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HIMYM Season Finale Review

**SPOILER ALERT**

If you haven’t seen the finale for How I Met Your Mother yet, or plan on watching the series eventually, CLICK THE X RIGHT NOW ON YOUR BROWSING WINDOW. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU (Thanks for the page view, though)!

 We invest our lives in television shows, most notably dramas. Dramas give us twist, turns, heartbreak, tears of joy and sorrow, and everything in between. We fall in love with certain characters and look at others as enemies. It gets to the point where we unhealthily believe these fictional characters are real people.

Eventually these shows come to an end, and afterwords all our blood, sweat and tears that we put into the show seem like they were wasted, especially if the series finale doesn’t sit right. The series finale of a show will always be the most important, and there is pressure upon pressure on the writers and producers to not screw up their television show they’ve spent years making because they couldn’t properly execute one episode to end all episodes.

Some succeed. Others don’t.

For example, in the past five years we have seen two of the biggest and most popular shows in TV history end, Lost and Breaking Bad. People were moderately confused as Lost wound down and were hoping the finale would clear everything up and bring complete closure to the show. These people expected too much, and majority of viewers left the show even more confused, and those who say they completely understand the show are lying. Breaking Bad, on the other hand, executed its finale to perfection, answering all questions and sealing all fate, establishing itself as arguably the greatest television show of all time.

See, one show failed in its finale, forever tainting its greatness, and the other didn’t, solidifying its greatness. The finale of a drama, one episode, has the ability to make or break a show.

Sitcoms, on the other hand, are different.

Sitcoms rarely, if ever, follow a storyline that continues from episode to episode, as all dramas do. You can skip episodes and it doesn’t even matter. Therefore, there aren’t ever loose ends to tie up in a finale or lingering questions that must be answered. The finale production for most sitcoms is relatively stress-free compared to that of dramas. In fact, pretty much every sitcom has the same kind of finale. There is a big recap of everything all the characters have been through intertwined with someone from the show leaving/moving/dying/going to jail. They laugh, they cry, they leave. The end.

How I Met Your Mother, on the other end, is different.

This sitcom was unlike any other. It was essentially a drama disguised as a sitcom. It had the twist, the turns, the heartbreak, and the tears, along with the laughter and joy from a sitcom. But, because it had so many dramatic elements, the pressure was on for the finale. This was especially evident because of how the final season appeared to be, for the first 16 episodes, a complete waste of time. Thankfully, the final episodes got good and there was a lot of hype surrounding the finale.

That finale aired Monday night, and the reception from fans appeared to be split right down the middle, and you either loved it beyond measure or hated it beyond measure.

It ends up that the charming mother, whose name ends up being Tracy, that we were all really starting to fall in love with has been dead for six years, and after the conclusion of his story, Ted’s kids see right through him and tell him to go after “Aunt Robin” because they know he still “has the hots” for her. Ted then shows up outside Robin’s apartment holding that blue french horn.

This ending upset people. A lot of people.

Why? Well, for one thing, it was clear that this final scene with Ted, who might have been played by Bob Saget, and his kids was filmed when the show first started (because kids noticeably age, duh) and that the producers had planned for the show to end like this all along. So, essentially, we wait all these seasons, finally meet the mother in the final one, only to have her die in a matter of 10 minutes and then Ted goes crawling back to Robin, making all nine seasons of the show seem like a disappointment and complete waste of time to most viewers.

 

But, that’s the point. And that is what most viewers don’t get. It’s a plot twist, one most said they saw coming, but deep down really didn’t. Ted, from the very beginning, tells his kids that this is the story of how he met their mother. But, the whole time, he knows it isn’t and his daughter knows it isn’t either. Take a look at what exactly the daughter says upon the conclusion of her father’s story:

“That is not the reason you made us listen to this. Let’s look at the facts, here. You mean to sit down and make us listen to the story of how you met mom? Yet mom was hardly in the story. No, this is the story of how you’re totally in love with Aunt Robin.”

Ted is indirectly telling his kids that he is ready to move on from mourning the loss of Tracy and pursue the true love of his life. Why do you think Ted wasn’t able to fully settle down until after Robin was married? He needed Robin to be gone for good and completely unavailable before he could move on.

Now, going back to the quote, the most important line the daughter says is, “Yet mom was hardly in the story.” It should have occurred to us viewers that if the story that Ted told really was only about meeting the mother, then all the extra fluff thrown around throughout nine seasons would actually be no more than pointless fluff after all. And what fun would that be? I would find myself a lot more disappointed if the show had simply ended with Ted saying, “And that kids, is how I met your mother.”

It’s too typical. Too boring. It’s not real.

Don’t hate the show because it took us back to square one. Going back to square one gave meaning and substance to the journey that Ted took us on, and we need to appreciate that. The show could have taken the easy, safe way out, but it didn’t. It dared to do something that most shows wouldn’t or haven’t dared to do (Maybe Lost dared to do it, but again, we still don’t really know what happened there).

But, most importantly, it made us care. We cared enough to elicit a reaction. We delved so deep into the show and cared about what happened to these characters. We wanted everything to end happy for these characters, and cared enough to complain when it didn’t. That in itself can be looked at as a success for anyone involved in the show, as not many sitcoms can say they elicited a reaction like this one did.

And that, kids, is how I got you to appreciate the How I Met Your Mother series finale.

 

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