‘How I Met Your Mother’ Finale Mixes Ambition, Melancholy (SPOILERS)

How I met your mother series

After nine seasons, “How I Met Your Mother” finally ended the most protracted father-children conversation in history — as some have already noted, a little too late to escape with its creative dignity entirely intact. Nevertheless, the one-hour finale reinforced the sense that this was a show willing to take chances, and one that at its best deftly mixed melancholy and sentimentality with — finally — how to reach happily ever after.

Written by series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and directed by Pamela Fryman, the closing chapter regarding Ted (Josh Radnor) and his idealistic search for love — as pal Marshall (Jason Segel) put it, always going “way too big too soon” — capped off what Ted described, with a gift for understatement, as a “really long weekend.” But he finally found the elusive mother (Cristin Milioti) to those bored-looking kids, which, in an unexpected twist (and SPOILER ALERT if you have yet to watch), wasn’t the end of the story.

So in an ambitious if not fully successful hour, the producers followed the central quintet (and Ted’s plus one) as they navigated their way through the 2010s — complicated by “life and jobs and kids” — and a bit too hastily, the ’20s.

Somewhat appropriately, the series came back to its key characters, zeroing in on the relationship between Ted and Robin (Cobie Smulders) that often felt so right in season one. Still, it took a whole lot of fancy footwork to get from where the episode began to how it wound up, rather hastily hopping over a huge chunk of story to reach the point where the older Ted can be granted, with the blessing of his kids, a second shot at happiness.

For many, the emotion of the hour will overcome such nitpicking, and there was certainly a lot of heart in it — the best moment in that regard coming from Neil Patrick Harris, when the skirt-chasing Barney finally comes face to face with the woman who will actually change him, his baby daughter. That said, this is one of those episodes where it probably helps to be either hugely invested in the series or to have drifted far enough away that some of the leaps won’t feel quite so jarring.

Of course, “How I Met Your Mother” isn’t really gone. Beyond the episodes playing in syndication, CBS — which used the finale to help launch “Friends With Better Lives” — is developing the other side of the coin, “How I Met Your Dad.”

As stated at the outset, what felt like an inordinately well-cast comedy with a clever gimmick when the show made its debut had probably outlived its expiration date, but the ratings justified keeping the show around while CBS sought to conjure a worthy successor — TV’s version of the circle of life. As a bonus, the network had the multi-talented Harris as a ready-made host for events from the Tonys to the Emmys.

All told, the finale, like the series itself, was fine, if not, alas, legendary. But hey, unlike some of the shows that have come and gone while Ted searched for his dream girl, it certainly beat a slap to the face.

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  1. mugiwara no luffy says:

    Well… yes, i was really sad that the mother died… ted and the mother were togheter 5 years as couple… plus 4 years as married couple. and he waited 6 years and then he started to tell his kids the “how i met your mother” story. for me it was almost perfect ending.

    The only really sad part is: The Mother died.
    I actually loved Christi’s perfomence as The Mother and she had a awesome chemistry with Josh (Ted).

    But i’m happy that the writers did make ted 6 years and thats really awesome and good. i think just 1, 2, 3 or even 4 years would be very less.

    The Episode made me laugh and really sad. The Sad part were only when Robin said to lily “everything have been changed” and whats much much much sadder than that… that was: the other scene were the mother became sick.

    i think it is one of the best finale ever. not the best… but one of the best.

  2. Kathy says:

    What a waste of my hour! I agree with what one person wrote. “The Mother was basically second choice because he couldn’t have Robin!” In addition, one of the most delightful relationships on the show to watch was Barney & Robin! We have this entire season basically testing how much they love each other, and then you divorce them, have Barney be a male slut once more until he becomes a father and then of course the realization that Robin and Ted REALLY wanted to be together all along?! So will Ted and Barney still be “Bros” after Ted starts dating and probably marries Barney’s ex wife and the kids’ aunt?! I know I as well as a lot of other fans could have written a better ending to this show! Glad I didn’t DVR it after all!

    • Rob SoLF says:

      I’m with ya. The Barney thing was one of many “character trajectory” issues that this finale had. Barney and Robin both essentially reverted to the people they were several seasons ago; he back to being the horndog(after a season and a half of clear evidence of his move to give all that up for Robin), and her suddenly wanting to globetrot her life away(which seemed so arbitrary… there was NO HINT of this urge over the past couple seasons!).

      It seems pretty clear that they wrote this ending years and years ago. It completely seems to ignore everything that’s happened and how these characters have evolved over the last few seasons. Even the ending ignores that fact that Robin and Ted broke up due to her wanting to live the life she lives in the future… but that’s okay with them in 2030?

