Guess what everyone? The Captain is back!! That's right, the scary-but-friendly ex-husband of Zooey, made a wonderful return on Monday night's HIMYM. The episode was a flashback episode, which I believe is usually done when writers don't have a strong story for the week. However, it actually made for some good story lines for the characters in real time and, as always, involved Ted "eating a sandwich". The other way the writers made the flashback more interesting is that there are actually three different versions of the story, Ted's, Robin's, and Lily's. Each time we hear the story recounted, more of the truth comes out and by the end, we know what really happened and why it was such a big deal for one of the characters. With each telling, there is only one consistent part: Barney absolutely was not there.
Ted first receives a message on his answering machine from The Captain asking Ted to call him back. As usual, Ted completely over thinks this and convinces himself, Barney, and Marshall that The Captain sounds extremely pissed with Ted. While in reality it's harder to convince your friends to agree with your insanity, I didn't mind Barney's total lack of judgement because it's Barney. I was, however, a little upset that Marshall wasn't the voice of reason like he usually is with Ted. Ted then explains to them his version of how his last encounter with The Captain went and why he would be upset with Ted. A year and a half ago, shortly after Ted and Zooey broke up, he rebounded with Robin's co-anchor "Boats! Boats! Boats!" Becky. Lily invited Ted and Robin to go to an art gallery opening with her and The Captain shows up at the same opening with his art consultant, Shelly. Upon greeting each other, The Captain is extremely rude to Ted; he keeps finishing his sentences and giving him evil glares. While Ted has a conversation with himself in his head about rude The Captain is, he decides to finish one of The Captain's sentences to get back at him but it's not very effective. Robin questions what an art consultant is and Lily explains, even though I'm sure Shelly could have answered herself, since that's who Robin asked and not Lily. Noticing Lily's interest in art, The Captain invites them all up to his apartment to see the newest painting he bought. While in The Captain's study, Ted finds a very expensive ashtray and makes a comment about The Captain probably owns an island where he hunts people but it also has great snorkeling. The Captain then enters the room and picks up a picture on his desk and calls whatever the picture is of his one true love. Ted tries to tell The Captain he knows he brought them up there to talk to Ted about him and Zooey and claims The Captain pulls a harpoon gun on him. After Ted calmly gets the harpoon gun out of his hands, The Captain explains he's in love with someone else now and calls Ted, Robin, and Lily into his bedroom to see the new painting. Waiting for everyone else to leave first, Ted sneaks a peek at the picture of The Captain's "one, true love" and sees a picture of his own current flame "Boats! Boats! Boats!" Becky!
Back to real time, Marshall comments on how cute The Captain and Becky would be together since they both love boats. Ted's phone rings and once again, it's The Captain calling. Ted answers the phone and it turns out, all The Captain wants is Robin's phone number. With Barney's blessing (but not Robin's) Ted gives him her number and all is well. Until Robin finds out. She doesn't want The Captain calling her because of what happened the night they went to the art gallery opening. She explains that Ted wouldn't remember the night correctly because he was completely baked from "sharing a big fat sandwich" (joint) with Becky right before going to the gallery. Turns out Ted was not the smooth talking person that he thought he was that night. Robin's version reveals that The Captain was not rude to Ted at all. The only reason he finished Ted's sentences is because Ted was unable to. And that conversation Ted was having in his head about how rude The Captain was? That wasn't in his head. Turns out The Captain was all over Robin that night. Once they were up in his apartment, Ted started playing with the extremely expensive ashtray he found and pretended he was snorkeling. According to Robin, when The Captain came in the room, he didn't pick up a picture, he looked straight at her and said she was his one, true love. Awkward! Ted made a fool of himself, rambling on about Zooey and what he thought was a harpoon gun was actually a remote control. As Robin entered The Captain's bedroom to see the painting, he was lying on his bed, waiting for Robin.
Back to real time, Robin explains how nothing happened between her and The Captain because he was on the rebound and she told him to call her in a year and a half. Marshall, Ted, and Barney explain that she should call The Captain and tell him she's engaged now. When she does, The Captain seems confused because he thought she was married to Marshall. Turns out he was looking for Lily. She gives him her number and of course, Lily gets mad. Now for the final time, we hear the story of that night, told properly. Robin's version was fuzzy as well because she was hammered from a "work meeting" earlier that day. In the real version we find out Robin was all over The Captain, not the other way around. There was a picture Up in The Captain's apartment, when Lily walked into his bedroom to see the painting, Robin walked in and tried to make out with him and then passed out on top of him. Before Robin came in, Lily had commented on his painting, saying it was ok but there was an elephant painting by a new artist that they saw at the gallery that she liked more. The Captain told her that her opinion didn't matter because she was just a kindergarten teacher. Angry with his rudeness, Lily performed some of her super annoying and very childish "Aldrin justice"and stole his expensive ashtray. Marshall gets mad and explains to Lily she can't do this anymore and that it's stupid she let his comment about her being a kindergarten teacher get to her. She cried and told Marshall how she forgot to follow her dream and how it's too late for her because she's old. Well that's a lot of crap. She's definitely not old, it's not too late, and I'm pretty sure she called off her wedding to follow her dream all the way to San Francisco once. Marshall says the same thing, just a lot nicer and without the mention of San Fran.
Lily goes over to The Captain's apartment to return the ashtray. He explains that the reason he was trying to call her was to show her that he bought the elephant painting she loved a year-and-a-half ago and now he's selling it for $4 million. He was so impressed with her ability to see the potential in new artists, he wants her to be his new art consultant. So what does she say? Just ask Barney, he was there. Not really, but of course she says yes! Now she's happy because she can do what she loves and use her art history degree for something actually related to art, which is very rare since art history is one of the most pointless majors.
Since Barney kept trying to put himself into everyone's version of the story and would get upset when they said he wasn't there, Ted finally calls him out on it. Barney explains that crazy stories are his thing. Ted has architecture, Lily has art, Marshall has the law, and Robin has pleasing him sexually, and if they can have crazy stories without him then he didn't know who he was. Personally, I thought this was kind of stupid but considering that really is the only thing Barney has left, I guess it makes sense he would be upset about it. To make him feel better, Ted and Robin say that he probably was there but they didn't realize because he was in disguise doing a play from The Playbook. "The Royal Arch Duke of Grand Fenwick!" Barney exclaims and tells them all about the play and how he nailed Shelly the art consultant and her hotter sister. Since we learn from The Captain's conversation with Lily that Shelly went home with "some arch duke she met at the party", Barney may have been there after all. Guess you'll never know, unless you watch the episode. Check it out here!
All pictures from CBS