Ok, so if the title of this article wasn’t enough to make you realise that this will contain spoilers for the finale of How I Met Your Mother, then consider yourself definitively warned now…
Last night in the US, after 9 seasons and 208 episodes, How I Met Your Mother came to an end.
Now you know that I’d long since grown tired of this show – a show which just hasn’t been even semi-consistently funny for two or three years at least and had only one good episode in its final season – but I still saw it through to the bitter end as I’m a completist and I wanted the fucking payoff.
And what is the payoff to a TV series called How I Met Your Mother? It’s him meeting the mother. That’s it; nothing else.
Is that what we got, and was I happy with it?
Two answer those questions in order, “Yes and No” and “Absolutely Not”
The Most Unsatisfying Ending To a TV Show Ever
The very last episode of How I Met Your Mother was actually going quite well I thought.
In terms of character development and progression, the show had arguably been stuck in a rut since the Wedding was first shown back in episode 113 of 208 in September 2010, but now things were moving, and moving at pace.
While seeing Robin & Barney divorce was a very firm kick in the teeth to anyone who had endured the rest of the ninth season – set as it was for 23 mind-numbing episodes over one single weekend – it at least seemed to give their characters a bit of closure. Barney finally found love in having a child and Robin had a good career.
Lily & Marshall meanwhile continued to grow their family and we also saw plenty of interesting bits like the gradual breakup of the group over the years; something that inevitably happens a lot in real life.
And as it bounded back and forth between Ted finally meeting the mother for the first time and flashforwards to how their lives developed, it just – as I said above – felt good to see the show moving again after being stagnant for so long.
The first meeting, when it finally happened, was nicely written.
And I’d have been happy with that. That’s where it should have ended. It would have been a fitting end.
But to have Ted – and I should say Josh Radnor and not “Future Ted” aka the voice of Bob Saget, which made no sense considering Saget was still narrating up until that moment – then finish the story by saying to the viewer “Lolz, she’s dead” and for his kids to then say “Oh dad, you’ve only been telling us this because you really love Aunt Robin; feel free to go and shag her since mum’s been dead for six years” just felt insulting and actually rage inducing.
How is that a good ending? Seriously?
Oh don’t get me wrong, it could have been a clever ending if the show had only run for two or three seasons, and it was interesting that they’d filmed that ending years earlier, but things had moved on, characters had developed, fan expectations had changed and it was no longer a valid or acceptable way to end the series.
Ted & Robin didn’t work. So many times we’d seen them realise that they were not meant to be together and in the last season alone, there were two supposedly final ends to any hope some people may have had that they’d end up together. It was a long since exhausted story arc.
Nine seasons in, the viewers of How I Met Your Mother just wanted to see Ted meet the mother.
And since she had popped up in flash forwards and flashbacks and since it appeared as though she was a nice person and that her and Ted were genuinely well suited to each other, why not just end the show like that?
I just find myself really irritated by the whole thing, and I’m not the only one.
Sure, there are other issues like why Marshall & Lily didn’t age as fast as previous flash forwards had suggested and why Ted bothered to even tell a 100th of that story to his kids, but the big one is that it’s just a terrible ending. Even worse than LOST.
And from looking at the amount of negative feedback from fans and reviewers alike (I think IGN is about the only site to give it the thumbs up), it seems as though I’m not alone.
Now if I was asked by friends if How I Met Your Mother is worth watching, I’d tell them to avoid the rest of Season Nine entirely and probably just skip to the last episode after the fifth season to avoid disappointment.
Because that’s what they’ll have if they don’t.