Because Guts Have Sh*t for Brains: How I Met Your Mother, 'The Last Forever'
film / tv / lists / guides / news / love / celeb / video / think pieces / staff / podcasts / web culture / politics / dc / snl / netflix / marvel / cbr

Because Guts Have Sh*t for Brains: How I Met Your Mother, 'The Last Forever'

By Courtney Enlow | TV Reviews | April 1, 2014 | Comments ()


I just—I can’t—I don’t even—I WHY?

I know there are those brave dissenters who feel last night’s episode was a fitting end, the culminating point in a full, nine-year circle. Only it wasn’t. What it was was a testament to why you shouldn’t stick to your guns, why a seven-year-old plan might not be the best option, why a whole series dedicated to its characters growing and changing instead ended by not letting the characters grow and actually devolving them where every experience and lesson was completely ignored and spat upon all in the service of this, an ending rendered inane and pathetic by every moment it chose to ignore.

Was it possible to have a fitting, satisfying end to a show with this much focus on its own endgame? Maybe, maybe not. But this was not that. This was a fitting, satisfying end to season two, the last time this made sense. Because after that they spent seven years dedicated to how much Robin doesn’t love Ted, right down to last week’s episode. This was not a wonderful love story of two people finally finding one another. It was the story of a strong woman finally scared enough to consider the safe choice, then deciding she is happy to settle after spending the last 20 years alone, rarely even seeing her best friends. And while Barney’s revelation that a daughter was the true love of his life was the sweetest moment in the finale, forgive me for finding it a bit abrupt, rushed and slightly hollow following three years of him being “hopelessly, irretrievably in love with her more than she knows” with a woman then watching his marriage, one that followed an entire season of buildup, dispatched with little fanfare in the first half hour.

Speaking of dispatched with little fanfare, pour some out for the titular Tracy.

That is not to say there wasn’t some charm to the end and its mirror of the pilot. But it felt like a false ode to the Ted Mosbys—don’t worry, safe choices. Eventually, she will realize that she should have been with you all along and not those lesser men. But she won’t, Ted Mosbys. They never do.

My favorite show ended last night. And it went out with a dull slide whistle following nine years of bombast. I am displeased. I choose instead to remember the good times. And, of that, there were many.

The lesson here? Do as every college screenwriting professor tells you and kill your darlings. Because an idea you wrote seven years ago maybe doesn’t have to be the answer. Or, if you’re desperate for a specific endgame, actually make it count. Don’t just wear the girl down till she says yes.

Tapping An Underrepresented Market: Why America Needs The 'Entourage' Movie | Tapping An Underrepresented Market: Why America Needs The 'Entourage' Movie

