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How I Met Your Mother- Episode 9.22 "The End Of The Aisle" Review- The show vows to be remembered fondly

The finale is going to air tomorrow, so I wanted to post this review earlier. Sadly I was unable to due to both college overwork and illness (possibly caused by overwork), but better later than never, now I’m here to review the episode.
It is an episode that I mostly enjoyed, but that is far from the perfection that "Gary Blauman" was, mostly because the drama and comedy are unbalanced; whenever there is a shift from the whole Ted and Robin situation to the vows jokes carried by Barney, Lily and Marshall they are so off tone that it’s like watching two completely different episodes.

“Unpause” managed to carry on comedy and drama with very different tones by centering on the drama by the end of the episode, here it is integrated to the whole episode and it is so strong that it mostly makes the whole vows jokes forgettable; that’s not to say they are bad- not at all, they were pretty great- but the thing is that one will probably remember this episode for what happened between Ted and Robin and the subplot with Marshall and Lily’s vows will probably always feel like just necessary side dish to the whole story.

Let’s tackle the vows first: Barney is having trouble making his vows so Marshall and Lily tell him they can help, but Barney is set up to prove that they have broken every single vow they ever made. And they did, via flashback we get to see how have broken most of their vow, keeping only one around, which is Marshall making Lily breakfast in bed every single Sunday Morning, even when it’s just tossing her a bagel and throwing cream cheese to the wall.

The show doesn’t go much deeper exploring the vows Marshall and Lily broke, they were fun to watch and it would lead to both Marshall and Lily re-examine their marriage and what is lacking on it. So they decide to renew their vows in what’s really a beautifully quiet scene, especially when Marshall says “I vow to always keep updating them as we go, because one set of vows 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.”, which is an amazing conclusion for Marshall and Lily’s relationship on the show (Lily: “crap, I already broke my crying vow”, Marshall: “I forgive you”).

The whole vow story is good and it’s the perfect send off for Marshall and Lily, but it doesn’t have nearly as much impact as what happens with Ted and Robin.

Robin is freaking out as the wedding is about to start and she starts making all kind of excuses not to get married. I say excuses because the only real issue here is that Robin fears marrying Barney because she doesn’t fully trust him yet, he has been so dishonest their whole time together that she can’t come to terms with marrying him. So the first she says to Ted is that she thinks it is a bad sign that she never found her locket and that she expected Barney to find it.

That’s cue for Ted to give the locket to Barney; at first I was a little mad because the fact that Ted had it meant that he actually dove into the water when Jennet threw it in Central Park, but once he gives it to Barney it is clear that he is ready to leave Robin behind for good.

So Barney gives the locket to Robin and for a moment it looks like everything is good, but once Ted goes to see her again Robin knows that Ted actually found the locket and she makes him confess it by tricking him. At that moment Robin is so fed up with Barney lying that she can’t make sense of them being together, and she tells Ted that she should be with him. The scene freezes for a moment and something amazing happens when Future Ted talks:

Future Ted: “There it was. The words some deep dark side of me always wanted to hear. But it’s funny, once you actually hear those words out loud…”
Present time Ted: “I don’t want to hear that.”

I never felt so proud of Ted as I did at that very moment; it’s proof that he has actually moved on, that what he did in “Sunrise” wasn’t just a gesture but a reality, that he is actually ready to meet the mother, because he now knows for sure that he doesn’t love Robin as he thought he did. He sees that she loves Barney; he knows that Barney loves her and he gave the final step to finally let her go, forever.

Even when Ted makes it clear to Robin that he would never screw what she has with Barney and that neither of them actually loves the other that way, Robin is still scared, because her marriage doesn’t make any sense, and Ted tells her that love doesn’t have to make sense to make sense, that it is just there and she shouldn’t run away from it. I agree with Ted, love can be nonsensical, and the only thing that matters is that both partners are ready to give each other the same thing, as much love as they can possibly give to each other.

Robin runs away as panic strikes her and locks Ted in the room, and as she runs away she crashes with The Mother who is setting everything up for when she is going to play in the reception. Her interaction with Robin is too short and as such a little bit underwhelming, but it is not less affecting, as she tells her to take three deep breaths, an advice that changes everything.

Barney learnt from Marshall and Lily that the key to success in a relationship is honesty, and as he doesn’t want to screw things up with Robin, he outright goes to see her when she needs him the most and he throws away all his written vows, to make only one: he is always going to be honest with Robin, and that starts with him admitting that it was actually Ted who found the locket. This was what Robin needed to be sure that he can marry Barney, she needed to see that he was capable of telling her the truth, and that creates the safety she needs to actually marry him.

The moment comes, Barney has a little freak out before the ceremony as for one last time he thinks he made a bad call with his tie, and then the final slap is delivered. It was beyond predictable that this was the moment when the final slap was going to be delivered, but it didn’t bother me at all, because it felt right.

Robin comes walking down the aisle with her father, she gets to the altar with Barney and he admits that there was an actual ring bear at the wedding, which Robin comes to love (not so much the flower gorilla girl, which Barney has to pass off as a joke giving a signal to a guy to shut the thing down. One last lie, but for a good reason). I laughed quite a lot at that moment, and then when the ceremony started and Future Ted tells us that no one can vow to be perfect and that all we can vow is to love each other with everything we got I start tearing up a little bit, especially when Barney and Robin leave the room, just married, and Future Ted says that it was legendary. It is all I ever needed to know.

Now the finale comes, with everything already resolved there is only one issue left to deal with: How Ted Met The Mother. This episode made almost everything right, there is the whole issue with the two storylines feeling like two different episodes, but aside from that, it is a very build up for one last episode, one last chance to enjoy How I Met Your Mother as much as we can, a chance I will savor with everything I have, because it is the only thing I can do now that the show is ending.

Grade: A-

Stray Observations:

-Marshall: “Vow-dare you!”
Lily: “Marshall, stop it.”
Marshall: “I can’t, it is in-vow-luntary.”
I found pretty funny every single Marshall vow pun, but that one was my favorite.

-Someone please explain to me what does it means that Barney's initials are B.S, they were a joke that I've read a lot about, but I don't get it (as I'm not form the US, sometimes I miss these kinds of jokes)

-Past Lily: “I vow to honor you and respect you.”
Barney: “Maybe she was blushing, because she was lying her ass off.”
That line was golden.

-Robin: “I’m ok.”
The Mother: “Are you sure? Because when I was a kid, I was a little bit of a detective.”
It’s a little bit weird and a little bit lovely how much alike Ted the Mother felt at that moment.

-Patrice: “You look more beautiful than ever, Robin.”
Robin: “Nobody asked you, Patrice.”
I’m so going to miss Robin yelling at Patrice.

-And that’s it… the season is ending, the series is ending, and as I saw the last promo of HIMYM I started crying. I’m ok… I’m ok… … …

I’m so not ok.

About the Author - Pablo
I'm currently studying Psychology while also writing fantasy books (one already published in my home country, Chile, you can check it out on the facebook icon). I watch many different types of shows, including my favorites Revenge, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time and about 23 more. Currently writing reviews for Once Upon a Time, How I Met Your Mother and Community


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