The moment HIMYM fans have been waiting for... or not

By Arjuna Ramgopal
On April 4, 2014

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the "HIMYM" season finale. If you haven't seen it yet and don't want the ending to be spoiled, don't read this article. 

Nightmares do happen. I didn't want to believe the rumors. I didn't think Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, the creators of "How I Met Your Mother," would end a charming television show in the worst way possible.

But they did. 

The mother did in fact die, six years before Ted started telling the story to his kids. Robin and Barney divorced within three years. Marshall eventually became a judge. Barney had a kid. No one knows what happened with Lily's career. Oh, and Ted and Robin ended up together. 

Count me as one of the many fans that was always against the Ted and Robin relationship. Nothing was more frustrating than watching Ted go after a relationship that never made any sense. Their relationship always felt forced. The two were just too different. They had some cute moments, but Ted had much better relationships, Victoria and Stella to name a few. The whole 'will they, won't they' also got stale very quickly. 

One of the episodes in season nine, episode 201, was an episode about Ted finally letting go of Robin. While a little cheesy, especially with Robin being lifted into the air and literally flying away, I thought it was a fitting episode that finally wrapped up the whole Ted and Robin relationship.

But the whole episode became pointless in retrospect because for the 101st time, Ted wasn't truly over Robin, even though it looked like he finally was. Instead, it was Barney and Robin ending their marriage in 2016. Their divorce wasn't necessarily shocking, but the reason behind it was. It wasn't because Barney was the ultimate playboy, or because Robin had commitment issues. It came down to travel. Barney couldn't deal with Robin's intense work travel schedule and so that was the end of the couple's relationship.

Those issues obviously fueled the divorce, but their marriage lasted about 15 minutes in the grand scheme of the show. An event that had been hinted or talked about for years meant so little in the end. Barney and Robin weren't the perfect couple, but for a comedy that seemed to always have a mostly happy ending, the couple should have worked out. 

But nothing was worse than the mother being dead. The singular moment that the show had been built around turned out not to be really important. I doubt Ted's kids cared about all those other stories that weren't about their mother. We finally met the mother and found out her name, Tracey McConnell, only to find out she was dead. 

As the conversation that Ted had with his children at the end revealed, Ted never got over Robin. That's why he told his kids so much about his time with the group and Robin, and not about his future wife, so he could get their 'approval.'

Perhaps if season nine had been more about telling the events between Ted's meeting the mother and telling the story to his kids, it would have been better. 

Because even though he loved Robin, he obviously loved Tracey, too. But we didn't see them fall in love and have their relationship. We saw little glimpses, but not the full thing. 

It felt like a cop-out. It felt like the show and everyone involved in it lied to us. I get that Ted doesn't understand his own heart. I get that it was a full-circle type of moment, with Ted showing up at Robin's window with the blue French horn, and planned from the beginning, but it just doesn't feel right to me. It's frustrating because every aspect of the show tried to steer away from the Robin and Ted relationship, but it happened in the end. 

The ending undid most of what the show truly built. By the end, the group of friends that nine seasons had tried to portray as impenetrable had whittled to nothing. 

In retrospect, the show should have ended with a more "happily ever after" feel to it. No one dies. No one gets divorced. It all works out in the end. It might not have been as compelling, but it's the ending everyone deserved.  

  


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