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Tullyseth Brundlemox

    I am still at the point that I am filled with rage when I see a rerun on cable (well, as much rage as a show that I dedicated 9 season of my life to could instill in me). There have been amazing finales (Six Feet Under, Newhart), satisfying finales (Seinfeld - sue me, I loved it; Breaking Bad, St. Elsewhere, The Sopranos), disappointing finales (Deadwood, The Wonder Years, Lost) and infuriatingly awful finales (Roseanne, Dexter). Regardless of the quality of the finale, I have been able to watch the reruns of these shows and just put the worst endings out of my head. Not so HIMYM - the finale was an abortion. It was like the creator of the show and the entire team of writers, crew and staff wrote the first 2-3 seasons of the show and were replaced by all new people, and then after 6 more years, the network brought back the original team just to write the finale. I have never seen such a blind adherence to a vision for an ending in my life. A show develops a life of its own, organically, and the artistic vision shifts with cast member departures, creator departures, or just the passage of time and the dictates of storytelling. At some point, the creator has to say, "Oh well, this wasn't the plan, but what the hell - let's see where this new road takes us." That's what happened with the Barney-Ted-Robin triangle - time destroyed the original vision of Ted & Robin. Ted & Robin, both the characters and their portrayers, had amazing chemistry. The first season finale, when they finally say screw it and get together - that was absolute beauty. Over time, the show seemed to develop the guts to say, "We're telling the story of two people who were absolutely perfect for each other on so many levels, but there are these nasty little differences that should ensure they don't ever make it in the long run; we're going to show how they stay friends while letting each other go so they can actually find 'The One'." In Season 5 or 6, there was an episode when Ted seized the day and begged Robin to come back, and when he asked if she loved him, she sadly responded with a painful 'No', and the raw emotions of that moment said something you rarely see in a situation comedy. Sometimes, the kind of love you have for a person isn't the love you need to be their 'other'. That's what Barney was for Robin and what Tracy turned out to be for Ted. And I thought - that's what spending an entire season on Barney/Robin's wedding was supposed to be about. It was about coming to terms with the flaws in the one you want to be with forever and letting go of the one you still have weird feelings for - even if it did involve a clunky metaphor at the beach. That's why I thought the bizarre structure of the final season was so ingenious, and then, the finale came. It slowly became obvious over the course of the season (and based on clues in previous seasons) that the finale would be a heartbreaking hour of television. That no matter how perfect someone is for you - life gets in the way. Had the creators really though their ideas through, it's possible that the finale's plot would have fit. Sometimes couples do stupid things that irrevocably break their bond and they break up. Sometimes an early death destroys the perfect life far too soon. I know I've been involved in, and seen, both of those scenarios playing out. The finale could have found the right notes for this type of episode. Instead, the creators forgot everything about Seasons 3-9. They forgot about all of the retconning of Barney and his playbook, of his secret plan at Goliath National Bank, and his nearly insane devotion to Robin Scherbatzky. They forgot about Ted reframing the first true love of his life into the perfect Aunt Robin for his children. They forgot that we spent 9 years dying to find out what woman could make Ted get over Robin, fearing she would never measure up (Stella/Zoey/Evil Victoria), and then being overjoyed that she would surpass all of our hopes. The one thing they failed to forget was that way back in Season 2, filled with regret over writing themselves into a corner when it came to 'Aunt Robin', they filmed a final scene with Ted's kids that fulfilled the ending that almost everybody at that point really wanted. They wanted that ending to fit so badly, that they took all the character development, all the history and all of that evolution in their creation after 9 years, and they threw it away to get what they wanted. I'm sure there were a few casual Ted/Robin shippers who stopped watching after Season 3 or 4, occasionally catching an episode on CBS or cable, wondering who the annoying girl in the woolen hat was and being annoyed that Barney and Robin were a couple, and I hope they loved the ending. For those of us who paid attention to the show, never fully accepting that it had declined as much as some critics said, we got to see an entire season wasted on a wedding that ended in a divorce before the first commercial break had aired. We got to see Barney, the man who passed on his playbook to a younger generation, revert to an extreme caricature of the character that most people had tired of by Season 5 (and who hadn't really been around since that point) and then find hypocritical redemption in a way that wasn't earned creatively. We got to see Ted's kids, fulfilling their creator's dreams to see Ted and Robin end up together forever, snug in bed with a bunch of dogs and an old blue horn that had lost its meaning when those two kids actually still looked like they did in the finale. What we didn't get to see was The Mother, really, not the one who Episode 200 had promised. We got to see a plot device, one who was required to die with little fanfare to help the creators culminate their original vision for their show. We didn't see the future promised by all those flash-forwards - how they all came to be rich, famous, or both. We got not sense of Marshall and Lily's future (where'd that big mansion come from - what did Lily actually end up doing for a career - what's the name of their other kids?). We never got to see if Marshall saved the environment, a plot device dangled for years. We got none of that. And yeah, I know - it's not 'high art' or real life, and it's probably a waste of time and words to write so passionately about a sitcom. However, it was a sitcom that wanted to be more, promised to be more, and one that came very close to giving that to its dedicated viewers. It could have said more about the complicated nature of love than any television comedy past, present or future. So, when it fails as miserably as it did in that promise and creative vision, the result is an angry viewer like me, who wishes, of all shows he has ever seen, that the creators could get a mulligan and rewrite the finale, extricate themselves from the constrains of their early vision and footage of kids a decade younger, and give us a finale that was worthy of that 9 years of dedicated viewing.

  • Lucia

    Is anyone less mad today than yesterday? Because I feel like the more time goes by the angrier I get!

  • Classic

    I am just mad I wasted time on this show. For the first four seasons it was great and the last five blech. It just goes to show that we got hoodwinked into believing this show was smart and really got relationships, friendships, and how marriages and kids change friendships. I wish I could find the tweet by some literary agent that a friend forwarded me saying this is an example of what not to do when writing. And then also tweeted about lack of character growth.

  • I saw this this morning. As far as I'm concerned, this is now the ending of the show, and the thing on CBS was some sort of weird transmission error:

  • Classic

    Oh man that was perfect and that is how it should have ended. Sigh.

  • As far as I'm concerned, from now on, that's how it *did* end.

    I have managed to completely erase from reality* the entire 6th and 7th seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". I can will the last few minutes of HIMYM away too.

    * (Or, at least, my version of it)

  • Classic

    Lol I admire your ability to delete those seasons of Buffy. I am going to pretend that's the ending. It keeps me from getting all nerd rage at the show. One of my friends said a good ending would be that its revealed that The Mother's brother (Bob Saget) is telling the kids this story because Ted was the one who died (not great but at least keeps with the idea of him wanting 45 more days with her, choking up about a mother not being there "Ted was choking up about him not being there) the writers could still be clever and we would have mourned for Ted but been happy he got his true love in the end. Oh and Robin and Barney never divorced so that the kids knowing Aunt Robin would have fit the earlier episodes. Honestly that finale was a huge continuity fail.

  • lukebc

    Since Monday night, I have rewatched "Irreversible" and "Requiem For A Dream" and "A Clockwork Orange" and "A Serbian Film" and "Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodo" and "Cannibal Holocaust" and "The Woodsman" all in an attempt to push out of my mind the horror of what I witnessed on Monday night.

  • Titus

    I enjoyed the finale.
    I had more or less stopped caring for HIMYM but this finale gave me back a bit of the feelings I felt watching the first seasons.
    Okay now,
    come at me haters. I'm ready...

  • This is exactly the argument I was making all over Twitter Monday night.