      I do like that it wasn’t a “happily ever after” ending, though the Mom dying made her a cheap shot McGuffin just when the audience began to love her. This clearly was an ending intended for the characters as they were several seasons ago, When people were still pining the Robin/Ted thing to happen. Most folks were well over that pairing, by this point.

    • Achilles says:

      It’s a shame you don’t understand life.

  3. Zimalfe99 says:

    Well, what I can say is…. Everything went too fast on the last episode. It could have gone better if everything is not like its made in a hurry. They should have added or prolonged the story before ending it because fans would have anticipated it better if the story did not jump from one to another in just one episode.

    kudos for 9 years but the last episode is a big downfall to all watchers. :(

  4. jimbobogie says:

    Maybe the whole final season was a dream, like “Dallas”……
    I guess not…

  5. Chris says:

    So the series started out with Ted loving Robin. Then he professed his love for Victoria, Stella and Zoey. Then Tracey. But all along, he always loved Robin. If I were the kids, I’d be like, “Well Dad, you married Mom, but did you ever really love her, since your story underlies the truth … that you loved Aunt Robin all along.”

    • Rob SoLF says:

      Yep! To me, it just cheapened the growth that occurred in the characters over the past 2-3 seasons. Ted finally letting go of Robin. Barney finally letting go of every woman in arm’s reach. Robin choosing her relationship over her career. The future reverts them right back to those people again like the last 2 years never happened.

      There was that quote from the creators, saying the final episode would be “true to life”. I didn’t see it that way at all. “True to life” means you can’t predict where you’ll be 5, 10 years from now, and to me, that’s what the Mom was supposed to represent. Ted kept pining over Robin, and basically running back and forth from ex to ex to ex dwelling on the past, never letting go. The Mom should have been the point when all that changed. She should have been that person, as often comes along in real life, that breaks that hopeless cycle and moves you forward.

      Instead, she was portrayed moreless as a story distraction from the “real romance” Ted/Robin. At the start of the season, I wondered how they were going to get us to care about someone who had never really been in the show all this time. And lo and behold, they manage to pull it off! Then they go and make it ultimately not matter.

      To me, it wasn’t a bold way to end. It was the easy way out, as determined when you’ve already come up with the ending by Season 1 when everyone is gonna be a “Robin-rooter”. It would have been a far bolder thing to have this Mom come out of left field and totally win the audience over, and break the “first love is always the truest” rom-com convention and have Ted completely let go.

    • Kathy says:

      GREAT COMMENT! I totally agree! This made it seem like their mother was always “the rebound” and Robin was “the one that got away!” If I were the kids, I wouldn’t be to happy with the dad! :(

  6. Could of been worse says:

    I don’t understand how people say this was the worst ending. They totally could of had Marshall and Lily get divorced, revealed that Barney was an alien or something, made Ted get eaten by a lion, or even had the mother be some secret ninja assassin who was working an angle to kill a major target (*salutes* “major target”). This ending was terrible, but it wasn’t secret ninja assassin terrible. Actually secret ninja assassin sounds pretty awesome. I wish they would have done that.

  7. roshan says:

    it was the worst ending ever…….it was nice that ted and robin ended up together but barney and robin were the best thing in the entire show…. they are the reason i watched…it was pointless of season 9 being about their wedding if they were to be divorced…. they should have worked things out……bottom line it was ok in the end… i will miss himym…..

  8. Total fail. I spent nine years following Ted’s quest to find the One. He finally does and she dies in a single line of dialog. All the fun, excitement, romance and mystery gone without so much as a tear in Ted’s eye. Not sure I want to keep the 8 seasons of DVDs I own anymore.

  9. I found the Barney/daughter moment to be one of the worst of the entire finale. The scene was way too contrived and stuffed with false emotion. Are we really supposed to believe that Barney, who just 30 seconds before was begging the nurse to tell him that he wasn’t the father, was completely changed just by holding his baby for the first time? And that he all of a sudden became father of the year and a respectful feminist? Sorry, but that just doesn’t mesh with reality, much less with the character that the show developed over the last 8 years.

  10. Ok-ending says:

    I was a little disappointed with the ending. Yes Ted going back to Robin was cute in some ways but it killed everything else that happened the past seasons. What was the point of building up Barney and Robin to get married just to be immediately divorced? I felt like all the tug o’ war emotions was a waste of time in that area. In some ways it killed Barneys declarations of love for Robin in the past for me. Also the build up to Ted finding the “one” to have his “one” actually be Robin made me think “If that was the case why didn’t he just give her the locket and marry her?” I have a love hate relationship with the finale but it was still a fun journey overall. The show was ready to end where it did.

