Almost specifically eight months ago, the ninth and final season that CBS’s “How ns Met your Mother” concerned its long-awaited conclusion. As the present had promised due to the fact that the an extremely beginning the the series, the collection finale lastly showedTed (Josh Radnor) conference Tracy (Cristin Milioti), the future mommy of his children. It only took 208 illustration and about twelve dozen nearby calls, yet “How ns Met your Mother” walk it, finally letting Ted and Tracy meet-cute under a yellow umbrella in the rain.

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The story didn’t end there, however. Tracy, a rapid montage revealed, has been dead for six years in 2030, and the true point of 2030-era Ted rambling to his significantly bored children was to test the waters about their thoughts on “Aunt Robin,” Ted’s longtime off-and-on love interest (Cobie Smulders) through whom Ted to be apparently constantly meant to end up.


People were pissed.

Of course, that’s not unusual for a collection finale — sticking the landing is one of the hardest things a present ever has to do. Because that one thing, the terms space sometimes difficult to dictate, many thanks to an abbreviation season, unanticipated cancelation or absence of renewal. And also even when the display has some sense of control over its ending (or at the really least, a tiny bit of warning), that then has to measure as much as fan expectations, which can be even much more brutal than the critics. “Lost” had actually literally three years to occupational up its conclusion, and people still gained pretty mad.

Over the last 40 year of television, the just universally beloved series finales room the critical episodes that “M.A.S.H.” and… Wait. It can just it is in “M.A.S.H.” Oh, and“Star Trek: The next Generation.”“M.A.S.H.” and“Star Trek: The following Generation.” That’s it.

While some level the disappointmentand dissatisfaction always accompany that an extremely last role of the credits, there are a couple of finales the are considered full-on failures, and the general agreement is the “How i Met her Mother” is among them. But after eight month of thinking about “Last Forever (Parts 1 and 2)”… perhaps it’s time us tried to forgive it.

Reasons come Still it is in Mad

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But here’s the thing about that: I deserve to think of no better depiction the what it’s choose to lose a girlfriend or loved one. Due to the fact that when someone that mattered to you overcome away, in huge part that’s what they end up being — the functions they created, the memories lock left behind. For Ted and also his children, Tracy has actually been gone for years. However she is real and also alive, in this stories. Because that’s currently where she lives.

As because that the latter. It is true the what emerged was a bait-and-switch: We believed we were being told one love story, and actually we were gift told another. After ~ falling in and also out of love through Ted and Robin as a couple for virtually a decade, gift genuinely unsure that to root for — specifically when Tracy gotten in the scene — that final scene, in which Ted operation to Robin v a blue French horn, felt just a little bit favor emotional whiplash. Had Ted and Robin yes, really earned a happily ever before after? ~ all, was that really the story Ted had actually been informing his children, every these years?

What makes It (Potentially) Great

The ide of one unreliable narrator in fiction is regularly belabored to the suggest of boredom (in fact, ns bet the native “unreliable narrator” simply now offered you one uncomfortable flashback to high institution English class). But in many respects television is only start to scratch the surface.

The existing standard-bearer is Showtime’s twisty residential thriller “The Affair,” yet “How i Met your Mother” was likewise a pioneer, together the show made continuous use that its framing device to produce both quick gags and also deeper cuts, including in-jokes that extended over years. (For example, Ted’s i can not qualify to remember i beg your pardon of his birthday parties featured him having actually a fistfight v a goat.)

Ted is presented as fairly infallible, as narrators go — as soon as he’s telling his youngsters something that doesn’t match up precisely with reality, the present calls him the end deliberately on the point. Until the finale, once the entire premise is turned on the head.

It all comes under to the last scene in between Ted and his kids, i m sorry — in case you didn’t know — was filmed in part after “How i Met her Mother’s” Season 2 finale. The filmed component was, very specifically, the shots of Ted’s children (Lyndsy Fonseca andDavid Henrie) telling Ted the they knew your widowed father was only talking around their mother since he want their approval to day Robin.


The decision come film that scene in development was made since Fonseca and Henrie were aging the end of the roles, yet the result was that for nearly the entire run that the show,creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bayshave known precisely how they want their show to end.

Unfortunately, the finishing they ended up with in 2014 didn’t perfectly complement up v that original concept, perhaps since Tracy was incorporated too well right into the last season. The finest proof of the is thefan-cut,thentacitly-approvedalternate finishing which removed any mention the the mother’s death and instead featured Ted and Tracy, alive and together.


Plenty the “HIMYM” pan would have actually been satisfied v Ted finally actually conference Tracy and also living happily ever after. However, many thanks to that early on commitment come what is quiet the official finishing to the show, Thomas and Bays did traction off one of television’s an ext exciting collection finale twists.

From Ted’s perspective, the was telling a love story driven by fate as much as coincidence, a love story wherein the happy ending, because that him, to be the two youngsters who wouldn’t exist without it. However, when Ted’s children tell that what story he’s in reality been informing — the story of why he and Robin have to be together — they make the storyteller fallible, removing his authority over the narrative just as it pertains to a close.

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It’s a bold move that puts “HIMYM” ~ above a unique list: the series finales that in reality surprised us. Because that some, that surprise was a disappointment. But disappointment is expecting the a life has actually only one love story, that happily ever before after just happens once, that surprises, an excellent and bad, happen along the way. “How i Met her Mother” was never perfect. But then again, whoever said life was?

READ MORE: Why This Fan’s ending to ‘How ns Met her Mother’ Is better Than the Creators’

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This write-up is related to: Television and tagged Cristin Milioti, how I Met your Mother, josh Radnor, Neil Patrick Harris