  • Carrie Ann

    It felt like they were lobbing hints at us throughout the season. Ted holding on to the locket until the very last minute. He still had feelings for Robin despite her on the verge of being married. It was only when she was beginning to doubt Barney that he applied a band-aid by giving the locket to Barney. Robin walked away from the 'gang' because it was too much for her. Lily and Marshall had it all, Barney was happily filching chicks numbers, seemingly forgetting he once loved Robin so much he actually married her, and she just couldn't be around Ted. He had moved on from Robin, much like Barney did, except he had found stability. I still don't really get why Barney and Robin divorced. His blog was suffering?? They were traveling the world, not tied down with kids. It should have been a blast for them. Robin's success and Barney's lack of a blog = divorce though?? They could have spent the first half of this season on the marriage and the dissolution of it, instead of this incredible buildup to a wedding that falls apart at the very beginning of the last episode. Then they went through the years so fast, like a highlights reel. Lily seemed to be the only one that cared where the hell Robin was. I read somewhere that someone had said they felt that this entire series was basically Ted telling his kids this long, drawn out story as a way of asking their 'permission'. To move on, to be with Robin. The kids said what any fan has said throughout the course of the show, "Where the hell is the Mother in all of this??" He opened with meeting 'Aunt Robin' and he ended with his kids giving him the approval to just go and be with her already. It just felt like, by the very end, none of the show mattered. Everything Ted went through and learned, all the heartbreaks, none of it mattered because regardless, if the Mother lived and they went their separate ways or if she died because of some 'sickness', Ted always had a back-up plan. He always had Robin. It just...cheapens all the experiences and lessons learned and growing up that had to occur to make it to that point somehow. Ugh.

  • MarTeaNi

    I can't. Ted is a guy who is obsessed with Robin. He keeps going back to her and hooking up, or temp-dating, knowing they have incompatible life goals. He keeps saying "we can just be friends" while secretly pining for her and hating the men she dates, stepping in to interfere with her relationships. She ends up with an "asshole," even marrying him, but realizes OH NO! I should be with that nice guy who has been pining for me all along. This "asshole" won't really make me happy.

    The finale is a Nice Guy™ fever dream. Ted gets everything he wants and everything Robin thought she wanted just made her miserable, so she had to go back to Ted.

  • Jim

    "And while Barney’s revelation that a daughter was the true love of his life was the sweetest moment in the finale..."

    Courtney, despite your anger I feel you were still too kind with that sentence. I found Barney holding and speaking to that defenseless child the creepiest moment I've seen in television in a VERY long time, for exceeding anything I've seen on Hannibal, Fringe or AHS.

  • lukebc

    Tain't nothing. Wanna see creepy? Go watch twilight breaking dawn 1 & 2 where a werewolf bonds with a vampire infant.

  • Jim

    Don't threaten me! ;)

  • Al Borland's Beard

    Or that in a scene five minutes prior, he was lamenting that he could no longer use daddy issues to pick up girls half his age.

  • Maddy

    I don't even watch this show religiously but I can't believe they actually did this. Didn't we spend all this time working out that Ted and Robin were terrible together?

  • competitivenonfiction

    AND did anyone else have a hard time buying the idea that Robin would give up Lily or that Lily wouldn't turn around and bash/completely hate her if she did? I don't think she would have sat there sadly hoping that Robin would come back.

  • Guest

    At least I don't have to watch it now.

  • Uriah_Creep

    * waits for Courtney to come back and unleash another holy rant *


  • Classic

    I think it was because since Ted found the one he wasn't all fired up to get married anymore...though he complained for 9 years about wanting to get married and have kids doesn't matter :-)

  • Uriah_Creep

    I'm just going to sit in this thread for a while and bask in the righteous indignation. It is like the wind beneath my wings.

  • competitivenonfiction

    Just finished the episode... are you fucking kidding me? ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS with this shit? This is the equivalent of a wet fart. Or thinking your going to burp and then throwing up a little bit.

    This show had so much promise and then the writers wound up telling the story of "How to settle." From the mother who lost her first love in the same way Ted lost her, to Robyn, who settles for Ted over and over either to alleviate loneliness or because he's the more reasonable of the two options she has. And of course, most disappointingly, Ted (the romantic) who settles for everyone who wasn't Robyn until he meets the mother, settles for her (kind of), then falls deeply in love only to have her die and then settles for Robyn then.

    You know it's bad when someone who argues that love is a choice that you should take very very seriously says the show didn't do the romantic angle justice. Ugh.

    ETA: There were much better ways to tell this story. What made the Ross/Rachael dynamic work is that they took turns being in love and moving on. Robin never really pined for Ted except for the one time when he was with Victoria. If they had taken more turns or she had seriously considered giving up her career for him, or he'd considered giving up his dreams for her, I'd have been way more convinced.

  • Austie

    I will admit I liked the realistic depiction of falling out of friendship as you get older. How many people are still close with their college friends? How many of us have friends that were in their weddings who they haven't talked to or seen in years? People grow and change and have babies and move. That and Barney talking to his daughter were the only good parts of the finale. I had a baby 4 months ago and that scene made me want another tiny newborn for just a split second. That is impressive.

  • UGH.

  • Three_nineteen

    Character growth:

    1st season Robin - strong, independent, doesn't need a man to make her happy

    Finale Robin - bitter, lonely, cries tears of gratitude when a man comes to save her

  • nosio

    I haaaaaaaaated it.

