I’m not even gonna lie to you guys. I love to say ’I told you so’. I love it a lot, which is why I was one of the only people on planet earth to be satisfied with last night’s How I Met Your Mother series finale.
You guys were mad at me for being pessimistic and saying the finale would be a disappointment, but I just had a feeling that after nine years of dilly-dallying and blue-balling and just general time-wasting, that they wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to leave us hanging. But that’s the part I was wrong about, because it was exactly the opposite. It was like the creators started a stopwatch at 8:00 last night and gave themselves forty-two minutes without commercials to bail on every single aspect of the show. And guess what? They succeeded.
Spoilers ahead, obviously.
After spending a full six episodes on Robin and Barney’s wedding, we began last night’s episode there yet again, with worst-wedding-guest-ever Ted Mosby trying to leave his best friends’ wedding early because he has to move to Chicago the next day. The marriage of not one of his best friends, but two — Ted must leave that early, because he is the worst and doesn’t deserve to be rewarded with love in any way.
Episode ends, crowd goes wild.
Okay no, that didn’t happen. Ted met The Mother while waiting in the rain for his train, and we finally learn her name — Tracy McConnell. Oh my god, so you mean to tell me that Ted Mosby, The Mother, and Tracy McConnell all have the same initials? What fun. But don’t get too invested in that moment of cleverness, because it’s the last time you’re gonna see the writers invested for the rest of the episode.
No sooner have we finished spending lit’rally six hours obsessing over the minutiae of ONE DAY of everyone’s lives, then we leap right into the format of the finale, which is to cram about ten years? More? I couldn’t even keep track, it got so Looper up in here. But you were pretty invested in Barney and Robin as a couple, right? We all spent a lot of time on that together, right? Well don’t worry, we only spend about thirty seconds on their divorce after three years of marriage. The information is literally delivered in a single sentence to ‘the gang’, and then we’re off again!
Because still in this episode, we have to pop out two Ted/Tracy offspring, one Marshall/Lily offspring, a fucking Barney Stinson offspring, sneak in a second proposal, the dissolution of a friendship, a second proposal, a wedding, and OH YEAH THE DEATH OF THE PERSON THIS SHOW WAS PRESUMABLY ABOUT THIS WHOLE TIME. I hope you were up-to-date on your internet conspiracy theories (this is why Cristin Milliotti couldn’t deny any of them!) and that you’d worked through some of your emotions in real life, because you get about ninety seconds of mourning between seeing The Mother get sick and her just vaguely being dead but no one ever saying so. Not even a funeral for the series’ only eponymous character. Not even a tasteful graveyard shot or a single glistening tear.
We just don’t have time, you see! Because there are only a few minutes left of the episode, and if Ted’s kids really want him to get together with Aunt Robin, then we have to hurry! That’s right, Ted’s kids are totally over the incredibly premature death of their mother and ready to start matchmaking their father with a family friend. Purely based on the amusing anecdotes he just shared with them over the past NINE SEASONS.
“It was like six years ago, Dad! We barely remember her name! Grab your blue French horn and go get your dick wet with new-haircut-Robin! It’s what we wanted all along!”
Honestly, these kids are automatons, and so are the writers if they think we can calmly swallow this many upheavals in an hour-long episode after literally nine years of laying track in the opposite direction. What a roller coaster of contradiction and frustration.
I told you so.