How I Met Your Mother Finale Reaction

Spoiler Alert: It should go without saying that there will be some major spoilers about the HIMYM finale below.

Ok. I’m seeing a lot of negative reaction online about the series finale of How I Met Your Mother tonight. I can partly understand that. As was predicted by many, the Mother ends up dying. (I was convinced all of those hints were just red herrings, but I guess I was wrong.) At the very end, it is revealed that the Mother died from an illness 6 years before Ted is telling this story to his kids, and after telling the story, his kids convince him that he should ask out Robin, which he does by showing up at her apartment with the blue French horn.

I can see how this would upset people. The show is called How I Met Your MOTHER, after all. A lot of people have been watching this show just because they wanted to find out who the Mother was. However, to the people like myself who have been watching the show from the beginning and have gotten to know these characters over 9 seasons, I think the ending actually makes a lot of sense. In case anyone has forgotten, Ted fell in love with Robin in the very first episode, and then they end up dating in the second season. Even though they love each other very much, they decide to break up because they wanted different things in life. Ted wanted to settle down, get married, and have kids. Robin wanted to travel the world, pursue her career as a journalist, and didn’t want kids. Ted eventually met and fell in love with Tracy McConnell (the Mother), settled down, and had 2 kids. Robin ended up traveling all over the world and became a world famous news reporter. It makes sense that after both of them got what they wanted out of life then they would end up back together since that was the only thing that was keeping them apart in the first place. Some people are saying that having Ted get back together with Robin cheapens Ted’s relationship with Tracy. I can see how they might think that, but it’s not like Ted divorced Tracy to get back with Robin. They had a great relationship for 10 years, had 2 kids together, and were deeply in love for the entire time that they were together. But, Tracy died of an illness and Ted was alone for 6 years after her death. It took the urging of his own kids to convince him to actually move on with his life.

There are probably a million different ways that they could have decided to end the show, and I probably would have liked several of them just as much as the way they chose to do it. I might have even liked some of them better, but I think that the ending did the show justice. There are some things I probably would have changed. For example, I would have liked to have seen the Mother more. Not only is Cristin Milioti an excellent actress, but she and Ted made a great couple. But, I think I prefer this somewhat bittersweet ending over a cliche, happily-ever-after ending.

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HIMYM Re-watch: Season 2

Recap

The second season started right where the first season left off. Ted and Robin had just started their relationship, Lily had just left Marshall to go to San Francisco to pursue her dream of being an artist, and Barney was still being Barney. The beginning of the season is about Ted and Robin falling in love and enjoying their new relationship while at the same time Marshall was wallowing in self-pity and trying to get over Lily. While this was going on Barney was trying to talk Ted out of being in a relationship and trying to talk Marshall into enjoying the single life. Pretty early in the season (I think it’s the second episode), Lily returns from California. At first, she tries to act like she loved it in San Francisco, but she soon reveals to Ted and Robin that she made a huge mistake and she just wants to get Marshall back. Later it is revealed that Barney was actually the one that got her to come back with one of the first truly heartfelt gestures that Barney ever makes on the show. Of course, Lily and Marshall eventually get back together and the season ends with them getting married. In the season finale it is also revealed that Ted and Robin have decided to breakup. Along the way there are also some great moments such as Barney going on the Price is Right to meet Bob Barker (who he believes is his real father), and we also get to meet Barney’s gay, black brother (played by Wayne Brady). In the episode “Single Stamina,” we get to see them being each other’s wing man, which was pretty entertaining. I also caught a great reference to the show that many people compare to HIMYM, Friends. I couldn’t believe that I missed it the first time around. The episode “Swarley” begins with Ted, Marshall, and Barney sitting in a coffee shop sipping coffee and looking around in an awkward silence for probably a solid 15 seconds. Then Ted says, “So I guess that decides it.” To which Barney replies, “Hanging out in a coffee place is not nearly as much fun as hanging out in a bar.” I loved Friends too, but I found this scene to be hilarious.

Commentary

Season 2 had some great moments. Notably, this season introduces us to two of the greatest things in the whole series. In the episode “Slapbet,” we are introduced to the slapbet itself which just reached it’s conclusion 7 seasons later in the next to last episode of the series. In that episode, we also discover Robin’s secret past as the teen pop star Robin Sparkles in Canada who had a hit with “Let’s Go to the Mall.” This is also the only season where we see Marshall as a single guy trying to pick up girls with Barney. Of course, it turns out that Barney, even though he hates the concept of marriage and monogamy, realizes that Marshall and Lily belong together. He intentionally steals every girl that it looks like Marshall might hookup with, and he flies all the way to California just to talk Lily into coming back to Marshall and to give her a one-way ticket back to New York. I also like the symmetry that this season has. The season begins with Ted and Robin starting there relationship and falling in love and with Marshall being heartbroken and trying to get over Lily leaving him. The season ends with Marshall and Lily getting married, and it is revealed at their wedding reception in the season finale that Ted and Robin have decided to breakup.

Final Thoughts

This season has a great quote that I think applies not only to this entire series but can also be applied to life in general. In the episode “Monday Night Football,” the gang has to miss the Super Bowl because they have to go to a funeral, but they DVR it so they can watch it together Monday night. All of them try to go the entire day without finding out who won, but as expected they all find out somehow. The episode ends with them all watching the game together even though they all know who won, and Future Ted says, “I don’t remember who won. Hell, I don’t even remember who played. What I do remember is that we drank beer, we ate wings, and we watched the Super Bowl together. Because sometimes even if you know how something is gonna end, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride.” I feel like this quote had to have been added intentionally by the writers as a response to the people who become so fixated on learning who the “Mother” is that they can’t enjoy the great stories that are told along the way. This is also a great message about life. Sometimes people, myself included, get so caught up in looking at the big picture (career goals, relationships, etc.) that we forget to enjoy the ride. I think that is another life lesson that this show has tried to teach us. Something that HIMYM has made me think about is that this entire show that has lasted 9 seasons is a story that a 50 something year old man is telling his children 30 years later. It kind of makes me realize that when I’m 50 I want to be able to look back on my 20s and have some stories to tell.

It is unlikely that I will have time to finish Season 3 and write the blog post before the series finale on Monday night, but I still plan on finishing the re-watch. I hope that if anyone is actually reading this that they are enjoying my commentary, and I hope everyone enjoys the series finale.