I started watching HIMYM the very first season and have watched the whole way through. I didn’t expect to write about the finale, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. For the most part, it was a giant letdown, though How I Met Your Mother did get some things right.
The Mother Dying Isn’t a Total Shocker
Ever since “The Time Travelers” episode, when Ted said “In exactly forty-five days from now, you and I are gonna meet. And we’re gonna fall in love. And we’re gonna get married, and… we’re gonna have two kids. And we’re gonna love them and each other so much. All of that is forty-five days away. But I’m here now, I guess, because I want those extra forty-five days. With you, I want each one of them. And if I can’t have them, I’ll take the forty-five seconds it takes before your boyfriend shows up and punches me in my face. Because… I love you. I’m always gonna love you. ‘Til the end of my days, and beyond.” I’ve thought it was possible that either the mom or Ted was dead by the time this story was being told in 2030. Why else would he be so desperate about those extra 45 days?
In “Vesuvius” this season, when Ted and the Mother are at the inn in the middle of winter, it became more clear that it was the mom, that she was sick.
So, that moment in the How I Met Your Mother finale wasn’t all that shocking. And yet….
I Though Ted Could Be Dead
And that it was someone else the whole time, reading the kids this story(which would explain why it was another voice telling the story and not Ted’s- until the finale anyway). And that was why the story focused on Ted’s life and not the Mother’s. I kept thinking well, geez, if the Mother is really dead, wouldn’t Ted want them to know about her, instead of telling them all about all these other women in his life? Wouldn’t they want to know about her? So, it fit better in my mind that Ted could be dead- that maybe that final scene would be us getting to see who the narrator was- maybe the Mother’s brother or someone like that.
That maybe that would explain Ted’s ‘Til the end of my days, and beyond.”
That maybe Ted left this long story for someone to tell his kids after he was gone, so that they would see who their father was and leave them with a lesson of “true love is worth waiting for.” But, no. And what really bothers me is:
The Mother Deserves a Love Story
In “How Your Mother Met Me,” we see the Mother compare her first love to hitting the jackpot the very first time- something she didn’t think would happen again. Yet, we watched it, swooning, thinking that she doesn’t know that she has another true love coming, in the form of Ted and that they’ll live happily ever after.
But, they don’t. She DIES. And then Ted tells their kids a story that basically illustrates how he’s been in love with their Aunt Robin forever. So, what was that with the Mother? Some runner-up because he met her right after the wedding so he knew he couldn’t have Robin?
Where’s the Mother’s love story? Or did she only get the one who died when she was 22?
Robin Isn’t Right for Ted
This isn’t Friends, where I (and everyone on my dorm hall) literally cheered when Ross and Rachel had that first kiss. Ted fell for Robin, sure- but it never seemed like Robin ever fell for Ted. Sure, last night, she said something to (adorably pregnant whale-costumed) Lily about how Ted was the guy she probably should have married… but it didn’t seem like it was because she really loved him, just that she knew he’d be loyal and stick with her through all her work travel. That she would have the power in that relationship because he loved her more than she would love him. That he would be her way to always belong to the gang so she didn’t have to feel so lonely. So no, I didn’t want Ted to go racing to Robin’s with another blue French horn at the end.
It Could Have Been Someone Else
Before we found out when the mom got sick, I thought maybe she died when the kids were so young that they didn’t remember her. And that maybe Ted had been remarried for a long time- to someone the kids now called “Mom” which would explain why the narrator always said “your Mother.” Ted has always been a romantic, so it makes sense that if his wife were to die, he’d end up with someone else… maybe he could be telling them this story because he’s about to get remarried. Maybe to someone else that we never get to see- or maybe we just get to see her ankle or something as she walks into the room, but we are left to our own imaginations as to who it was.
What How I Met Your Mother Got Right
- Barney falling in love with his daughter.
- Barney and Robin divorcing. Until the later part of this season, I was convinced they didn’t go through with the wedding and that would be why Ted headed back to the city in his tux, the night of the wedding. The idea of them forever wasn’t right.
- Marshall and Lily still being together, loving one another.
- The moment under the umbrella when Ted and Tracy have their first conversation and when Lily sees Ted call her and says that it’s different this time: THIS is the love story we’ve been waiting for.
- The kids being excited about their dad being in love with Aunt Robin. If I’ve done my math correctly, when their mom died, they were the ages that my oldest two are right now(9 and almost 8). And it’s been 6 years since their mom died… I could see them wanting a mom in their lives.
- The highest of fives. It might have hurt, but it was totally worth it.