    Also? Barney? Glad having a kid made you realize there's more to life than banging chicks, but it's hardly a sign of maturation or growth to start policing random women in bars for what they're drinking, wearing, and how they're spending their time. It's creepy and paternalistic and gross for a whole other set of reasons.

  • Al Borland's Beard

    I dunno, I thought it was the perfect love story. Boy meets girl. Boy loves girl. Girl doesn't feel the same. Boy still continues to pine for girl. Boy meets second girl that shares feelings for boy. Boy marries and has kids, or whatever. Second girl dies. Boy goes back to first girl who has now been worn down enough to settle for boy.

    Now if you excuse me, I need to go hold a boom box outside the window of the girl that turned me down last week.

  • $99571230

    "How I Met Your Mother, But Was Actually in Love with Aunt Robin the Whole Time."

  • JazzCat

    A gross oversimplification and misinterpretation of the entire arc of the series, not unlike all the idiots out there who have been deriding the finale of LOST since 2010 by insisting "they were dead the whole time!" -- which by the way, they weren't.

  • stella

    Wow dude. I didn't hate the LOST finale either, but that was kind of harsh.

  • $99571230

    Did you just call me an idiot?

  • JazzCat

    No. I called the people who blather on about the ending of LOST by claiming that some convoluted misinterpretation of how it ended is the only valid interpretation idiots.

    I merely pointed out that your attempt at wit here was not unlike that same tendency, as evidenced by your broadstroke assessment of the HIMYM finale, devoid of any clear understanding of the nuance and depth it presented.

  • Al Borland's Beard

    Were the characters of HIMYM dead the whole time?

  • Classic

    I heard that Jason Segal pitched several endings to the series and one of them was that lol. That would have been awesome. I am just sad that they stuck with an idea they had for this show from 7 years ago that honestly didn't work anymore. Hearing Josh Radnor's comments and knowing that Segal was not thrilled sets my mind at ease that at least they got the audience would feel as if the whole thing was a cheat.

  • gmda

    Ugh, it wasn't even done well. They crammed so much crap into 45 minutes. I was never going to be on board with Ted and Robin getting together, but they could have gotten me a little closer if it had been written well. You can't pack any kind of emotional punch by racing through everything like that. I seriously don't understand their choices over the last 7 seasons, if that finale was always the end game.

  • PatriciaDelicia

    Seriously not funny, badly written, with the fatal "trying too hard" syndrome thrown in. Plus depressing. I found myself nodding off while watching it, with the stupid laugh track jolting me awake every now and then. Bad, bad, bad episode!

  • Green_Eggs_and_Hamster

    This sucked. Does anyone actually think Ted and Robin stay together? Robin is still a international journalist traveling the world. Is she going to suddenly decide to settle down and move out to the Suburbs with Ted and his two kids just because he brought her a blue french horn. Or is there anything in Ted's character that makes you think that he is going to be cool being with someone he only sees a few weeks out of the year as she goes around pursuing her career.
    Yay, great, Robin is worn down to a point where she thinks she is willing to settle for Ted. That sh*t is not going to last. They wont even be together as long as her wedding to Barney, which completely destroyed Barney's character by the way and made me seriously consider just turning it off at that point.
    Even though this was pretty much exactly what I expected, I hated it. I watched it and hated it while I was watching it, and find myself hating it now. It was the completely wrong ending for these characters who I had really grown to enjoy over the years. And I get that this was the plan all along, but you know what, screw your plan. Plans change, people change. This would have been fine up to maybe season 4, but you were successful, so change your friggin plan. I just uggggh. That is all I can say to sum up the final episode. Ugggh.

  • NateMan

    Eh, I dunno. I predicted it, didn't love it, but it made sense. They did cut waaaaaay too much material down to an hour.

    The story's always, always been about Robin. That couldn't have been clearer. I didn't want it to end the way it did, but you can't say it didn't have a clear line of progression.

    As far as Barney & Robin go... Shit, people who love each other break up all the time. And get divorced, even when they love each other. I know I did. Robin clearly has more difficulty accepting it than Robin. And it's perfectly reasonable that, years later, Robin & Ted come to a place where their situations match more completely. I do agree that Robin got the shitty end of the stick in the finale. But breaking off a friendship because she's always out of town and 'the gang' includes 2 different men she used to be in love with, one of whom she married? Totally makes sense. When my best friend broke up with his fiance, there were several fairly tight friendships that went out the window because people stuck to the one they'd been friends with originally.

    Edit: I do think that when I rewatch the season on Netflix, I'll be skipping the finale. I didn't think it was bad to the point of being broken, but it did take a lot of the joy out of it. Which is its biggest flaw to my mind.

  • Lucia

    I hated what they did to Robin and Barney. They were perfect for each other. They prefaced their wedding for a whole season and longer and then in a second - BOOM DIVORCE!

    What I find even more problematic is how they made Robin look like this lonely, frigid, unhappy person just because she put her career first. That they made her almost lose her friends because she wanted to have a career. That she finally found happiness when a man with two kids appeared on her doorstep. That's not a 21st century story writers! What the hell?

