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One Year On: The How I Met Your Mother Finale

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  • AMG
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    #352924

    It’s been over a year since How I Met Your Mother bowed off our screens (it is one year next Friday, 17th July in the UK). 

    At the time it was divisive. One year on, is it still splitting opinion as much? Has time, along with repeat viewing of the final episode, and the rest of the series, made that finale change in your mind?  

    So, one year on, what are your opinions of the last episode of How I Met Your Mother? 

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    AMG
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    #352926

    I seemed to be one of the few who loved it when it first aired. 

    I have seen the final episode about 5 times in the past year just from repeats. I still love it now. The whole story built up to it, and looking back at the series as a whole, it fitted in.

    Why else would Ted start the story with the night he first met Robin if the end of the story didn’t also involve her?

    Also, throughout the series, I as a viewer had been waiting for Ted to meet a woman who was good enough for him. Actually, they wrote and cast a mother who was TOO good for Ted in the end for me.

    Robin & Ted were perfectly matched. The mother was too good for him. The whole arc of the story seemed fitting of how it would end. One year on, I still love the way it ended.  

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    eric123
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    #352927

    The ending (for me at least) was really not good. I didn’t *hate* it but I certainly didn’t like it. I’m not mad at the fact that he ended up with Robin, it’s just that if they could make an entire season about the time period leading up to a wedding then why was the finale so rushed? 
    Oh well. I will admit though that when they showed pictures of each cast member from the first episode during the credits my heart hurt. 

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    KyleBailey
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    #352928

    It just was the ending that made sense to me. For the whole series (which I watched in one time span in a binge not through its original run) it just seemed Robin and Ted were meant to be. The pilot isn’t when we meet the mother, it’s when we meet Robin so it just made sense as an overall story that the outcome would be Ted going after Robin. I think my biggest issue was the season as a whole. The arc of an ill fated wedding just seemed like a waste to me. It would have been fine if the wedding arc was like 5 episodes but pretty much the whole season? Yeah no.  

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    AMG
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    #352929

    I agree about the season as a whole. The episodes which broke away from the wedding were great, and little gems in an uneven season that felt like it was dragging because of the heavy focus on the wedding. I would have loved to know what the writers plan was for if they went to ten seasons. They have said they had a plan of they ended on nine, and a plan of what to do if they got to ten.

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    Icky
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    #352930

    The biggest problem was in how rushed the events were. He marries The Mother, she dies, he ends up with Robin, the end. If they would have stretched those events over a couple of episodes instead of the final minutes of the show it could have been satisfying.

    This is from the perspective of someone who never was much of a HIMYM fan beyond an episode here and there and thought the final couple of seasons were crap. The finale certainly didn’t alter those feelings. 

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    Halo_Insider
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    #352931

    Still hate it. Still find it to be a huge tonal mess.

    I wouldn’t have minded the decision to pair Robin with Ted if they hadn’t spent so much time trying to convince us that the two were wrong for each other. You can’t plan an ending at the end of Season 2 and leave it sitting there for 7 years without accounting for how much your characters have grown since then. Ted, Robin, and Barney had all changed since that ending had originally been constructed. The creators didn’t expect the fans to latch onto the Barney/Robin pairing so much, and they kept feeding into that over the years, setting up a whole new set of expectations on how things would resolve themselves. The last 2 or so seasons were so focused on selling us Robin and Barney’s wedding, with the final season alone had several episodes focused on Ted letting Robin go (including “Sunrise”, which did so via an awkward CGI shot that tried to sell us on a metaphor equating Robin to a childhood balloon).

    Not to mention when it came to casting the mother herself, there was so much pressure to find someone who could live up to the image of Ted’s soul mate. It was so much that no one could possibly live up to that, and yet Cristin Milioti somehow DID. Carter and Bays lucked out immensely when they snagged her. And even though she wasn’t on enough for my liking, there’s no doubt that Tracy brightened up the screen whenever she appeared. “How Your Mother Met Me” was easily the best episode of the season, and might be in my Top 5-10 for the entire series. To then kill her off and bring things back around to the Robin/Ted endgame (additionally leaving Barney in the dust to regress back to where he was in seasons past) just felt needlessly cruel to me. Maybe she was too good for Ted, but they seemed so happy together, and I personally thought that Milioti and Radnor had great chemistry in their (sadly minimal) screentime with one another. And I was just kind of over Ted and Robin by that point.

    But people are right that it still could’ve had a chance of working if this was all executed well. But it was just wrecked by the pacing. Holy cow. The final season of HIMYM might serve as the go-to example of poor narrative structure. I’m sorry, but you can’t spend 20 episodes on a 3-day wedding for characters who are going to break up early into the finale, and then spend the majority of that finale charting several years’ worth of development. The audience needs space to register all of that!

