How I Met Your Mother: “The Ashtray”

The Ashtray

Grade: C

Airdate: 2/19/13

How I Met Your Mother confuses me most of the time. Last week’s episode was terribly written and not funny, but did a least had a point. Ted (Josh Radnor) needs to date one last crazy girl before he meets the mother. This episode on the other hand was slightly better written but lacked a plot and for some reason brought back my last favorite story line: Zoey.

Thank god, Jennifer Morrison is on a good show now and Zoey did not actually make an appearance in this episode. But her story line was brought back when Ted got a message from her ex-husband The Captain, played by Kyle MacLachlan. HIMYM used a common later season format of telling a story within a story about the last time the Ted, Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) saw The Captain. The present story only had one funny joke of Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) trying to insert himself into the past story, because he was convinced he was there. If the joke had stopped at three times instead of six or seven it might have been funnier.

Ted, Lily and Robin saw The Captain at the opening of an art gallery a year and a half ago. The story is told three times. In the first, Ted realizes The Captain was dating his current girlfriend at the time. Robin then says that wasn’t true because Ted was high at the gallery opening and The Captain was hitting on Robin the whole time. Lily then tells us that neither of those were true because Robin was drunk. It turns out Lily really liked a painting down in the gallery by The Captain and his art consultant laughed her because apparently it was a terrible painting. He was calling to get Lily’s number because he wanted to offer her a job as his new art consultant because the painting was now worth a fortune.

Earlier in the episode, Lily started crying during a fight with Marshall (Jason Segel) over her using Aldrin Justice to steal The Captain’s ashtray about how she never got to be an artist. It was a good emotional scene, but seemed out-of-place in this episode. It was like the episode was trying to have a dramatic element but it just randomly through in one scene in the midst of comedy and drunk/high jokes. In the last scene of the episode, Lily tells everyone she took the job and Robin and Ted make up another version of the story including Barney doing a play from “The Playbook.”

Apart from my inital horror that Zoey might be in the episode, it was rather fun and okay. Still not as funny as earlier episodes, there wasn’t another that contributed to the story arch and the one attempt at drama failed. But whatever, I don’t expect too much from this show anymore.

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