Screen: CBS

Marshall Gives His Slapping Hand A Break

But it's just so he can punch someone instead. How Mother-ly is our latest pre-wedding speed bump?

Our latest diversion on the longest wedding march in TV history (seriously, longer than on most soap operas!) pretty much has just two storylines: one expected/relevant, and the other marking time.

Let's start with the one that actually involves what the supposed purposes of this season has been. Robin's mother, Genevieve, has conquered her terrible fear of flying, more or less, to be attend Robin's wedding. Unfortunately, part of her motherly advice for Robin in the eleventh hour before said wedding is a litany of complaints about Robin's father -- he dated a stripper, he got in a big fight with Genevieve at their rehearsal dinner, and about five hundred other attributes Barney shares. Oh no, is Robin about to marry another version of her dad and thus doom her marriage to failure? By the end, it seems like she's pretty sure Barney is still a good prospect, though he doesn't make it easy for her by being absent for most of the episode on his own dumb errand....

...namely, Marshall's holy quest to figure out where Lily went when she ran out in the middle of her big fight with Marshall. Billy Zabka -- who's having breakfast with the bros (which Barney interrupts for a saltine-eating challenge) -- says he saw Lily go from a convenience store into a fancy car, which lets them figure out she was en route to The Captain's house. Marshall, for some unknown reason, decides this means that Something Happened between Lily and The Captain, so he goes straight to The Captain's house and greets him with a punch to the face. But after they actually converse with The Captain -- and his fiancée, Robin's old co-worker Becky (a.k.a. Boats Boats Boats!) -- Ted follows the clues to a guess that Lily had actually fallen into a habit she picks back up whenever she's away from Marshall for a while: smoking. He digs into a pot from the powder room expecting to find a cigarette butt, but instead comes up with a positive pregnancy test. Marshall is thrilled to be having another baby, and tells Lily he insists that they go to Italy and give her her dream, because she's giving him his. (I don't care for the whole "woman gives a guy a baby" construction, but aw, I guess.)

It mostly feels like more wheel-spinning in the home stretch, but how Mother-ly was it?

Mother-Y Element Present?
Ted Still Pines For Robin...Or Does He? Ted apparently doesn't think about Robin at all, but when Robin's mom ends the episode by encouraging her to have a positive idea of marriage by invoking the idea of spending her life with someone who "is really there for [her], someone [she] can depend on," it seems like Robin is thinking that person is Ted.
Robin And/Or Barney Shows Signs Of Cold Feet Before The Wedding There's a whole red herring thing where Barney's participation in Marshall's investigation of Lily suggests that he's blowing off important pre-wedding stuff -- meeting Genevieve, for example -- and thus is being just like Robin's father, but Barney is still fine about the wedding and gives Genevieve a huge hug when he arrives. ("Oh, he's a hugger! Nothing like your dad." - Genevieve.) Meanwhile, the more Genevieve lists all the things that made Robin's father a bad husband, the more Robin realizes Barney shares them, though in the end she seems to be reassured that marrying Barney won't be a terrible mistake, probably?
Guest Star From A Past Season Pops Up (Ex-Boyfriend, Old Boss, Ranjit The Cab Driver) Ranjit, Billy Zabka, The Captain, Becky (and a flashback clip of Quinn).
Baby Marvin Does Something Cute And/Or Disruptive Baby Marvin is apparently locked in a cupboard, but the episode opens with the shot of a little girl that's so pointless I have to assume she's someone's daughter who works on the show.
Gay Jokes About Barney’s Brother James Stinson (Wayne Brady)? Nothing but a reference to a "gay black brother" in the litany of Genevieve's complaints about Robin's father.
Ted Moves A Tiny Step Closer To Meeting The Mother (Cristin Milioti) Mother does not appear.
Humor Involving Wacky Relatives Doing Wacky Relative Stuff At A Wedding Sort of? It's not really wacky stuff at the wedding, but we see Genevieve freaking the fuck out on the plane ride over, requiring her to be restrained with duct tape.
Ted Is An Insufferable, Pretentious Prick About, Architecture, Wedding Etiquette, English Literature, Or Any Other Pedantic Bullshit Ted turns his solution to the question of where Lily went in the middle of her fight with Marshall into an Agatha Christie-style drawing room disquisition, which makes it all the more satisfying when he turns out to be completely wrong.
Public Transportation High Jinks Lily sneaks into the train bathroom to smoke...or does she? (She doesn't; she's nauseated from her pregnancy, and puking.)
Flashback to Ted, Lily, And Marshall In College Just a reference to Lily's having taken up smoking when she spent time in Paris as a student.
Pop Song Montage Or Episode Outro Nope. But The Captain's greeting his staff with a Gilbert & Sullivanesque call-and-response number is better anyway.
Barney Says Something Inappropriately Dirty About A Hot Woman Because, Come On, Barney "The Captain moored his dinghy in Lily's lagoon?" "You knocked boats boats boats!"
"Legend...ary!", "Wait For It…," Or Any Pun On The Word "Bro" Nope.
Retro Video, Instructional Tape, Book, Or Other Multimedia Project Starring Or Created By One Of The Main Characters (Robin Sparkles, Barney As A Fake Astronaut, Etc.) Nothing of the sort.
Slap Bet No slap -- punch.
Unanticipated Wedding Hookup It's unexpected that The Captain would be betrothed to Becky, I guess, but that's just wedding adjacent.
6 / 16
Final Score
38%
Mother
62%
Saltine
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