The light at the end of the tunnel

“HIMYM” approaches the end of the road

By Arjuna Ramgopal
On March 28, 2014

  • No, they really don't. State Radio is overrated and a bore of an act. A real rock band? Please, you haven't a clue what real rock music is if these guys are your go-to rock band. Anonymous

After nine years and 206 episodes, "How I Met Your Mother" will finally come to an end on Monday, March 31. We already know who the mother is, and exactly when Ted meets her. We've even seen the couple together for several big milestones, including Ted's proposal, their first date and even a hangover. But does anyone care anymore? 

When the show started back in 2005, the audience was introduced to Ted, a young bachelor in New York who was ready to settle down. There were his best friends, Marshall and Lily, the world's greatest couple. There was everyone's favorite playboy, the one and only Barney Stinson who has become notorious for being awesome and creating catchphrases like, "Suit up!" Finally, there was the newbie, Robin, the girl of Ted's dreams. The Canadian girl next door seemed destined to become his wife, at least until the end of the first episode when Ted infamously uttered, "and that's how I met your Aunt Robin."

The show was captivating from the start. It quickly became the new "Friends," becoming one of the most popular comedies on television. Josh Radnor (Ted) was a solid leading character, providing a likable yet flawed character that viewers could relate to. Neil Patrick Harris (Barney) single-handedly stole episodes with his antics and witty one-liners. Jason Segel (Marshall), Alyson Hannigan (Lily) and Cobie Smulders (Robin) developed into strong supporting characters that could hold the show with their own A-stories or provide great laughs.

It was a show that could have you laughing hysterically one minute with different inside jokes, to weeping uncontrollably at moments like Marshall finding out his dad died or when Barney found out Robin chose Kevin over him. It was a perfect set up, providing a great snapshot of five friends' lives while getting closer to finding out who Ted married. 

But after countless "slap bets", "goat stories" and 'will they, won't they' moments, the mystery of the mother started to become less mysterious. Ted's story became less interesting. I was more intrigued by Barney and Robin getting together between seasons four and five, or if Lily and Marshall would 'mend the fence' in season two. Even in later seasons when they tried to progress Ted's story, I just wasn't interested. "HIMYM" had lost the magic that Ted once brought with questionable choices in girlfriends, with even more questionable plot threads that made for almost pointless episodes.

By season eight, I was just about done with the show. It felt like "How I Met Your Mother" had hit rock bottom. Everything appeared to be fluff and unnecessary filler. It looked like season eight would be its last, and I was all right with that. 

But then CBS announced that it would come back for one more season. Like many, I groaned and complained. Did we really need one more season? And worst of all, a full 24-episode season that takes place in two days? 

Well, it turns out that we sort of did. The season featured more inside-joke humor that made the first few seasons comedic gold. But it also featured pesky filler episodes. I love the "slap bet" as much as the next "HIMYM" fan, but "Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra" was one of the most pointless episodes in the show's history. 

There have been great episodes in the season, like "How Your Mother Met Me" and "Sunrise." Cristin Milloti has been sensational as The Mother, providing some of the seasons best moments. But the best thing the show may have done in its final season is set up so much intrigue for the final two episodes. 

Theories have been swirling on the internet, some saying the Mother or Ted will die; some saying that Ted ends up with Robin and many more that are too preposterous to even print. Even after nine years, after all their missteps, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, the creators of the show, still know how to keep an audience guessing.

I'm glad the show came back for one more season. While I'll be relieved to have the answers to the lives of five (six?) of my favorite TV characters, I'll also be a little sad to see them go. And while we've seen them together, I can't wait to see that first moment when Ted meets The Mother. That's the moment fans have unanimously been waiting for.

I want it to be a happy ending. I love the Robin and Barney dynamic and want it to work. Marshall and Lily have always been the perfect couple. Ted deserves to be happy. But if "How I Met Your Mother" has proven anything over the years, it's always proved to have a surprise or two in store. Stay tuned. 



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