After last week's romantic cliffhanger when Ted suddenly professed his love for Robin, their relationship comes to a precipice once again. As their friends each weigh in, and some important secrets are revealed, this week's episode seems to finally answer the show's eternal will-they-won't-they question.
A Kiss and Goodbye
Instead of addressing his monumental "I love you" declaration, Ted quickly flees the scene, leaving Robin shocked -- but not before quipping "there's no pressure" in classic Mosby feigned nonchalance. But neither can resist a confrontation and they soon share a kiss at Ted's door, only to learn through Robin's reviled co-worker that Robin must leave immediately for a business trip to Russia. The two prematurely kiss once more with Robin promising to pick up where they left off once she returns.
Ted calls Marshall for a one-on-one talk at the bar, leaving Lily to deal with a hung over Barney who crashed (in their bed, no less) after a long ride on the Drunk Train. Soon Lily leaves Barney with a warning not to search through their home while they're gone, but he's only able to decipher the words "sex tape," inspiring a frenetic ravaging of their bedroom, complete with an on-call cleaning staff to aid him. At McLaren's, Lily urges Ted to express his love through his typical grand romantic gesture, while Marshall remains oddly silent.
The Secret Box of Bets
In his committed search, Barney uncovers a hidden box containing numerous bets between Lily and Marshall, ranging from the trivial ("Marshall bets Lily Robin will never return their hairdryer") to the most significant: "Lily bets Marshall Ted and Robin won't end up together." Lily and Marshall admit that as Robin and Ted experienced their constant near-misses through the years, Lily repeatedly demanded her money but Marshall never gave up, only replying "not yet." Upon this discovery, Ted leaves in disbelief, while Barney races back to Long Island upon confirmation that a sex tape does in fact exist.
Barney's Confession and a Broken VCR
After retrieving the tape and finding Ted at home, Barney gleefully proceeds to watch using Ted's VCR. But before they can begin the indecent viewing, they share a heart to heart when Ted realizes Robin must be in love with Barney. It is revealed that Ted knew of Barney's attempt to be with Robin after dumping nice-enough Nora, only to find that Robin would not do the same for him. In an uncharacteristic moment of vulnerability, Barney acknowledges he loved Robin, but that was in the past and if Ted makes her happy, they have his blessing. Of course the scene ends with Lily and Marshall busting in and causing a broken VCR before any lines are crossed.
Robin returns, and she and Ted have dinner at the place of their first date (this time the French blue horn attached to the wall with a lock). Though all goes well, Ted knows the news isn't good and when he presses Robin, his suspicion is confirmed - she doesn't love him. Ted and Marshall rally once again at McLaren's and though Ted puts up a brave front, Marshall instinctively approaches Robin and tells her she must move out.
A Sea of Yellow Umbrellas
Though it ends on a solemn note, the tone is bittersweet as Ted seems to have found relief knowing he can finally move on. After five years of never quite giving up, he can finally close the door and look forward to meeting "The One." And like the saying goes, he steps out on a rainy day into a sea of yellow umbrellas, encapsulating the hope that there is indeed plenty of romance still to be had. Of course, it wouldn't be How I Met Your Mother
if they didn't leave a sliver of doubt, and the episode ends with Lily claiming her victory and Marshall still choosing to respond "not yet."
(Image courtesy of CBS)