The mystery of Robin’s locket that means the absolute world to her is finally revealed. Instantly, actually. In a five-second, no dialogue blip as Ted—who painstakingly tracked it down—gives the locket to Barney so that he can calm down his bride-to-be.
Luckily, “The End of the Aisle” doesn’t wrap it up that quickly, and gives us a quick turn as Robin clearly knows Ted was involved in finding the important locket and just gave it to Barney to be a nice guy. Ted quickly reveals that he flew across country to his ex-fiancé Stella’s house. Then tracked it down to Victoria in Germany, who shipped it overnight to America. Only to be intercepted by his crazy ex-girlfriend, Jeannette.
Robin is blown away that Ted always goes big for her and is upset by how Barney’s two biggest acts of love (his proposal and the Canadian rehearsal dinner) were based on lies. In tears, she admits that she thinks she should be marrying Ted. She should be with the guy who stole the blue French horn and finds her locket, but he claims that he’s not that guy anymore. However, unexpectedly, Ted says that he doesn’t love her anymore and that if she thinks that he would break up her and Barney, then she doesn’t know him at all.
It was a good, solid way to wrap up the annoying Ted/Robin will they/won’t they storyline that we’ve known for years was always going to be a won’t.
It does lead to the final friend (aside from Ted) to meet the Mother. Robin crashes into the Mother while she’s setting up her bass. The Mother muses that when she was a kid she was a bit of a detective, much like Ted. A cute moment that really made me love her even more. The Mother helps Robin through her freakout, making Robin the fourth friend the Mother helps prior to finally meeting Ted.
Meanwhile, Barney is trying to figure out his vows and proceeds to explain how Marshall and Lily’s vows six years ago have turned into a lie. It was interspersed with the other plot to help cut up the drama with some clever jokes. The perfect couple decides to privately, and hilariously, renew their vows. It was romantic, but part of me felt like they have done something similar in previous seasons because the writer’s know it is an easy ploy to get the audience to tear up.
After seeing them take their vows, Barney rushes to Robin right after the Mother helps her and makes one vow to her: that he’ll never lie to her ever again. At the altar a few moments later, Barney begins one last freakout and Marshall slaps him. Voila—the final slapbet. It was a magical moment.
“The End of the Aisle” produced a lot of closure for all of the characters, apart from Ted, and was a terrific way to show us all that all of the characters are going to be okay.
The episode ends with a voiceover from Future Ted, saying it was a long weekend. (Yeah, it was.) Finally, we’re heading to the reception, where I have no clue how Ted won’t meet the Mother until they’re at a train station, but I am going to tune in one last time next Monday as this nine-year journey finally comes to a conclusion
Adam Vitcavage is a Phoenix-based television critic who contributes regularly to Paste. When he’s not watching and talking about television he teaches literature at a high school. You can follow him on Twitter.