How I Met Your Mother will go down in history as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time and it’s almost perfect… except for the finale.
‘Last Forever’ is one of the most divisive episodes in television history. There are those who will defend it as the perfect conclusion to 9 seasons of Ted Mosby slutting around New York City while others think that it was disappointing and lacklustre.
However, the most common reaction toward the episode is: Meh.
HIMYM was a cultural staple, coming onto our screens a year after Friends finished, filling that void and rebooting it slightly with younger characters, but inevitably following similar plot lines. It was the perfect type of tv, it was warm, familiar and had a simple premise; Here’s the story of how Ted met their mother.
Throughout 9 seasons, Ted Mosby narrated his pursuit of his “true love” to his kids, going into a detail of his sexual exploits with what can only be surmised as half of the women of New York. The premise may have grown a little tired through the shows run with Ted turning from a “lovable romantic” to someone who projected their fantasies onto others to simply make sense of being single.
But the one thing that kept us watching? Ted eventually gets the girl.
As season 9 rolled around, it was confirmed to be not only the last but the reveal of the mother. And bit by bit, throughout the season Tracy McConnell was introduced into the lives of Barney, Robin, Marshall and Lily. She had her own episode, catching viewers up with where she was over the past 9 years and she played the single most beautiful rendition of a La Vie En Rose before she was introduced to Ted.
The second part of the finale acted like the cliff notes of their relationship. We see them grow and develop over the years and then ‘the mother’ dies. Just dies. All of that build up, all of the that time spent, is now just…gone. Ted’s kids explain to him that the purpose of the story was never how he met their mother but about his love for Robin and look, we’re not buying it.
We spent 9 seasons for this?! We thought we were finally getting answers but it was pointless. The real objective of the show was literally revealed in episode one…and it wasn’t the mother. THAT’S THE GODDAMN NAME OF THE SHOW! The thing is though, this isn’t traditionally a bad episode, it’s just a bad finale. It completely ruins Barney and Robin’s wedding (which was the whole framing device of the episode) and it still makes me sad.
Ted and Robin getting together was never a bad idea, but introducing “the mother”, getting us to love her and then killing her off just so then Ted and Robin can get together?
Yes, even five years later we’re still very passionate about it. But at least we have the gift that is the alternate ending that fixes all of these problems and gives the characters the ending they deserve.