Wait a gosh-darned minute. That's an engagement ring -- and unmistakably so. The best man doesn't carry the engagement ring. He carries the wedding ring. But will that stop our wackiness from... ensuing? Oh, no. Of COURSE Henrietta assumes Ted is there to propose. Of course her adorable parents come out to greet their future son-in-law. Of course Henrietta's daddy hugs Ted and calls him son. Of course, Ted whines about the whole situation to Robin, back at home. When Robin asks what he did, Ted says, "I seriously considered just marrying her out of sheer awkwardness. But I did what I had to do. I did what anyone keeping someone on the hook should do. I broke her heart." Of course, Ted sees himself as the person who has had a bad day. Robin says, "Honesty is tough, but in the end, it is the far kinder alternative." Just then, Mike enters with a basket full of Robin's laundry. She starts to cut him loose, but then she looks down at the burden he's bearing. "Wait, did you finish my delicates?" Mike has one more load. Robin says, "Ah... It can wait." After he carries the basket into Robin's room, Ted looks at her like WTF? Robin stammers, "I..." Commercial.
End Tag: Barney finds Ted and Robin at MacLaren's. Ted asks if he's still mourning the end of the Pharma-Girl era. Barney rubs his hands together. "No. I realized that their reign had to end to make room for some new Hot-Girl profession. Maybe it'll be Intergalactic Communications Officer on a rocket ship to some distant solar system we can't possibly imagine. Maybe it'll be... meter maids, we just don't know. But one thing is sure. The future glows like a giant sun... shooting amber rays of light into our hearts and minds." Robin smirks at Ted, then asks Barney, "Wow, what changed your mind?" Barney continues to rub his hands. "The realization that hope springs eternal, Robin. That, and this little bottle of purple pills I found in my couch cushion. Don't know what they are..." I'm guess they're neither Prilosec nor Nexium. "...But they are... AMAZING!" Barney sobs, then smiles, then zones out. Ted grabs the bottle and we fade to black.
If you read the recaplet, you're well aware that Ted is not the only one feeling like a jerk, or at least jerked around. Dearest, darling writers, when you've been keeping your audience on the hook for years, perhaps it would be best not to rub the very concept in their long-suffering faces. A few times, while watching "Hooked," an invisible, icy hand pulled me right out of the show and pushed me into my head -- where I watched as Imaginary-Me gave Bays and Thomas hell for all manner of things. Imaginary-Me brought along her imaginary Dominator 8000, because she was so not kidding around. Hi. My name is Cindy, and I live a rich inner life.