Thank you, How I Met Your Mother, for actually airing new episodes for the past three weeks (I probably jinxed it). Drawing from the mediocre and otherwise inconsequential moments in our lives, this episode begins with the triviality of all trivialities: a phone call. But our lives aren’t as exciting as the HIMYM characters’, so when the person on the other end of Ted’s line is none other than The Captain, everyone is in full-fledged freak-out mode.
For those of you who need reminding, Ted’s former flame, Zoe (Also, Emma from Once Upon A Time) was married to The Captain before falling for Ted. According to Ted, this puts him in a certain category: People who The Captain Seeks to Kill. So when Ted is forced to maintain a conversation with him, he automatically assumes the worst based off of his last encounter with The Captain–an art exhibit which he attended with Lily and Robin. The story went something like this…
Ted’s Version: Ted was a cordial gentleman throughout the evening, despite The Captain’s rude, obnoxious remarks. The Captain then invited the group upstairs to his apartment to check out a painting he just bought that would “blow Ted’s mind.” Talk about creepy, right? Ted is inevitably put in a vulnerable, powerless position when he takes The Captain up on his offer, but he doesn’t realize just how vulnerable he is until he realizes a disastrous truth. Ted’s new girlfriend (we’ll call her the “Boats, boats, boats” blonde) was ALSO The Captain’s girlfriend. Did Ted do the unthinkable and steal not one, but TWO of his girlfriends, right out from underneath him? Before he has the chance to worry about his girl troubles, Ted comes to face-to-face with a weapon of The Captain’s choice. Thankfully, he manages to talk him down and flee the scene unscathed (phew, that was a close one!)
This whole story is thrown in the trash when The Captain explains that the only reason he called was to ask for Robin‘s phone number. Why, you ask?
Robin’s Version: Ted had just “finished a sandwich” (HIMYM lingo is my favorite lingo) with the “Triple B” Blonde, therefore transforming into, the Piranha of Paranoia. In fact, it was Ted who left his manners at home and publicly embarrassed The Captain in front of the group (oopsies). Ted also left out the part about The Captain flirting mercilessly with Robin, who denied all of his advances and told him to call her in a year and a half, once he was over Zoe.
Flip to present-day, and The Captain takes her up on that invitation. When he calls her, she lets him down gently and shares the news of her engagement to Barney; to which The Captain replies, But I thought you were already married to Marshall? And there’s Robin, tail between the legs, caught in a blasphemous lie. Here’s what REALLY happened that night at the art gallery.
Lily’s Version/The Truth: Ted had just “finished a sandwich” with the “Triple B” Blonde, who had no connection to The Captain whatsoever. Robin just finished a “long work meeting” (we all know that means “got wasted at an after-work Happy Hour”) and she was mercilessly flirting with The Captain, who denied all of her advances. At various points throughout the night, The Captain and his then-art consultant were extremely offensive to Lily and her taste in art (who doesn’t love elephants?). As a nod to her “no toys when naughty” rule, Lily steals his precious and very expensive ashtray. The Captain wanted her number so he could finally get his ashtray back, or so Lily assumes.
After learning the news of his wife’s petty theft, Marshall implores her to return the ashtray, beg for The Captain’s forgiveness, and let the past stay in the past. But Lily believes otherwise and would rather hold the ashtray hostage to prove a point; the point being that The Captain was right to criticize her taste in art. After all, she is “just a schoolteacher” who grew up, got married, and became a mother. The show has touched on this issue randomly, but it finally comes to a head when Lily breaks down, regretting the fact that she never pursued her dream. Marshall, being the amazing, heroic “Hubby of the Year” that he always is, encourages her to quit her job and find one that will make her happy. And we finally learn the reason for The Captain’s phone call: to offer Lily a job as his personal art consultant. And they all live happily ever after (if only the universe were this kind to me…).
For the first time in a long time, Barney is kind of irrelevant in this episode (still love you NPH!), which directly correlates to how he feels while everyone tells their version of their encounter with The Captain. It all links back to Barney getting married, and therefore, losing his “crazy story” credibility. Crazy, unbelievable, wildly inappropriate stories are Barney’s THING, and he won’t let them go without a fight…even if they are made up. Everyone takes pity on him and supports his claim that he too was invited into The Captain’s apartment that night. And yes, he was accompanied by female strippers wearing flamingo-colored bikinis.
Is it just me, or are we all getting just a little bit annoyed antsy at this point in the season? Sure, the return of The Captain was a lovely blast from the past, but when are we going to dive into the good stuff? The last big thing we learned about The Mother was the color of her dress, her bass-playing skills, and the size of her forearm. Color me greedy, but I want more! Tune into How I Met Your Mother every Monday night at 8PM EST on CBS!