Earlier in the season, older Ted (voiced by Bob Saget) alluded that a lot of changes were coming for him and the gang, but none of it could happen until the feelings were resolved between him, Barney, and Robin. Victoria told him that this thing the three of them were doing isn’t going to work. Before he could move forward, Ted had to go back to the beginning one more time.
At the end of last week’s episode he professed his love for Robin once again. “No pressure,” Ted says, “Just let me know what you think.” Before anything can really be hashed out, Robin is whisked away on a business trip and says, “We’ll continue this when I get back.”
After Robin leaves Ted calls Marshall and asks him to meet at MacLaren’s. It turns out Barney had taken the drunk train and crashed at Lily and Marshall’s. Lily and Marshall decide to meet with Ted while Barney sleeps off a hangover.
At MacLaren’s, Ted relays the story of the last night. Marshall says he is not surprised that it happened. Lily swoops in and starts giving Ted a bunch of horrible ideas, almost as if she was trying to sabotage Ted. But why?
Back in Long Island, Barney is ransacking the house is search of a sex tape Marshall and Lily supposedly made. Instead he finds a box marked “long-term bets.” Apparently the two had been making bets on everything from whether Ted will go bald to if Barney will die from being murdered. Then Barney came across an interesting bet: Lily bets Marshall that Ted and Robin won’t end up together.
Barney heads into the city with the box and confronts Marshall and Lily about it. They claim that it was just a way for them to combat boredom. Then Ted sees the bet in question, and everything becomes very clear. Marshall tells of the times that Lily said it was time to pay up. When Ted had his wedding day, when Kevin proposed to Robin, but Marshall always said, “Not yet.”
Ted meets Robin at the airport, and they go to the bistro in Brooklyn where they stole the blue French horn. They have a great time, but when they get back to the apartment Ted can tell that the spark isn’t there. “This isn’t going to happen is it? Do you love me?” Ted asks. Robin replies, “No.” Ted asks if it is because she is in love with Barney, but she says that she made her decision not to be with Barney when she turned him down for Kevin.
Marshall meets Ted at MacLaren’s once again. Ted tries to put his positive spin on everything, saying that he can finally move on. Marshall realizes that one more thing has to happen before he can.
Back up in the apartment, Marshall tells Robin that Ted is crushed even if he won’t say it. “As Ted’s best friend I have to tell you something that he just loves you too much to say. You have to move out.” Robin nods. She hands her key over to Ted, and begins to pack up. Ted wallows in his self pity up on the roof with the perfectly chosen “Shake it Out” by Florence and the Machine playing in the background.
This episode was such a big moment in Ted’s life. It is clearly the point where he finally puts any last hope of ending up with Robin behind him and can truly move on. He can finally meet the woman that is the namesake of the show, the mother of his future children. Although that moment may truly have come a few months earlier for Barney, it is also now brightly clear that he has to move on from Robin as well. Will Quinn help him move on? In next week’s episode, “Karma,” we are bound to find out. Victoria’s premonitions have finally come true. What will the gang dynamic be from here on out? Lily and Marshall are already out in the burbs, and Robin appears to be headed out there as well. This week’s episode was the first full writing credit for George Sloan, and this episode should give him many more opportunities to come. The show has been performing very well in the ratings, consistently finishing ahead of House and The Bachelor. Sweeps month comes to a close next week with a brand new episode written by show creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays. I can't wait.
The legend continues Monday 8/7c on CBS.