How I Met Your Mother, “Oh Honey” (6.15)

Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) kisses Honey's (Katy Perry) hand as Ted tries to get her attention.

A review of the episode, written by Carter Bays & Craig Thomas and directed by Pamela Fryman, after the jump.

“I am.  I am.  I am.” – Zoey Pierson

Even if “Oh, Honey” was a pretty mediocre episode comically, with flat runners and few home runs… That last moment between Ted and Zoey is the first time How I Met Your Mother has nailed a true romantic scene in years, and it did it beautifully. Jennifer Morrison beautifully played the aforequoted phone call, in which all of her secret hopes were affirmed by Marshall. And that let her reorient herself, so she could notice that Ted’s “hatreds” were actually all of the little details that he can’t get out of his mind, allowing herself to smile a little. And that, and both actors’ work when they are aware of each others’ feelings, is the key of this episode.

Now, that said… “Oh, Honey” was a pretty mediocre episode comically, with flat runners and few home runs. You can tell this was a budget episode, and because the Rashomon elements were so underused, it didn’t really feel that dynamic to go back to the same scenes over and over. The character of Honey was an amusing concept, but just like a lot of jokes this year, you could see the string of jokes the moment they introduced them. The show at its best would take that list and them brilliantly subvert it, something they haven’t done in far too long.

I also wish we’d gotten to SEE this group-with-Zoey dynamic play out a bit longer, so that each’s relationship with her were more clear. That scene with Lily and Zoey would have landed a lot harder if there were more material between the two previously, though this is at least supported by Zoey’s vanishing during the last few episodes.

A heartbroken Zoey (Jennifer Morrison).

Now, just because the jokes were pretty weak doesn’t mean it wasn’t funny. Josh Radnor and Neil Patrick Harris vastly upped the power of the bar scenes, and guest star Katy Perry was pretty good herself. Her naivete didn’t work quite so well, but she felt much more natural in the ‘Barney’s version’ scenes, playing ‘Honey’s boredom and attraction wonderfully.  And one can’t overstate the chemistry between Josh Radnor and Jennifer Morrison, which has occasionally been the sole thing keeping her character afloat here. And Morrison gets to show off the dramatic strengths that kept her on House long after her character was pointless on House, by offering some really believable sadness in her confrontations with Lily and Ted.

This episode will probably be remembered not for any laughs (were there any, aside from snickers and giggles?), but for that final moment. But I’m really glad they pulled it off. If this season has demonstrated anything, it’s that even though the show may never reach the consistent heights of its heyday, it still has plenty of reasons to be here.

And now for a Radnor/Morrison heavy arc. I wonder what that’ll be like. Should be fun.


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