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Worldly Distractions: How I Met Your Mother 9.22 - The End of The Aisle




The End of the Aisle

And as we approach the end of the aisle, we approach the end of the series, too. Minutes from marriage, will Robin and Barney get past their massive hangups? Let's find out.

We come in at 5:28, with thirty-two minutes to go in the longest wedding buildup ever. While Barney ponders his choice of tie, Robin ponders her choice of husband. Yup, the Canadian tough girl is getting bridal cold feet. Ted, eager not to be involved with another runaway bride situation, has to restrain her from shimmying down the drainpipe. Then Robin, smart, sensible Robin, confesses that this all has to do with that stupid locket. I still think this plot was among the dumbest of a very dumb season, but that's what they've written, so here goes. She blames Barney for not finding it, thinking it's a sign he isn't fully committed. Geez, my boyfriend hasn't raised the Titanic this week, think I should dump him?

Ted offers to fix things, but of course he has the locket himself. He looks at it mournfully. Opening credits.

So the best man goes to check on Barney, who seems fine but is hyperventilating upside-down in seconds. Jesus Christ guys, it's just a wedding. I can see some nerves, but not panic attacks that defy the laws of physics. Ted steps forward, tells an abridged version of the Locket Saga, and hands him the jewelry to give to Robin, proving himself to be the bigger man once and for all (despite throwing a temper tantrum and moving to Chicago just because his ex is getting married). So Robin gets her locket and everyone is happy, except for the person responsible for finding it.

Marshall and Lily go to check on Barney again. Okay, is it just me or does Lily already look pregnant? She literally peed on the stick a few hours ago and now she's got a bump, or is that the unflattering bridesmaid dress? Get your timeline straight, writers. Anyway, Barney's writing his vows, but he's stuck, which seems weird for the man who composed an entire Bro Code on a whim. Still, important occasion and all that. While Marshall makes stupid "vow" puns, Lily looks through the reams of paper to which Barney has committed his feelings. Most of the vows seem to be...less than romantic. Lily and Marshall offer to help, saying they know what real commitment is, which Barney challenges. An argument is imminent.

Robin shows Ted the locket. He pretends to be enthusiastic about "Barney's" triumph, but she has known all along that it was him. Ted makes excuses, and weaves an elaborate story of how Barney discovered it. She is not fooled. Cornered, he blurts out the entire story. When he tries to escape, Robin locks him in the room with her.

Marshall and Lily angrily ask Barney what could have been wrong with their wedding vows. He recaps the story of their pre-wedding wedding, which as you may recall was conducted by Barney under a tree. They said some nice stuff at both weddings, then proceeded to violate them in a dozen different ways during the marriage - Marshall pretending to sleep when Lily was sick, Lily humiliating her husband in a "draw-on-the-drunk-guy" incident, etc. This stuff is so pedantic that I can't believe they buy into it, but they do.

Robin is overwhelmed by all the things Ted has done for her, and all the implications this comes with. She concludes that Barney lies about everything and never really cared for her, because Season 9 Robin apparently got dropped on her head a few too many times. Since Ted appears to be the one who's there for her, she wonders if she is making a mistake - maybe she should be marrying Schmosby instead. Dun dun DUN!

Marshall and Lily have managed to find one vow they've kept - he brings her breakfast in bed every Sunday, even if this means literally throwing bagels at her. Seriously, guys, marriage isn't a laundry list, it's a process. Barney accuses them of not keeping the romantic spark alive, and we get an admittedly snicker-worthy scene of Marshall and Lily literally abandoning their son to care for necessary bodily functions. Ladies and gentlemen, romance!

Meanwhile, Robin admits what Ted's been waiting for since 2005: maybe she should be with him instead. Even though, you know, they have completely different goals and have tested out the romance stuff without success. This is why you don't invite exes to a wedding. To Ted's credit, though, he recognizes it as pre-wedding jitters and tells her to stop. They argue about the significance of Ted's finding the locket. She claims it's a symbol that he still loves her. He tells her that it was, but not anymore - he's finally realized that he's not in love with her. He spouts some BS about love which would make the writers of Love Story vomit, but it makes sense to Robin.

Marshall and Lily mourn their lost youth while Barney lays on the insults. Meanwhile, Robin has come around - instead of running away with Ted, she will just run away alone. She careens through the banquet hall, where she crashes into a young woman at the mike. "And that's how Robin met your mother."

Walking through the church, Marshall and Lily decide to horn in on someone else's wedding yet again and decide to make some "updated vows", which are a great deal more honest and require much less effort to keep. Jason Segel looks nearly comatose, as usual. It is actually kind of sweet, though. They decide to "keep updating them as we go". And honestly, that's a pretty solid idea. Barney, lurking in the back, walks out with a determined look on his face.

Robin has accidentally clobbered The Mother, who asks if she's okay. This prompts Robin to spill all. The Mother admits that she doesn't know Robin very well, but when she has to make a big decision, it always helps to close her eyes and take three deep breaths. Robin's skeptical, but she tries it. When she opens her eyes, Barney's standing there. He's realized that dishonesty is what caused Marshall and Lily's trouble, so he will not have any of that from now on. He makes one vow to Robin, the only one that counts - he will always be honest with her, forever. For good measure, he tells her that Ted was the one who found the locket. They share a quick pre-wedding kiss, and things are back on track.

We get to one minute before the wedding. Fucking FINALLY. Patrice is inexplicably a bridesmaid - I guess for her part in the "Robin" play. Robin's sister Katie appears to be missing from the lineup. Barney is still dithering about his tie. When he decides to go back to Manhattan and get the right one, Marshall delivers the final slap with no fanfare (or god-awful racist episodes). Barney is thrilled to be free of the Slap of Damocles. Robin comes down the aisle (to "Sandcastles in the Sand", of course), on the arm of her proud father, who is for once not bitching about his would-be son. She delivers one last bitchy comment to Patrice, and the wedding begins.

Just as she feared, Barney really has engaged a "ring bear", though he's docile enough to be cute and Robin loves it. Also, he doesn't maul anyone and/or shit on the rug. Barney does have to call off the flower gorilla, however. James' dad proves to be a pretty good emergency officiant, Robin's mom watches proudly from the pews, as do Loretta, Jerome and Robin Sr. Even Gary Blauman is there. Old Ted narrates about how the wedding weekend took forever (wink wink to the audience), and life's twists and turns and yada yada. And did Billy Zabka get kicked out the wedding party again? This show is so inconsistent I don't know what to believe in anymore. Marshall and Lily smile at each other from across the platform, Robin and Barney exchange vows. Bada bing bada boom, they are married. Everyone hugs it out. Old Ted pronounces the wedding "legendary". End credits.

Well, they finally got married and we appear to have exorcised the Robin-Ted beast just in time for the last episode. Everyone had some ridiculous fights and sweet moments, and in the end it all came down to the group. It had its weak moments, but overall it worked. Next week's finale has a tall order, tying up dozens of loose ends while convincingly getting Ted and the Mother in the same vicinity. Can they do it? Tune in next week.

And finally, the damn wedding is DONE.

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