Disclaimers: RIDDLED WITH SPOILERS – if you haven’t watched the finale, then don’t read this piece. If you don’t care, by all means, proceed.
Though I only started watching How I Met Your Mother a couple of years ago, I feel that I can call myself a true fan. I’ve seen every episode, laughed, and cried with these five wonderful people. In the past two years, when I’m feeling especially stressed and am not in the mood for any of that cerebral stuff, I turned to HIMYM. Can we also talk about its life advice? Nothing good happens after 2 a.m.? Fantastic.
Despite the show’s number of dedicated aficionados, many were extremely disappointed with the show’s ending. Not only was the theory about the mother, who we learn is named Tracy McConnell, having an untimely death indeed correct, but there was also the surprise of– wait for it– Ted and Robin getting back together.
Furthermore, angry fans have criticized the show for making Tracy a mere incubator whose purpose was to provide Ted with the children he had dreamed of, something that infertile Robin is unable to do. This, I think, is a little harsh. Were it not for Tracy’s death, I am certain that they would still be together. However, there was also a time when Robin and Ted were perfect for one another. The fact that Ted has moved on six years after Tracy’s death doesn’t imply his relationship with her was meaningless, as fans seem to think it does. Finally, though the writers planned this to happen all along does not mean that Ted planned it to happen. To think that his relationship and marriage with Tracy was all a part of some master plan to get Robin is completely and utterly insane. Definite Dahmer, not Dobler.
Still, why did this disappoint fans so much? There are many reasons why it did. The final few episodes leading up to Barney and Robin’s marriage showed Ted finally letting Robin go. Also, fans feel that it discredits Ted’s relationship with Tracy, which for being the focal point of the show was something that was hardly shown. That being said, this is the main reason that it disappointed: we expected that Ted would find the one and that the one would be the mother. I am not denying the fact that Tracy was the one for Ted. They had much in common, and they had a happy marriage that they had no intention of ending. However, things change and people move on. Though we would like to think that Tracy was Ted’s one, it’s simply not true; she is and she isn’t. What HIMYM is trying to communicate is that, maybe, there isn’t a one, if you get my drift.
Now before you all go get your ice cream buckets (that is if you have any left over from Monday night cause man that was rough), this doesn’t discount true love. True love is just something that can be found in different places and in different people at different times. To expect there to be one and only one soul mate for one person in a world that is constantly changing and with an individual’s own inner growth is unrealistic. There was a time when Tracy and Ted were perfect, but things happen.
Nor does this discredit Robin’s relationship with Barney. To be honest, I loved Barney and Robin more than I loved Ted and Robin, so I was crushed when I heard that they divorced after only three years of marriage– but the reason they didn’t work out was because they wanted separate things. Robin was focused on her career at World Wide News, which skyrockets. Barney was having trouble with never seeing or spending time with Robin and the fact that the hotel in Argentina doesn’t have Wi-Fi.
Secondly, though Robin and Barney were seemingly perfect for one another, they were too similar. Both were, not necessarily selfish, but not willing to make sacrifices for the other. Robin was unwilling to sacrifice her career to focus on her relationship with Barney, just as Barney was unwilling to keep on with the relationship while Robin was absorbed in her work.
Though their marriage didn’t work out, I’m gald that Barney and Robin got the happy endings they deserved. Had the writers decided that to deny happy ending to either of these characters would serve an injustice. I was seriously worried when Barney returned to his old ways after the divorce. The happy accident that was his daughter? Perfect. I never expected it, and it was probably the scene that made me cry the most.
Finally, Marshall and Lily are perfect and just always will be. They are my Romeo and Juliet, my couple role model. And so they should be! I think that they are everyone else’s too. Marshall and Lily represent what everyone thinks that love is like. You would meet, ideally, in college or shortly after, live together, get engaged, get married, have kids and stay together forever and ever. Lily and Marshall’s relationship, however, is the exception to the rule. As we can see from the path that every other character takes in the show, the road to love is sometimes harder, rougher, and longer.
Love is something that takes patience. While Ted showed this patience and persistence in waiting for love, Lily and Marshall showed us what it was like to keep love alive after many years spent together. Heck, even though theirs is the ideal relationship, they had their share of rough patches as well, i.e. Judge Fudge vs. Lily in Italy debate and Lily’s cold feet at the end of the first season.
Similarly, Ted is patient with Tracy’s sickness. He tends to her, and, as he tells his kids, loves her for every moment, without ever stopping. Not only is the road to love tough, but the road within a relationship can be just as rough, if not even more so.
How I Met Your Mother did not trick and throw-off fans without reason; there is a message to this madness. I think that it shows us a multitude of messages. That love is not something only found in romance. It can be found in friendship (in the case of Ted and Robin) and in children (in the case of Barney). Though soul mates exist in an unexpected way and are not as singular as one would like to think, would it not be wrong to say that the five of these people were soul mates? Who wouldn’t want a group of friends like Ted, Lily, Marshall, Barney, and Robin? It shows us that the road to love, as well as the road within it, is not an easy one, but is definitely worth it in the end. Finally, it shows us that we can have important finite relationships with people without nullifying their value. What Robin and Ted had is not the same as what Tracy and Ted had.
All I have to say is, thank you for a LEGEN-wait for it- DARY nine (two) years. And all I have to ask are three questions:
– How does the fact that Ted has kids work with Robin even though we know that she does not want kids?
– How did Ted grow into Bob Saget who grew into Ted with gray hair? I’m confused.
– Does that mean Marshall won his bet with Lily?