How I Met Your Mother Episodes

2005, TV Show

How I Met Your Mother Episode: "Shelter Island"

Season 4, Episode 5
Episode Synopsis: Ted and Stella decide to get married in three days, but the reappearance of their exes puts a damper on the occasion. Lucy: Darcy Rose Byrnes. Tony: Jason Jones.
Original Air Date: Oct 20, 2008
Guest Cast Darcy Rose Byrnes: Lucy Jason Jones: Tony David Henrie: Son Lyndsy Fonseca: Daughter
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Season 4, Episode 5
Paid | iTunes
Length: 08:32
Aired: 10/20/2008
Also available on Amazon Prime and VUDU
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How I Met Your Mother Episode Recap: "Shelter Island" Season 4, Episode 5

It was billed as the How I Met Your Mother wedding. Ted and Stella's big day. Did they go through with it? Or did cold feet get the best of them? Is Stella the titular Mother? The Mother of Ted's children? Let's find out.

A perturbed Ted and Stella join Barney, Lily and Marshall at MacLaren's, announcing they just had dinner with Stella's sister, Nora (Danneel Harris) and her uber-green and extra vegan fiance. They're getting married, remember? Well, they're not just getting married — they're getting married with Stella's dream wedding, right down to the locale on Shelter Island. Nora's "always trying to one-up me," Stella says, so she wishes it will all fall apart. Lo and behold, it does (cheating, what else?). As do Nora's vegan and unhygienic (no showering, no shaving of armpits) ways. The big day is four days away and girlfriend can't get a refund on anything. FutureTed muses about couple telepathy (Marshall and Lily in "Mary the Paralegal," anyone?) as Ted and Stella both nod in what they think is agreement with each other. Ted thinks they'll pay for dinner ...until Stella announces they'll take over Nora's wedding.

"WTF?" Ted says. OK, he didn't say that, but you know he was thinking it. Stella tells him she wants spontaneity in her life. She wasted years waiting for Lucy's dad, Tony (Jason Jones), to take the next step and he never did. That was enough for Ted to jump onboard. FutureTed interjects with a moral mid-story because this one is very, very important: Don't ever, ever invite an ex to a wedding. If he hadn't, he says, things might've turned out differently. Back to 2008 at MacLaren's: Ted's fervently trying to convince Robin, anchoring Tokyo Ichi in Japan (a gig that includes, but most likely isn't exclusive to, a giant fan and a monkey throwing marshmallows at Robin), to come to the wedding. She agrees. Ted and Marshall take off to rent cars after turning down Barney's bachelor party invite. No objection from the Barnacle. What gives, Lily asks?

Barney says he knows a hopeless cause when he sees it, enlightening Lily that Ted tying the knot is in Barney's best interest. Why? Barney has been working on a problem — cue Good Will Hunting- / A Beautiful Mind-esque floating algorithms and Stinson theories (Hot/Crazy scale, relationships = freeway, 83 percent) — known as "How Can I Have Sex with Robin Again?" He eventually cracks the code: Get her drunk at Ted's wedding. Lily's incredulous Barney can "save" himself for one woman, but he insists Robin will be the only woman he's bangin' this weekend.

Wedding weekend! Everyone makes the trek to Shelter Island (nice shout-out to Zitch Dog! Go Marshall!) or more specifically, the Namaste Yoga and Meditation Collective, aka the hippiest, vegan-ist and un-alcohol-iest retreat this side of the Mississippi. Lack of alcohol, of course, will throw Barney's "bangin' Robin" plan for a loop. But before he can fixate on it, Ted pops in with a problem. He told Stella that Robin was coming, an invite Stella was not aware of nor one she approves of. Exes should not be invited, she says. It's weird. It may bring up unresolved things and spark feelings. Ted doesn't see it that way and would gladly have Tony there. Marshall sides with Stella; Barney, Ted, naturally. Aldrin Justice (another shout-out!) to the rescue: Stella wins! Barney offers to un-invite Robin, but of course, doesn't. Lily advises Ted tell Stella that Robin's still coming after solving the next crisis, which turns out to be Tony refusing to drive Lucy to the wedding. Ted decides to save the day by driving down the next morning and bringing Lucy up. Meanwhile, newly single and omnivorous Nora hits on the infamous Barney Stinson, who does his best to rebuff her ...for now.

