How I Met Your Mother

So, How I Met Your Mother ended. If you watched the show, or if you spend any time on the Internet this probably isn’t news to you, but you know, in case you didn’t know, it ended. It’s weird. It’s been on TV since 2005, when I was 18, and as I pointed out to my friend this year we will be as old as Ted, Lily and Marshall are at the start of the show, which is a bit scary I guess, but it’s fine. I feel like I have a lot of emotions and things, related to the finale, and I need to rant, so I’m going to rant. And it will be a rant full of spoilers, so if you want to see it, unspoiled, I would look away.

The Show
The premise of the show is that a group of five friends in their mid to late twenties live in New York, go out, date, and try to realize their dreams. In the first episode future Ted (in 2030) tells his children he’s going to tell them the story of how he met their mother. Ted is the main character in a sense, his story is the focus, and his college friends, roommates, and newly engaged couple, Marshall and Lily, and their other friend Barney impact him. In the first episode we, and the other characters, meet Robin Scherbatsky, a Canadian journalist and Ted’s first love interest in the show. He refers to her as aunt Robin in the future, so she’s obviously not the Mother. The show then sort of kicks off and chronicles Ted’s search for a wife. Because what Ted wants more than anything is a wife and children, which is valid, he just tends to look for it in the wrong places. 

When Ted and Robin eventually start dating she tells him she doesn’t want kids, or even to get married, but he’s so in love with her he tries anyway. They break up and Robin starts dating Barney a year later, and while Barney and Robin were not good together the first time around they were my OTP (side note: I can’t believe I just seriously used the term OTP, I sort of hate myself). I wanted them to end up together, no matter what happened I wanted Barney and Robin to be together. It’s not really rational, but I love them together. Anyway. Ted goes through ups and downs, almost marries, but she walks off with her ex. He gets back together with an ex, but always seems to choose Robin over his girlfriends. He keeps saying he’s over her, and she is clearly over him, she’s not in love with him anymore, but he keeps being in love with her. Then at the end of season seven, where we are at Barney’s wedding, it’s revealed that he is marrying Robin, and I rejoiced. The eighth season works up to the wedding, and the ninth season takes place at the wedding. At the end of the eighth season we also get to see the Mother, who is playing bass at the wedding, and she was perfect. Ted is also planning to move to Chicago, cause you know, he’s in love with Robin and she’s marrying the wrong guy, so he has to move to Chicago to get over her.

Anyway. During the ninth season the Mother is introduced to Lily, Marshall, Robin and Barney, through the story and in Barney’s case in a flashback. They all love her sort of instantly, because she’s perfect. We’ve learned things about her over the seasons. She likes Ted’s puns, she paints robots doing sports, she plays bass, she reads the same books as Ted, she likes calligraphy, she uses breakfast foods to put on musicals, essentially she’s female Ted. In the last episode Ted finally sees this vision, and then leaves the wedding early to take the train back to the city so he can go to Chicago. Then he sees her at the station. The next day Lily and Marshall are sad that Ted is gone, and then meet him in the bar they’ve spent the last eight years in. Because Ted didn’t go to Chicago, he met a girl, so he’s staying, because he’s Ted and that’s what Ted does. Then the episode jumps forward. Ted and the Mother are getting married but she gets pregnant so they postpone it. Barney and Robin get a divorce. Lily gets pregnant again. Marshall becomes a judge. Marshall and Lily move out of the apartment and Robin pushes her friends away because she can’t bear being around Barney, and the man she was probably meant to end up with (Ted, to which I say NO). Ted and the Mother have another kid. They get married in a simple, impromptu ceremony after being together for seven years. Barney bangs 31 girls in 31 days and gets number 31 pregnant, and he becomes a dad, in the most beautiful Neil Patrick Harris moment ever. Then in 2024, after 11 years together the Mother passes away, off screen, and in 2030 Ted goes to Robin’s apartment with a Blue French Horn, which I won’t explain, but it is very significant in the HIMYM universe. And I HATE it!

What I liked and didn’t like
Barney – first of all, as mentioned my OTP is Robin and Barney, their chemistry is really good, they’re equals, they banter and riff off each other and they’re really sweet. Barney has remarkable character development through the series. He goes from a womanizing borderline sociopath to a man who falls in love and marries someone. Then they divorce him, 20 minutes after they married him basically. Really? REALLY? First of all it seems unnecessary. I realize it was probably a hard life style for them, but the show spent an entire season. A whole 22 episodes chronicling Robin and Barney’s wedding and then they just divorce them? It’s so unfair. The next thing they do is basically take all that beautiful character development and throw it out the window. He goes back to his womanizing ways and bangs whatever he can get his hands on, despite the fact that he is in his 40s. It would have made more sense if they had just let him fall in love with someone else. Why does Robin have to be the be-all and end-all of Barney’s human development? Does she have to be involved for him to be a decent human? 
Barney and Ellie Stinson
Then as mentioned he gets a girl pregnant, and he isn’t really excited, but he goes to the hospital and meets his daughter Ellie. And the scene might not be entirely believable, he instantly falls in love with her and promises that everything he owns is hers and he loves her, it is beautifully done by Neil Patrick Harris and it is my favorite part of the season finale. I sort of hoped he and Robin would get back together, but he’s clearly over her now. Which is fair enough, but it made my heart break a little.

