Finally, after all of the flash forwards and teases, the hints and red herrings, on Monday night's episode of How I Met Your Mother, Barney and Robin will get married. Probably. At the very least, they'll make it to the altar, since the episode is titled "The End of the Aisle" and CBS has released the photos to prove it. But what happens from there is really anyone's guess, the only guarantee is that it will be dramatic and surprising.
Still, we can't help but to try and guess just what direction the notoriously mysterious unpredictable show will take. The whole series has been so vague that many possible endings still remain for its penultimate episode—without even counting the mystery surrounding Ted and the mother's future. Marshall and Lily had their big sendoff episode, followed by all of the secondary characters and with the finale likely saved for Ted and the mother, that leaves this week for Barney and Robin. So what does HIMYM have in store for its cured commitment-phobes? Here are some of the possibilities.
Barney Leaves Robin at the Altar
Anyone who's been with HIMYM since the beginning remembers the Barney Stintson we fell in love with—even if we didn't always agree with his behavior. His life was a string of one-night stands and marriage seemed like something that just wasn't in the cards for him. But as anyone who watched the show from its early years also watched the evolution of barney Stintson, as he fell in love and realized that all he needed was that one, right person. Could he go back to his old ways and leave a devastated Robin in his wake?
HIMYM seems to be trying to convince us he can, however it all seems a little too easy for a show with a long history of plot twists. Sure, Barney will get cold feet and need some encouragement from his friends, but it's not likely he'll actually leave Robin. He's shown too much growth in recent seasons to go back on it now. No, this is one theory that like Barney's playboy ways, can be left in the past.
Robin Leaves Barney at the Altar
While everyone has been worried about Barney, they seem to have forgotten about Robin and while she doesn't have quite as crazy a history as Barney, she's had commitment issues many times in the past. So far, she's seemed extremely calm on her wedding day, with one exception. In "Daisy," Robin is visibly shaken as her mother lists all of her father's problems, and they make him sound eerily similar to Barney. Robin is appeased by the episode's end, however, when her mother lists what you need in a marriage for it to be great. "If you've got someone who's really there for you, someone you can depend on, you're gonna be fine." When she asks Robin if she has someone like that, Robin responds that yes, she does. But is it Barney?
While Ted's feelings for Robin have been annoyingly clear all season, we haven't really seen her side of it. We know she loves Barney, but it could be more complicated than that. Maybe Ted will end up giving her that crucial necklace just before the ceremony and give her conflicted feelings. Maybe she'll realize she's ben conflicted all along. It would be much more surprising for Robin to panic than Barney, so this is a very real possibility.
Robin and Barney Actually Get Married
Based on the flash-forward from the episode "Rally," Barney and Robin do end up married, since we see them hungover in a stranger's hotel room. There are also photos from this week's episode that show the pair smiling to each other at the altar.
Neither of them seem like they're about to bolt, so it is possible that HIMYM will have its biggest twist of all—a drama-free wedding. But there is still one more option that needs to explored.
Some (or All) of the Above
These theories don't have to be exclusive of each other. Robin and Barney could both back out at the last minute and then change their minds, or one could panic and return later to go through with the wedding, Chandler Bing-style. If we're allowing for the combination of these theories, the most likely pair seems to be Robin leaving Barney at the altar, only to come back and marry him. Besides the fact that Robin seems more likely to run than Barney, it would explain another major event that we know is coming: Ted meeting the mother at the Farhampton train station, in the rain.
In the Season 9 premiere, Ted and Lily begin driving to Farhampton together, before Lily decides to take the train instead. Flash-forwards from previous seasons have shown us that Ted goes straight to the train station from the wedding, still wearing his tux and meets the mother there. So why did Ted leave so abruptly and go to the train station by himself in the rain, when he drove there? Something must happen at the wedding that makes him even more mopey than usual, immediately sending him home alone.
What if Robin has doubts because of Ted and tells him that, only to change her mind and marry Barney anyway? Having his hope restored and then crushed again might be too much for him to handle and send him home, unable to celebrate with everyone else.
Fans will likely have to wait until "Last Forever" for the fates of Ted and the mother, but "The End of the Aisle" should rfinally reveal what really happens to Barney and Robin on their wedding day.