When I was putting together a few alternate theories on the fate of The Mother in How I Met Your Mother, the last one I pieced together had an uncomfortable possibility. What’s the only possibility worse than The Mother dying? The Mother dying and Barney and Robin getting a divorce AND Robin and Ted ultimately ending up together.
Maybe it’s just because I had that narrative in my mind, but when I saw the below images from the How I Met Your Mother finale, which takes place after Barney and Robin’s wedding, the images — at least in my brain — aligned with that terrible, awful theory.
It would, unfortunately, explain why the show couldn’t let the Ted and Robin thing go, all the way up until the end. And it might have sounded better four seasons ago, but now? I really hope I’m wrong.
But let’s look at these finale images. What do you think?
Here’s the flash forward that begins the episode, which sees Ted and the Mother living happily together, married, although The Mother has had to confront her passing.
Now, back in the present day, here’s the aftermath of Barney and Robin’s wedding. Lily and Marshall are about to leave to Italy, and Ted is saying goodbye to everyone before he leaves for Chicago (presumably, he meets The Mother at the train station on his way out).
Here’s Barney and Robin’s wedding night.
But, damn. It didn’t work out in the future. Barney and Robin divorce. Barney is back out on the market with The Playbook II, scouting out women.
Soon thereafter, the Mother passes away.
Ted and Robin are without partners again. It’s 2030. Ted runs into Robin eating alone. The magic returns. Ted presents the locket. They get married, and Ted is telling the story of The Mother to his children on the eve of his second marriage.