  • NateMan

    I didn't like the way it was written either but you have to admit that if your closest friendships are inextricably conjoined with 2 men you were in love with, 1 you maybe still are, and your job requires you to travel all over the planet, it's entirely possible those friendships are going to dry up. That's life. It's not sitcom life, which is one reason I think a lot of people feel robbed, but it's life.

  • competitivenonfiction

    I can absolutely buy the idea that BArney and Robin wouldn't make it work. Both because they're not super emotionally equipped people, and they intentionally set up their lives to be what they each individually wanted their lives to be like. These are people who set things up to be selfish (I say this with no judgement; it would be worse for these two if they didn't) and that makes them fundamentally incompatible over the long run. I also think it's pretty brave of the writers to let a couple like this get divorced.

    However, I fully hate the treatment they gave Robin. It's like they needed to make her broken to make room for the mother instead of making her as awesome as she could be.

  • Ted Zancha

    Did anyone see all the people calling this a terrible April Fools Joke?

    In my rage last night, I took to many websites and bits of social media, and one thing I kept seeing was people saying "April Fools, the real finale will air next week." I chuckled at the idea, but then I got to thinking...what if this was some elaborate, expensive joke and that ending was not the real ending.

    At first I liked it. That they would show is a terrible finale to get us angry and then say "Just Kidding" and do it right. But two things occurred to be and I went back into a rage that has consumed me most of the day:

    1. CBS and Carter/Bays wouldn't do that. It would be too much of a risk (Plus the writing has been a bit terrible as of late)

    2. Even if they pulled it off and did do a "GOTCHA" moment, I don't think I could accept their actual finale. Too many things happened last night that were rage inducing (flying in the face of character development, making a season all about someones wedding pointless, killing the woman we have waited NINE years to meet off screen and with no emotional reconciliation, and having the show be "Hey kids, let me tell you a long winded story so I can get your blessing to date another woman"). I don't think I can forgive them for this. I have invested so much time and emotion into this show and these characters and I feel cheated.

    Even if you want to claim that "it was all circling back around," that ending was not earned. Regardless of whether you wanted Ted and Robin together and regardless of whether or not we were happy with the outcome, more than anything, the Robin/Ted thing had to be earned. And it wasn't. They spent years saying they were terrible for each other and they even made him "let her go." They were done. But they ruined that. There was no reason to have them get back together except to hold onto some obligation they had years ago.

    In short, I hate everything and damn you Rowles for your prediction a few weeks ago. You were (mostly) right. So I think you deserve a bit of the blame for allowing this theory to even by in the back of people's minds.

  • Stephen Nein

    To the Galactica haters;

    SUCK. ON. IT.

  • Classic

    LMAO! My friend wrote that this morning on FB. I had to applaud him since I can get Galatica more than this mess right now. I still didn't like that finale but I out and out hate this one. Like if I saw this finale in the street I kick it in the balls and steal its wallet after spitting on it.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    If it makes any of you feel better, reading this whole thing has made me just so happy!

  • Teabelly

    I haven't watched the show since halfway through season 4, I think, so I might be remembering wrong, but when the kids are sitting there listening to his tale, don't they look bored? I mean, granted they've been sitting there for a decade or something, but if your mum had died and your dad was telling the story of how they met, wouldn't you be more engaged?

    I'm kinda glad I gave up, cos I don't think I could take the sadness of a poorly done finale after all that time.

  • Berry

    It's a good point, but I have to say. Whenever my dad tried to tell me about mum when I was around the kids' age, I got intensely uncomfortable. Not bored, just antsy and awkward. Because my dad's an asshole a lot of the time, and I didn't want to hear him talk about the mother I idolized. I like hearing my aunts' stories about her though.

  • NateMan

    They address it in the last scene, where the mother's actually been dead for 6 years and they point out that the fact that Ted is interested in Robin now that he's widowed is why the whole story starts with Robin.

  • Three_nineteen

    I lost my grandmother 25 years ago, and every time someone tells me something new about her, I listen eagerly.

  • emilya

    I did love when Ted told them that he tried to make the story as to the point as possible. So Teddy Westside!

  • DarthCorleone

    According to Gayle King on CBS This Morning, there are "a few cranky Yankees" out there, but "for the most part" everyone loved the finale.

    I don't watch this show at all, but that comment made me grin thinking of y'all.

  • Classic

    Yeah I guess Gayle didn't want to say well the entire internet and critics hate you but are still good with NPH. Response?

  • Just checking back in to say STILL MAD. The sand castles of my dreams washed away!

  • Mrs. Julien

    Cling to your righteous anger, Courtney. It was forged in a crucible of 9 years of storytelling snuffed out with a fire hose.

    I may be too upset to metaphor properly.

  • mswas

    I feel simile.

  • JJ

    "Ugh, come on, Dad. Mom's been dead for six years now. It's time for you to go get you some Aunt Robin!"

    Paraphrased, but sure. Makes perfect sense. That was in no way weird or waaaaaaaay off tonally.

  • Al Borland's Beard

    "Haha oh, dad. Thanks for sharing that long, self-indulgent story about all your wacky exploits. Sure, you barely covered how you and mom met, but whatever, you loved Robin more anyways. Now go get her, champ."

  • competitivenonfiction

    Plus thanks for all the super important stories about banging a bunch of women... it's really important for children to know that their parents had very active love lives before they got together.

