Posted March 31st, 2014 @ 11:10pm by Erik J. Barzeski
Initially I was surprised by the ending. After about two minutes, I came to the conclusion agh which I think I'll remain: the ending was perfect.
Though HIMYM suffered from some average seasons (or episodes, at least), it was a great nine-year run and one of my favorite TV series of all time.
And the ending was perfect. Timing matters. Cherish those you can when you can.
A comment from another site, that says a lot:
I thought this was the best ending to a TV show that I've ever been a fan of. Here's why.
It legitimized the structure of the entire series, which was unique in itself, and stayed true to the central character of Ted, who was telling his story. And remember, it is his story, not the mother's story.
His wife has died. Start there. Because although it's the last thing revealed, the series in the future, as we know now, does start there. Ted believes he is telling his children, "How I Met Your Mother." It's part of his grieving process, telling a story about the woman he loved to their children, and throwing in tales of his friends along the way. As the mother said near the end of the series, she didn't want Ted to be a person who lived in his stories. But through the entire series, he has been, unable to be anything but that because of, we now know, his grief.
And while he thinks in his heart he is telling the story of the mother, his children know the truth, as they point out in the end. Ted has been telling the tale to prepare them, and himself, for getting back together with Robin, by getting his children to understand her and love her the same way he does.
If the kids named the series, maybe it would be How I Met Your Stepmother. But they didn't name it, Ted did. He's the narrator. But it's true to the character of Ted that he himself wouldn't understand his true reason for doing this. But his kids know the reason, and now we know the reason, why he told these stories this way for nine seasons, and why the mother didn't come in until the end.
Riddled with grief, Ted spent the whole time explaining who he is to his children - a man who is irrationally and relentlessly optimistic in the face of heartbreak. Again and again. He always thinks love is around the corner. And when he finds it, at last, he suffers the greatest heartbreak of all - the death of his wife and the mother of his children. But he doesn't regret any of it, because the time they had together was everything he had ever wanted. And, it turns out, love still was around the corner, again.
What the heartbreak along the way did was prepare him to deal with this greatest heartbreak - and six years later go grab that blue french horn again.
The ending also let us know why he told all these stories about his friends to his kids - because those friends aren't strangers to the kids. As Lily made the gang promise, they would always be there for the big moments. That certainly would include the death of a spouse.
When his wife died, it was Ted's friends that helped him and his children get through it. We didn't see all that, but we know it happened. Marshall and Lily and Barney and Robin had holidays with these kids and came to the soccer games and dance recitals, filling the void left by the death of the mother. They know and love these kids - and the ending explains why the kids might have cared about these stories for nine seasons more than we ever imagined they would have.
In the end, as was saw right before her wedding to Barney and then again after the divorce, Robin had many regrets, and thought she'd be alone forever. She thought Ted would always be the one who got away - until Ted showed up with the french horn. Ted had no regrets, but after dealing with the aftermath of tragedy for six years, he was able to bounce back exactly because of all the things we've been seeing for nine seasons - he's an optimist and a romantic with great friends who are always there for them.
How I Met Your Mother would never have existed if the mother hadn't died. It's why Ted told the stories, to remember the good times and deal with the worst of times. It's why the kids listened - because they cared about these people in the stories, even if the stories weren't really about their mom.
And it's why How I Met Your Mother ended on an up note, not a down one.
Ted, after a lifetime of loss and disappointment, suffered the greatest loss of his life. But because of the person he was and grew into over the last nine seasons as we watched, and as his kids listened, he found a way to go on, to find love again and to not get lost in his stories.
He found a way to do what the mother wanted him to do - to stay optimistic at all costs, with the help of his friends and for the good of his children, and keep living.