It was going to be the mother of all finales.
Goodbye is one the hardest things to say to a show that has touched us in some way, and How I Met Your Mother has left the imprint of a little yellow umbrella on our hearts.
I spent this entire semester preparing for March 31: speculating with friends about the ending, wondering what that adorable brunette was named, and worrying about ways the show could break my umbrella-stamped heart into pieces.
And, in the end, it did hurt my heart. But not in the way I thought it would.
Let’s think about what makes this show so important and far-reaching. Ted’s journey connects with the audience because he emphasizes how the small moments in life are what lead to the big moments. The small moments hold no less significance than the rest, because without them, Ted would never have met his future wife.
But if we take a look at the finale, it’s as if Ted and the writers decided that didn’t matter anymore.
We spent a whole season stretching out one wedding sequence, and in a one hour finale sprinted through 16 years worth of major life events.
If you haven’t watched the episode, please be warned that there will be spoilers in what follows.
I had no problem with the idea of this one weekend lasting a whole season before the finale. Why? Because we got so many flash forwards of Ted with The Mother, showing us major moments in their lives while still maintaining the small moments that led to their meeting during the wedding weekend.
When we got to the finale, we saw the premise of the whole season fall apart within minutes of the opening. Why waste our time? An abbreviated story arc of the wedding would have made much more sense. If that had happened, think of all the time we would have been able to spend on the events that were crammed into one hour! Think of how Ted’s relationship with The Mother wouldn’t have seemed to be sitting on the sidelines of the finale. Think of how we could’ve seen why Robin became so estranged from everyone. Think of how there could have been time spent on Ted dealing with the death of his wife.
We were able to see Marshall grieving over his father. We were even able to see The Mother moving on from her boyfriend that had died years before. Why couldn’t we see this from Ted? Wasn’t that hugely important?
I will admit I’m okay with the ending. I’m not upset about Ted and Robin. It’s obvious that’s what Craig Thomas and Carter Bays always wanted.
But after the brilliant, beautiful, and engaging writing of all nine seasons, couldn’t the finale have done justice to the titular relationship? I invested so much time in the story of how Ted Mosby met Tracy McConnell. That’s what I wanted to see.
Despite this, the finale will never ruin my love for this show. Never have I found a show that resonates with me so easily. How I Met Your Mother is truthful, hopelessly romantic, and real to life. And even though the show is now over, it will never stop being something that helps us appreciate our own stories, whether they involve ducky ties, Canadian pop stars, or a good slap to the face.
Arrivederci, How I Met Your Mother.