Lily and Marshall are excited
Marshall and Lily – firstly, any mention of Marshall’s self-appointed nickname, Big Fudge, makes me really happy. Marshall becoming Judge Fudge and Fudge Supreme made me unreasonably happy. But that was sort of it. Because they’re not really part of the episode. They just sort of are there. There is absolutely no mention of their time in Italy, which is weird. Lily just sits around being pregnant, and there is no mention of her career. Lily is interesting and complicated, and she wants to be an art curator, and we know nothing about her life and what she ended up doing. Did she just become a baby machine? Because that’s sad. Marshall is as usual awesome, because he’s Marshall, and he has the nickname Judge Fudge. Alyson Hannigan is amazing. She acts the sadness of Robin pushing her away with such emotion and vulnerability and oh my God. So I love them, and I’m sad they weren’t really part of it.

Robin – Robin is very consistent as far as her goals go. I’m sad she doesn’t end up with Barney, because I love them together. But Robin has always been very consistent at wanting to further her career more than anything, so it makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is her pushing away her friends. I understand Barney, because their first break-up was bad, and divorce is obviously hard, but it seems out of character for her to drop contact with the others. It’s also a major continuity fault, because Ted says Robin is never alone and she’s an important person in the lives of his kids. 

Robin at Ted's wedding day
There are also scenes where Lily and Robin meet in the future and discuss the Marvin-Mike Tyson incident. And she thinks she should have ended up with Ted? I call bullshit and no continuity. Since they broke up Robin has been pretty clear on her being over him. They have some residual hook-up stuff going on, but she has never really expressed any feelings of love towards him. He has always been the one saying he loves her. He even asks her if she loves him and she says no. She is upset when he picks her over Victoria. She gets MARRIED because she loves Barney, not Ted. There is a moment of her breaking down an hour before the wedding, wanting to run away with him, but I put that down to cold feet and worry, not actual feeling for Ted. And I know people can change, but it’s a bit like Robin is a very spoiled kid who wants what she can’t have. Ted loves someone else so she wants him, and it’s wrong. I hate how they handled the divorce. It was so quick, and badly done, and I can’t believe how cruel it was.

The Mother and Ted – Tracy, or the eponymous Mother, is the person we have been waiting for for the last 9 years, and the person we’ve been made to love for the last 9 years. And I love her. She sounded so great. Painting robots, playing in a band called Superfreakonomics, because she is perfect. She is basically Ted’s dream woman, the perfect woman for him, and he instantly connects with her. The way they treated her is appalling. She has a pretty okay presence through the last season and we get to love her even more. Then she is killed, OFF SCREEN, and we don’t get to know why she died, except she was sick. We don’t get to see Ted coping with the loss of the love of his life, we don’t get to see the funeral, and Ted being a single dad. 

Ted and Tracy's wedding day
They could have done that much better. They could have killed her earlier in the season and showed us Ted’s coping process. Instead they turn her into a plot device, because in the end Ted goes to Robin’s apartment and holds up a blue French horn. Which is romantic, and yes, they’ve known each other for 25 years, but it makes it feel like Tracy was just there to be a uterus. It’s not the story of how they met, it’s the story of how Ted has been in love with Robin for 25 years and now that Tracy has provided him with a uterus to give him the children he wanted he is going back to Robin. 
They filmed the last conversation with the kids during the second season, but that doesn’t mean they have to use it. Hasn’t things changed during the last seven years? Hasn’t things evolved, and the creators themselves said that if they had seen how well Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders worked together they would have made their relationship last longer the first time around. Things change! You’re not locked to something you did seven years ago. Because Ted let her go, he literally let Robin go. There is an entire episode dedicated to it. Robin floats away at the end, I am serious. That is letting go. It feels like Tracy becomes a consolation price for Ted, while he waits for Robin becoming ready for him, and it’s unfair and offensive to her. It is a bit like they have been working for this, because it’s obviously the reason Ted has told his kids this story. And that made me angry.

I am probably, nay, completely overreacting, but this is a TV show I’ve waited excitedly for every week for 9 years. And while that might be a bit sad, it’s also normal I think. People form attachments to TV and if you look through the HIMYM tag on tumblr you will see how much people love the show and hated the finale. And I’ve been watching this show forever, since I was 18-ish. So I might have vaguely built it up in my brain and they ruined it. It’s still a TV show that I really love, it had its moments, it was great for a long time, and I am going to miss it. This has been the end of my rant. And this is where the finale should have ended.

Right here it should have ended