  11. Phillip Nolan says:

    It is obvious that this was the ending that had always been planned for the show. The final scene with the kids voicing their opinions could have only been shot when the show first began production as those actors a much older now.

    Though long planned, the ending came off as clumsy and rushed.

  12. Cody says:

    Im going to miss the heck outta this show I watched every episode every week I’ve been there from day one and there will never ever ever be another show like this I wish they would do at least one more for maybe two more seasons or even How I Met Your Mother movie gonna miss em all :'(

  13. Nalene says:

    I had always dismissed the “Mother is Dead” theory on the grounds that her children would not look bored and annoyed at having to listen to Ted’s story if it were about their DEAD mother. Any normal person would want every single detail, no matter how long it took. And then at the end they so dismissively sent him off to pursue Robin. Sure, they may see that their dad deserves some companionship after six years, but wouldn’t they also take a moment to remember their mother? Poor Tracey. I hope if I go before my time that my kids are a little better at remembering and honoring me.

  14. Mohamed says:

    I think the ending was great, i didn’t see it coming and i hoped it didn’t end as the most expected way .
    i lost hope in the show till this last episode

  15. Jordan says:

    Before I start this, I’ll point out: I was certainly NOT thrilled with this finale.
    I’ll first summarise my opinion:
    -The idea of the mother dying
    -The potential for a Barney/Robin break up
    -Robin going independent and being phased out of the group
    -The scene with Barney and his baby daughter
    -Ted ‘using’ this story to ask permission to get back with Robin
    -Barney and Robin divorcing without really addressing the details
    -Barney’s character being reverted back to what it was 9 years ago
    -Marshall and Lily getting thrown on a backburner because clearly, there were more important things to get to in this finale

    That’s the gist. If you actually want to read my ramblings, continue.

    Right. I’ll accept that Tracy died. That’s life, that happens. What I do not accept is Ted suddenly going back to Robin. It’s clear that the creators simply stuck to the ending that would have fit several seasons ago, but it’s been 9 bloody years! The characters had grown and changed and that ending just didn’t fit anymore. I just don’t understand why they would spend all this time building up Tracy to be perfect for Ted (and she was) and tell a story about the life and times of finding true love, only for them to say, “Just kidding! We don’t care about the Mother, we’re reverting back to season 1 instead.” I finally get why they kept bringing up the idea of Ted/Robin now, but it seriously got to the point where they actually made me hate it! And I shipped them back in season 2! Robin spent seasons telling Ted she didn’t love him like that, and he finally said the same back. So what, that was a lie?

    I just wish Tracy’s death had been given a little more time. There’s basically one scene of her in hospital and that’s literally it. Basically, I could accept Tracy’s death if Ted was telling the story to try and remind the kids that even though love and life is hard and doesn’t always end happily, it’s still worth remembering because that’s what love does. It makes things worth it. (Not because of Robin)

    So Barney and Robin. I admit that their marriage would have had problems, more so than any other marriage. Because they’re Barney and Robin, they have issues, but ultimately, I believe that they would have worked through it. I can imagine them breaking up at some points, but their characters had grown so much, they could have gotten over it, fixed it. Instead, they spent an entire season building up to their wedding (not even counting all the other moments over the series) only to have them divorce the next episode. It just felt … pointless. And only done so Robin could end up with Ted.

    And they completely ruined Barney’s character. What I loved about him was that at the end there, he was still that silly goofball, but he wasn’t that womanizer anymore. He grew up and having him go back there … it just completely destroyed 9 years of character development. I could imagine him regressing a little in wake of the divorce, but if they had worked to fix it, I would’ve been a lot happier.

    And all that being said, that scene with him and his baby daughter was probably the only thing I loved about this finale.

    And finally, Marshall and Lily. Let’s face it, their characters haven’t had much going for them the past few seasons and I don’t know whether that’s because they’re actually boring characters, or if the writers truly didn’t care about them anymore. Either way, I was irritated that they just got pushed aside like they didn’t even matter.

    Overall … I did NOT like this ending, one bit. I think the creators tried to stick to something they come up with years ago and it didn’t work. The whole point of the show was about how people grow and change and how other people affect you, right? Clearly, they didn’t listen to their own message!

    • Ash says:

      Absolutely my sentiments on the finale episode. It was unfair to all the characters at every level. Lily and Marshall were totally side tracked. Barney just became a womanizer instantly. All the hard work the writers had put to develop and grow his character went to a waste. Also Robin told Ted seasons after seasons that she didn’t love him and Ted eventually agreed. In addition the writers completely made us believe that Robin and Ted were never right for each other ( I can still recall the front porch theory Lily told Ted).

