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Last Forever

Velox

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BZP! Been a while; I've missed you. Been a busy month, but just had to pop in after last night's HIMYM episode. Hope everyone's doing well.

 

This entry is about How I Met Your Mother’s series finale, “Last Forever.” Yes, spoilers follow (hence spoiler tag =P).

 

To put it simply I’m conflicted. I didn’t absolutely hate it, but I definitely didn’t love it, either. I think part of the problem is that, a huge part of me really, really wants to love it. I do. It’s one of my all-time favorite shows, and it is the singular show that I have looked forward to every week for years. When Person of Interest and Sherlock came out, I added those to the look-forward-to-every-week list, and recently I’ve added Castle, Arrow, and Doctor Who, but still, HIMYM has been the longest.

 

I love this show. And so right off the bat I’m biased. And because I didn’t absolutely hate the last episode, I think that’s the main cause for conflict. I’m not even entirely sure that makes sense, because after reading what I just wrote it sounds like I should hate the last episode because of how much I loved the show but how not-good the finale was. But…oh well.

 

So let’s start off with a couple things I liked:

  • Barney’s moment with his daughter. Does it make up for the rest of the episode, and Barney reverting to his old ways? No. But this was an amazing, amazing moment (and at least he finally grew up in the end, somewhat). Honestly, it’s one of my favorite moments of the entire show. It was beautiful, and it did allow Barney at least that, even if he did revert in most other ways. (though, perfect month? That’s just too far, even for Barney, and that made me super disappointed)
  • They ended it as they wanted to end it. When it comes down to this, ultimately it doesn’t matter what I (or any fan) think(s) at all, in this aspect—one important thing is that the creators were able to end it as they wished, which is something a lot of TV shows don’t get to do, unfortunately, due to being cancelled or whatnot. And that is something I’m glad about, whether I agree with the way they ended it or not. I can at least be glad they were able to.

 

There were other various small things, yeah (cockamouse, the ET goodbye, Supreme Fudge, whale costume), but those were the two big ones. Now let’s move onto some of the main things I didn’t like:

  • Barney and Robin’s divorce. I mean, honestly, I felt cheated by that. We spent a whole season for their wedding, only for it to be all undone in the last episode (the same episode as their reception, btw). And more than that. Their wedding has been a huge moment in HIMYM for years. Those short glimpses at the beginning/end of seasons? All for…it to not last (and in the last 40 minutes of the series).
  • Barney went back to his old ways. I mean…there’s only so much I can hate this. Because to be perfectly honest, I expected it. As soon as I knew they broke up, I completely expected Barney to just go back to how it was. So I guess that lessens my dislike, but I do still kind of hate it (though again, at least there was the saving grace of his daughter).
  • Where to start with Ted. I mean, that’s another thing they’ve been building up all season and, really, all of HIMYM: Ted and The Mother (it appears now The Mother was simply a red herring and the entire show was about Robin…more on that later). Only to have all that undone in the last episode, too, which also made me feel cheated. Because what does that mean for Ted? He was in love with Robin the whole time he was married to The Mother? Or he fell back in love with her? It’s hard to simultaneously believe that The Mother was his One True Love and he never got over Robin.
  • I mean, that was one of the great things about this last season. Ted got over Robin! Ted finally moved on! Ted finally found the girl of his dreams! …Except he still loved Robin, apparently. Except Robin is apparently the girl of his dreams, and The Mother was just one stepping stone to her.
  • And Ted and Robin? I’ve never liked them together. The first season or two? Yeah, that was cute, but as time went on it was just clear to me that…they don’t belong together. And on the complete flip of that, Robin and Barney did really belong together, I think, after a while (really, the show showed how they did, even if it took me a while to buy it, especially after the breakups and whatnot). They were great together! Until…they weren’t, apparently.
  • Robin pushed out of the gang? Lame.
  • The Mother’s been dead the whole time? Unfortunately that was another thing I half-expected because of fan theories, but I had always really, really hoped that wouldn’t be the case (it just feels like one of those fan theories that you know just couldn't be true). I mean, I guess it’s better than them separating or something like Robin and Barney did, but still…this sucked.
  • And so…the whole point of HIMYM (and telling his kids the story) was for Ted to explain how much he wants to get with Aunt Robin?

(again, more nitpicky things I didn't like, too, but those are the main points)

 

Now all that said, it doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t make some sense. I guess maybe that’s another reason why I’m so conflicted: It does make a little amount of sense. Because that’s the thing about HIMYM. It really has been about Robin (and they did have the “if we’re both over 40 and single…” pact, but I never really liked that). Like the kids said, it’s been a Robin-centric story. So I guess in some ways, tying it up with that in mind…it does make some sense, but I still don’t like it.

 

The creators have planned this from the beginning. They filmed the kids’ scenes back in 2006 or something. So again, there’s that thought of…I’m glad they were able to do that. But a part of me can’t help but just say…people change. Including characters. And I’m not sure that ending fits with how these characters have changed over nine years. Maybe originally it would have worked, but after everything they’ve been through…

 

I feel like the creators expected us to stay with Season 1 Ted, because the show really came full circle. But that’s the thing about HIMYM—the character growth and change is what made this series so great. So to have it all go back to how Ted was in the first season…eh. This was the story they wanted to tell, instead of the story that was (seemingly) promised to us when the show began (i.e. one of growth, etc.). Yeah, technically Robin is not The Mother, as was stated in S1E1, but…this just feels like a loophole to that statement. I wanted a happy ending, and this didn't really seem like it, especially because of how awesome The Mother has been this last season (I guess now I can't be too disappointed she didn't get more time, because that'd just make me more upset with her being dead).

