I can’t believe it has taken me a week to watch last week’s episode. Barney and Robin finally make it to the end of the aisle, and for that we are thankful. The episode is well crafted, as well as one of the classic episodes. Before we get to the end of the aisle, Barney is freaking out. Remember how season 9 started? It was with this moment. Barney is freaking out over his choice of tie and Robin is ready to run out of the church.
Robin kinda had hoped that Barney would have found her missing locket. The locket becomes a symbol of true love for Robin. Ted has it in his pocket, but he gives it to Barney and tells him he needs to give it to Robin and that Barney found it. Robin knows that Barney didn’t really find it. She knows it was Ted. When Ted comes back to her room, she asks him about it. “You always go big for me,” she says to Ted.
Robin is already questioning if marrying Barney is the right thing. Has he really changed? And now with Ted going all Indiana Jones and finding the locket, she is wondering if she should be with Ted.
Robin: Maybe I should be marrying you.
These are words that Ted has been longing to hear for the longest time! And in this moment, things could go in one of two ways. Ted could run away with her to Chicago, or he could be the better man, and affirm Robin’s relationship with Barney. He does the latter.
Ted: I’m not that guy.
In the meantime, Barney is still working on his vows. Lily and Barney try to help me. But Barney reveals to them that they haven’t kept their wedding vows. Story after story, Marshall and Lily come to terms that the vows they made to each other on that faithful day, were no longer true.
Marshall takes Lily into the sanctuary. “We are different people than we were in 2007,” he says to Lily, “maybe we need to update our vows.” And that is what they do. In the church, with the cross at the center of the frame, they update their promises to each other.
Marshall: One set of vows cannot cover a lifetime of growing and changing with you.
Barney is in the back of the church, watching. He quietly walks out of the sanctuary. In the meantime, Robin has locked Ted in her room, and runs through the church. She trips and lands into the Mother. Robin admits to the Mother that she is having second thoughts. The Mother, proving yet again to a wisdom guide, tells Robin to take some deep breaths.
The Mother: Sometimes three deep breaths can change everything.
Robin turns around, and there is Barney. “I’ve decided to only make one vow to you,” Barney says, clearly influenced by what he witnessed in the sanctuary. “From this day forward,” he tells Robin, “I will only be honest with you, because I love you.” And oh, by the way, Ted found the locket. Robin, knowing that he is telling the truth, kisses Barney. Ted stumbles in, sees them kissing, and quietly walks away.
This leads us to one minute before the wedding – finally! Barney starts to freak out about his tie again, Marshall slaps him, the last slap. A bear comes down the aisle as the ring bearer. But we get to the end of the aisle. And that is what is important here. Barney and Robin are going to make the commitment to one another out of love.
While in the room with Robin, Ted tells her, “Love doesn’t make sense.” What struck me about this was during this scene, as in scenes with Barney in his room, the scenes are shot to include a portrait of Jesus – Jesus as the Good Shepherd; Jesus praying in the Garden; Jesus and the Last Supper. I know that the wedding is happening in a church, but they did not have include so much Jesus. But they did. And talk about a love that doesn’t make sense!
Jesus faced so much criticism because he not only expressed love, but was love in action, to so many people who society said did not deserve that love. The blind man. The bleeding woman. The little children. The woman at the well. And the list can go on and on. This love does not make sense. And yet, that is the same love that is extended to us as well. A love that does not make sense.
As the episode comes to a close, future Ted in his voice over narration says some pretty profound things about the weekend, but also about marriage and relationships. Here are a few of them.
It was a long weekend – more ups and downs – long twisty road that lead to the end of the aisle – not everything was perfect – none of us can vow to be perfect – in the end we only promise to love each other with everything we got. Because love is the best thing we do.
The best thing we do is love. But, marriage is hard work. No matter how long you have been married, marriage is hard work. And sometimes the promises we make to one another need to change, because life changes. Perhaps that is why Barney and Robin had cold feet and freaked out a little bit. Marshall and Lily had a huge fight in this season, showing us that marriage is hard work. The bold move that Marshall and Lily make in informally making new vows to each other is a perfect example of instead of rekindling what was in the relationship, kindling the future they will have together.
Love doesn’t make sense, but love is what we do best.
“And it was legendary.”