We Laughed Until We Cried: “How I Met Your Mother” Bizarre Finale

April 3, 2014

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“Tonight is about celebrating our endearing bond as friends.” For nine seasons, the world has shared a friendship with Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall and Lily. On Monday, March 31st, we all gathered together for one last evening of “How I Met Your Mother.” The show was a mystery from the beginning, so it’s only fitting that the finale would leave fans wondering still.

A look back at HIMYM

It seemed clear right from the start that the tale of how Ted Mosley met the woman of his dreams would be one for the record books. HIMYM saw top nominations in all the major television award platforms including 28 Emmys. Over the nine seasons, the show taught the viewing public the importance of the Bro Code and that nothing good happens after 2 am.

We learned things from Barney like when you are sad, stop being sad and be awesome instead. Marshall proved brunch is for couples only and from Ted we found out you don’t tell a woman you love her on the first date.

“How I Met Your Mother” introduced new vocabulary to the world as well, with phrases like “redonculous” and “legend-wait-for-it dary.” Throughout the seasons, there were memorable moments and heartbreaks. Ted made it to the altar only to be left there, for example. Lily takes off to find herself in San Francisco, leaving Marshall heartbroken and alone. Robin finds out children are really not in her future, after all.

Finally meeting the mother

Sneaking around every corner was the elusive woman with a yellow umbrella and a bass guitar. In season nine, fans finally get to meet the mother of Ted Mosby’s children, Tracy McConnell, played by Cristin Milioti.

Theodore Evelyn Mosby is the protagonist of the series, and a romantic. During the years of chasing Robin, finally getting her and then breaking up because they don’t want the same things, there are a series of potential “meetings” between Tracy and Ted.

She ends up taking the economics class that Ted accidentally teaches, for example. Ted dates her roommate in episode “Girls Versus Suits” and returns the yellow umbrella to her after she left it at a dance club in a previous episode.

In season nine, fans get the full scoop on Ted’s future wife. It isn’t until the season finale that we learn to truth behind Tracy and her life with Ted and the kids, however.

Saying goodbye to HIMYM

“How I Met Your Mother” went out the inevitable way any good series does – with mixed reviews. After 208 episodes, show creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas used flashbacks and flash forwards to tie up all the loose ends.

For starters, fans learn that the seemly doomed marriage of playboy Barney and career minded Robin really is doomed, but not for the reasons you might think. Barney remains true to her throughout their three years together, but can’t handle the constant travel associated with Robin’s life as a journalist.

They decide to take the “three year exit,” off the relationship freeway and divorce. Faced with the loss of both Barney and Ted, Robin decides to leave the group behind.

Marshall and Lily turn out much the way you might expect. They stay in the old apartment right up until Lily is about to give birth to baby number three.

At that point, they give it up, realizing that the only bedroom option for the new baby is the shower. Marshall goes back to corporate law, but tries to keep it positive despite how much he hates it. He finally scores the judgeship he has always wanted at the end of the show.

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It is the life of Tracy and Ted that turns out to be the real surprise of the finale. For nine years, we listened to Ted tell his kids about his life before their mother, all under the guise of explaining how they met.

In 2015, they end up postponing their beautiful and high end wedding because Tracy finds out she is pregnant. It takes five more years and one more baby to get them to the altar. We see their life together in pictures of Christmas mornings and New Year’s celebrations until the one that has Ted sitting at Tracy’s hospital bedside. This is the first indication that something goes very wrong.

The finale ends with future Ted talking to his now grown up children. They call him out on the tale, stating it is clearly not about their mother, but about Robin. It has been six years since Tracy died of an undisclosed illness, and Ted is ready to move on.

That is the point of his drawn out tale. The show ends much as it started, with a relationship budding between Ted and Robin and the gift of a blue French horn.

Whether you loved or hated the ending, chances are you will never forget the crazy ride that took you there. From a great beginning to a questionable ending, “How I Met Your Mother” turned out to be a story worth hearing.

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