*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"How I Met Your Mother" The Finale


 Yes, I am fully aware that I write a book blog and the How I Met Your Mother has practically nothing to do with books, but I did read The Bro Code, so that counts for something, right? And seriously, if you have somehow managed to not have this spoiled and want to continue to live without spoilers, stop reading now!

I am writing this since I am saddened to see so many negative comments about the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. So much that it almost completely buries the positive. Frankly I liked the ending and thought it was everything I could have hoped for.

My very first encounter How I Met Your Mother was about the last five minutes of the episode We're Not From Here. For those that don't have every episode memorized, it's the episode where Lily and Marshall complete the "death folders" and the episode ends with Marshall reading Lily's in an oh so touching way until she bursts into the room catching him in the act. At this time, I knew nothing about these characters or the show as a whole so I just rolled my eyes at the dumb sitcom. It wouldn't be until several years when my boyfriend, who had borrowed several seasons from a friend, convinced me that it was actually a show worth watching. Oh how lacking my world would be with this show. I quickly fell in love with Ted, Lily, Marshall, Robin and Barney. I powered through the available seasons over and over again on Netflix, desperate for each new season. I was absolutely thrilled when the timing worked out so that I could actually watch season 9 in real time (and thank goodness for that as I hate spoilers. There is just no way I could have avoided them this time around).

Each week, the boyfriend and I would anxiously sit in front of the computer on CBS.com and the only tragic part of each week was waiting for the next week's episode. Though I thoroughly understand why some people didn't care for the format of this season and how everything was crammed into one weekend, I thought it was a really interesting choice and one that worked quite well.

So onto the finale.

I had my theories. Brit (the bf) and I talked a lot about what we thought would happen. I didn't have any major expectations (Major Expectations!), but I did have a few ideas on how I hoped the show would end.

  • We got to see many of the big moments for Ted and The Mother (engagement, babies, etc.) but I really wanted a final montage showing their wedding, the kids growing up etc.
    • Brit brought up the idea of said montage being done to the theme song- the whole song, not just the clip used for the intro (pretty sure he saw that online. Whoever had this idea- I LOVE IT).
  • I knew that one of the final lines would be something like "and kids, that's how I met your mother" which I expected to be followed by some kind of outrage by the kids since it took so long to hear the story.
  • The Mother was going to run into Robin who would be freaking out about getting married and The Mother would be the one to calm her down (happened, but not during the finale)
  • I knew that it might have a sad ending, but I was ready.
So I had read several theories about how The Mother might be dead. I didn't really think that would happen, but I live by the rule that the author/creator gets to decide what happens to the character(s) and even if I don't always agree with it, they aren't my creations so I don't get a say. 

I didn't put a lot of thought into the episode as I was watching, but instead tried to just watch the story unfold. Honestly, I thought it was brilliant. There are so many shows that either loose their momentum by the time the final series wraps up (The Office) or that don't do a good job of tying up loose ends. How I Met Your Mother did neither of these things. 

I keeping seeing posts that the finale undermined Barney's maturity because he and Robin split up in the end. Personally, I feel that the show did the opposite. As much as I loved Barney and Robin, I just knew that neither of them would be able to "settle down" and stay that way. Both were so adamantly against the idea of getting married, I couldn't see how they would be able to do so. Robin always put her career first and Barney...well, Barney is Barney. As the show progressed, we saw that there was one thing that could actually change Barney and that was the birth of his daughter. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that scene show extreme maturity and a relationship that was finally going to last.

Now onto The Mother. Yes, I absolutely love Cristin Milioti's portrayal of Tracy. Everything about her was perfect. Everything single thing about her screamed perfect for Ted. And while it would have been wonderful to not lose her, for the story, it did make sense. I really don't see it as a twist ending to the plot. I've been re-watching the first season over the past few days with the perspective of knowing the final outcome of the show and it really is an interesting experience. I've come to realize that the kids knew so much about their parents' history so of course there was more to the reason why Ted sat his kids down to tell them this story. This show is absolutely the journey of Ted's life and while there are some horribly tragic moments in his life, it is nice to see that he can still find joy and most importantly that he is and always will be there for his children.

And the ending. Like I said, I have been re-watching the first season. Now, it is so clear that while every moment was leading up to meeting The Mother, it is just as Penny points out "This is the story of how you're totally in love with Aunt Robin." How wonderful is that although Ted has lost the love of his life, he has someone that he has always loved, has been there for so many of the big moments and who truly loves and gets along with his children. Maybe it's because I realize that I am incredibly lucky because I have a good relationship with my boyfriend's children but I can't help but feel happy for Ted, Penny, and Luke because Robin is about to become an even more important part of their lives. Though this certainly was not the ending I expected I absolutely feel that this was the correct ending for the show and loved how it mirrored the pilot. 

There are quite a few shows that I would say that I love. However, there aren't many shows in which I love every moment and am blown away by how amazing the story lines are. Though not my favorite show (the would be Gilmore Girls), this just may be the show I love the most. It is crazy smart with so many details that viewers may not catch the first time they watch, or even the second. Subtleties such as Barney and Robin clearly hiding their ring fingers during the scene in which they ultimately reveal their divorce or the attention to detail with the small changes to the sets during the flashbacks are mind blowing to me. I have never seen a show with so few plot holes and it is incredible clear that Bays and Thomas had a vision for the series for the beginning and did everything possible to see that vision completed. 

For the most part I understand why so many fans feel betrayed by this show. While I don't agree, I do believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion. I do hope that at least a handful of fans have a change of heart when they are able to watch the entire show from start to finish, but I also know that no matter what there will be those that will always be unhappy. As for me, I am glad that I will always have this amazing show to watch over and over again (though I know I will choke up during the last episode each and every time as I can be lame like that).

Happy Viewing (I Hope),

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