Over a brief montage of Ted reading Stella's Dear John letter, and Stella smooching with Tony on the ferry back from Shelter Island, Saget!Ted tells his kids that a wedding should be the perfect ending to a perfect love story, and on behalf of the happily married people out here, I'd just like to say, "HEY!" That's not true, Saget!Ted. I can see 2008-you talking that way, because he sees marriage as an endgame, but I've been hoping that by the year 2030, you would have gained some perspective, Saget!Ted. I hope your love affair with the mother didn't end when you got married.
Saget!Ted's not listening to me. He's still torturing his kids. "My wedding -- at least my first wedding -- didn't go so well." Stella and Tony's kiss fades into current day Ted, at MacLaren's. He sounds, if not sanguine, then wiser. "It's funny looking back on it now. I was so sure Stella was the one. And when she left me, I was so devastated." Marshall's expression puzzles me, considering how well-adjusted Ted sounds. Ted continues: "But you guys got me through it." Marshall looks at Robin, with a definite WTF face, but quickly recovers. Barney stares ahead as if he's afraid to meet anyone's eyes. Ted says, "And now the painful part's over. I've come out the other side, a little bit stronger. You know, I hardly even think about her anymore." Barney looks at Robin out of the corner of his eye. Lily's eyes dart left and right. Ted tells us, "That's what time does." Barney scowls, and Robin takes a huge swig of her beer. Finally, Lily cracks. "Ted? The wedding was yesterday. It's been 24 hours!" Ted smiles. "I know. And this is me -- moving on. A great new chapter in my life began today, and right now, we need two things. We need Kool... and we need The Gang. It's jukebox time, huh? Woo!" He dances his way over to MacLaren's music machine, giving his friends and the audience enough time to roll our eyes without being downright rude and doing it in his face.
Barney says, "I look at that young man popping and locking his way over to the juke box and I think to myself... maybe Stella made the right call." Lily punches him. She's quite violent with him, isn't she? Marshall and Robin voice their disapproval -- of Ted's actions. They couldn't care less that Lily abuses Barney on a regular basis. Marshall is frustrated that Ted isn't acting like a violent spurned lover -- smashing up Stella's car with a sledgehammer. Yeah, 'cause that would show her she made the wrong choice. Screw, the "Baby come back!" approach. Leaving them without a getaway car is far more efficient. Barney hypothesizes that Ted never wanted to get married in the first place. "Ted just pulled off the greatest train dodge since Stand By Me. Well, not the first kid -- but the other kids." Ouch. I think Neil Patrick Harris is getting addicted to Carsonesque mannerisms, but he does them so well, and Barney is nothing if not a chameleon, so I'm not complaining. Lily's argument that Ted is in really bad shape is undercut by the fact that he dances his way past their booth and over to the bar, but she still insists they all need to be there for Ted.