4:30 pm EDT, February 19, 2013

‘How I Met Your Mother’ 8×17 ‘The Ashtray’: All is fair in art and war

Last night’s episode of How I Met Your Mother saw the return of an old favourite, The Captain. But what did he want with Ted after 18 months?

When Ted received an answer phone message from The Captain, he is worried about what he could want. It’d been more than 18 months since his fling with The Captain’s ex-wife fizzled out, and he had just started seeing Becky “boats boats boats” whom Robin worked with.

Ted, Barney and Marshall then thought back to their last rendezvous with The Captain.

Flashback #1

HIMYM Confetti

Ted, at an art gallery with Lily and Robin, saw The Captain as he approached. Having exchanged a few remarks, The Captain interrupting Ted and finishing his sentences rudely, The Captain invited the group up to his apartment to view a piece of art.

The group then went upstairs, Ted having fiddled with The Captain’s expensive ashtray; where The Captain pointed a harpoon rifle at Ted threateningly; but assured Ted that he loved someone new now, and provided Ted didn’t get in his way for whom he wanted nothing would come between them. Once The Captain left Ted picked up the photo frame The Captain had lovingly kissed, and was horrified to see a picture of Becky “boats, boats, boats.” Bad timing Ted!

*Barney insisted he was there too, and that he arrived with two blonde babes on either arm, playing the electric guitar. Didn’t happen.*

Back to the present

Ted’s phone then rang again, it was The Captain! Marshall, hoping that The Captain just wanted to invited them out on his boat, then answered the call for Ted. Ted, worriedly then spoke with The Captain, whom wanted Robin’s number. Having discussed it with Barney, and Barney being in two minds questioning the plight of monogamy, he gives The Captain Robin’s number on the assurance from Barney that she wouldn’t mind.

Cut to the bar, Robin minded!

Flashback #2

HIMYM The Capn

Robin then retold the story of the last time the group encountered The Captain saying that Ted had shared a huge “sandwich” with Becky before they went to the gallery, and therefore his account was completely wrong. In this account The Captain was making eyes at Robin, Ted almost smashed the very expensive crystal ashtray and Robin saved it, and at no point had he threatened Ted with a harpoon rifle.

*Yet again, Barney insisted he was there too, and that he arrived with two blonde babes on either arm, playing the electric guitar with a confetti shower. Didn’t happen.*

Back to the present

The group then agree together that Robin should let The Captain down gently. However, when she calls him, The Captain had gotten Lily and Robin confused, and it was in fact Lily he wanted to speak to. He then asks for Lily’s number, which Marshall assures Robin Lily wouldn’t mind.

Cut to the flat, Lily minded!

Flashback #3

Lily then told her (the true) account of the groups last meeting with The Captain. Robin was horrendously drunk and coming on to The Captain, Ted was still high off his sandwich, and The Captain was incredibly dismissive of Lily’s art taste and knowledge; as she suggested an elephant painting by an up and coming artist. This then resulted in Lily stealing the ashtray to “teach The Captain a lesson” for being so insulting.

*Once more, Barney insisted he was there too, and that he arrived with two blonde babes on either arm, playing the electric guitar with a confetti shower. Didn’t happen.*

Back to the present

Marshall, disgusted by this turn of events asks the group to leave so he and Lily could argue. Once confronted, Lily burst into tears about how The Captain’s insult had affected her more than she realised. She had never lived out her dream of working with her art degree and instead had become a kindergarten teacher and a mom. Marshall assures her that if she wants to follow her heart then she should go for it. Lily thus apologises and says she will return the ashtray to The Captain as soon as possible.

HIMYM Barney

Meanwhile, at the bar Ted asks Barney why it is so important to him that he was apparently at the art gallery when the group last saw The Captain. Barney then explains that being at the center of crazy stories is his thing, and if he wasn’t there then it would be taking his thing away from him. Ted then reassures Barney that he must have been there, doing a play for the play book. Barney then agrees, suggesting it was “The Lord Fenwicke” play in which he put of a self portrait up of him dressed up, and posed in the same exact outfit in front of the portrait.

When Lily arrived at The Captain’s flat, he was happy to see her. She then immediately apologised and returned the ashtray. The Captain said he hadn’t even noticed it had disappeared but that he was pleased she was here, and invited her to his bedroom. Lily, slightly uncomfortably, followed him to see the elephant picture hanging above his bed.

He then divulges to Lily that the picture had just sold for four million pounds and because of her intuition and great taste in art, he would like her to become his new art consultant. Lily overjoyed, takes the job.

Back to the bar, where everyone celebrates Lily’s new job.

*Barney was actually at the art gallery, dressed as Lord Fenwicke to bag The Captains original art consultant. Who’d have thought it!*

Now that Lily has got her dream job, what do you think that will mean for Marshall and baby Marvin? What other older characters from the season’s gone by might return to How I Met Your Mother?

Watch next week’s episode, Monday Feb 25, 8/7c on CBS.

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