Episode 12 is neither a filler nor a search for the mother, it is the first of many episodes focused on Ted trying to find himself.
“The Wedding” begins with Ted finding a R.S.V.P. card for his friends Claudia and Stuart’s black-tie wedding. Future Ted gives a speech about how a R.S.V.P. card is really asking how do you see yourself in three months, single or in a relationship. Ted says he always checks “plus one” because he is an optimist. At MacLaren’s, Barney tries to convince Ted he needs to be single and hit on the bride’s maids at the wedding. Robin joins the rest of the gang at MacLaren’s and informs them her and Derek broke up. When Robin heads to the bar to get a drink, Ted confesses to the group he thinks his feelings for Robin are resurfacing and he is going to ask her to be his date for the wedding. After Robin agrees to be Ted’s date, her and Lily spring into action to find her a dress.
Two days before the wedding, Ted runs into Claudia, played by Virginia Williams, and tells her how excited he is for her wedding. When Ted brings up bringing a date, Claudia tells Ted he didn’t check “plus one” and she doesn’t have room for any extra guests. Ted drops the issue when Claudia threatens his life. Ted heads to Robin’s apartment to give her the bad news. When Ted sets his eyes on Robin he is drawn back by how beautiful she looks and tells her he will pick her up at five. In the cab home, Ted informs Lily that he can’t bring Robin to the wedding even though he’s sure he checked “plus one”. Lily suggests Ted ask Stuart to let him bring Robin. Ted visits Stuart, played by Matt Boren, and Stuart says Robin can come because it isn’t a big deal.
Back at the apartment, Marshall, Lily and Ted debate whether going to Stuart was the right way to handle Claudia. Ted’s cell phone rings and to no surprise, it’s Claudia. Ted convinces Lily to answer the phone since it was her idea to talk to Stuart. Lily informs everyone that Claudia and Stuart got into a fight about Ted bringing Robin and they broke up. With the threat of his life and paying for the 400 thousand dollar wedding, Ted and Marshall leave to talk with Stuart while Lily tells Claudia to meet her at MacLaren’s. Back at Stuart and Claudia’s apartment, Stuart tells Ted and Marshall he doesn’t think he is ready to be married and that he is meant to be single. Ted does he best to convince Stuart that everyone feels that way at times and asks for Marshall to back him up. Marshall tells Stuart not to get married and gives a speech about how relationships are difficult but if you find the right one, it’s easy.
While waiting for Lily, Claudia runs into Barney at MacLaren’s. Barney has mentioned through out the episode that Claudia is hot and takes the opportunity to hit on her and feed her booze. Lily pulls Barney away just as Stuart, Ted and Marshall enter MacLaren’s. Stuart and Claudia make up and after a few more vodka and cranberries, Claudia agrees to let Ted bring Robin. The night of the wedding, Ted meets Robin at her apartment and is still stunned at how beautiful she looks. Just before they can leave, Robin receives a call from work and an offer to anchor the evening news. Disappointed, Ted tells Robin to do it.
At the wedding reception, Ted and Barney are sitting alone when Claudia and Stuart approach them asking for a picture with the “woman who almost broke up their marriage”. Ted reluctantly tells them Robin couldn’t make it and is met with a surprisingly calm Claudia. A few minutes later, Claudia hands Ted his R.S.V.P. card saying he isn’t bringing a “plus one”. Ted takes this a sign that maybe he is meant to be single. Barney delighted to have his wing-man back cheers Ted and begins devising a plan to hit on the bride’s maids. Future Ted gives a speech about how he thought the night was going to be a game-changer and then present Ted locks eyes with a cute girl across the room.
“The Wedding” is an episode that I think most single, twenty-somethings can relate to. Most of your friends are getting married and having kids while your stuck still trying to put your life together. It can be hard not to feel like you are being left behind, that is why this episode is a great reminder to me that life isn’t a race. I’m 25 and a lot of the people I went to high school with are already on their first divorce or second marriage.
I have two favorite scenes in the episode. The first is when Marshall gives the speech about being in a relationship, “Being in a couple is hard. And committing, making sacrifices; it’s hard. But if it’s the right person, then it’s easy. Looking at that girl and knowing she’s all you really want out of life, that should be the easiest thing in the world. And if it’s not like that, then she’s not the one. I’m sorry.” The second scene is when Lily tells Marshall, “squirrels don’t get married.” and Marshall responds, “like you could possibly know that.”