THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS – DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE FINALE OF HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER AND WANT TO BE SURPRISED WHEN YOU WATCH IT!
It’s late in the night as I sit typing this in my bed – I’ve just watched the finale of How I Met Your Mother and it’s triggered such an intense rage in me that I’m faced with one of 2 options - run out to the yard pounding my chest, howling vehemently at the night sky as the last few minutes of the show’s finale run loops in my head or get it all out in type so that I can try to go to sleep. Seeing that it’s a school night and my neighbours are probably asleep I’ve opted for angry typing instead.
Here’s the thing – For the last 9 years I’ve been a devoted How I Met Your Mother fan. I stuck with Ted Mosby through his incessant whining about love and blah blah blah romance blah blah destiny and blah Robin. I followed Robin Scherbatsky as she shifted between Ted and Barney and I accepted Barney Stinson for the unethical philanderer that he was. My love for this show was enduring – much like that between Lily and Marshall Eriksen but tonight I was cheated.
Here’s the problem - the final season (season 9) of HIMYM served up a decent portion of laughs interspersed with the expected trip down memory lane and a lot of tear inducing moments. It was awesome; it had me glued to the screen, marathoning episodes way into the night – way pass curfew. It attempted to tie up loose ends and offer explanations to questions never answered before like what does Barney do for a living (answer: P.L.E.A.S.E. – you’ll get it when you watch season 9). It also jumped timelines, moving from present day to 2005 when the group first formed to the future where we see Ted and his baby mama Tracey McConnell play out a happy family scenario.
I went along with this and was overjoyed to see that Ted had finally broken free of that unrequited yearning for Robin and ended up with someone who not only reciprocated his feelings but shared in his geekdom. This was growth, his story arc moved away from the boring trope where boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl then gets her back then loses her again etc...I did not want Ted Mosby and Robin Scherbatsky to join the ranks of Ross and Rachel ( Friends), Ridge and Brook (The Bold and The Beautiful) , Ridge and Taylor (The Bold and The Beautiful again!), Brenda and Dylan (Beverly Hills 90210) and yes even Carrie and Mr Big (Sex and the City). That story has been done to death and it’s boring and unrealistic. But in the final episode of HIMYM this is what its creators dished up.
Various reports claim that this was how the show was intended to end all along; that the end scene with Ted’s kids were shot early in the show’s inception so the kids wouldn’t look like they’ve aged. So I commend the show’s producers and the actors playing the kids for keeping mum on the ending for 9 years BUT surely as the show grew and the characters evolved the story arc should’ve evolved with them?
Watch Season 9 trailer here
I loved every minute of season 9 – I loved watching Lily and Marshall argue over what country they would reside in and whose dreams were more important. It was believable to see that their brood would grow and that they would eventually end up back in New York and Marshall would get that judgeship he’d so longed for. It was believable that Robin and Barney’s marriage would strain and eventually end as Robin’s career as an international news correspondent took off. It was believable that after a failed marriage that Barney would regress into his old womanizing ways and it was believable that at some point Barney’s one night stands would lead to an unplanned pregnancy. It was moving to see Barney’s reaction to his newborn child – to see him declare his love for her made sense. After all, we are told that the man grew up without his father and openly dreams of reuniting his father with his mother again even though said father is married to someone else now. It makes sense that ultimately Barney finds solace and purpose in being a father himself. But it does NOT make sense that after so many years of pining for Robin and having her rebuke his romantic views then finally finding a woman who appreciates and loves him that Ted would even consider reigniting things with Robin again.
You see we’re told that Ted and Tracey (the mother of his kids) get together very soon after Robin and Barney’s wedding and Ted proposes shortly after. The two don’t marry straight away but they have 2 kids and live what seems a sweet and fulfilling life together until Tracey gets sick and passes away. In the closing chapter of the final episode Ted tells his kids about how much he loves their mother, about how he was glad that the road to meeting their mother was long and difficult as it taught him lessons and made him appreciate what they had then he utters those famous words “and that, kids, is how I met your mother” to which the kids counter with “this is the story about how you’re totally in love with Aunt Robin”. The kids then encourage Ted to call Robin. Mere moments later Ted turns up outside Robin’s apartment with the blue French horn – you know the one, that first appeared in episode one when Ted stole it for Robin....and this is why I feel cheated. This whole time I watched the final season and believed in Ted’s story about how much he loved his wife and blah blah blah but ultimately this was the story about how one man is so totally besotted and obsessed with the one woman he couldn’t have that even after all he’d shared with Tracey that flame he holds for Robin still lingers. In making this the ending the creators completely undermined the mother and her story and dare I say it the point of the entire show and pretty much short changed a long time fan. Season 9 played out promisingly but for Ted to end up where he started.....that’s just lame. It’s fairytale hogwash that makes little girls grow up believing in ‘the one’ and a prince charming that finds that missing locket and steals that blue French horn you want for no justifiable reason and who keeps coming back no matter how many times you treat him like crap. The character of Ted had seemingly matured and come so far from that love sick puppy we were first introduced to that I felt he deserved a Robin free ending, but it was not to be. It seemed he’s tethered to this redundant love story to the very end....poor Ted.....vent over.
This alternate ending was cut together by a fan of the show.....many (myself included) would've preferred this ending instead.