The next day, Ted goes to Tony's place. Tony, in all his black belt karate glory, confesses that he's having a hard time because he's realizing everything he had and feels like he's losing Lucy to a new family. We can all tell where this is going — Ted ends up inviting Tony. Back at the retreat, Nora's still making moves on Barney ("I was a vegan for two years. I need meat") as the trio arrives. Almost simultaneously, Robin appears. Uh oh. In their room, Stella starts going off on Ted again about no wire hangers, er, no exes at weddings. She thinks things aren't finished between them and wants both Robin and Tony to leave. She'll talk to Robin and Ted should talk to Tony. FutureTed pauses to share that had that happened, things might've ended differently. Up pops new FutureBlondeChildren with Stella as mommy, easily tossing the Stella = Mother theory out the window. Back to the present, Ted suggests they swap talking partners.

Ted tells Robin she can't come to the wedding, to which she responds with a "Oh, thank God!" Watching him marry someone else is not something she looks forward because she always figured if she changed her stance on marriage and kids, he'd be there. She's not just another guest and maybe there is still something between them. Ted counters with that they both got what they wanted — him an upcoming marriage and she, a dream job. Robin cuts him off by revealing she's quit Tokyo Ichi and is going back to New York — her "real life" (who wants to bet on her moving into Ted's apartment?) — and suggests he do the same. "Don't get married," Robin orders. "You're rushing into this. It's like you're trying to skip ahead to the end of the book." She tells him he's the most romantic guy she knows, recounting all his drippy, lovey dovey gestures (blue French horn, "Come on!" rain), and is disappointed he is ending his "great romantic quest" by "disappearing" into someone else's wedding. "That's not the amazing ending that you deserve. That's not Ted Mosby."

Hurt, Ted asserts he loves Stella and if Robin feels that way, it's a good thing she's not going to the wedding. Vulnerable and roomless, Robin comes to Barney's room to see if he wants to pop open the scotch she got from Duty Free. Clearly in the middle of, uh, something, Barney says he needs a few to tidy up, which includes, Robin observes, a naked girl tied to his headboard. "See ya, Barney." And here we're treated, heartbreakingly, to yet another devastating lovelorn face from Barney Stinson — actually make that NPH because he is rocking this s***. Barney's "moment" is disrupted when Nora enters his room with some bubbly. Barney's finally riding the tricycle!

Back to the, uh, big day. Robin's on a ferry back to Manhattan, while a suited up (!) Ted picks up a card in the hotel room. It turns out to be a "Dear John" letter. As, one by one, Marshall, Lily and Barney read it and console their buddy, Robin watches, mouth agape, as Stella, in her wedding gown (!), snuggles up to Tony on the ferry. FutureTed voices that he thought the story was about Robin attending the wedding, but it turned out to be something else entirely. Flashback to Stella's various speeches over the past few days about exes at weddings, unresolved feelings and waiting for Tony to commit. "Seriously kids, never invite an ex to your wedding."

Hands down, for me at least, best episode of the season so far (but that's not hard to be with only five, right?). But big picture, it's one of their best ever. Great mix of comedy and drama with top-notch continuity. Stella, we hardly knew ya (literally). I could see the non-wedding coming, but a "Dear John" letter? Harsh, Stella! Robin's speech to Ted was pitch-perfect. I don't think she still has feelings for him in that she wants to get back together, but that she's looking out for him and wants him to truly to get his "amazing ending" that she couldn't give him. And could she have one with Barney?! Hmm... One thing's for sure, Barney's realized he can't have bimbos and Robin.

What did you think? Did you see all the Stella-Tony foreshadowing? Are you disappointed Stella's not the mother? Are you happy Ted didn't get married since there was no booze, and what's a wedding without booze? Does Robin want to get back with Ted? Does Barney need to re-"crack the code"?

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It was billed as the How I Met Your Mother wedding. Ted and Stella's big day. Did they go through with it? Or did cold feet get the best of them? Is Stella the titular Mother? The Mother of Ted's children? Let's find out.
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Premiered: September 19, 2005, on CBS
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,937 ratings)
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Premise: A man named Ted tells his kids how he met the love of his life, through flashbacks, years in the future. The bored kids sit on the sofa and listen as dad regales them with tales of his pursuit of romance.

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