Nine years (for me, five: i binge-watched the first 4 seasons) of laughs, tears, sad moments, happy moments, funny moments. Life, Loss, Love. An unsolved mistery: where the f*** did that pineapple come from. Epic show, unforgettable characters, heartbreaking (yet realistic: damn, life is messy) ending. I did not see that coming, at all.This show kept me company during some dark times of my university years. And as much as we’d all love to be like Barney, I gotta admit that, for a lot of reasons, I’m a Ted at heart.
It’s been almost three weeks since Last Forever, the surprising How I Met Your Mother series finale, aired.
After nine years of madness and awesomeness, the CBS sentimental sit-com wrapped up in an hour final episode that had fans all over the world flipping tables and yelling at their tv screen.
I’m not one of those angry fans, on the contrary: I’m quite satisfied with how the show ended, and now that some time has passed and, hopefully, spirits have cooled down, I want to say why.
We are finally shown how Ted meets The Mother (Tracy McConnell), who is ten kinds of awesome by the way. Lily and Marshall are happy and stable, but Robin and Barney divorced after three years of marriage. She went away, dedicating herself 100% to her job and barely seeing her friends anymore, while he returned to his old womanizer habits. At least until he sees his baby daughter for the first time.
After two kids and many years of happy life together, Tracy dies of a not better specified illness, and Ted is left alone. He decides to tell his kids the story of how he met their mother, but as Penny notices four minutes before the end of the episode, she is barely in it. This story is not actually about her. It’s never been. Or more precisely, it’s never been only about her.
I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about how the writers focused a whole season on a wedding, only to have the marriage already over three years later. “What was the point???”, was the most frequently asked question.
Well, first of all, that’s how life works. Everything can look so promising, until reality kicks in.
As often happens in life, Robin and Barney fell in love and, despite their history of struggle with serious commitments, they decided to give their relationship a shot. A huge one. But they have very similar personalities that, in the long run, just don’t work well together. Career has always been at the first place for Robin, and she can’t possibly think to drag someone like Barney back and forth. Barney has a strong, deep child-like side that’s just never going away (and that he likes), that most women would never be able to completely accept, let alone put up with every day. So, despite how much two people irrationally love each other, things don’t always work out for the best. Therefore, they decided together to broke up.
But why have Barney go back to his old habits, after all the hard work and sacrifices he made the moment he decided to give up that life for Robin? – Well, that’s the point in my opinion. You should not make certain sacrifices, completely changing the person you are, to be with someone. He tried because he truly loved her, but in the long run, you can’t erase your personality to make a relationship work. It never ends well. I don’t find it sad, or pathetic, that Barney went back to be the womanizer he once was. I save his character in toto, playboy AND dad of the year. As he tells Lily: “This is me! Can I just… be me?”. That’s HIM. You can’t force someone to change, when they’re happy to be the way they are. He changes spontaneously, without being forced, in the right moment and in the right way for him. And I’m not blaming Robin here, not at all. They both had a thousand doubts before their wedding because they could feel, I believe, that they would have forced each other other – no, they would have forced themselves to be/do something they weren’t/didn’t want, just to make the other one happy. They could feel, deep inside, that they did not complement each other, but rather they clashed.
It was sad for me too to watch them take that decision, but I’m convinced that it was the right one, given the situation.
Some people said that Robin hated Tracy, that she was jealous of her because she regretted not choosing Ted. I don’t agree with that, at all. I think she actually liked Tracy. During the rooftop party scene, she looks at Ted and Tracy with tenderness, seeing how happy they are and being happy for them, but also with sadness, thinking “I should have picked him, I would have been happy.” That’s not hate towards Tracy, it’s just a reflection on how her life could have been different, but that ship has sailed, and she lost her chance. She leaves and doesn’t come back for a looooong time because she just can’t stay there, knowing that the man she loves (because Robin has always loved Ted, maybe not like Ted loved her, okay, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t love. She truly cared about him, but wasn’t ready for the kind of relationship Ted wanted, because he said too much too soon) moved on with his life and loves another woman and is happy with her.
Ted finally stopped wasting the best years of his life waiting for Robin, he let her go, and met someone right for him, and they loved each other and shared their life for many happy years. They had a wonderful marriage, unfortunately ended in tragedy, but the story Ted tells his kids starts when he meets Robin. That finale means that nine years of HIMYM have not actually been about “how I met your mother”, they have been about “how I deeply loved your mother, but there’s also another person I loved very much in my life. I’m telling you the story from the beginning, because I want you to understand. It never was the right time for us, we weren’t right for each other, but maybe now we are, and I want to know if that would be okay for you”.
That title would have been too long though.
Robin had a fantastic career, but you can see it’s not enough for her anymore. You don’t come home with five dogs if you’re not thinking about settling down.
And that’s when Ted arrives. Ted, that loves her the same – and yet completely different – way he loved her when they met. Different, because they are different people now, twenty years later, and maybe now, with all the good and bad experiences, they could be right for each other.
Tracy, sometimes, seemed like a female version of Ted, and they worked well together because they both had calm and accommodating personalities. But Barney and Robin were both hard, “emotionally retarded” people, how the hell were they supposed to last long as a couple??
Ted complements Robin, much more that Barney would have ever done.
And he goes there, under her window, holding the Blue French Horn, and saying “let’s try again”. And that’s it. We don’t know what happens between them after that.
This tv show just tells us that, in life, things come full circle, and doors do pretty much whatever the f*** they want.
The finale, in my honest opinion, is real and coherent with the past nine years. A happy ending, with all the couples we expected to see together, would it have been better? Maybe. But life’s not always like that. Life’s a MESS.
I could not have created more complex, tangled and realistic characters than these, with complex, tangled and realistic lives. They’re not characters, they’re people, and I bow before the writers for succeeding in such a difficult task.
– You can’t (and shouldn’t try to) change someone if they’re happy the way they are. You shouldn’t change yourself for someone, if you’re happy the way you are.
– You have to accept things change, and sometimes people grow apart. Let things go when it’s time.
– You can find things you thought you lost.
– Just because you think that’s the right person, doesn’t mean it’s the right moment. Don’t waste your life in the wait.
– If that is, in fact, the right person, or well, ONE right person, things will make sense in the end. When it’s the right moment.
– In the meantime, don’t lose hope, and find many other ways to be happy. There are, in fact, other right people in the world for you, that you love in different moments and in different ways.
– You can love more than one person in your life, it’s okay.
– Life is messy and unpredictable. It doesn’t make any sense, but eventually, it does make sense, if you look carefully enough.
– Love hurts. But have faith. Go with the flow, even if you don’t know where the Universe is taking you.
And that’s what nine years of How I Met Your Mother taught me. It’s been a hell of a ride, and you’ll be very missed guys.
This is just my interpretation obviously, so it might be completely wrong. But I don’t know, maybe it could give you a new perspective on the episode, and it could make you feel less bad about it, if you weren’t satisfied with it. Since English is not my first language and I probably didn’t express myself very well, you should read the 5 Criticisms of HIMYM’s Ending (and why they’re invalid).
At last: for those of you who didn’t like the How I Met Your Mother series finale, CBS just announced that you’ll find an alternate ending in Season 9 DVD box. So, smile. 🙂