'How I Met Your Mother's Barney and Robin Finally Get Married, Episode Shows How Much the Characters Have Grown

While many How I Met Your Mother fans have been worrying about the fate of the Mother, theories have also sprung up about tonight's fateful wedding episode. Would Barney go through with it? Would Ted run away with the bride? Finally, the longest wedding in television show history finally came to an end tonight with Robin and Barney actually (and sweetly) saying "I do" but not before the episode showed us how far the characters have come. We've all wondered how Robin was so calm this season despite the proven examples of Barney and his ability to lie with ease. On tonight's episode Robin surprised us all by announcing that she was aware of this... and that it scared her. She's played the whole wedding thing cool up to this point, and I was a bit disappointed that she wasn't more concerned about Barney's behavior as she's always been such a strong, independent woman. (This was the guy who lied to her seconds before proposing to her, yikes.)

Robin had a panic attack about this and for a moment thought she and Ted should run away since she's always been able to count on him. But then it was Ted's turn to show us how much he's grown. Though he finally heard those words out of Robin's mouth, he found that wasn't what he wanted to hear. "I don't love you like that anymore," Ted said, attempting to save the day with a big "Here's why you should marry Barney" cheesy speech. "Love doesn't make sense. You can't logic your way into or out of it," he says trying to allay her fears. "Love is the best thing we do."

But despite his best efforts, Robin was still shaken. But then she ran into Barney after attempting to flee the church and he showed us that he is capable of change too. "From now on, I am always going to be honest with you," he promises his wife-to-be, and then confesses a bunch of things like that the ring bearer is actually a ring bear. (But it's cute and Robin loves it.)

Even Lily and Marshall have their own character growth this episode as they realize they were overly idealistic with their original vows. Before Barney and Robin's wedding, they re-pledge themselves to each other with much more realistic vows like Marshall saying to Lily, "I vow not to yell at you while you're on the toilet. You deserve to drop a deuce in peace." It was great to see that Lilypad and Marshmallow can be adorable and also be practical.

With the final episode airing next week it was reassuring to see that these last nine years haven't been for nothing, but that the group really has changed over that time and grown up. I feel like a proud mom sending my kids off to school, and I'm getting all teary over saying goodbye.

Images: CBS; weheartit