6.2/10. Another weaker episode. It's always nice to have John Lithgow around, but the whole bit with Barney and James trying to get their fathers reunited with their mothers got really exaggerated and unfunny. The Leave It To Beaver-esque songs were kind of cute, but went on too long, and the whole thing was too cartoony. The other plots in the episode weren't as rough, but this one took up so much oxygen that it's hard to rate the episode any higher. There were parts of it that made me laugh, but even then, it was really dumb humor (e.g. the call back to the oranges falling or Jerry reading the "suicide note" saying "I'm superdead, go bang Loretta."
Ted investigating who spilled ink on the Wayne Gretzky photo had its charms, even if it didn't really pick up til the end. I'll admit, most of it was pretty dumb too, but the "Zabka-tage" bit made me chuckle, and the little story about Zabka being constantly booed, even by his own mother, was also pretty exaggerated, but somehow endearing enough to work.
And god help me, I liked the end to the Daphne story! It's funny, I remembered everything involving Daphne being kind of a slog, but I actually enjoyed her presence this time around. The story of her being the mom who travels and disappoints her daughter because of it, and Marshall delivering her in time to see her daughter's big speech was a little easy, but still nice enough to get by. And her and Marshall jamming out to The Proclaimers was unexpectedly adorable.
Again, the tone of the show is getting super stretched as the season struggles to fill time between the major plot points, but there's still some enjoyable stuff.