitter: @kentucker

Comments (152 total) Add your comment
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  • L


    • LOL

      Stupid answer.

      • mwc

        Idiotic attempt at a comeback

      • Rob

        Indeed. Your answer is stupid.

    • soz

      I hated this episode.

      • Bob

        Care to list any reasons or are you just being a comments troll?

      • Mike

        Keep reading, Bob. “Soz” will tell you MANY times why she doesn’t like this episode. Many, many times…

      • soz

        Sorry Mike! I have a paper to avoid writing. I’m getting pretty desperate in procrastination techniques. I hate it when people do this too.

      • Adam

        i do not think so actually ,i just think it superb

  • Stacie

    One of the best episodes in a long time. It had all the correct HIMYM dynamics. The flashbacks, the different versions of the same story, and the romance. It was a perfect episode. I don’t know if Zoey is the mother, but I hope she turns out to be, because she fits very well with the entire gang. Ala Robin, but without the commitment phobias. Plus Jennifer Morrison and Josh Radnor have great chemistry.

  • kim in kentucky

    Good episode – loved that Katy was only remembered as “honey” (I think we all know someone like that)

    • Liz

      I kind of like it too but they already did that schtick with Blah Blah (I think that’s what they called her) a couple of seasons ago.

      • Dave

        I think that the group WOULD do that (that is, give nicknames to outside people). Remember Seinfeld and their outside friend The Drake? (Love The Drake!)

    • diggity

      I was not happy to see Katy Perry last night, but she pulled it off. I thought she was pretty good and un-Katy (which is a good thing)

    • soz

      I thought Katy was great but they totally already used that joke.

      • erika

        but she didn’t play as big a part as ‘blah blah’. Katy was naive and innocent while ‘blah blah’ was the hot/crazy girl. totally different stories.

      • Liz

        The Vicky Mendoza diagonal

  • Savannah

    I absolutely love this show! It’s so hilarious! Although I’m not liking Jennifer Morrison, I hope she’s not “The Mom”. Idk, she just doesn’t fit for me. I liked her better on House.

    • toni-ann

      shes not the mom, because shes not rachel bilson’s roommate

      • Aru

        and the mom is supposed 2 meet ted at a wedding…..

      • parkr

        and if Zoey is the mother, how can you forget that your cousin-in-law’s name. Another thing that bothered me about this episode is how Marshall was unaware of the stories Robin and Barney told (w/o Lilly telling beforehand… if they were so close).

      • Sara

        Well, she was looking at apartments. Perhaps she’s not Rachel Bilson’s roommate… YET?

      • Liz

        @sara, when Ted was on the date with Rachel Bilson the mothers bus was already there. No dice, chica.

      • dave

        Maybe she was a roommate before she married The Captain. Maybe they run into each other at a wedding after having broken up for many years. It is called fiction people.

      • Eric

        Zoey tells Ted that she needs to be by herself to gather her thoughts for a while during/after the divorce. She says that she’ll get back in touch when she’s ready. Time goes by and Ted doesn’t hear from her. Bilson moves into the flat that Zoey just got. Then Ted and Z runs into eachother at a wedding in the final episode where he instantly goes down on his knees.

    • Bobby’s Robot

      And on a recent cold open, Ted (Saget) asks the kids “Remember Zoey?” I don’t think he’d refer to their mother like that. And I’m glad, I DO NOT like the character.

      • CMG

        Thank you, I do not like her character either…I didn’t like her on HOUSE, and I still don’t like her. Something very one dimensional to her.

      • soz

        I really, really despise her character and I haven’t enjoyed her performance at all whatsoever.

      • Dish

        AGREED. If Zooey ends up being the mom, I am OUT. I realize that it wouldn’t make sense, if you look at the clues dropped so far, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do it.

      • melizaberry

        Oh that chick was on House? I liked her on House, but I HATE her on HIMYM. She started out really unnlikeable and I know as an audience we’re supposed to be charmed by her now…but I think she’s really irritating. I do not want to follow Ted on this romantic journey with her

      • BWags

        that’s funny; I never realized she was Cameron from House either, and I love House.
        I, too, dislike Zoey. But she is gradually starting to get better, at least more tolerable anyway. But I loved the episode too!

  • Boiler

    Great episode and I do love Jennifer. Hope she is around awhile

    • lefty

      I totally DISagree. Zooey’s wack…hope she gets hit by a bus. I was hoping we wouldn’t have to deal with her anymore but for some unknown reason she keeps popping up! And now she’s getting a divorce…how convenient. Woof.

  • Brad

    spot on with the “moral center” comment, i love this show and it’s a shame the boner-comedy of cbs’ 9PM show somehow garners higher ratings. i hope zooey is the mom, but i know that’s not the case. again, LOVE this show

  • Marian

    LOVED THIS EPISODE! and I’m loving zoey! Hoping she the mom :)

  • aleki77

    Jennifer Morrison was amazing in this episode, but you know … she’s always awesome! :P
    I really hope that she is the mother because her performances are sublime and in this episode she has proven to give an excellent interpretation in the comedy as in the drama.

