“Lucky Penny” tells the story of Ted’s destiny. Future Ted tells his kids since selling his building design in “Aldrin Justice”, he has been head hunted by rival architecture firms. One firm was interested in Ted leading their New York office and he had to fly to Chicago for the final interview. Robin and Ted rush through the airport to their terminal but find the plane has already been boarded. the airline employee tells Ted and Robin to have a seat while she finds out if they can still get on the plane. While waiting, Ted and Robin blame Barney for their tardiness. In a flashback we find out Ted had to attend court the morning of the flight because Barney ran the New York City Marathon. Originally, Marshall was going to run the marathon and even spent months training but he broke his toe the day before the race. After Barney ensures Marshall he could run the marathon without training, Marshall bets Barney 50 dollars he doesn’t finish. The day of the event, the gang follows Barney on their computer and to our surprise, Barney does indeed finish the marathon. Barney shows up to the apartment after the marathon appearing unaffected by the 26.2 miles. Marshall pays up and mentions marathoners get to ride the subway free of charge that day. Later, Ted receives a call from Barney, pleading for his assistance. Barney is stuck on the subway because his legs aren’t working due to the strain of the marathon. Ted agrees to rescue Barney and jumps the turnstile as the subway is pulling away, causing a cop to tackle Ted and attend court the morning of the flight.
Back in the present, the airline employee informs Ted and Robin the flight left without them but there is one other flight that can still get them to Chicago. As Ted and Robin dash to the other terminal, Ted realizes everything is actually Robin’s fault because she is the reason Marshal broke his foot. We again flashback but this time to Marshall training for the marathon. The day before the marathon, Marshall returns from a run and proceeds to rub petroleum jelly on his chaffed areas. Robin walks in on Marshall rubbing his nipples, causing him to startle, trip and break his toe.
Robin insists it isn’t her fault but Lily’s. We flashback a third time to Ted and Robin walking by a line of women waiting for a bridal sale the following day. After Robin tells Lily about the sale, the two camp out for eight hours. Lily and Robin are kept up all night by a car alarm that never stops beeping. Exhausted from her lack of sleep, Robin decides to sleep at Ted’s apartment, causing her to walk in on Marshall.
Present Ted and present Robin arrive at the new terminal just before the plane leaves. After the new airline employee agrees to check for available seats, Ted realizes he is actually the cause for having to attend court. Flashing back for the last time, Ted finds a penny from 1939, as mentioned in “The Scorpion and The Toad”, and takes Robin to dinner after selling the penny to a collector. Ted treats Robin to the only hot dog stand in New York that the penny would pay for and in doing so, causes he and Robin to discover the bridal sale, leading to the rest of the dominos in this story. Present Ted is met with even more bad news when the airline employee tells him the plane is full. Ted feels defeated but is cheered up by Robin when she insists he destiny wasn’t to go to Chicago that day and if the architecture firm wants him bad enough, they will reschedule. Future Ted points out the firm hired someone else but it was all for the best because that person had to relocate to Chicago three months later and had Ted done that, he would have never met the mother.
“Lucky Penny” was a fun episode that emphasizes the importance of destiny and that sometimes losing is actually winning. If Ted did make his flight, he would have moved to Chicago and never met the mother but he couldn’t know that until later, hindsight is always 20/20. The multiple flashbacks building on each other was masterful and I appreciate the continuity the writers took by referencing the penny Ted found earlier in the season.
My favorite scene was when Marshall rubbed jelly on his nipples and complimented on how well his technique was just as Robin walked in on him.