“Milk” begins with the gang celebrating Ted’s 28th birthday at MacLaren’s. Barney’s gift to Ted is to use the “Greatest Pickup Line Ever.” Barney goes over to hit on a gorgeous brunette and stops mid-sentence, asking if she is okay and telling her to sit down. While Barney continues to talk with the brunette, Lily asks Ted if he feels old being two years away from turning 30. Ted tells her no and future Ted tells his kids his 30th birthday was good except the goat, but that is a story for a later time. Returning to Barney, he demands a glass of water and for someone to call 911. When two paramedics arrive, played by series creators, Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, Barney asks the girl if anything is broken. The girl tells Barney no and Barney counters with a pickup line about her falling from Heaven because she is an angel. Barney then starts a chant telling the girl to give Barney her number. After the rest of the bar joins in, the girl gives her number to Barney. Back at the booth, Ted tells the rest of the group he has figured out why he is single, he is picky. Ted then recites the qualities he is looking for in a woman, attractive, college educated, wants one boy and one girl, likes dogs, Otis Redding, and sports, does the crossword and plays bass. When asked how he will find this “perfect woman”, Ted says he isn’t going to look for her, instead he is going to let fate present her to him.
The next day, Marshall seeks out Barney at work for help with some paperwork. Barney shrugs Marshall’s request off and has him look at an office across the street. Barney introduces him to Clark Butterfield and the prank war the two of them have engaged in for years. When Marshall refuses to help Barney with his prank war, Barney has his assistant, Tracy, inform Marshall he is no longer speaking with him, all in front of Marshall. Back at the apartment, Ted receives a call from Love Solutions, the dating service he signed up for in “Matchmaker” (Season 1 Ep. 7). The man from Love Solutions tells Ted they have found his soul mate. Ted immediately heads to the Love Solutions office. Ted is skeptically at first but after reading his match’s profile, decide she is perfect. The profile listed everything from Ted’s list earlier in the episode and then some. Ted instructs the worker to set up a date for him.
Later, Barney asks Marshall to see him in his office. Marshall asks if everything is back to normal between them but Barney ignores the questions and asks Marshall to taste his latte. After Marshall tastes the latte, Barney reveals Butterfield defiled his drink just as Barney had defiled Butterfield’s sandwhich previously. Marshall admits he should be upset with Barney but agrees to help retaliate against Butterfield. Down at MacLaren’s, Ted is so excited for his date he arrives early. Lily calls Ted and asks him if he can come help her in Dutchess county. She tells Ted she got a flat in Marshall’s Fiero and needs his help changing the tire. Ted, initially refuses but changes his mind after Lily guilts him into taking a 90 dollar cab ride to meet her.
Ted meets Lily and tells her since his date was nice enough to push the date back, he wants to know why she is in Dutchess county with Marshall’s car. After swearing on his future children, Luke and Leia not to tell Marshall, Lily confesses she has been battling insomnia for the past month. One night while she was thinking about Victoria and how she followed her dreams to Germany, Lily found an art fellowship in San Francisco. Lily was driving to the interview in New Haven when she got the flat. Ted asks if she is doesn’t want to get married and Lily assures Ted she wants to get married and wasn’t going to take the fellowship, she just wanted to know if her painting was good enough to get in. Ted tells Lily he thinks it’s pretty obvious she doesn’t want to get married because there are art fellowships a lot closer to New York. Lily admits to having second thoughts about the wedding but tells Ted she realizes the flat tire is a sign to stay in New York. After changing the tire, Lily tries to convince Ted to come with her to New Haven. After Ted tells her this is a mistake, Lily gives a great speech about how sometimes you can’t know if something is a mistake until you’ve made it and can look back and realize it was indeed a mistake. Unsuccessful in convincing Ted to join her, Lily leaves Ted on the side of the road and heads to New Haven.
Ted calls Barney for help and quickly realizes he is with Marshall. Since Ted doesn’t want Marshall to know why he was in Dutchess county, he lies and tells Marshall he was playing a joke. Ending the phone call with Ted, Marshall turns his attention back to preparing a mouse prank for Butterfield. Marshall admits to Barney that working with him is fun and he is thinking of working for Alltrucell after graduation. Ted is finally saved when Robin picks him up in a news van. On the ride to MacLaren’s, Robin does her best to keep Ted talking about his “perfect girl” and away from her hat. Robin mentioned she got some highlights earlier in the day and now she looks like a tiger. Outside of MacLaren’s Robin realizes Ted has had a rough night and cheers him up by taking off her hat, revealing her horrible hair. Ted watches Robin drive off with a big smile on his face. Standing just feet from MacLaren’s Ted dreams about his wedding and realizes it would be a mistake if Robin wasn’t the one standing next to him. Inside his apartment, Ted finds Marshall explaining the mouse prank to Lily. Ted uses the bad milk he drank that morning as code, asking Lily if she “got the milk.” Lily informs Ted she did get the milk. Ted somberly asks her if she “wants to drink the milk” and Lily responds with a warm smile and that she does not want to drink the milk. Marshall breaks up the milk talk, asking how Ted’s date went. Ted informs Marshall and Lily he didn’t go because he doesn’t want the “perfect woman”, he wants Robin. Marshall begins a long tirade of “not this again!” and Ted says sometimes you have to make a mistake before you realize it’s a mistake.
“Milk” is an interesting episode because it makes you think about the “what ifs” in your life. Would you be happier if you made this decision over that one? If you remember the ending shot of Lily from “Best Prom Ever”, it comes as no surprise she is having second thought about the wedding but I think this episode showed she just wanted to know she was good enough and sometimes knowing you are good enough to do something is just as good as doing it.
My favorite scene is when Lily gives her speech about making mistakes to Ted. Sorry about the lack/quality of pictures. The normal site I use was down.