'Legendary' ending to How I Met Your Mother

Scene from How I Met Your Mother. (Ron P. Jaffe/Fox Television)

Scene from How I Met Your Mother. (Ron P. Jaffe/Fox Television)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:15 PM ET

That was one mother of a twist. Well, it's all relative to what you were expecting, I suppose.

There obviously will be extreme differences of opinion about the How I Met Your Mother series finale, which aired Monday on CBS and City. So if you don't have an opinion because you haven't watched it yet, consider this a SPOILER ALERT.

But if you did see it, you know the finale was a mixture of what was expected and what wasn't.

As had been anticipated by many, the mother, Cristin Milioti – character name Tracy McConnell, as we found out Monday – was dead in 2030. She had been dead for six years. We don't know what killed her. That part was vague, with Ted (Josh Radnor) merely saying that “she got sick.”

But the way the series finale was structured, it tried to end on an uplifting note. And to set that up, the bombshell of the finale was that Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) got divorced after three years of marriage. They wed in the penultimate episode of the series last week.

So at the end, the widowed Ted was convinced by his kids to ask out the divorced Robin. The kids, in fact, apparently correctly claimed that Ted told them the lengthy tale of how he met their mother as a way to broach the subject of him re-initiating a romantic relationship with the woman they refer to as “Aunt Robin.”

After all, the story barely involved their mother. It was all about Aunt Robin, who they love, too. They're on board.

The final scene saw Ted outside Robin's apartment, holding up a blue French horn to her window, as she looked out and wept. The reference went all the way back to the pilot episode in 2005, when Ted stole it for Robin

Speaking of 2005, I'm not sure how many people back then would have bet that the premise of this series would be sustainable for nine years. But the cast - Radnor, Smulders, Harris, Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel - were so likable as a group that they masked many shortcomings.

The finale itself was oddly paced, jumping forward years at a time. If there was a way to make the one-hour finale of a nine-year sitcom seem rushed, this achieved it.

It felt a little unsatisfying that after most of the final season was set over one weekend leading up to Barney and Robin's wedding, their marriage was over less than a half-hour into the finale. Barney went on to have a kid with a random female conquest. Who is THAT kid's mother?

But those who thought the "important" mother was dead turned out to be right. And yet fans of How I Met Your Mother now can look into the fake future and imagine Ted and Robin together.

Which is kind of the “legendary” ending they wanted all along.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

 


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