Much like Paul Wall before it, How I Met Your Mother’s big giant plot twist from this Monday’s episode has the Internet going nuts (Paul Wall reference from third verse here). So why, exactly, did the writers feel the need to [SPOILER ALERT] kill off Marshall’s dad? Allow co-creator Carter Bays to explain. In a conversation with E!, Bays says:
We felt like one important ingredient in the early seasons of the show was that there was some angst and there was some sadness, and it was a way for us to really mine our own lives and to really fully explore emotions about situations that we’ve been in. There are a few touchstones in life that are really sad, and this is one of them. It’s something that a few writers on the show have gone through and we kind of built the whole season around this moment as will be revealed in the remaining 11 episodes. The first half of the season was kind of us getting our ducks in a row, and this event will set off everything else that follows.
There’s more interesting reaction from Bays — specifically about the fact that Jason Segel will have to do a whole lot of acting the rest of this season — but that’s the main gist up there. Clearly, Bays and the team have their thoroughly justifiable reasons for doing what they did, but it’d be difficult to deny that part of the motivation was getting exactly the kind of heightened attention they’re currently enjoying and/or suffering through. That’s one goal accomplished. Now, on to the next one: In figuring out how to appropriately handle the weighty new subject matter, HIMYM is endeavoring down a treacherous path. Do you have faith they can pull this off?