“Ted. This is the Captain.”
-- The Captain, calling Ted Mosby’s phone.
While its very true people project their own emotions onto
other people’s words and actions, there isn’t an apt way to describe how Ted
and Robin view their past encounter with the Captain, once he re-enters their
lives with a simple phone call at the beginning of the episode.
The Captain? The art gallery owner whose wife Ted accidentally stole. The same owner that made eyes at Robin and told Lily she was nothing more than a kindergarten teacher.
Now guess which version is true. Spoilers at the end.
Ted’s retelling seems normal enough, if not a tad dramatic,
when the Captain invites the three to view artwork in his apartment. Ted fears
for his life, thanks to the Captain’s ominous undertones, and leaves the
scenario worried for his future.
Though as Robin recalls, he’d shared a “sandwich” with his then-girlfriend, “Boat Girl,” and spent the entire evening delayed, hallucinating, and…hungry.
Robin lecturing Ted’s behavior doesn’t say much. She seems to remember the Captain coming onto her through the course of the meeting. Barney squirms at the thought (unless it opens the door to potential polygamy), until Lily reminds them both that Robin, in fact, visited the bar beforehand. Robin “hallucinated” in a different manner.
Which leaves us with Lily’s account. With Ted’s munching and Robin’s, ah, swimming, we see through her eyes the Captain and his then-art consultant were less than polite over her station in life. After he commented she was “just a kindergarten teacher,” Lily stole his (probably diamond) ashtray.
Though not everything exists as crystal clear as we’d thought; when she returns the ashtray the next day, the Captain reveals he chose the very painting she liked from his gallery for his own bedroom. As it happens, the painting became popular and sold for 4 million dollars. Lily’s discovery earned her a job offer as an art consultant in her own right—a position she then accepted.
Now Marshall gets a shot at steering the boat, even if Barney loses the chance for his confetti-coated grand entrance. He saved it by playing the Archduke.