7.3/10. Another one that fumfers around for much of its runtime, but sticks the landing and the big moments at the end so well that it gives the rest of the episode a certain halo effect. The frame story of Marshall inadvertently having a big cookout at his father's grave has a lot of cheesy humor in it, but the end where Marshall realizes that his father is still with him because this is the sort of thing his dad used to do (albeit at real tailgates) in the spirit of the community, works well despite the schmaltz. Similarly, Robin chasing the caddish Sandy Rivers around New York is campy, but her final speech on the air about the New Year offering everyone a fresh start and that if folks are anything like here, they could use one, was a nice heartfelt moment.

Ted and Barney finally opening "Puzzles" (replete with Kevin as the bartender) was definitely high on the wacky scale, but it was good for some decent-if-mild comic relief. Kal Penn is fitting into the show better than I'd remembered, and the duo's back and forth with him, plus their realization that running a bar kind of sucks and led to them doing the exact stuff they resented at McLarens was amusing.

And lastly, the whole bit about Marshall reading to Lily from a spooky "Ripley's Believe It or Not"-esque book, and her resisting the idea of passing on these "mysteries" to their child was kind of on the nose when it came to her monologue about how her father wasn't there to instill these sorts of "big ideas" in her life. Still, the tag at the end where he shows up is a very sweet moment in an episode full of them (at least at the end), and it helps redeem the more uneven stuff in the storyline that preceded it.

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