Putting aside for a moment how much I hate the flash forward to Robin and Barney’s wedding day, I’d like to take a moment to consider what we’ve seen of that day so far, because particularly given tonight’s episode of How I Met Your Mother.

Let’s start with what we know:

  • Barney and Robin are getting married (see first and last episodes of seasons 6 and 7)
  • They do in fact get married. Tonight’s episode (spoilers!) contained a brief flash forward to the reception in which a happy Robin dances with her father. Although I didn’t spot Barney, the fact that everyone seems in good spirits pretty well precludes shenanigans in which they don’t actually go through with it.
  • Something goes wrong. At the beginning of this season’s first episode Ted is asked if the wedding he just attended (Barney and Robin’s) was a nice wedding. He rather glumly says that it’s a long story and he doesn’t feel like talking about it.

Now obviously this thing that went wrong could be a lot of things, but until tonight I’d felt it referenced something pretty big. I figured there was no way the showrunners could break Robin and Barney up at their wedding, but upon re-watching the episode recently Ted’s reaction seemed to signal events of weighty significance. But the flash forward in this episode, not to mention the nature of the episode on the whole, makes it seem as though the trouble is extremely Ted-centric. That doesn’t exactly jive with “It’s a long story,” and I’m sure that there will be hiccups in the wedding itself, but it’s seeming more likely that anything groundbreaking will relate fairly exclusively to Ted.

So here’s the bold prediction: The episode of Robin and Barney’s wedding is going to be all about Ted, as both Barney’s best man and special friend to Robin, being pulled all over the place and never able to meet that cute bass player in the wedding band. He’ll rush to finish some commitment to catch her before she leaves, but he’ll find that he failed. Then, of course, they run into each other at the train station. I’m predicting her umbrella gets blown away and Ted helps her catch it, based on information from earlier in the series.

I guess it’s not that bold, but there you have it. We’re getting closer to the big reveal. Although it seems we’ll have to wait another season for it. Man, they have not handled story progression well this last couple seasons, and they’re having to cram a lot into a very short period. Actually, expect the first draft of a rather extensive post on that subject sometime in the not-too-distant future.