Legend...wait for it...dary
After nine great seasons, CBS' hit comedy "How I Met Your Mother" has come to its long awaited conclusion. While many fans and critics were angry and unsatisfied with the conclusion, I loved it. I actually predicted just about all of it happening. If you don't believe me, look back at my old reviews and articles. While I do have minor problems with some aspects of the finale, I found it to be the necessary "legend...wait for it...dary" conclusion to the show I had been hoping for.
If you haven't seen the finale yet I recommend you stop reading right now because I am going to spoil just about every single plot point. At the beginning of the last season we already knew who the mother was. Throughout the season we met her and got to see how everyone else met her before Ted. We generally knew how they met and while seeing the actual moment was fulfilling it could never be the actual ending because it's a bit anticlimactic. The finale begins with the end of Robin and Barney's wedding and skips to the future where we see the next 20 years of their lives play out. We don't see Ted and Tracy (the mother) meet until the very end, but we do see them together and how it turns out.
"How I Met Your Mother" has always been a show with real life lessons and consequences. The finale continued this. We could have easily gotten the feel-good ending where everyone lives happily ever after and the gang continues to be close until their dying days, but what would we gain from that? Instead we see them at first start to fight drifting apart as their lives and careers take them in different directions. We see Barney and Robin struggle to make their relationship work before finally divorcing and the consequences it has on the circle of friends. We see Robin grow older, lonely and alienated from her friends, with no time for a life outside of work. Finally, we see Ted and Tracy get married and live happily together until she gets sick and passes away. I think many fans were upset with the realism in the finale, but I enjoyed it. As sad as it was to watch, it did the show justice in the sense that it continued to be true to the characters and real life while being funny.
We finally get to see Ted's kids' reactions to the end of his story. This was filmed back in season two when it was noticed that they were beginning to age. This is the writers' way of telling us they knew what they were doing all along, and if you paid close attention they did hint at every single plot twist and turn throughout the series. So am I surprised in the end when an older, widowed Ted finally ends up with Robin, who realized in her lonely years that Ted was always the one for her? No, I am not. The show was always about how Ted and Robin were going to end up together and if you don't believe so watch it all again closely and then try to tell me I'm wrong. However, the problem is time. Nobody expected the show to go on as along as it did and because of this, the ending no longer seems completely just. So much time was spent showing Ted and Tracy happy together and while Robin and Ted were great, Tracy and Ted were better. I suppose they had to kill time after CBS begged for another season and I loved getting to know Tracy, but it made Robin and Ted seem like a bad match.
The other problem was with Barney and Robin. So much time was spent on them that they seemed so perfect together and deserved each other the same way Tracy and Ted. Showing them grow apart and divorce was not a problem, but so much time was spent humanizing Barney and turning him from a womanizer into an actual person that it seems unfair to write him off as a lonely womanizer in his older years. The biggest problem with the finale is how rushed it feels. An entire season was spent on a wedding weekend and many episodes and plot arcs simply existed to waste time. After all that, we see the most important 20 years of the show forced into a 40-minute episode. It all feels a bit rushed and poorly thought out. However, I still cannot argue against how funny, otherwise well written and beautiful the ending was. While I am sad to see my favorite comedy go, I am glad that we at least got the ending we deserved despite its flaws.
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