In Minnesota, Ted's now playing videogames, too, and Lily reminds him he's supposed to help get Marshall back to New York. Ted thinks they should stay here until at least after Valentine's Day, plus they're helping Marshall's mom! He yells to her that they're running low on Sunny D. She hollers back to ask if orange juice is okay. Marshall and Ted, in unison: "No!"
MacLaren's. Barney's still making fun of Bev's fake fiancé. Another of Robin's girlfriends (not wearing purple) shows up, all cute and sexy. Her name's Nora. In Minnesota, Lily tells Marshall she's going home, and she wants him to come with her. He says he can't, because his mom needs him. She says it's clearly been super-helpful to have him here playing Super Mario Kart for fourteen hours a day. Ted: "You have Super Mario Kart?!" Lily tells him his mom doesn't need him; his life in New York needs him. He asks her not to go, and Lily kisses him and says, "Come home soon." Tough love.
MacLaren's. Barney's insulting a hot girl for not being good enough, then he heads over to ask Nora why she's not wearing purple like her friends. She says she told them she forgot, but she's really sort of protesting their protest; can he keep her secret? She loves Valentine's Day. He says he does too, and she's glad he's another "gooey romantic." He pretends he is, and they bond over it, then she tells him the one difference between them is that she's not saying any of this to get in his pants.
Minnesota. Marshall (wearing a Tarkenton High School T-shirt) stops playing his videogame to tell Ted how much he misses his dad. He remembers driving at night, and it was so dark in the woods of Minnesota he couldn't see anything, but he was never afraid because his dad was like a superhero who could see out into the darkness. Cut to little Marshall awake in the car while the rest of the family sleeps and his dad drives. His dad gives him a wink, and little Marshall smiles. But now he's gone, Marshall tells Ted, and it's so dark, he can't see anything. That's incredibly sad. I didn't think I'd like that they're dragging this on for so many episodes, but I think I actually do. It's how real mourning happens.
Barney apologizes to Nora for playing her, but he says he's just protecting her from people who are into Desperation Day, because she sounds kind of desperate. She thinks there's nothing wrong with knowing what you want, which is romance on Valentine's Day. Barney: "OR you could be in the 14th annual laser tag tournament in Poughkeepsie." Nora has no idea what any of those words mean. Even though his super-desperate girl from earlier is totally ready for him, he sticks with Nora, to fill her in on laser tag.