  • Repo

    As someone who lost their mother at a young age to illness, I can tell you that scene was beyond preposterous. There was SO much wrong with how that played out. Ridiculous.

  • Berry

    It's funny, just yesterday I tried to decide if I was being a hypocrite for getting so mad at that scene despite the fact that I myself have been known to make the odd inappropriate joke about dead parents. But the thing is, I also lost my mom suddenly when I was still a kid, and it fucked me for life. I feel like I've earned the right to find some black humor in shitty situations like that. But somehow it doesn't feel like anyone has earned the right to use "dead mother" as a convenient plot device, as a way to write them out of a corner they backed themselves in. To have the kids be so glib about it, and make it so that his wife's death is ultimately what gives Ted everything he's ever wanted. It feels offensive in a very intense, personal way that's hard to explain. Maybe it does make me a hypocrite, I don't know. I just know that it infuriates me.

  • Classic

    Thank you. I lost my dad early too and I can tell you no fucking way this would have happened.

  • mswas

    I lost my father suddenly 2 months before my parents 40th. It's been 9 years. While I would be truly happy for my mother to find someone at this point, the gung-ho attitude of the kids rang false. Granted they are kids, but no bittersweet mention of the mother, or showing of ANY grief that she's gone? It was so wrong.

  • Classic

    Yeah that was hard for me too since no way a teenage girl who at least remembered her mom would have been okie dokie with her dad moving on like this and telling them a story that was all about the other woman before he met their mom.

  • JJ

    Absolutely. Unrealistic means to an unrealistic end.

  • Classic

    I just can't even begin to articulate how upset I am. I was done with this show after its past craptastic three seasons and only hate watched this year with friends. One of the guys in the group won the pool on how the show would end and we all were like no, no, they are not going to do this again. They have been showing us for 9 years why Ted and Robin don't work. I know it's every guy/girl's dream to think that guy who you were in love with who didn't love you comes back into your life years later and realizes you were the one but guess what it does not happen.

    What this finale should have been was the fact that Robin and Barney grew the F#$% up and made a life together, their divorce was a stupid ending and thanks for shitting on the whole season Carter and Bays, seriously WTF was the point if they ended up divorced.

    Ted and Tracey should have grown old together with them on that front porch or bar that if she had to freaking die you could have had Ted go back to Perfect Match with the blessings of his kids to start dating again and found his "soulmate" that would have been a very nice call-back. Or even have him run into Victoria again since next to The Mother she was the perfect person for Ted and called him out on needing to move on from Robin.

    Lilly and Marshall you guys have sucked for four years now. You still sucked in the finale.

    This finale just showed us that Ted still carried a torch for Robin and that his own kids realized it but though she hadn't been in touch with the group in years somehow they were going to make it work out (UGH). What about the front porch for crying out? We all remember that Lily and even Ted never saw Robin on the front porch with him in his old age, that Robin didn't love Ted, she loved the idea of a guy out there pining for him and him being safer than Barney. I mean I just can't. One of my friends has bought every season's DVDs and a announcement came out today saying fans will have to get the DVD to see some special scene they put in that will solve some of the mysteries and her exact words were "F#$@ them and I hope HIMYD fails miserably."


  • Lucia

    I agree with a lot of what you're saying but LILY AND MARSHALL WILL NEVER SUCK

  • Classic

    Lol sorry they are collateral damage in my rage post. Marshall and Lily have consistently kicked ass and everything about their relationship was actually written really well. Not this season so much but season 1-3 definitely. I still cry when Ted comes home and finds Marshall on the steps.

  • Lucia

    Or when Lily tells Marshall about his dad!

  • Classic

    Oh man I bawled. I had so many thoughts racing through my head because my family came home and found out that our dad had died. I was gutted. My older brother who never cried was bawling and told his best friend to come over since our dad was dead. I mean. I can't even think about that without crying at work right now. They did nail that scene so perfectly.

  • Lucia

    Oh god I'm so sorry :(
    they really nailed that scene! Which is not something I could say about "well mum's been dead for six years so go bang aunt Robin!"

  • Classic

    Yeah they did awesome with that scene. And yes this was why I was so offended by the ending. You lost the love of your life and its become apparent you didnt tell this this story to tell your kids about their mom but to get their permission to bang Aunt Robin. Gah.

  • Lily will. For a nickel, if it's been long enough. ::blinks innocently::

  • NateMan

    I wonder what I could get for a dollar... Cuz with her I'd be willing to pay for it.

  • mswas

    High five!

  • JazzCat

    RE: The Front Porch: I don't know about you, but my idea of who an ideal partner/mate would be for me and my opinions on same for my friends was vastly different when I was 23 vs when I was 33. People grow, people change, and so do circumstances. It'd be nice if they didn't but the Front Porch bit is a bit tenuous to base EVERYTHING on.

  • Classic

    I know that and don't need you pointing that out I brought it up as the fact that it was discussed during HIMYM when Lily told Ted that she did not see him and Robin together in the end since they really didn't mesh well. Even Ted in the end came to see that he and Robin didn't belong together, but oh yeah they took it back, and then he was in love, but oh yeah he took it back, etc.

