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.