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'How I Met Your Mother' 'The End of the Aisle' recap: Honest vows

Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) in 'How I Met Your Mother' "The End of the Aisle"
Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) in 'How I Met Your Mother' "The End of the Aisle"
Richard Cartwright/CBS

In the Monday, March 24 episode of "How I Met Your Mother," "The End of the Aisle," it's only minutes – 32 of them, to be exact – until Barney and Robin's wedding. Both the bride and the groom are freaking out, Barney about his tie and Robin wondering about escaping out the window.

Closure. Finally. A constant on "HIMYM" has been Ted's feelings for Robin, and it's in the penultimate episode that the door is closed and locked on that. After Robin tells him that she think it's a bad sign she never found the locket and thought Barney would magically find it, be the guy she wants to be with, the one who comes through for her, Ted brings the locket to Barney and tells him he tracked it down and he should be the one to give it to her. Barney does, but Robin knows Ted's the one who tracked it down.

Since Ted went through all of that for her and has always gone big for her, not like Barney's gestures, which have been based on lies, she says she should be marrying him. However, Ted doesn't want to hear that. "I am not your future," he tells her. "Barney is." As for his grand gestures, "I'm not that guy anymore." Yes, searching for the locket started out as more than a wedding gift, but he's realized that he doesn't love her like that anymore, and he's not the type of guy who's going to screw up her future with Barney. "Love doesn't make sense," he tells her. "Love is the best thing we do." Robin and Barney may not make sense, but they love each other. Robin says he's right and she's being insane and then decides to run off by herself and…right into The Mother.

How Robin meets The Mother The Mother doesn't believe Robin when she says she's okay, and Robin admits she doesn't know if she can go through with the wedding. However, while she may not know her, she does have some advice: When she's overwhelmed, she closes her eyes and takes three deep breaths before making a decision. She leaves Robin to do just that, and after, when Robin turns around, Barney's standing there.

Vows that fit with the mess of real life While Barney has trouble with his vows, Marshall and Lily offer to help him, but he reminds them that they didn't keep any of the vows from their wedding (not the pre-wedding wedding by the tree). Once they realize he's right, Marshall takes Lily down to the empty church and they exchange real vows that make sense in the mess that is real life. "One set of vows, it can't cover a lifetime of growing and changing with you, of raising children with you, falling more and more in love with you every day, Lily Aldrin, which is what I vow to do for the rest of my life," Marshall says. Has anyone else missed cute moments like this between Marshall and Lily?

The only vow that matters After Robin's run-in with The Mother and Barney overhearing Marshall and Lily in the church, he finds her and explains he's realize that Marshall and Lily's problem is that he didn’t tell her the truth. So Barney's just making one vow: "Robin Scherbatsky, from this day forward, I'm always going to be honest with you because I love you." That includes telling her that Ted got the locket for her. She stops him from leaving with a kiss, and the cold feet are over for both the bride and the groom.

Not only is there a wedding, but there's also one last surprise for Barney: the final slap, as Barney begins rambling about the other tie again. Oh, and there's another moment of honesty from Barney after Robin's walk down the aisle: There is a ring bear, but it's cute, so it's okay. It was a long weekend of ups and downs, and not everything was perfect – and not everything that follows will be perfect, as Future Ted clues us in on – but in the end, all you can do is promise to leave each other with everything they have. Robin and Barney are married, and with that, there's only the series finale left.

"How I Met Your Mother" season 9 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS. What did you think of the penultimate episode of the series, "The End of the Aisle"?

Read more about How I Met Your Mother.

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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