      And why invest us emotionally so much into Robin and Barney’s wedding just to have them divorced after having one conversation (did they even go to a counseller?? I mean they loved each other madly right???). Even as a fan if I overlook all these flaws and agree that it is possible that Ted ends up with Robin, thenwhy not atleast take a moment to feel about the mother’s death?? I thought it was totally insensitive to treat her death the way it was shown in the episode after the writers made us fall in love with her.
      Also it is totally not justified that Ted uses his story as an excuse to ask the kids’ permission to date Robin. I don’t why the writers thought that it would make it look that Ted is actually honoring their mother by telling his kids this story.. I thought it was downright rude to the mother’s character (and her death). The kids didn’t even take a moment to remember her.

      All said and done, I have enjoyed this show for most of its episodes and because I was so invested to it, the ending really disappointed me. Not a season finale that would ‘Last Forever’ in my mind and heart !!!

  16. Vic says:

    To me, the finale was just a dismal people-pleaser trying to satisfy every fan theory there is. A sellout.

    It was absolutely lukewarm and forgettable. Although I am disgusted by the finale, I don’t think I will be angry because the real ending will be inside my mind.

    • Matt says:

      I completely agree in every way. They just threw about 4 years of emotional character development down the drain, and not to mention they spent the entire series talking about how much the mother means, only to turn around at literally the last second to put Robin and Ted together. All the while ruining everything Barney and Robin had built. And of course, after so many times, how can we possibly be expected to believe that Ted and Robin would last?

  17. John says:

    Such a kind review for a series finale that was totally trashed unless were/are a Ted/Robin shipper. If you check out this thing call the Internet and look for polls related to lasts nights HIMYM series finale you will see that for every one Ted and Robin shipper that was delighted with the finale, three more fans were disappointed because the finale basically undid several seasons of character development and plot lines just so Ted and Robin could hook up one more time.

    Of course this isn’t the first time they turned the show into a train wreck. And the best part of it all is that
    the series is over and the Creators get to walk away after committing this atrocity on the vast majority of their fans and the legacy of the series.

  18. Willie says:

    Should have ended while ted & tracy in the rain and not force the ted – robin ending.
    And they should at least let Bob Saget dubbed for ted’s conversation with the kids just like they always do in every episodes.

    • ynthia says:

      It was so bad I stopped paying attention. It took a whole season to get through the wedding and 1 hour to throw together a decade. They also can’t add. Obviously written in 2013, all references to years were off.

      Dumb and disappointing. Glad I multi-tasked while watching this one.

  19. cc says:

    i wish the episode aired on april fools day so next week, surprise! there’s actually a real ending. as some have said, this ending would have worked if the show ended five seasons ago. not nine seasons in, especially with the last 3-4 concentrating on barney and robin’s relationship and their characters’ arcs. disappointing is the only word that accurately sums up the series finale.

  20. Liz says:

    A series that never should have made it past the first episode has finally ended. Unfortunately, CBS continues to air the lamest comedy shows. Yes, this includes the AWFUL BBT.

  21. NONO says:

    The whole show was just awesome. Incredible ending…loved it!!!

  22. Kasey Faye says:

    Good god please don’t make a spin off series, it is mind numbing.

  23. Bill says:

    Huge fan, hopeless romantic here.

    The ending was perfect.

    As I said in another reply, Tracy was The Mother.

    Robin was always The One.

  24. Jay Berg says:

    So after 9 years, we got to see Ted go through a seemingly endless amount of women to FINALLY … and I say again FINALLY find the woman of his dreams. The woman who the show LITERALLY defined as his destiny. THE ONE. But oh, she died so … let’s just have him chase after Robin all over again.

    Everything else was excellent, especially the final performance of Neil Patrick Harris with his newborn daughter, but this final outcome of Ted regressing back to the same man he was 9 years earlier, hopelessly chasing after a woman who they spent ages proving was completely wrong for him … well it just turned me off of the show completely. I honestly wish there was a way for a separate ending to be filmed in place of the thoughtless garbage we were given. A truly disappointing end to a “Legendary” show.

    • Bill says:

      You missed the point, really.

      Tracy was The Mother.

      But Robin was always The One.

      • Rob SoLF says:

        @Achilles I disagree. the ending they went with, IMO, IS the generic “happy ending”. People generally root for the original character love interest… Ross/Rachel, JD/Elliot, Robin/Mosby. Guy has crush on the first girl he sees in the show, they’re on and off again a jillion times, new girls come along, some get close, but in the end they go back to the original love interest. This has gone on nauseatingly for decades, and the only exception I recall is The Wonder Years, and it was better for it.

        The only difference here is they took the easy road of killing off the Mother instead of having him leave her. They get to have their “mystery Mother” premise AND have him end up with the original love interest for the “happily ever after”.