    They 100 percent based on 9 seasons of watching this show should not be together. I get every guy/girl hopes one day that the one that got away will come back but they way they shaped this show for 9 years was totally crappy.

    If the writers had any kind of sense they would have built up the Barney and Robin relationship a lot more, I always felt that Barney loved Robin a heck of a lot more than she loved him and Ted loved her more too. What was great was them showing that friends do grow apart but having them instead tie that into Robin pining over Ted was beyond stupid.

  • JazzCat

    Clearly you DO need it pointed out to you because they were all in their early 30s when Lily told Ted about the Front Porch. Ted and Robin were in their fifties when they tried again, well after Tracy had passed and even longer since Robin's divorce.

    Everything we needed to know was given to us all along. Perhaps even in the pilot alone. Whether it's bad or stupid is a judgment call, and entirely subjective. I don't happen to think its either of those things.

  • Classic

    Apparently you watched some other show since you liked the finale that's great. I did not and articulated that I did not. They did not show that Ted grew at all. He met a woman and had two kids with here and even his own kids said hey dad get with Aunt Robin we know that it's her you want. So that right there was a big FU to the Mother, to the audience, and even to Ted. Ted should have grown enough to realize that the girl he was in love with in his 20s and he had the self awareness to let go of when he realized that even when the timing was right they didn't work move on. The show should have ended with him talking to his wife under the yellow umbrella.

    If you are going to go troll everyone that dares to say that this show sucked and that the past seasons sucked and them undoing everything that they showed this season (Robin stopped using Ted as her safety net and Ted stopped thinking that he and Robin were going to work out) in five minutes made it true to the pilot there is no need to discuss anything further.

    I watched all 9 seasons of this show and am not going into this as a Robin/Ted or Robin/Barney fan. I honestly loved each of these weird complex characters that reminded me of my friends. The past few seasons were just freaking terrible and they brought back Victoria to ruin her and made Robin into someone that the old Robin would have punched in the face. To have her being in love with Ted and not moving on from it is/was a joke. To have Ted go and give Robin that blue french horn which to them means undying true love was a slap in the face to the mother who he claimed was his soulmate. They could have set this entire season up better for this reveal but they totally shit on it. It didn't help that The Mother was awesome and had great chemistry with Josh Radnor. They should have re-wrote the ending and just said fuck it with having the kids lines being said.

  • JazzCat

    Congratulations! We both watched nine seasons of the same TV show. The difference being that you hated how it ended. I'm not trying to tell you you can't do that, nor is my pointing out that you missed the entire point of the story Bays and Thomas were telling constitutes me trolling you. You can debate till you're blue in the face what "should" have happened, but the fact is the writers of the series ended the show on their terms telling the story they wanted to tell in a way that is less fairy tale and, I would submit, much more true to life than most sitcoms would ever dare venture.

  • Titus

    I, for myself, enjoyed the ending of the show.
    What I enjoyed most is that it did actually make sense with the way the story had been told since the first episode.
    Anyway nice post.

  • Al Borland's Beard

    Yeah, because it's not a prepubescent masturbatory fantasy that the guy gets everything he ever wanted. How is Ted's ending not a fairy tale? He got to have his kids and then he gets to spend the rest of his life with the real woman he loves. Also, in real life, do you think a smart, beautiful, independent woman like Robin waits around 13 or whatever years for a dipshit like Ted?

  • Classic

    Thank you Al Borland's Beard. I find myself agreeing with all of your posts these days :-) That is ultimately why everyone was annoyed. This was perfect for Ted. He got to marry his soulmate and got to get back with the girl who got away. Blech.

  • Aaron Schulz

    How did Ted change or grow?

  • Three_nineteen

    He had the kids Robin didn't want. Problem solved!

  • Classic

    Well Ted changed his mind from Robin to the mother and changed it back to Robin 6 years after the mother died so you know...growth.

  • Slim

    Here's the thing about the big 9 year plan/circle... they could have pulled this off for us if they had written Robin's character differently years 6-9. If Robin and Ted had grown during that time into people that actually make sense as a couple, it'd be a whole different ballgame. But they apparently wanted to fill those years with dumb filler instead of the complex task of writing maturing adults, and just thrust Ted at Robin every 20th episode, to declare his eternal love.

    I'm not for that ending, but I could have convinced me if they did the heavy lifting with the characters a few years ago.

  • Classic

    Yep. They just made several seasons just filler and wasted this season on the heavy lifting just focusing on the wedding. That in the end didn't matter. A lot of sites have some excellent write-ups of the finale. Alan Sepinwall and Previously TV were really good.

  • JazzCat

    You guys are missing the entire point. The Mother has always been a McGuffin. She's the Island on LOST. The story has never actually been about how Ted met her. It's about the growth and maturation he had to do in order to be ready to be with Robin. Just about everything we needed to know about how the show would end has been included in the episodes this season, much like how all the clues we needed to figure out WTF was going on over on LOST were finally made known in the first episode of its final season.

    The Ted Mosbys out there are searching for "the one." The perfect soul mate who completes their expectation of what an ideal relationship should and must be. Tracy was exactly that. The reality of the situation is that most of the Ted Mosbys out there probably won't find her.

