This week's How I Met Your Mother sees the return of John Lithgow as Barney's former badass turned suburban driving instructor dad, as Barney tries to get him to connect with his former self. To aid the process Barney enlists the help of his friends, or rather slightly improved versions of his friends that he has concocted to make his life seem more exciting. He tells his father that he and his playwright friend Marshall, who is in an open marriage with fashion mogul Lilly, along with toned down Ted and his girlfriend the professional scotch taster Robin, are in a band. This beat brought about the first genuinely surprising and fairly legendary thing that How I Met Your Mother has done in a fair while, in that we get to see the fake band perform their own opening credits.
After the short-lived song we get to see a modern take on the classic vaudeville routine "Who's on First?" as the guys decide which of the many New York clubs with conveniently inconvenient names they are going to go to. Ending up in Hopeless, the episodes namesake, Barney's dad then proceeds to cut loose and return to his partying ways. He and Barney terrorize the city with their drunkenness until finally being brought to a stop by the police, when Jerome reveals that he isn't really drunk and was just acting that way to try and show his son what trying to party forever really looks like. Using their respective magic skills they both break free from their handcuffs and escape custody. As they drive to Jerome's house they have one of the many revelation conversations that Barney has had in the sixth season of How I Met Your Mother, but it does feel that this time he may have finally gotten the message; that at some point he has to settle down. In amongst the father son bonding session we also get to see Marshall and Lilly compete at getting phone numbers to prove who would really score more were they actually in an open marriage and we see Robin come across a crush from her past, guest star Michael Trucco. Voiceover Ted seems to imply that the relationship between them might go somewhere, however for now, it is little more than a cool addition to an episode for any Battlestar Galactica fan.
Overall I find it difficult to say definitively whether or not "Hopeless" was a good piece of television. On the one hand it was a refreshing change from the abysmal "The Exploding Meatball Sub", but on the other it didn't do too much in the way of humor. I will simply settle for saying that you wouldn't be bored or find yourself thinking about watching re-runs of Gossip Girl whilst watching "Hopeless", but you might not have many other feelings either.