How I Met Your Mother Series Finale Review
I really wanted to like this episode. I really wanted to like this season. I wanted to be able to say that this finale made this overdue, drawn out ending worth the wait. And I really wanted to compliment the writers on a well planned and touching story arc that gave us all the things we want in a series, even if it did last too long. If you don’t want to read about why it wasn’t… stop now!
How I Met Your Mother is, in my opinion, the spiritual successor to Friends. It follows a too close for comfort group of friends through life and relationships in a way that makes you feel like one of them. The show is told in the form of an excessively specific and long flashback from the year 2030, as Ted Mosby (future voiced by Bob Saget, past played by Josh Radnor) tells his kids about, well you can guess. Ted and friends Lily (Alyson Hannigan), Marshall (Jason Segel), Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), and Robin (Cobie Smulders) have wacky adventures and touching times together. To make Ted’s story short, he falls for Robin but they break up, even though he still has feelings for her that keep coming up. Lily and Marshall are in love and get married from the beginning and are the stable couple you root for that serve as an example to the rest of us. Barney is a playboy dog who sleeps with lots bimbos (not very bright young women) until he falls for Robin too. They date but also break up. Then Robin and Barney realize they are right for each other and decide to get married, and Ted has to let go of Robin. Oh, and they drop little hints along the way that painfully build up to him meeting the kid’s mother at Barney and Robin’s wedding. The weekend of the wedding has taken up the entire final season and has tried to bring back elements of the last eight years to make them feel relevant, which is nice but still feels like an apology. And this, is how an era ends:
This season tried, it really did. This season tried to make up for the long wait and tie up loose ends. It tried to bring back all those memorable little things back to make them feel relevant to the ending, to how Ted meets his wife and has kids. I was appreciative that they recognized that they should end and tried to do the series, a good series, justice. But they didn’t. And the biggest problem is that the writers and everyone else knew, all along, that this was how it would end. That is what really destroyed it for me.
The episode starts with the gang at Barney and Robin’s wedding and it happens, Ted sees her for the first time. Ted sees his future wife and mother of his children. Barney and the gang even try to put them together. But Ted is tired from everything that’s happened to him in the past few years and is leaving for Chicago. He says goodbye to everyone and winds up at the Farhampton train station, talking to an old lady and he’s about to meet the mother. What follows isn’t totally unexpected but is massively annoying. They take leaps into the future where we see what happens to everyone over the next six years!
The didn’t let us have anything
I don’t expect everything to be happily ever after, especially with a show that knows that bad stuff happens. But they just couldn’t let us have anything. Ted and the mother fall in love and have kids before they can get married. Marshal goes back to being a corperate lawyer and hating it because he can’t find an opening as a judge. Then, in 2016, three years into their marriage, Robin and Barney get divorced. People just can’t be happy, can they How I Met Your Mother? Barney reverts to his bachelor ways and Robin’s great career keeps her from being around everyone else. Oh, and she loves Ted again, I’d call it annoying and recycling but I have more to say about that later. Marshal finally gets a judgeship and Barney is in a slump about being back to his old ways. In 2018, after Ted has had two kids and is still not married to the girl, Barney accidentally knocks up one of his bimbos nicknamed 31st. Barney then realizes that he could only even give himself fully to his daughter. This convinces Ted to make the time to tie the knot with we-don’t-have-her-name-yet and Robin comes back to attend.
Ted remembers all the good times with his wife, even when she got sick. I trust you know where that is going… Future Ted finishes the bit about the train station, reveals the name of his wife is Tracey, and manages to shove in the connection of the yellow unbrella should have felt way more satisfying than it did. Then he finally says that that is how he met the mother, future Ted now being played by Josh Radnor in middle age guy attire. Then comes the worst, most irritating ending ever! Worse than Scrubs giving so many goodbye cliches and montages you wanted it to end. Worse than Supernatural season 5 summarizing the completion of a journey and then adding a cliffhanger in the last twenty seconds. Worse, I even dare say than Firefly being canceled.
The children call Ted out on how much time he put into the story and say that he only told it to them so they might give him their blessing to ask out Robin, now that their mom is dead. And they do, they would love for that to happen. And it does. Ted steals the blue French horn again and stands outside Robin’s window in 2030. And that’s it. The entire show wasn’t about love and meeting your soulmate, the one, destiny, fate, it was about Ted never really getting over Robin and how they should be together. Don’t even try to say it wasn’t! There is footage, of Ted’s kids, the same age and picture quality as the first episode, telling Ted to go for it. This was planned. They had this exact ending waiting all along, right from the beginning. The entire point and title of the series How I Met Your Mother is a lie!
It would be one thing if the mother had died and he was telling them a long winded story because it hurt to much to get to the point. It would have been touching and annoying, but not infuriating. This ending is bullcrap. Now the long, pointless story and Ted’s inability to move on makes sense, and that does not give me comfort.
HIMYM vs. M&M: Guess what M&M wins
Mike and Molly is a sitcom on CBS about two people meeting by coincidence, falling in love, dating, getting married, and living happily ever after (at least it was the last time I saw it). That is what How I Met Your Mother SHOULD have been. A season or two of setup and getting to know Ted, then meeting the mother and developing how she learned to fit in with the gang and how they built their lives together. But instead we got this. I apologize if I sound impartial and angry, but I am. Rest assured I am not the only one.
Remember How I Met Your Mother for the humor, the inside jokes that took time to build and how the gang felt like our friends and not just characters. Remember it for the good times and not this last season and definitely not for this finale. If you’ve never watched it before, do so, just skip the end and make up your own.
How I Met Your Mother is owned by20th Century Fox.