How I Met Your Mother ‘The Ashtray’ review: The Captain returns

So if you have yet to watch this week’s episode of HIMYM, my advice for you would be to skip the first half. It was slow, repetitive and tried to force the jokes upon the audiences, which is never a good sign, especially at the beginning of any episode. The main story that took place over the first part of the episode was the Captain’s return (Zoey’s ex-husband). He calls to ask Ted a very serious question. This proves to an issue for Ted, Robin and Lily; who all saw him at an art gallery opening after the whole Zoey – Ted relationship. However, they all seem to have different recollections of the events that transpired that night, mostly due to Ted having a “sandwich” aka getting high and Robin getting drunk right before the event. Thus, Ted remembers the night going horribly where the Captain takes out his anger over Ted and Zoey relationship and then he Ted finds out that the Captain may be interested in his new girlfriend (at the time). But this is not at all the case, but rather the Captain wants to get Robin’s number. Then Robin chimes in with what she remembers, which is that the Captain was continuously hitting on her the whole night and assumed called to ask her out on a date. The only issue I had with this was that Barney’s casual approach to this, I wanted to seem him a bit jealous but was open to the idea of an “open marriage”. Nevertheless, Robin’s whole recollection of the night was a bit off, to say the least. At this point we find out that the Captain wanted Lily’s number and not Robin’s.

This was the moment I actually stated enjoying the episode, Lily explains to the gang that Ted and Robin’s version of that night was a little different, than they remember. When she began telling everyone her version of the story I was expecting something silly and predictable like the Captain tired to seduce her. Instead, she informs the gang that he said she had no art ability and dismissed her opinion on the art piece she liked compared to the masterpiece he had in his bedroom; saying that she is only a kindergarten teacher. This led her to steal a crystal ashtray he had in his office, which was a nice throwback to season 2, where Lily takes things from those who are mean to others. After hearing about this Marshall tells everyone to leave so that he and Lily can talk about this, where Lily finally tells him about her insecurities about her art. This causes Marshall to urge her to quit her job as a kindergarten teacher and purse her dream. Lily then agrees to take the ashtray back, and the next day she does. Although the Captain called her for a different reason, he wants her to be his art consultant because she knew the artist of the elephant painting was going to be huge and it turns out that she was the only one who knew. So she accepts the job offer. I’m happy that this episode shifted focus from being a filler episode to one focusing more on Lily and getting her back into the art world, where she belongs.

There was also one other scene that really saved this episode for me and that was the Barney-Ted-Robin scene where he is trying to convince them that he was there that night, because he is always there when the group goes on crazy adventures. After being annoyed with him the whole night and finally telling him that he wasn’t there, both Ted and Robin ask him why it is so important that he be there. To which Barney responded vulnerably, telling them that if he wasn’t the “crazy fun night” person, he didn’t know who he was within the group. Robin and Ted then realize what’s really going on and they essentially throw him a bone and say that he was off running one of his plays on the an art consultant.

In my opinion, Lily’s story and that one scene with Barney is what saved this episode for me. I didn’t find it that entertaining at first but as it moved along, it got better. All the really funny moments didn’t happen till the second half as well (the harpoon being a remote) and I’m happy that the show moved past Ted’s issues and his overarching story to really focus on other characters that haven’t gotten that much attention.

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About the author: Allison Chin
Allison Chin
Currently a university student, who loves watching the lives and stories of fictional characters unfold through the medium of television on a weekly basis. Although, some may say I watch a little too much TV and care a little too much about the characters. Leading me to the site, No White Noise, the perfect way for me to write about and share my thoughts and opinions of the lives of my favorite fictional people, through my recaps and reviews. Besides TV, I also enjoy writing, music, photography, design; and hope to one-day work in the television and media industry. Some of my favorite shows, of the moment include: Suits, Pretty Little Liars, New Girl, Awkward, The Vampire Diaries, Revenge, Criminal Minds and Happy Endings; just to name a few. However my all time favorite shows would have to be; Friends, House, and The Big Bang Theory, but I’m sure this list will continue to expand.

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