        A total copout.

      • Chris says:

        Probably not really a lot of life experience if you think that one cheesy line can really make all this sound right. If you go down on it, it’s total garbage. It should have been a life lesson to ‘the kids’ (read: people who watch the show), a reminder that even so life and destiny are not always turning out like you want them to – because in this case, death is involved. Even when you have found the perfect person (the mother) and have wonderful kids. Because life does not always end happily. But it’s worth it because you learn from it, and you experience those moments what will become loving memories.

        Because if Robin is “the one”, why would Ted raise kids with the mother and only go back to Robin when she dies? The only thing you can answer is ‘destiny’. Or better said: throw everything away life learns you in the past and make the same mistakes again.

      • Achilles says:

        People who disliked the ending are ones who fail to appreciate that in reality, “happy ever after” endings rarely happen. Ted found his perfect match/soulmate in Tracy. They had 12/13 beautiful years together which he said he appreciated so much. After so many years of being broken apart by various women, (Victoria/Robin/Stella), he realised every day with Tracy was a blessing. And when she was taken, he spent 6 years grieving. He didn’t just “go straight to Robin” as those who claim “he always loved Robin and never his wife” think. Robin and Ted rightfully did not work out in their 20s/30s…they wanted massively different things and they eventually got the things they wanted…in 2030, years down the future into their 50s, it makes perfect sense for two friends who love each other as friends to get together: Robin who has been lonely most of her life after 2013 and Ted who lost the perfect girl 6 years ago.

        Of course I can understand why people want Ted and Tracy to end up together, I’m certain Ted would have wanted nothing more than to grow old together with her. But life’s not always that fair and the writers of this show wanted to prove that. What does Ted do then? Spend the rest of his life just sitting alone crying? That’s not what anyone including Tracy would want for him. And why should it not be with one of his best friends who his kids get along with, who he does have a great connection with and the only thing which stopped them in their 20s/30s were different lifestyles.

        Also those who say Barney and Robin’s relationship ended in minutes…Literally the dumbest thing I’ve heard anyone say…it was 3 years their marriage took to break down and why not? In the UK something like 40% of marriages end in divorce…they’re both such independent people is it really such a surprise that it didn’t work out? I remember Robin telling Victoria how putting your career ahead of your love life meant there were lots of lonely nights, but she never learnt from this and ultimately it cost their marriage.

        In the end, death took Max away from Tracy and gave Ted 12 years with the perfect girl, and then further down the road, he had to settle for Robin (who he pointed out many years ago, is not perfect, but of course they are compatible).

        Fantastic ending. Brutally honest.

      • Doug says:

        The mother of his children isn’t the “One”!! I think you and the writers are missing the point.

      • Evielyn says:

        No she didn’t miss the point. They cobbled that together in a perfectly terrible season. Having Barney and Robin go through everything they did just divorce so quickly, having Ted forgoe an entire life plan within literally hours of meeting a woman, the one he defined, literally as the one he had to love with everything in him for as long as he could. Just boom dead, can I ask out aunt robin, within the course of 5 min. As I said an earlier post. I rooted for that from day one, but they way they presented it was just awful.

        I could have gotten behind it but they literally killed it at the end. As dead as “the mother”

    • Michelle says:

      Thank you! Just thank you!

      • Chris says:

        @ Achilles

        Why go for a relationship? Why not just be great friends where your kids can play with? Why does Ted have to fall back on Robin when there’s a whole world out there where he could still meet new people and NOT let the death of his wife make him just sit alone crying (like you point out). He just throws everything out of the window that he learned: people rarely change and the chance that Robin truly will love him is small. You can love someone as friends too! Why have a relationship? You make the same mistake again like so many years ago; because how sure is it that this would not just break their relationship, even as friends. Taking so many risks just for Ted to go back to Robin is stupid. Leave things in the past, don’t always fall back on something that you know (and in this case: don’t even be certain if it would go great – because it didn’t in the past). Go for a new experience, go find someone new to experience it with, with Robin at his side as a great sidekick, friend and someone he still can rely on as a friend when it does go wrong with another woman.

        But what you say does not sound totally stupid, it COULD have been fitting in some way (still better just to stay friends but let’s go with it for a moment) but NOT in the way they did make it happen. Just ignore everything there has been said and done and make all this REALLY unrealistic plot happen in one tiny little episode without a lot of explanation. I feel that some people just want to make this whole ending sound right, and it does not in this way.

  25. Nar says:

    Wait for it…….legendarryyyyyy FAIIIILLLUURRRREEEEE….worst worst worst ending ever….

    maybe this was an April Fools joke???? Cheap, sloppy and bad writing that’s all i can say about the finale…… I’m still trying to erase the episode from my memory…. i won’t even watch the reruns after this…..

