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'How I Met Your Mother' 'The End of the Aisle' Recap: Love Is the Best Thing We Do

Years ago, Ted Mosby told his kids how the Universe was always “making sure that you end up exactly where you're supposed to be, exactly when you're supposed to be there,” noting that when it mattered, you would be in “the right place at the right time.” Well, after nine seasons and 206 episodes, that’s where Ted and we find ourselves. The right place at the right time.

“The End of the Aisle,” the penultimate episode of How I Met Your Mother, was all about making sure everything and everyone were in the right place. With just one episode left to go, this is it. This is the endgame. The next time we see Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin and Barney, it’ll be the last Monday night we ever spend with them. This experience that we’ve all shared — both fans of the show in the real world and these characters who have become real to us — is just about over. With HIMYM, “The End of the Aisle” was the end of the line.

For the most part, “The End of the Aisle” was the show’s final chance to tie up loose ends and to get the necessary pieces where they needed to be for next week’s series finale. We’ve known for over a year now that Robin would eventually freak out on her wedding day and try to bolt. This led to some speculation that maybe Barney and Robin wouldn’t get married. “The End of the Aisle” put that storyline to rest, but did so in a way that probably annoyed many diehard HIMYM fans.

When Ted closed the door on having a relationship with Robin in “Sunrise,” I really thought HIMYM was ready to move on from the “will Ted and Robin get together?” speculation. It wasn’t. “The End of the Aisle” had to revisit Ted and Robin a final time, with Robin being the one pushing the possibility this time. After Robin told Ted that she wished she had found the locket she buried in Central Park since it would have been a sign that the wedding was the right move, Ted revealed to Barney that he had tracked down the locket and then gave it to him to give to Robin. Unfortunately, Robin knew immediately that tracking down that locket was something that only Ted would do, which led her to question the very big life choice she was making.

“Maybe I should be marrying you,” Robin said to Ted.

In full panic mode, Robin told Ted that she could run away with him, and that they could move to Chicago together. She would even root for the Blackhawks if it meant they could be together.

Thankfully Ted stood firm in his belief that he had moved on from Robin, saying that he didn’t love her in that way anymore — and neither did she. She could marry Barney, though, no matter how crazy she thought the idea was at that moment.

“Love doesn’t make sense,” Ted said to Robin. “You can’t logic your way into or out of it. Love is totally nonsensical, but we have to keep doing it or else we’re lost and love is dead and humanity is just packing it in. Because love is the best thing we do.”

Because love is the best thing we do. I am so happy that Ted is closer than he’s ever been to finding his future wife. While I’m not too pleased that HIMYM used a good chunk of its final minutes to rehash Ted and Robin, the episode showed that Ted really had moved on. There was Robin, the woman he had long pined for, ready to run away with him. Ted refused. He knew it wasn’t real … but he knew that love was.

For Robin, though, a Ted Mosby speech wasn’t enough to calm her down. She bolted from the room, locking Ted inside. The only thing that kept her from hightailing it out of Farhampton was The Mother. On her way through the reception area, Robin crashed into her wedding band’s bass player and lucked herself into some very good advice.

Noting that, “As a kid, I was a bit of a detective,” (Ted, you are so fortunate) The Mother pieced together that Robin was runaway-briding it and offered her a simple solution.

“Sometimes even three deep breaths can change everything,” The Mother said, encouraging Robin to take three deep breaths and then see how she felt about running away from the wedding.

Robin did just that. And then she opened her eyes to see Barney standing there. While Robin and Ted were dealing with Robin’s cold feet, Barney had been working on his wedding vows with Marshall and Lily, struggling to find something meaningful to say to his bride. In that moment, though, Barney realized that he only had to say one thing.

“Robin Scherbatsky, from this day forward, I’m always going to be honest to you,” Barney said. “Since I love you.” He then confessed that Ted had found the locket and that Robin should thank him.

That was all Robin had to hear. With her freakout over, the wedding continued. Both Barney and Robin made it to the altar. Robin’s dad walked her down the aisle. Even Patrice was there to offer Robin praise that no one had asked for. Marshall did have to use the final slap to ward off one final bout of cold feet on Barney’s part.

So let’s look at where we stand going into the HIMYM series finale. Barney and Robin appear to finally be in a good place. They went through with their wedding. All that’s left for them is the reception. Marshall and Lily are also doing well. Their fight is behind them, Lily’s pregnant with a daughter and the couple unofficially renewed their vows, strengthening the bond between them. Ted too appears to be at peace. He’s moving to Chicago, but he’s recognized the importance of this weekend with his friends, knowing it may be the last time they’re all together for awhile. He’s resisted the Final Temptation of Robin too.

There’s at least one more rough patch coming up, though. Narrator Ted alluded to it at the end of “The End of Aisle.” And we’ve known since the Season 8 premiere that Ted winds up at the Farhampton train station with a bandage on his hand after the wedding. No matter what happens in the series finale, we know that Ted winds up on a date with The Mother three days after the wedding. He looked pretty happy on that date during “Gary Blauman,” so whatever he winds up doing to earn that bandage can’t be too awful, right?

Beyond that, though, is the giant question of “Why?” Why has Ted been telling his kids this story? Why did Ted look so brokenhearted when The Mother brought up mothers missing their daughters’ weddings. And why was Ted pleading for 45 more days (or even 45 more seconds) with his future wife?

I guess we’ll know all of this in a week. I’ll see you guys then. Please don’t look at me, though. I’m going to be a mess.

Notes and quotes 
Ted to Robin: “I refuse to be a part of a third runaway bride situation. It’s like that guy in that documentary who kept having women show up dead at his staircase. Sure, maybe they all tripped, but do you wanna hang out with that guy?”

Barney after Marshall asked what he was writing: “It’s my wedding day — what do you think I’m writing?”
Marshall: “Suicide note?”

Marshall after Barney insulted his wedding vows: “Vow dare you!”
Lily: “Just stop.”
Marshall: “I can’t. It’s invowentary.”

Marshall’s other vow puns included vowsa and Vowerpoint presentation.

Marshall’s reason for pretending to be asleep while Lily was once sick on an airplane: “I just thought I should give you your space … like a dying cat.”

Ted to Robin: “If it helps, I’m pretty sure Barney Stinson is a fake name.”

Barney critiquing how Marshall makes Lily breakfast in bed: “Aw, you feed her like Sloth from Goonies. The magic is still there.”

Robin to Ted: “Shouldn’t I be with a guy who finds me my locket? A guy who steals me the blue french horn? Look me in the eye and tell me why I shouldn’t be with that guy?”

Barney to Marshall and Lily: “You know what you should use next time you run out of toilet paper? Your wedding vows. 'Cause that’s all your marriage has been, one long six-year wipe after that double-flusher of a wedding. Stinson out!”

The Mother to Robin: “During that fall, we did kind of get to second base with each other, and we’ll always share that, but I don’t really know you …”

Patrice to Robin: “You’ve never looked more beautiful, Robin.”
Robin: “No one asked you, Patrice.”

Barney made good on his threat to actually get a ring bear instead of a ring bearer. It wound up being a cub, though, and completely stole Robin’s heart.

Robin: “Aw, I love the ring bear.”
Barney: “Then you’re going to love the flower gorilla.”
Robin: “What?”
Barney: “Kidding. Kidding.”

Barney wasn’t kidding.

Narrator Ted: “Here’s the secret, kids, none of us can vow to be perfect. In the end, all we can promise is to love each other with everything we got. Because love’s the best thing we do.”
'How I Met Your Mother' 'The End of the Aisle' Recap: Love Is the Best Thing We Do Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 3/24/2014 Rating: 5

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