In “How I Met Your Mother” “End of the Aisle,” the penultimate episode of the show that aired on March 24, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) finally made it to the wedding. But as Future Ted promised, it was a long and winding road to that point, and not just because it’s the 23rd episode of the season.
For starters, it wasn’t Barney who was having cold feet. Well, he was, in a way, what with how he thought he needed a cornflower blue tie back in New York. But it was Robin’s freak out that was the most worrisome. “Maybe I should be marrying you… I should be with you,” Robin stupidly tells Ted (Josh Radnor) when she realizes that Ted found her precious locket.
Thankfully, this was the real final moment that put an end to all things Robin and Ted. Because Ted realizes that he’s changed, and that if Robin thinks he’d be the kind of guy to destroy her wedding? Then she doesn’t know him at all. This final moment between them was much, much better than the red balloon incident, and it worked… although it didn’t address her nerves in getting married to Barney. After all, how can she trust him? When everything Barney does, including his big rehearsal surprise, is based on lies?
Meanwhile, across the hall on “How I Met Your Mother” “End of the Aisle,” Barney is having a crisis of his own: he can’t find the right words for his vows. As Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) point out, everything he’s written is plain selfish, like most of the things Barney does.
Thankfully Marshmellow and Lilypad lead by example, and when Barney sees them recommit themselves to each other with more realistic (and sweet) vows, because life is messier than the usual wedding vows imply, he knows exactly what he needs to say. But will he get a chance to say his vows on “HIMYM”?
When Robin starts running away, she runs right into the still unnamed Mother (Cristin Milioti). And the mother has even better advice then Ted: do one simple thing before making a big decision, and take three deep breaths. After taking those breaths, Robin opens her eyes and sees Barney.
To Robin, Barney says, “From this day forward, I’m always going to be honest with you, because I love you. I’ll see you up there.” And then he’s honest about the locket, and he tells her that Ted was the one to find it, not him. Just like that, all is right in the world of Barney and Robin, and it’s the most special, sweet moment ever between them.
Because while the wedding was special, it was more entertaining than anything -- and not just because Marshall used his last and final slap to stop Barney from going back to New York for his cornflower blue tie. It was also entertaining, because, yes, Barney really did have a ring bear, just as he implied all along.
Since “HIMYM” is nearing its end though, the episode couldn’t end on just a funny note. There was a lesson to be learned here, as there so often is on this CBS comedy. “None of us can vow to be perfect,” Future Ted says. “In the end, all we can do is promise to love each other with everything we’ve got. Because love is the best thing we do. And on that lovely spring evening, that’s exactly what Barney and Robin vowed to each other... and it was legendary.”
After that episode ending, it is incredibly hard to believe that “How I Met Your Mother” is going to do another switcharoo and have Barney and Robin divorce, and have Robin and Ted get together, as so many theorists imply. Robin and Ted are absolutely 100% over in this episode, and chances are, whatever surprises come in next week’s finale, they won’t be about Robin and Ted. At least let’s hope not.
© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2014
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