How I (finally) Met Your Mother: blue french horns and yellow umbrellas

himym

After waiting for nine seasons, in the last few minutes of the last episode, we finally saw Ted Mosby meet the mother in tonight’s serials finale of a legen…

wait for it…

dary show. I had grown disappointed with this season, and felt that they had decided to do one final season without enough ideas to support an entire season. In the opening scene of the episode, as Ted is sitting at Barney and Robin’s wedding reception, he looks across the room and sees his future wife. But instead of meeting her there, he says he has to go, planning to depart for his move to Chicago.

I do feel that more of the lose ends could have tied up before tonight. While there were tearful goodbyes, so much was crammed into this episode, that I felt it made it harder to connect with the characters. I feel like waiting and waiting and waiting for this was kind of like someone waiting until they’re 18, looking forward to being able to buy cigarettes, and then discovering that smoking isn’t all that they had built it up to be.

It was intriguing when they flashed forward with the characters. While there were elements of that throughout this season, I wish that it would have been more of a focal point. Having the entire season build up to the wedding was like sitcom purgatory.

I wish they would have devoted more time to flashing forward. I think that might have salvaged this season. The only lose end tied up with the main cast in the first 23 episodes of this season was that Lilly was pregnant with their second daughter. They gave us nothing else before the final, and then tried to jam the story of everyone’s future life into 60 minutes.

In the future, we see that Marshall and Lilly’s family keeps growing, and that Marshall becomes a judge (though the show had alluded to that previously). We see that Barney and Robin eventually divorce in a strained marriage. We see that Barney has a daughter, and the first time he holds her, he melts saying, “you are the love of my life. Everything, I have and everything I am, is yours. forever,” a quote that he had jokingly said earlier in the episode when giving an example of a cheesy pickup line.

We see Marshall and Lilly decide that they need to find a bigger place to live. And Robin feels alienated from the group because of how things have gone, lamenting that Ted is now happily married when she possibly should have picked him from the beginning.

We also see various scenes from the development of the relationship of Ted and the mother, Tracy McConnell. Earlier in the season, he proposes to her in a hot air balloon, but instead of getting married, we eventually find out that she is already pregnant.

Five years after proposing to the mother in 2015, Ted says that he has reached the statue of limitations and has to repropose, asking to marry her that Thursday.

At the bar, we see the final scene of the show with the original cast all together. To me, it was the most emotional and moving scene in the entire episode. Robin returns, and we find out that it was at the behest of the mother and the scene culminates when Marshall sentimentally telling a group of guys at the next booth all of the great experiences the group had shared at that bar.

Various images from their marriage flash as Ted offers a soliloquy, one of the most beautiful speeches given on that show where he says, “It was at time a long, difficult road, but I’m glad it was long and difficult…from the moment I met your mom, I knew that I had to love her as much as I can.” As he keeps talking, he reveals that she had gotten sick, but his devotion never wavered.

And the story finishes, and it takes us back to him telling the story to his two children in 2030. But the kids point out that since it’s the story of how he met their mother, yet he makes so few references to her. The daughter says, “You made us sit down and listen to this story about how you met mom, yet mom is hardly in the story. This is a story about how you like aunt Robyn, and want to ask her out.”

And while the show so many times made it seem like that outcome would not happen, and while Robin could clearly never be the mother, so many fans of the show still had hope that one day, Ted and Robin would be together. His kids tell him how much they love Robin, and how perfect they think she would be for Ted, and that it is appropriate, since six years had passed since the mother’s death.

And in the final scene, in a very similar setup to the show’s opening episode, Robin and her dogs are hanging outside the window and Ted is standing with a blue French horn.

The blue French horn was one of many references in tonight’s episode to the past. It was only fitting. In a show which has always been self-referential, the interconnectedness of the episodes was one of the many qualities that made How I Met Your Mother great and which gave the show its charm.

While I enjoyed tonight’s episode, I still feel that they didn’t develop Ted’s relationship with the mother enough. In a previous episode this season, the show made it seem clear that the mother eventually died. But all that tonight’s episode really did was mention it. But after several years of watching Ted endlessly pursue finding the perfect woman, there wasn’t any sense of closure to his relationship with her.

Over nine seasons, the show has been such a joy to watch. The unorthodox plot structures, the lovable characters, and the inside jokes have made this one of the most unique comedies of all time. But what ultimately drove the show for me was Ted. While we always wanted to find out the mother, and how he met her, Ted’s pursuit of her was the driving force that made this show so compelling. I think I love his character so much because I see myself in him. I can relate to Ted, a hopeless romantic who has gotten more wrong than right with pursuits, but who has a “never say die” attitude about love, and romance, and believing in true love.

And we’re both from Ohio.

Seeing a beloved show go off the air can almost feel like the loss of an old friend. Maybe I’ll feel that way at some point. But as much as I love this show, it was time.

jrb

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