Anyone who’s been reading my How I Met Your Mother reviews this season knows my feelings about Zoey (Jennifer Morrison), but for those who are new around here, allow me to summarize:

  • She’s annoying.
  • She’s an annoying wet blanket.
  • She’s an annoying hypocritical wet blanket.
  • She wears too many hats and it makes me think she’s hiding something.
  • She’s an annoying hypocritical wet blanket who pouts like a spoiled she-baby.

And yet … last night’s Zoey-centric episode, “Oh Honey,” was one of my favorites of the season, and the big development at the end of the episode (spoilers below) didn’t bother me as much as I thought it might. Let’s talk about why (and hear your thoughts!) below:

“Oh Honey” was classic How I Met Your Mother fare, using multiple time and location-shifts, with Ted as our ever unreliable narrator, to tell and retell the story of when Zoey set up Ted with her clueless cousin, “Honey,” played by Katy Perry. Along the way we were treated to lots of fun and funny little moments with Marshall still home in Minnesota, acting as our audience stand-in as Ted, Lily, Robin, Honey and Barney all took turns calling him to give him different pieces of the Clue-like Ted-Zoey puzzle.

(Speaking of Clue, which Marshall mentions he’s been playing endless games of against himself, setting up his role as the detective in this tale: Check out just how detailed the Clue homage was! Those HIMYM writers are just too clever for their own good.)

Despite constant interruptions from his mom and brother–his brother actually serving as a poetic Watson to Marshall’s Sherlock, as it were–Marshall was able to piece together the big revelation of the episode, and the one we need to discuss: Zoey is getting a divorce from the captain, and she and Ted are in looooove with each other.

Sidenote: On a macro level, I thought the writers used Katy Perry’s stunt casting as well as they possibly could, harnessing her Barbie-like voice and mannerisms for the “Honey” character, letting her get fairly involved in the plot without asking too much of her, and allowing her to play mostly against their two strongest comedic actors in the cast, Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel.

Back to Zoey: As we’ve established time and again, we know she is not the Mother. (She’s not Rachel Bilson’s roommate; she wasn’t in Ted’s Econ lecture; and once we heard future-Ted ask the kids, “Remember Zoey?”–not a question you’d ask your children about their mother.) 

But her proven non-Mother-dom doesn’t necessarily mean that a relationship between Zoey and Ted is useless. In past seasons we have seen Ted’s girlfriends come and go, and each one seems to help him creep, ever so slowly, toward meeting the love of his life. With their constant promises that season 6 will move the gamepieces, Bays and Thomas must have a larger plan for Zoey and Ted to make this long, drawn-out “Will they or won’t they?” thing have a point. With so much other movement happening on HIMYM–Marshall’s dad dying, Barney looking for his, Robin’s new job, Marshall and Lily’s baby-making–I’m more than willing to wait it out when it comes to Ted’s search for true love. If Ted wants to mess around with a woman who hasn’t even signed her divorce papers while all those other plots play out … sure. That could be fun to watch develop (and inevitably implode).

Unfortunately, my main problem with Zoey stands, despite her efforts last night to woo Ted, and us, with ketchup: I still don’t like her,
nor do I like her and Ted together. Only on TV and in movies do characters who begin by fighting so much ever end up madly in love–and they also end up annoying the crap out of me in the process. I still don’t even understand why Ted is so smitten with her in the first place. It’s going to take a lot of work to convince me that she’s worth our time or affection–and until then, I will continue to doubt that she’s worthy of Ted’s, either.

Still, I thought “Oh Honey” was a pretty solid half-hour of How I Met Your Mother, and the ketchup thing makes me warily hopeful that Zoey might not be quite as humorless as she’s been portrayed so far. Maybe the gang will be a good influence on her. And hey, if Robin, the coolest chick on TV, likes her, maybe I should give Zoey another shot.

What do YOU think?

  • Do you like Zoey?
  • Do you like Ted and Zoey as a couple?
  • What did you think of Katy Perry’s guest spot?
  • Did you love Marshall’s Clue references and Barney’s The Wire “burner” references?
  • Where could all this be leading in relation to the Mother?

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.