Cute episode. Really cute. There was really only one big problem with it, but I'll get to that in a minute. The plot:
It's 52 hours before the wedding. Lily discovers a list that Ted has made of things to do before leaving New York. It includes things like saying goodbye to the Empire State Building (which Ted affectionately calls "Empy") and getting a drink with his favorite students. It also includes drinking one last scotch with Barney. They have been saving a very special Glen McKenna for the occasion.
As Lily tries to convince Ted to stay, we get a few flashbacks that show how Ted and Marshall accidentally ruined Lily's dress for the rehearsal dinner when having a sword fight. It is then revealed that the special bottle of Glen McKenna was destroyed by another sword fight between Lily and Robin. These were really humorous flashbacks, and definitely one of the highlights of the episode.
In the end, Lily gives Ted a piece of advice - instead of saying goodbye to all the good things about New York, he should say goodbye to the bad things - all the times he's felt lonely, etc. These are the things he should be happy to be doing for the last time. Ted reveals one last thing on his list: get one last Life Lesson lecture from Lily. This was the flaw in the episode. It was so ridiculously cheesy that it completely pulled me out of the moment. This show has been around for quite some time, and it's okay to get a bit sentimental, but I was rolling my eyes while Lily was talking. They should be saving the sentimental stuff for further down the rode.
Meanwhile, Robin and Barney realize that the impending arrival of their old relatives means that they have very little free time left together before the wedding. They spend the episode dodging old people and trying to find a place to have sex. They're worried that the passion will be gone once they're married, and an encounter with James reveals that this is what happened with Tom. However, in order to give Barney and Robin a chance to escape and have sex, James sacrifices himself to the throng of old people. Barney and Robin then accidentally walk in on two of the old relatives going at it, and while they are at first disgusted, they realize that they will be just like that couple in sixty years: they will still want to jump each other even after all that time.
This plot thread had a lot of great jokes. I loved the list of things that attract old people, I loved James' heroic sacrifice, and I loved the cheesy yet still fitting realization that Barney and Robin are actually looking forward to growing old together.
The episode ends on a dark note. Ted has been avoiding Barney, but with a push from Lily he decides to go enjoy that scotch with him after all. He wants to be there for his friend, no matter how awkward it might be. However, when Ted finds him, Barney reveals that he saw Robin and Ted at the carousel, where she had been looking for her missing locket.
Basically, this means that Barney knows that Ted still has feelings for Robin. I think that's going to make a very interesting conflict for the coming episodes.
So, in all it was a good week. There was barely any Marshall in it, although he did make an appearance, still on his road trip with Daphne and the baby. No Mother this week, either, but I hope we start to see her more very soon. Besides the overwhelming cheesiness of one speech by Lily, this was a very strong episode!