So, the biggest thing we learned from last night’s How I Met Your Mother is that Ted and the Mother aren’t actually going to meet until the series finale. I kind of wondered all along if that’s how it would go, but I think it’s going to work because of the flash-forwards they’ve been weaving in all season. Even though they won’t meet until the final episode, we’ll feel like we know how things are going to turn out for them.
Last night’s episode begins with Robin freaking out because she never found her locket. She wants Barney to have found it because she needs to feel like he comes through for her. She is also hoping Ted will help her escape. Ted is starting to realize that “Helps Runaway Brides Get Out of Churches” is a thing for him now. He does not want to be party to this one. He goes to find Barney so he can give him the locket. Barney doesn’t want to take credit for finding the locket, but Ted insists, saying that Robin needs to see Barney coming through for her. I am already feeling like this is not going to end well.
After Barney gives the locket to Robin and her feet start to warm back up, Barney goes back to where he awaits the ceremony. Marshall and Lily find him there, working on his vows. He has a lot of them, and they read like A Bro’s Guide to Marriage: “I promise to watch hockey with you once a month. No, once a year. No, never, because hockey sucks, and you’re not going to watch it either. Now make me French toast.” As Marshall begins a string of puns on the word “vow,” Lily criticizes Barney’s and tells him that wedding vows are about making commitments to another person, commitments that are hard but that you promise to keep. Barney retorts that Marshall and Lily haven’t kept any of their vows, and he’ll prove it.
Meanwhile, Robin asks for Ted. He comes in and she shows him the locket, then asks where he found it. He keeps up the charade for a minute, making up a story about how Barney used a metal detector to find it in the park and then fought it away from a pigeon, but he has to give it up when Robin tells him that Barney said he found it in Marshall and Lily’s basement. Robin realizes that Ted is the one who has always been there for her, and that Barney only lies to her. Oh brother. Here we go.
Much as I love this show, it came down a peg or two for me with the whole “I shouldn’t be with the man I’m marrying TODAY, I should be with you!” bit. As a newlywed, I can say that it would hurt me deeply to find out that my husband actually considered marrying someone else on our wedding day. I know that the writers were just using this scene to yet AGAIN attempt to resolve the Ted-Robin thing, but it made me hate Robin a little. Maybe a lot. Grow a pair, girl. You don’t wait till your wedding day to think through all your other options and wonder whether this is the best one. You do that LONG before you’re in the dress and veil, ready to go.
Anyway. Fortunately, Ted understands this, and he tries to talk Robin down. He tells her that what really matters is that she loves Barney, and love is the best thing we do. It’s a bit of a cheesy argument, but that’s okay, because it doesn’t work anyway. Robin sees that Ted isn’t going to run away with her, so she decides to run away alone. She runs through the church and right into the Mother, which is how Robin meets the Mother.
Barney has effectively proven that Marshall and Lily have broken all their vows. They decide perhaps they need to update them, so they go to the altar alone. They promise each other much more practical, personal things, like that Lily will cry less during this pregnancy, and Marshall will cry less during this Vikings season. It’s a sweet scene, and I appreciate the nod toward what constitutes a healthy marriage, especially given the way Robin and Barney’s is starting out.
Back to Robin and the Mother in the church. The Mother astutely gathers that something is wrong, given that Robin is in a wedding dress and appears to be running away. Robin tells her that she doesn’t think she can go through with this. The Mother tells her that whenever she has to make a big decision, she takes three deep breaths. Robin does that, and when she opens her eyes, Barney is standing there. He has his vows with him. He says that he realizes that Marshall and Lily haven’t kept most of theirs, but they’re still the best couple he knows. He also knows now that there is only one vow he could make to Robin that would really matter. He vows to always tell her the truth, and then he tells her the truth about Ted finding the locket. Bam! Just like that Robin decides she still wants to marry him.
The slap bet Marshall and Barney made so long ago finally ends at the altar (an odd place to slap your friend, but okay). Also, Patrice is a bridesmaid. Why is Patrice a bridesmaid? Robin needs some real girlfriends. The “ring bear/ring bearer” gag that’s been going on all season pays off when there is an actual ring bear. But Robin’s okay with it, because he’s cute.
During the wedding itself, all we hear is Voiceover Ted. I actually liked that choice, because we’ve all seen a hundred sitcom weddings, and they’re all more or less the same. Rather than trying to figure out an original way to pull off a wedding ceremony, it made sense to just see the scene and hear Ted’s commentary. He reiterates that none of us can vow to be perfect, and all we can vow is that we will love each other with everything we’ve got. It’s a bit of a sappy end, but it sets us up for the wedding reception next week and the moment this show has been building toward for nine years. I, for one, cannot wait.