How I Met Your Mother: The End

One fan’s journey through the last new episode of a legen… wait for it, wait for it…dary show.

March 31, 2014
4 P.M. EST

Spoiler alert: the Mother dies at the end. At least that’s what I’m thinking I will be writing later tonight after I watch the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. Now, I have to admit that I have not been watching the series since the beginning. So my HIMYM experience started with season 3. That still gives me a good 7 seasons of HIMYM knowledge (or 7 seasons full of wasted time, whatever you prefer to think).

And now that it’s coming to a close, I’m having mixed emotions. On one hand, I think the show has declined in quality over the last few seasons, to the point where it’s a bit painful to watch sometimes. But on the other hand, I’ve really grown to love these characters, and although sometimes it can be the cheesiest show on the planet, sometimes it has emotional payoffs that hit really hard.

So that’s why I’m nervous for tonight. If the show ends the way I think it might, I will be a blubbering, crying mess (kind of like I am after watching any episode of Friday Night Lights). It will seem as if we’ve invested all this time over the past almost decade, watching Ted go through heartbreak after heartbreak, to finally find this mysterious woman of his dreams. If for some reason he ends up losing her right when we’ve just gotten to meet her, it will seem like a real bummer of an ending for a usually upbeat, quirky show.

So I’m kind of hoping that we’re all faked out tonight and that as the final credits roll, the mother is alive and well. But I guess only time will tell.

Also, extra bonus points if we have a Bob Saget cameo tonight!

March 31, 2014
10 P.M. EST

Just finished watching the last episode ever. Wow. I feel a little bit emotional. Overall I thought it was a good episode, it may have had a bit too much crying and saying goodbye and hugging, but I enjoyed it. I did not, however, really enjoy the “surprise ending”

I mean I hit the nail on the head with the mother kicking the bucket, but I was actually expecting them to dwell on it more than they did. The fact that old Ted ended up with old Robin was odd to me, but also made sense in a weird way, I guess?

And besides the moment when Barney meets the true love of his life (his daughter), I didn’t even come close to shedding a tear. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe the writing staff did a good job of keeping this last hour of the show a true comedy, but I thought it was less of a tearjerker than expected.

But this could also be due to the fact it was the rapid departure of what every fan was hoping for with this show. We waited YEARS for Ted to meet the right person for him and when we finally meet her, she’s wonderful, he’s happy, they’re great together. So how come we only get a series of touching photographs of them and then her sick in a hospital bed, dying?

I would trade in the ending (and the awkward scene where Ted’s children are urging him to go after Aunt Robin, which was obviously filmed years ago) for a more relatable ending, even if it were a gloomier way to go. If the mom was going to die, I wanted to bathe in it. I wanted to grieve; I wanted to feel Ted’s loss. I wanted to cry like I was watching Matt Saracen reacting to his father’s death on Friday Night Lights (I love depressing television, what can I say?).

But I didn’t get that. I got a future Ted who doesn’t seem too bent out of shape that the one he loved was gone forever just years after he finally found her. As long as he can go dust off the old blue French horn and bring it to “Aunt Robin,” all is right with the world.

I understand that in the real world, life moves on and people move on and find love again. But this was not the real world, this was HIMYM. This was nine years of watching Ted flounder, and at the end of it being happy that our hopeless romantic to the point of annoyance, Ted, found his one true love.

That should have been it. And even though the producers had this ending planned for a while, it doesn’t make it any more fulfilling to me. So while I found the series finale to be interesting, it didn’t hit home quite as well as I hoped.

I think part of the problem was the spacing of the final season. We spent an entire season on the wedding weekend of Barney & Robin, almost “24”-style in it’s attention to every detail. In this time, we also get some great moments of the mother, showing us what a great person she is and in the flash-forwards; we see that she’s perfect for Ted.

But then after spending 22 episodes on the wedding weekend of Barney and Robin, seemingly working out all the worries and flaws in their union, we spend the last 30 minutes of the series covering about 20 years of plot. So the divorce of Barney and Robyn, the sickness and eventual death of the mother, and the emotional awakening of Barney once he has a child of his own all kind of get pushed under the rug. Glazed over. All so we can get to this surprise ending. And I think in the way that we had to cover so much territory in such a short amount of time, it not only took away from the emotional reaction to each plot twist, but it made the ending of Ted running to Robin’s apartment and showing the blue French horn to her and her pack of dogs unsatisfying.

And maybe by choosing to keep the ending they mapped out 7 years ago, the producers weren’t being as hard headed and unrealistic as some reviewers think. But in my opinion, if they let the years after the wedding breathe a bit more, we could have paid the dead mother proper respects before seeing old Ted and Robin ride off into the sunset.

And kids, that’s how I wished they ended the story of How I Met Your Mother.

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