I had a bad feeling going into the finale tonight that “How I Met Your Mother” would end both very cleverly and very stupid. I was right.
The hour long final episode of the series opened with a sentimental scene from way back in first season land when the group decided to let Robin into their gang. It’s funny to me now that after seeing the final episode and watching for the last 9 years that I didn’t see before that Robin would be the cause of everything that ruined HIMYM. I guess this is where the spoilers begin.
Being the hipster I am, I always admired Robin for her whole “I don’t need a man I just need a literal pack of dogs” thing she had going on. I liked her with Ted in the beginning and then when Ted said she was just “Aunt Robin” to his kids it made me like her even more. The idea that you don’t always fall in love and marry the first person you see across the room in a bar is a nice notion, OK?
I thought Robin and Barney belonged together. She hated marriage and didn’t want kids. He was a womanizer who vowed never to settle down. It made beautiful sense that one day they would be destined to fall in love and get married. And so they did. Because they were perfect for each other and adorable in an almost Chandler/Monica type of way.
But since this is HIMYM that means you can never really have the ending you want. And I always knew in the back of my mind that I could never trust Robin (mainly because I think sometimes I am Robin, but that’s another story for another time kids). As Lily would say, “You son of a bitch.”
In true HIMYM fashion they flash-forwarded and flashed back throughout the episode confusing me greatly. Throughout the hour we learned that Robin and Barney are not happy with their marriage because Robin becomes a big time reporter and has to travel a lot. They get divorced as a result. The gang slowly disbands and only sees each other on special occasions partly because they are all married and have kids or careers to think about. Robin stops meeting up with the group all together because she feels like it is awkward with Barney. She tells Lily in the most emotional scene of the episode that they will always be friends, but they are grown up now and can’t do all of the things they used to do when they were young. Oh, and Marshall finally became a judge.
In a way, the finale gave a true look at what happens when you get older and start a family. It shows what happens after we realize it’s not all fun and games with our friends anymore. I appreciated the realness of everything in the episode.
And then there’s the Mother. Or as we now know, her name was Tracy. I use past tense to describe her here because she is, as fans predicted and feared, dead. I surprisingly don’t have a problem with the mother being dead. I find it very sweet that Ted loved the mother of his children and took care of her until the day she died from some unexplained illness. It’s sweet and it made me cry.
I do, however, have a problem with what the mother’s death signifies and how the last minute of the finale basically discounted everything the last 9 years had led up to. In the last few moments of the show Ted is with his kids in the present and he finally finishes with “and that is the story of how I met your mother.” The children’s response? “No it’s not! Mom wasn’t even in the story that much! This is really a story about how you have the hots for Aunt Robin.” Um hello?? First of all, who’s kids would actually say that? I mean six years after my mother’s death I would want my dad to be happy too, but I don’t think I would say “Yeah dad! Go get some!” Were they not even a little annoyed that the story was basically all about Robin?
Ted had waited his whole life for the right woman to marry and have a family with and the last few moments of the show were of him getting his kids’ approval and rushing to Robin’s to ask her out (again) and it kind of made it seem like he never really cared or loved the mother at all. He just always wanted to be with Robin, which is stupid because her and Barney belong together. How long after the mother’s death did Ted say to himself “Well, wife has been dead for a while now. Maybe I can finally try again with Robin?” It made me totally confused as to what the whole series was really trying to tell me about love. I always really connected with the idea that Ted was looking for the one, and although him and Robin had chemistry, she could never be his one. I loved that idea. And now it’s like the series was saying it was all one big lie.
Something else that upset me about the last few moments of the finale was the fact that we see Ted and Robin wrap things up, but there is nothing really said about Lily and Marshall or Barney’s lives afterwards. Marshall gets a new job and Barney has a love child that actually becomes his whole life (Adorable. Take that Robin!), but do they all stay friends? Are they there for Ted when the mother dies? And why the hell did Ted and the mother wait so damn long to get married? That was so weird that Ted didn’t want to marry her until it was perfect and then they ended up having their two kids before they ever thought about getting married. That seems very un-Ted-like.
The best part of the finale was when Ted had that first meeting with the mother. It was at the train station just like he always talked about. It was raining and they talked under the yellow umbrella. It was cute and very Ted-like. I would have been perfectly fine if the show had ended right then and there. Then the mother died. And Ted was all like “Yeah I’m going to try the Robin thing again.” I’d rather watch the “Seinfeld” characters go to jail any day. Like I said, the most clever and infuriating series finale of a television show ever.