  26. Jim says:

    Though I was initially annoyed at the ending of HIMYM, I must admit on further reflection I found it teaches a very important lesson. Love and life are not as simple as the young Ted from season 1 thought it was or would be. Love is not as simple as finding the “one”. There are some people like Marshall and Lily who meet young, fall in love, marry and have kids and spend their lives together. Other people like Robin and Barney have a more difficult path and get divorced. The mother experiences loss in her first love only to find it again with Ted. Ted meet the “one” only to find she wasn’t the only one, but rather than finding the one he finds the “two”. Many widows find love again later in life, and if asked who was their one true love, would find the question lacking in maturity. So it turns out that the real story is not all about Ted and the mother. Those who want only “the one” and “soul mates” and happily ever after are safely in the boat with 2005 Ted, young and naïve as he was, they will jokingly say the show should have been called “How I met your mother so she could have my kids, die and then I can hook up with my true love”. But the show turns out to be more mature than that, the story is really about a widowed man who tells his kids of when he was young and searching for love, how he found it with Robin, it didn’t work out, he found it with the mother, and now he has a chance again with the love of his youth, which is why he has been telling the story all along, because when the mother dies life goes on and it happens to be with the woman he loved before he loved her. Overall, I thought it was a good ending and a gutsy one as well.

    • YES! Exactly! He loved them both, and as sad as it was for Tracey to die, it makes sense to me that this would be the way Ted could find a way to be happy again with a love from his past. Also, the way that they had portrayed Robin throughout the final episode she really did love Ted too, but she couldn’t give him the kids that he wanted. Now he has the kids, and although he lost one love of his life, there is still a chance to be with the other love of his life.

      • Alan S says:

        If someone would please get me an editing bay and Bob Saget, I could cut this down to a legend–wait for it–ary half hour of good television, possibly great television Also let’s do some math–the series was 9 years long, but Ted’s daughter clearly says Tracey has been dead 6 years. As a romantic, I want everyone alive and happy and still married to each other. But if this is real life, get me the editing bay and Bob Saget–and possibly massive amounts of Diet Coke. I will romance the hell out of it.

    • eddie says:

      totally agree with you

  27. Cherie says:

    I didn’t like the ending. I know things happen in life but this is a sitcom, and the end of the sitcom. I don’t mind that Ted and Robin ended up together years after his wife died. I do mind that we barely got to know his wife, that he didn’t marry her, and that Barney had a baby but we never met the mom and we just aren’t sure if he was happy or not. And there wasn’t enough sadness over Robin and Barney’s divorce. That would have been a much better thing to focus on than a whole season of their wedding weekend. It was disappointing.

    • davidorgant says:

      Ted did marry her. It was just after they had children. Remember her in the wedding dress at the bar? Robin and Barney were never meant to be with one person so their divorce was inevitable (episode before Legendary is defined as something that is not real and Ted describes R&Bs marriage as legendary. Barney’s baby mama could be the star of the spin off. The final season takes place around a wedding, but much more than just a wedding takes place. We learn about where we think all these characters are heading only to find out that people don’t change and we all end up doing what we have always done.

  28. Sam says:

    I’m confused why everyone hates it so much…perhaps the ending in terms of Ted and Robin ending up together was not what everyone wanted or anticipated due to the past season pertaining to Robin and Barney’s relationship…but considering the fact that this ending was written during the very first season and the writers committed to it makes me appreciate the ending so much more…obviously they knew this would be controversial and although even myself didn’t love the way it ended up in terms of “tracy” being killed off and the implications of Ted and Robin ending up together even though she messed him up so many times was slightly unrealistic…I respect the writers for sticking with their original vision and also doing it in a elegant and in a way that made the mother’s death less sad than what was foreshadowed in that previous episode…all in all I enjoyed the way it ended despite the twist, but this show was all about twists…maybe don’t rip on the writers so much until you are capable of making a show this profoundly entertaining (not to be mean)…but no need to be so aggressively mean to them!!

    • Kneeeeeecoal says:

      I guess the most disappointing thing was just everyone’s stories ended so abruptly. The characters we were so attatched to for 9 years all of a sudden just dropped out of the show. Lily and Marshall are kind of just there. Barney randomly has a kid, and the hospital scene was so touching but there was no development into it or out of it. Also, the show has so much emphasis on how Ted met the mother and she was so perfect for him, with the singing, the leather gloves, the road trip and coin collection love, the way they pronounce Renaissance and Encyclopedia. It was just expected we got to see more of Ted and the mother’s chemistry formulate. The worst thing was the mother’s death did not seem like a major event in the lives of her children or Ted, which was also not well written because they developed her character so well in 1 season. I admit the blue french horn under her window was a very incredible ending, but everything was so off focus, so abrupt, the finale did not wrap up the show justly, and that may be why so many people (including myself) are disappointed with the ending. But the show itself will always be Legen – and I hope you’re not lactose intolerant because the next word is – DAIRY.