    Hope she is around awhile

    Go Jen! Go!

  • Jenna

    I love Jennifer Morrison! Zoey is a fun character, but tonight I got distracted by her hair (it was really…flippy. Not that it was bad, but it was just weird) and every outfit the character was in was white. I wonder if they did that on purpose. I would love to see HIMYM actually explore this relationship a bit.

    • Daniel Saks

      They were the clue game cards. Zoey was Mrs White, Ted was Professor Plum, Honey was Miss Scarlet, Barney was Mr. Green, and The Captain was Colonel Mustard.

      • lisa

        Whoa. I did not notice that. Well spotted.

      • Caramia

        I even noticed Ted was wearing a lot of purple, and didn’t catch that. Sometimes, my brain is too tired for this show. I did like this episode though.

      • Ellen

        Great catch, Daniel! I’ll have to watch it again to pick up those clues. (pun intended)
        I enjoyed this episode and Zoey. It’s good to see the writers being more consistent with her character these days.

      • LizL

        Good catch! I did notice Honey was wearing a lot of red and Zoey was wearing a lot of white.

      • Jenna

        Thanks Daniel! That makes a ton of sense! I usually catch on to things like that in this show (the countdown from a few weeks ago, etc)but believe it or not, I’ve never played Clue, so that one went right over my head. Appreciate it!

      • Ashleigh

        fantastic catch!!

      • RyanK

        That’s sweet! I love all of the little easter eggs you can find in HIMYM

      • DZ

        Great catch! I didn’t notice at all.

      • Brannigan

        and the neighbor that Marshall calls in the last scene is Mrs. Peacock, hilarious.

      • BWags

        yes, that’s awesome. Great catch. I also will have to go rewatch it now

      • bootsycolumbia

        Since I’ve never played Clue, I didn’t pick up on that. Thanks, Daniel!

      • Carol

        Daniel, you’re brilliant! I love how HIMYM does such genius things in such a subtle way, trusting that their audience is smart enough to get it.

      • Carol

        Also, I meant to add that it was clever how Professor Mosby was the Professor, the married Zoey was Mrs. White, and the single Honey was Miss Scarlet. These writers don’t miss a thing.

  • Tara

    Wow…it was kind of interesting …katy perry was the big guest star and jennifer morrison was shining. Oh i wished she would be the mom. Yeah obviously she isn`t…hach

    • Kevin

      This was one of the best episodes in a while. In general this has been a much better season than lazy year. Morrison has surprised me with her ability to play a comedic role. She brings some great new options to the shows story line.

    • soz

      I’m…a little confused as to what show everyone’s watching. Can someone please explain to me why I should like Zoey? Because I keep cringing every time she comes on screen. And I have nothing against Morrison but I haven’t enjoyed her performance very much, which might be the writers/directors fault because she’s been written so inconsistently.

      • Billiam

        I didn’t like her that much before, but she won me over in this episode, in which she got to be both funny and vulnerable. Tell me you didn’t she was cute when she filled Ted’s fridge with ketchup.

      • soz

        I think using that scene as a cute flirty scene in general is a great idea, I just didn’t buy that she was suddenly so lovable and adorable. This is the same snob from a few episodes ago? And the nut job from before that? All of the transitions they’ve done with that character feel like they’re just coming up with a new one every week. It doesn’t feel like I’m just getting to know the same person better.

      • melizaberry

        agreed. she’s started out stuck up and I still haven’t warmed up to her

  • pezgirl

    I enjoyed this episode, but am truly worried Zoey will actually turn out to be the mother. Not The One in my book. Would be greatly disappointed. And, I don’t see her connection to any “clues” already laid out about the mother over the previous seasons.

    • dexx

      Why would it even cross your mind for a second that she is the mother? The mother, though unseen to us, was in the classroom that Ted was accidentally in before teaching in the right one. Wouldn’t Zoey have mentioned remembering him? Not to mention the many other clues that it isn’t her.

      • lefty

        I thought Zooey was in that classroom?

  • Jocaribou

    I love The show since The beginning and This épisode was a good one in a while for me :D
    And actually, I love Jennifer Morisson better in HIMYM rather than House :-)
    And I’d like to see a twist so she can be the mother :D

  • Jason R

    Oh, that ending! The way we didn’t hear both sides of the conversation…but it was still acted superbly…so great.

  • Shanna

    It was a good episode but I am really hoping Zoey is not the Mom I adore Jennifer Morrison but her character annoys me.

  • Nicotine

    I love Jennifer Morrison. It’s just too bad she’s “not the mama…”

    Yes, that was a Dinosaurs reference!

    • jeff

      I watched that ABC show Dinosaurs as well. The old ABC friday night family lineup. Ugh we’re both over 30 years old now. Also, good HIMYM episode.

      • Vince from NYC

        I watched it, still under 30! Barely though..I thought it was teh greatest show ever.. Youtube it right now and see how cheezy it actually was!

      • Emily S

        Oooh Dinosaurs! Thanks, you’ve inspired me to add this to my Netflix list. (Yep, I’m 32 and watched this show in high school.)

    • Jenna

      “Like” a la Facebook.

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