Since 2005, How I Met Your Mother has provided the world with fresh humour and seemed to fill the ‘Friends’-shaped hole in our lives. This week marked the final episode of the show’s history. Although there were some stand-out moments, I actually found myself disappointed with the ending.
The episode started with a flashback to when Ted first introduced Robin (Cobie Smulders) to the gang, starting the major plot twist of this episode. A flash forward to the reception of Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin’s wedding had the first reference to a running gag in the show: ‘Have you met Ted?’ the technique used by Barney to introduce Ted to girls, the girl actually being The Mother (Cristin Milotti).
The next flash forward shows Ted being the loved-up sap we have wanted to see and has the first introduction to the child as The Mother announces that she is pregnant. However, during this time of happiness, we see the signs of marital troubles with Barney and Robin, later resulting in them getting a divorce. This was shocking, considering the whole of the final season was about their wedding and it almost didn’t seem important in the story, which I found disappointing.
Like the final scene in ‘Friends’, we had to say goodbye to Marshall and Lily’s apartment, where a lot of the shows scenes took place, which was done through one last Halloween party. Robin arrives and has an emotional heart-to-heart with Lily (Alyson Hannigan), saying that she should have been with Ted. This scene displays fine acting from Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan, despite humour being subtly provided by Lily’s white whale costume, a gag about her third pregnancy.
The best performance of the episode came from Neil Patrick. After previously admitting that if love wasn’t going to happen with Robin, it wasn’t going to happen, we had given up hope for Barney Stinson. However, a year after, we learn he has finally gotten a girl pregnant. Upon seeing his daughter Ellie, he is overcome with emotion and says that she is the love and purpose of his life. It is a huge turning point for the character and Harris’s performance is stunning, in an episode where he has been nothing but idiotic.
We then have the final plot twist of the episode in which we find out why Ted is telling the story. He says that although his journey was long it was worth it to find The Mother and knew he had to love her instantly. Shockingly, The Mother died before he began his story, which almost felt like a betrayal to the show, as we don’t see Ted have this happy ending with The Mother. Although we have a lovely scene of their first meeting with reference to the yellow umbrella in which we find out her name (Tracy McConnell), I was frustrated by this turn of events.
After his children said he still loved her, the episode culminated in Ted turning up at Robin’s apartment with a blue French horn, linking the finale to the pilot, which worked in a sense. I was disappointed by this ending because I had accepted that Ted would be with The Mother in the final moments. I also found it disappointing that we didn’t find out what happened with the friendship group in the last few years and hated the lack of Marshall (Jason Segel) in comparison to the other characters and was a rather flat ending. It ended up just being about a couple that fans had accepted were over series ago.