    Too, and I seem to go back to this over and over again this season, this is the show the writers wanted to make. This is the story they chose to tell. Nothing they shot seven years ago made them do it; this is what they WANTED to do. Thematically, it ties together perfectly and all the clues, all the foreshadowing all the necessary information to deduce this on our own has been there all along. The twist ending of the pilot episode -- "That's how I met your Aunt Robin" -- we should have known (and I started to suspect once Robin and Barney got divorced) that this was exactly how the show would end.

    Re: Barney: The womanizer finally meets his match not in Robin but his own daughter. Who "Number 31" is doesn't really matter in the equation because she isn't the one we've been watching for 9 years - Barney is. We can assume she became part of Barney's life as the mother of his child, but his daughter was the one to finally teach him and let him grow out of his immaturity. A father's love for his daughter is a powerful one, and I completely bought that Barney would change his ways under those circumstances.

    Likewise, as delightful as Tracy has been, she's also not one of the five characters we have been watching for nine years. That the resolution of her arc has caused such an uproar is a testament to Milioti's performance, but our interest, our emotional investment has always been with Ted, Marshall, Lily, Barney and Robin. Narratively speaking, it makes complete sense that this whole ziz-zag tale would ultimately be about Ted and Robin.

    Besides, if you want to feel bad for someone or be angry about something, how about Bob Saget? The man narrates the show for 9 years and doesn't utter a single word in the entire 44 minutes of the finale.

    Clearly I'm in the minority here with this opinion and I'm likely to get eviscerated for it, but I thought the finale was beautiful, heartbreaking, and ultimately very good. This show knows how to dole out the feels, and that's exactly what they did last night.

    Did the mother drive to the wedding? I think so. But just like with all those mysteries on LOST that people got so hung up over after the finale, it doesn't really matter. These nitpicks aren't what How I Met Your Mother was about.

  • Three_nineteen

    I'm not going to yell at you about your opinion, but I am going to tell you just how tired I am of being told that I Just Don't Get It. I get it just fine. I think it's stupid. It's True Detective all over again.

  • Thank you! I agree. The thing I liked about this ending is that it didn't end with that fantasy dream girl thing. Robin was Ted's dream girl originally, but they grew and got to know each other, and, hey, Robin wasn't perfect.
    People get divorced. Some people marry the people that their friends divorced. Some people get back together after years apart. That is all life.
    The mother was almost too much fantasy because she was almost too perfect for Ted. I think the uproar over the mother would be more muted if we did have her around for that one season. Like Ted, we have this ideal image of her as a kind of candle in the wind figure. She was there, she was imperfectly perfect, we fell in love, she was gone. Instead, Ted ends up with someone who is very imperfect. Someone who might not be the best fit. But that is life. I think sometimes we want to bitch and moan about happy endings, we want to bitch and moan about not so happy endings and we want to bitch and moan about inconclusive endings.
    Saying that the whole show was a waste of time makes me think that some people were watching the show for the wrong reasons. We watched it for the stories, right? Not just the endgame. I liked hanging out with these people.
    Plus, good job Ted. Got the dream girl and got the woman of his dreams. The woman of his dreams had to just go through life before she was ready to be with him.
    Love is about timing. Not just love.

  • Al Borland's Beard

    Ted wins and gets Robin. Robin loses and has to settle with Ted.

  • I buy this ending more than LOST's. HIMYM was always more character-driven than plot driven, and I can buy into the ending--Ted and Robin weren't right for each other at a certain point, but fit together later in life. LOST feigned plot-driven, but did some character-driven hand waving to obfuscate some poor plotting choices.

  • NateMan

    Dude, LOST's ending was just shit. Shit atop other shit. Goddamned Purgatory my left nut.

  • narfna

    But it wasn't purgatory. I can deal with people not liking the Lost finale (everyone to their own, and such), even though I really did like it a lot, but it drives me absolutey nuts when I see people who misinterpreted it.

    Not that you're one of those. Your comment was sort of unclear.

    Come to think of it, it might be time for my yearly BUT THEY WEREN'T DEAD THE WHOLE TIME tweet, which is a PSA that I perform for the good of mankind.

  • To be fair, the flash sideways was some sort of afterlife reunion.

  • narfna

    Yeah, it was kind of weird, but I think it was something the island did for them?

  • I guess. "Because island" is the explanation for everything that wasn't answered on that show.

  • emilya

    I liked the majority of the finale, up until the last 5 minutes during which i had to restrain myself from throwing something at my tv. i thought it was a great portrayal of getting older and how relationships change as friends lives change. i LOVED the mother and how she fit in with the rest of the gang. i do call shenanigans on Ted having kids without being married, not because it's wrong in any way but because it's not consistent with Ted's character. If there was any one who could throw an amazing impromptu wedding, it would be Ted, with help from Lilly.

    As awful as this may sound, I wanted to see the death scene with the mother. I wanted the closure Ted gets offscreen, and I think the audience needed this to even start to be ok with Ted getting back together with Robin. We needed to know that the mother wasn't just filler until Robin decided to go back to Ted. That, for me, was one of the major ways the finale was cheapened. That said, I enjoyed 95% of the finale and cried for much of it, until those tears turned into watery rage missiles accompanied by some of my most choicest swear words.

blog comments powered by Disqus