 

So…in the end, I’m still really conflicted And I think it’s that I expected some of this stuff, both before the episode and during with various hints (Robin saying she never should have let Ted go, etc.) that made me less-mad initially. But the more I think about it, the more and more I really start to dislike more and more things. I had hoped that writing this out would have helped but, not really. I still love the show. I still really wish the ending would have been different. But I still don’t completely hate it, as much as I want to sometimes. There were some great, great moments, and I can’t deny that I really enjoyed a lot of the finale.

 

Honestly? Part of it almost seems like a bad April Fool’s day joke a day early. =P But it was really the very end that I’m most dissatisfied with. I wish the show could have ended at the train station.

 

But I still love the show, definitely. And I probably always will.

 

What about you guys: thoughts? Please remember to use spoiler tags if discussing any specifics.



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I'm equally as conflicted. I lost interest around season 5, and picked up again when the ninth started so I could watch the finale.

 

Except I think I loved it. It was a complete left turn off a cliff from what I expected, and while I do feel slightly cheated at certain things you also mentioned,it does (as you said, sort of) make sense.

 

Really I thought it was an excellent end, but I think it's going to suffer in people's opinions and in critical reviews because it wasn't necessarily a happy ending. I've seen my sister completely drop a book series because something happened she didn't like, regardless of whether or not it was well done or made sense. I was never that way, but I know many are and I think it's unfortunate.

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I loved it. We had some great wrap ups for a cast of characters and for me the story came to a fitting end which made sense.

 

However I think seasons six onward only hindered the final scene

because Ted spent so much time being whiny getting over Robin and then he actually ended up with her anyway. But I thinking about it, if they got together sooner Ted would have never been a father and he and Robin would have broken up anyway. But his story of getting back together with an old flame seems realistic and actually really sweet. It brought back that old romantic guy who stole a blue french horn for a girl. I loved Tracy's character, but she and Ted never had anything close to being as romantic in their story. This story was never about the mother, but actually about Ted and Robin, and that's why I think this show should have ended sooner.

 

As for him getting with Robin, I think that part was just a bit of poor timing. We just saw her get married and then within an hour she was divorced and distant and went through so much in such a short time. Not the easiest to adapt to, especially since the past season was literally all about her wedding, but I still think it worked in the end. It was about Ted telling his kids "I haven't forgotten your mother and I will always cherish our time together, but it is time for me to move on and find happiness." And, yeah, that does happen. It's not that he never got over Robin because clearly he did. He spent years happily sorta married and Robin even kept her distance and he didn't chase after her. It's just that he wanted to move on with his life after he lost the mother of his children, like Marshall's mother after she lost Marven.

 

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Like I told Eyru when we were discussing this today: the finale makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways, but ultimately it feels weird and completely disjointed. Like Xinlo said, the point of the show was that not everything gets a happy ending, but in the end...what?

 

 

Ted's kids kick him in the side of the head, tell him it's okay to get over The Mother, and tell him to go after Robin anyway? Really? It goes out of its way with the Barney and Robin breakup and The Mother's death to show that not everything gets a happy ending, but then Ted and Robin just...get another shot? Everything isn't going to end happy for everybody, but here's a happy ending grafted onto the back end of your finale after a socially accepted period of grieving.

 

 

Maybe I'll warm up to it in time (though I didn't with LOST, but LOST's ending felt like far more of a cheat than this one did) but right now I'm more skeptical than anything.

 

-Tyler

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I felt beyond cheated when Ted went back to square one, not to mention throughout other parts during the episode.


Even during the series itself, Ted told his kids that Aunt Robin was with them throughout their childhood. But this episode claims that Robin put her career over her marriage, as well as her friends, to the point where Penny calls her "Bus Lady." So this throws the entire timeline out of whack.

But naw, let's ignore that in favor of shoehorning a relationship between a guy and a girl who we had to literally watch (with bad green screen too), float away like a balloon... only to go back to her... Yet again... for the ninety-second time? I'm more upset about that than I am of allot of other parts.

And then the Mother, who we barely got any screen time with throughout the season in general dies, just so that Bays and Thomas can use the footage filmed in 2006... It's nice that they finished their vision for the series, but at the same time, they spent 22 episodes on a 72 hour wedding, throwing that away after the first 20 minutes into the finale... a finale that takes place over the course of fifteen years. I feel as though it could've been planned much better.



The part of the finale that I'm happy about though is The Barnacle... the creators may have went a bit far by having him shame those two girls at the bar, but otherwise I'm happy with how he ended up.

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I didn't mind Robin and Barney's divorce- honestly I was championing for that since the two characters got engaged. They never had any chemistry together and the writers never convinced me that it was going to work. So yay on that.

 

I hated the last five minutes because I felt cheated. Admittedly I watched the show mainly for Marshall and Iily, whose journey through life kept me far more intrigued than Ted's journey to find love. Add to the fact that this character develop always began and ended with "I want Robin!", and his story was starting to get really old. So enter season nine when finally, finally, it looks like his character is going to mature and finally move on. And he does, and throughout the season we get a lot of great insights into the relationship he has with Tracy (I think?). And it's beautiful.

 

And then it's like "oh she died and now I should hook up with Robin."

 

His character development literally begins and ends with "I want Robin!" Maybe that was what the writers intended from the beginning, I don't know, but it sure as heck feels like a bad April Fool's joke, especially considering the date it aired. I mean, was he always thinking about Robin when he was with his wife? Did he really love her at all? Because those last three minutes kind of convinced me that he didn't.

 

So... yeah. Lily and Marshall and Barney all got satisfying endings. Ted... not so much.

 

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