Written by Megan LaBruna
How do I go about writing a review for the very last episode of How I Met Your Mother? Well readers, let me tell you a story…I’m just kidding, I don’t have enough space to possibly cover everything I’ve learned from this show. However, I can say that I never expected the way it was going to end. Those “sonofabeech” writers gave us what we wanted all along under the guise that we wanted something else. Fair warning the following paragraphs are riddled with spoilers, so don’t say you weren’t warned.
Watching How I Met Your Mother, has not only kept me entertained for 9 solid seasons, but it has also managed to teach me several life lessons along the way. Firstly, that nothing good happens after 2am, unless you have a friend named Barney Stinson. Second, never make a slap bet…ever. Third and possibly most important, it is possible to have more than one “love of your life.” You just have to be willing to keep looking for it.
During the pilot, Lily, Marshall, Barney and Ted were just four friends in a bar with a potential love interest. Fast forward to a few seasons in and these people are now basically the viewers’ best friends. I was distraught when it looked like Lily and Marshall might not make it, overjoyed when Ted and Robin gave it another go and even more excited when Barney and Robin became a thing. I was devastated when things didn’t work out with Ted and Victoria and heartbroken when Robin and Barney chose to divorce. Not to mention the countless acts of true “bro-mance” and realistic life situations of the ups and downs in most marriages, friendships and the dating world.
I have always been a fan of the Barney/Robin combo, however it make sense that the only girl that would get Barney to curb his crazy ways would be his own daughter. Yes, you read that correctly, he had a daughter; I call that karma. Throughout the series it’s clear that Barney, despite his endless tactics for catching women and his lack of empathy for those around him, would actually do most anything for his family and friends. He is loyal and caring … in his own “bro-tastic” way, so of course his own little girl would be the one to make him finally “suit-up” to be the man he should be. I do have to say, however, that I am surprised it took until 2018 for Barney to finally impregnate one of his conquests…contraception works 83% of the time, high-five?
The constant flash forwards in the finale really helped to allow the audiences to experience how their favorite characters lives turned out, not just the happily ever after part of it, where Marshall becomes a Judge and Lily’s pregnant again and Ted met the mother, Tracy, but how they truly for better or worse turned out. In a show that had several flash forwards throughout its prior seasons, I think it was great that they kept the trend going throughout the last episode. I am also so pleased that the writers kept track of a majority of their jokes. That is always one of my biggest pet peeves about other shows. They make these jokes and leave these loose ends and then either forget about them or decide not to resolve them and it ends up being a major disappointment to the viewers. (**hand salute** Major Disappointment) But not How I Met Your Mother! By the last episode, most every gag was resolved; except for that pesky pineapple…we’ll never get that full story. Fellow fans, know what I’m talking about. A joke would be made in one season such as Ted in a dress or a goat in the bathroom, or the ever so popular “intervention” banner and it would be brushed over or cut short, only to be brought up again a few seasons later, for an epic throwback joke. While the writers weaved an intricate entangled web of storylines, they managed to keep most everything in check and resolve many of the loyal fans questions. Case and point: the ongoing yellow umbrella reference that ultimately led Ted to his future wife. “Funny how sometimes you just…find things.”
And so there it is, an entire 9 seasons of a father sharing with his two children the LEGENDARY saga of how he met their mother. An intricate story that manages to show love in all its forms from friendships, to relationships, to grieving, to healing and so on. However, these perceptive children (who clearly inherited the “Mosby Boys” knack for solving mysteries) picked up on something I’m not sure most others did, the fact that Robin was always central to their father’s stories.
I have to applaud Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, the creators; they clearly knew where they wanted the finale to end up, since they obviously filmed the children’s last scenes several years ago. How they kept those kids quiet all these years is amazing. They must have had written into their contracts that if the kids ever spilled the beans, their car radios would be programmed to only play The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be” on a loop for the rest of their lives. Over the first few years it appeared Ted should end up with Robin time and time again, and then in this last season, we finally actually meet Tracey, fall in love with her and happily accept Ted and Tracey’s life together. However, those sneaky creators still manage to fulfill the audiences’ original wish of Ted and Robin gaining their happily ever after. Granted, it is at the cost of Ted losing his wife first, however, if viewers were paying attention to this season and previous future flashbacks, there are various hints that allude to the fact that, sadly, Tracey has passed away by the time Ted is telling this story.
Overall the finale had me laughing, crying and hoping it would never end. So it’s only fitting that I leave you with a few important life lessons that I have learned from the show:
1. ….Have you met Ted? actually works.
2. The Naked Man, however only works 3 out of 4 times.
3. There are couples costumes that actually include your “third wheel” friend.
4. Zitch Dog is a great way to pass time on a road trip.
5. There is no wrong way to wear a duck tie.
6. Don’t ever shatter the glass if your friend doesn’t notice annoying habits of other friends, just let them live in ignorant bliss for a little longer.
7. Don’t buy the big bottle of champagne…seriously.
8. If you lick the Liberty bell, follow it up with an awesome tetanus shot…a bro’s gotta be “bro-tected” after all.
9. Make a pact with your best friends to always be there for the big things, no matter how much life gets in the way
10. And lastly….“love is the best thing we do”.- Ted Mosby