    Why not just make the wedding the subject of the first few episodes? They could’ve spent the entire season charting the characters’ future lives. Have Robin and Barney’s marriage slowly unravel as the cracks begin to show. Maybe have the Mother get her sickness halfway through the season, and deal with that in a bittersweet way or something. Show Ted and Robin growing closer and reconnecting as the series comes to an end. I don’t know.

    I don’t know. I’m pretty much just repeating what I’ve said since it aired. As a guy who was a huge fan of the show in the early years, I felt really deflated by the finale. It all just came off as inauthentic and to me. Just give me the slapped together DVD alternate ending.

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    Daniel Montgomery
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    #352932

    I hated the finale then, still hate it now. I’m not really bitter about it, but when I look at it I kind of marvel at how the writers seemed to make every wrong decision possible by breaking their implicit promises to the viewers. It’s okay to surprise the audience. It’s even welcome sometimes. It’s something else altogether to make the audience invest in a story and then in the last hour say, “Screw you, we’re dismantling everything you cared about.”

    (1) The first episode twist is that Robin seems like she’ll be the love interest but she’s really “Aunt Robin” and thus not the endgame for Ted. In one rushed episode, the writers completely threw that away: “You know how we defied your expectations from minute one? We decided to defy defying your expectations.”

    (2)  And to do that, they threw the Mother under the bus in a horrible way. The entire show is building up to meeting the Mother, whom regardless of the romantic endgame for Ted would be the love of his life for many years and raise two children with him. Spend the entire last season bringing these two characters closer together until finally they meet … and then she up and dies out of nowhere of Unspecified Plot Device Disease. All that build up, all that anticipation, and the genuinely sweet chemistry they had when they did meet, and then the writers pull the rug out from under us, telling us that thing we were waiting nine years for didn’t really matter at all. That we were suckers.

    (3) And they threw Robin and Barney under the bus too. Yes, Ted and Robin had a relationship, and yes, Ted still had feelings for Robin, even on her wedding day, but the show kept insisting that Ted and Robin were not the endgame. The Robin/Barney pairing seemed to be the right fit because it resulted from the meaningful growth of both characters. And then they kinda, you know, devoted the entire final season to Robin and Barney’s happy ending. Except no, the writers said screw you here too. After a season-long wedding, they made Robin and Barney miserable and divorced in just a few minutes in the finale. They then made Robin a miserable careerist and reversed all of Barney’s series-long character development until a sudden random baby makes him unconvincingly a good person again. The show didn’t earn a single minute of what they did to Robin and Barney in the finale.

    Watching the finale felt like watching fan fiction by someone who hates the show and its characters. I’ve seen finales that didn’t quite work for me, but this one comes the closest to ruining a show’s entire run. Maybe one day they can come back for a second attempt and retcon this finale out of existence. “It was all a dream” would have been a better ending. Ted faking his death and becoming a lumberjack would have been a better ending.

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    moviefan61794
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    #352933

    My biggest problem with this finale stems from what a few posters above have stated: we were convinced for years that Robin and Ted were not going to end up together. It felt like every season, we’d get an episode or two where Ted would be like “Oh man, I still have feelings for Robin,” and then each time he would realize he was wrong and say he was done with her. Of course, the fact that this recurred so often should have been the hint that he was never really going to get over her. But because it was done so often, the writers made me dislike the Ted/Robin romantic dynamic toward the end of the show’s run. I would get annoyed when Ted would decide he loved Robin again.

    And another issue that has, again, also been pointed out by others on here is how fast the events of the finale occurred. I get that they all felt like “finale” twists, but it was too much to handle in one 40-minute episode. I can’t express how much I abhor the decision to spend an entire season around Robin and Barney’s wedding, only to break them up about 15 minutes into the episode. That felt like a big slap in the face to viewers. The Marshall/Lily stuff was fine for the most part, but then the rushed “official” introduction to The Mother and then sending her off in less than one scene was just cruel.

    Right after the finale, I was pissed, unspeakably angry about what had happened. Now, I’m not too upset, but I’m still not a fan of the episode. It does not tarnish the perfection of the first couple seasons. 

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    Teproc
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    #352934

    I hate the ending, but I thought the rest of the episode was pretty good, so I’m “meh” on it overall.

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    Noé
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    #352935

    Excruciating. The finale was excruciating, like a repellent for the entire series. Left me with no desire to watch any episodes again. It’s that bad.

    I didn’t knew about the alternate ending. Needless to say, that scene would be a better end – anything could, pretty much – still not enough for all the previous mess.

     

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    Icky
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    #352936

    Ted was such a charmless, boring, whiny, edge-less character, particularly in the second half of the series. It made zero sense for either The Mother or Robin to end up with him. 

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