Why You’re Wrong About the HIMYM Finale

Ted Mosby is happy, people. Can’t you just be happy for him?

Flickr/Cristal Bittencourt

Flickr/Cristal Bittencourt

After nine legen–wait for it–dary seasons, CBS closed the books on “How I Met Your Mother” this week, and it was sort of a confusing two-episode finale. It eventually jumped us ahead 17 years though, to the end of Ted’s love story, as he told it to his teenage children. The whole series, after all, was about how he met their mother.

But fans did not like this finale, not one bit. Across the country, you could just hear the collective click off of the remote control as the final scenes played out. Spoiler! The Mother died, and viewers didn’t like that. They wanted Ted and The Mother to live happily ever after, a nice, sweet bow tied around the finale. They thought the writers blew it. But all of those viewers (that’s right…YOU!) are wrong, and here’s why.

The entire series — literally the name of the show — is a gimmick. The series finale had to pay off in a gimmicky way. If it didn’t,

none of it would have made sense. Bob Saget’s soothing narration as an older Ted, all series long, sitting down with those teenagers every three or four episodes, Ted’s never-ending quest of love, the yellow umbrella, all the talk of fate and destiny — what would any of it have been worth without some trickery in the finale? Because of course, fans know in their hearts that Ted was never meant to be with The Mother. No..there were so many other girls we saw Ted date over the years, surely he’d end up with someone we “knew.” Not The Mother, who we barely knew at all. All those other girls Ted dated…a girl in his very gang of five, in fact. Robin had to play out somewhere in this finale for Ted, n’est-ce pas? Oh, but wait…all season long we’ve been watching Robin marry Barney. That’s right — she’s off the table.

But then switch the spotlight over to Robin and Barney, in fact, and think about the irony of this season alone: 22 episodes were dedicated to their wedding, and then 18 minutes into the finale we find out (gasp) they’re divorced three years later. Yowza! That right there was the shocker of the finale — not whoever Ted was going to end up with.

But as it starts to sink in, you realize, “Yeah, Barney and Robin never would have worked!” And you’re right; they were a total mismatch from the start. But viewers had accepted Barney and Robin seasons ago, had moved on to Cristin Miloti, ready for her to by The One for Ted. Except you’re forgetting one thing: This is a sitcom, Ted’s our main character, and Ted needs to end up with Robin. It’s simple sitcom math.

The writers were clever about it though. In case you’re disillusioned about how they treated The Mother, they didn’t sell her out. No, the writers gave The Mother her due — 25 episodes worth of it. And the story may have been all sped up in the finale, but Ted and The Mother spent 11 (certainly glorious) years together…and for good measure, the dude mourned her for another six years after that. The Mother, after all, is the only girl Ted ever dated who understood his relationship with Robin. She had Max, and Ted had Robin. But they still came together for a happy and loving time. Isn’t 17 years with The Mother/The Mother’s spirit enough for you people?! In television time, those moments may have seemed fleeting, but when Ted was with The Mother, he wasn’t thinking about Robin. Not once. He loved The Mother, he married her, and he had two children with her. And he stayed with her through her sickness, and after. Just because you didn’t see it all play out on screen, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

And in our final moments of the “HIMYM” finale, at 52 years old, with gray hair and teenage kids who are flat out giving their blessing, for the love of God, Ted Mosby deserves to finally have his shot with Robin. Be happy for the man, please.

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