    • Evielyn says:

      How was it elegant?
      Every “love” Ted experienced we got to know and experience, from Robin to victoria, Stella Hell even Jeanette had half a season to grow to hate.

      The Mom, the one he proclaims to love every minute with everything he has, we got to know more about how she met Lilly, or marshall or Barney than we did Ted.

      Elegant would have been letting say Lilly, talk to the kids about how Ted was with their mom, before they could remember her, Marshall about how Robin came back into their life when Ted needed her the most following Tracy’s death. Elegant would have been letting us love her and let her go. Not squishing her entire life with Ted into about 35 min over the course of several episodes on the last season.

      I rooted for Ted and Robin starting at day one. This was one hell of a disappointment. I sway this as the person who wanted it to happen up to and the last 10 min of this finale. When it happened (and btw I did predict Tracy’s death in the scene where Ted starts crying after she talks about mothers at weddings.) I was pissed, It was a hack job at best.

  29. Dixon Normous says:

    I heard Tracy died of tooth cancer.

  30. Dixon Normous says:

    The finale was good – actually pretty realistic (over 50% of marriages end in divorce). The whole season 9 leading up to the finale was what was stupid. It would have been funny if Barny actually had come out of the closet.

  31. Nati says:

    I don’t want to think Robin and Ted’s reunion negates Ted’s relationship with Tracy in any way. Ted and Tracy’s love was real and deep as well. Marshall (or Lily) comments that Ted does it too big, too soon, too fast, but this ironically does not happen with Tracy. They have babies and date for years before they marry. They’re living, enjoying, existing with each other. I think that’s extremely significant in looking at their relationship. There’s definitely love there, different than anything Ted had experienced before. Ted adored Tracy. It appears that he was, in a way, maybe meant to be with both of them. I don’t think the ending showed that it was Robin and Ted’s love story the whole time, but rather that life is messy and they happened to find their way back together.

    • Erica says:

      Nati, I agree with you completely. I love when you said that he’s meant to be with both of them. This was such a realistic ending to me. You can more than 1 love in life. I truly believe Ted loved Tracy and she was perfect for him. The timing was perfect. If she was still living, they would still be together. But life is messy, people get divorced, people pass away, you love and lose, and you make the best out of life. Ted moved on and took a second chance at his first love.

  32. Jack Tatum says:

    The circle is now complete, GenX viewers should torch our f*cking Tvs en masse! We rode this beast for nine years and to introduce that delightful character only to kill her off to satiate this bizarre lust between the uber slut and the weakest man on the planet left me feeling disgusted and my wife near tears.

    We don’t watch a great deal of TV, however, what watch we watch we dos so with a great deal of loyalty I have never felt this insult and I watched Seinfeld for eight years. This was the worst writing ever. And I sat through the first Hulk movie.

    I swear, this makes the series finale of Roseanne seem like good writing.

  33. HB says:

    I loved it… but I wish the writers had, had the guts to follow through with one of their original arcs. In the scene where Barney post-divorce is going on about how he can’t settle down, can’t ever connect with woman and can’t change and how if it didn’t work with Robin it won’t work with any woman at that moment he was supposed to look across the bar and fall ‘love at first sight’ head over heels for Gary Blauman (kind of an homage to Ted meeting Robin first time at McClarens). Then they were supposed to have a daughter together. All the ‘Barneyisms’ were supposed to be him overcompensating all these years, obsessing over bro codes and then finally finding his fit and his way to stop lying (like Robin so worried about). Studio panicked and killed the storyline though throwing Blauman in at the end of the series as an ‘easter egg’ for all who knew… too bad would have given better closure to Robin/Barney storyline. Oh well…

  34. Mess says:

    The ending was so stupid barney should have ended up with robin. They were the best. And it ended like this. The writers sure did make this the worst ending.

  35. they fucked the whole shit up why if the devil him self could not end the comedy show like this i’m so mad fuuuuuck 9 fucking years watching himym and they end it like this

  36. Adam says:

    The finale was as creative and unique as the show has been from the beginning. Well done.

  37. Li says:

    I was really disappointed with this ending. It was like they were trying to please everyone watching(I’ll get into that later). I’m mostly upset that they have spent years leading up to that wedding only to blow everything in the last episode. All the character progression was undone and then redone through out the episode. It felt like watching another whole show in an hour. And if that is what Ted’s story has been about this whole time, was the mother just some sort of layover? This ending was just disgusting.

