This episode felt, to me, like a much more personal one than some have been this season. It begins with Ted and The Mother escaping a snow storm at the Farhampton Inn. Ted is telling stories of snow storms past, but each time, the Mother interrupts to inform him she’s heard this one already. She suggests a story from her own past, but Ted has heard all of those as well. They happily celebrate becoming an “old married couple.” A comment from the passing waiter spurs on a tale that the Mother may not recognize and that takes us back to the present day.


Robin is rough-housing with her sister when Lily arrives. Lily has a desperate need to scrapbook and dwell on all the gooey romanticism of the day. Robin seems immune, much happier relaxing with a beer and watching pay-per-view. The film on pay-per-view is another callback; it is the sequel to “The Wedding Bride,” the ridiculous main foil of which was based on Ted (written by his ex-fiancee’s ex-husband). Lily is growing increasingly frustrated with Robin’s nonchalance. They fight over the fact that Robin hasn’t been having her “wedding day freakout” and it culminates in Lily showing up in her own wedding gown – threatening to wear it to the ceremony.


Meanwhile, Barney is letting himself into a room in the hotel that is not part of their suites. Ted hears inflammatory evidence that Barney could be straying on his wedding day. It is a false alarm, of course. Barney is actually in crisis, picking out the perfect suit out of an entire roomful of racks. He’d had one made for the occasion, but he feels it no longer fits properly. Over the course of the episode, we get allusions to the history of Barney’s various suits. His dalliance with a female rodeo clown, the night at the Playboy mansion, all memories tied into the cloth of suits that would be unsuitable for his wedding. At long last, Ted calms him enough to try on the suit he had made for the day itself and reminds him why he is really wearing it. Barney discovers that it was the perfect fit, all along.


The episode alternates between Lily’s time with Robin and Ted’s time with Barney. After Lily appears in her wedding dress, Barney and Ted join Robin, Lily, and Marshall in Robin’s room and the storylines are united. Finally, Lily admits the real reason she is upset: The wedding may be the last time the whole gang is together for an unforeseen amount of time. With Ted moving away to Chicago, it is the end of an era for them (as well as us, as viewers). There is nothing left for any of them to say, so they settle in to watch “The Wedding Bride 2.”

Robin leaves later on to get ice and runs into none other than her absentee mother in the hallway. We flash back to the future after that revelation as told by Ted. The Mother is beginning to tear up as she murmurs “What mother is gonna miss her daughter’s wedding?” Ted also looks ready to cry and the Mother quickly changes the subject.


This seems to be a rather heavy handed nod to the popular fan-theory that the Mother is actually no longer with us by the time Ted is telling the story in 2030. (for more on that: Whether the writers intend to lead us down that depressing path or not, I was excited by the cliffhanger reveal of Robin’s mother (played by the incomparable Tracey Ullman, no less) and cannot wait to tune in next week!

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