    As for the trying to please everyone I mentioned earlier, here is how it goes(spoilers):

    Robin/Barney Shippers (they got married)
    Robin/Barney Haters(they got divorced)
    Robin/Ted Shippers(the story was all about them and they get together with the approval of the pretty much grown children. So, Robin gets to have children and not be a mom. W…T…F!)

    There is more but I feel I’ve ranted enough.

  38. BillyBon says:

    Absolutely horrible. Spending a whole season on the wedding and then divorce of Barney and Robin. Writers took the crappy way out. Worst finale ever!

  39. PV says:

    Could not have been worse if Jar Jar Binks had been involved. Appalling.

  40. MV says:

    It did not beat a slap to the face. The finale was, in fact, a giant slap to the face. Wasted nine good years in one hour. Congrats Bays and Thomas.

  41. Wow. This review is quite a bit more generous than mine. Mine includes a lot of ranting. What an awful finale. http://www.untemperedtv.com/?p=725

  42. Jbomb says:

    its not full circle after 9 years its 2005 -2030 so 25 years is a looooooooooooooooooooooooooong time to come back to someone.

    I haven’t watched the finale yet only been a crazy fan for 9 years and lost the past month of my life reading every theory and watching every interview only to find their all amazing at lying.. I have to say the comments are entertaining

  43. Kevin says:

    I really thought it was a great ending. You couldn’t wipe the smile from my face when Robin looks out the window and sees Ted standing there with the blue french horn. The only thing that moment was missing was the rain. Overall though I really enjoyed that ending. I thought I’d be mad with the fact that they were killing the mother but I’m not even a little bit.

  44. Blade says:

    They stretched this show out so long and the payoff was absolute crap. These writers should not allowed to work again. This was such a letdown after having such hope for the series. Barnie was the only person that kept this show alive and to get that ending just shows how to take a crap on on an entire series!

    • pollock says:

      you are 100% right!!! if this ending had happened after season 5 or 6, i am happier than a pig in shit. I mean that cuts out all the on again off again ted robin stuff and all of the other on again off again girls he has plus no stupid awful season 9. I mean the only thing season9 had to offer would be the flash forwards to ted and tracy vacationing for the last time (or really saying goodbye to one another as we know it now).

      all I’m saying is good ending if it were only season 5 or 6

  45. smallerfool13 says:

    Loved every second of it. I’ve been Team Robin from Day 1. No, Robin didn’t exactly DESERVE Ted after all they’ve been through, and yes, it was kinda harsh to kill off the Mother in a matter of minutes, even if they’ve been hinting that scenario for more than 6 months.

    I do not believe there is always a happy ending. There clearly wasn’t one with the Mother. She got sick, she passed away. I liked every second she appeared on the show, and every bit of her personality, but that’s life, that’s inevitability.

    If we were already 70-30 on Tracy dying, then would you really want Ted to end up as a sad widower? I love that they chose Robin. I love that the final scene was almost the same as the last scene in the Season 1 finale (with the dogs sticking their heads out the window and all!).

    Also, when it looked bittersweet for Barney, who went back to his old ways (which was hilarious for us, the viewers, but sad if you think about a 40-year old man who behaves that way), they “totally saved it” (like Barney would say) by making him a father. They didn’t even show who the mother was, and honestly I couldn’t care less.

    You cannot please everybody. I’m sure Carter Bays and Craig Thomas knew that head on. There’s people who will like it, and people who won’t. People may say they feel cheated on, that the finale was trash. I literally saw the pilot the week it came out back in ’05, so it’s safe to say I’ve been a fan from Week (?) 1. I do not feel cheated on, and neither do millions of other people. so stop talking out of your ass, damn it.

    Journey > Destination. (And if “Destination” = Robin, then fucking better.)

  46. chris says:

    So a WHOLE SEASON about Barney and Robin’s wedding? About how much they loved each other, all gone in 5 minutes…sorry, i just can’t

  47. Danny says:

    Cop out ending, Went the Friends rout when there was so much more potential.
    Can’t be a fan of the show and enjoy this ending

  48. Charlie says:

    worst finale EVER.

  49. I think it was great that Ted came full circle back to Robin after nine years, but I found myself sad that Barney and Robin ended up divorced and, after searching so long for the love of his life, Ted lost her so young to cancer (or whatever) and didn’t even marry her, officially, for years. Yet my heart soared when Ted appeared, with his kids’ blessing, back at Robin’s apartment (where she had a bunch of dogs–again!) with the blue horn. Fade out. Great stuff. Love will conquer all in Ted’s world. Love, Robin

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