Let’s Talk About How I’m Dealing with the “How I Met Your Mother” Finale. Quick Answer – Not Well.

2 Apr

HIMYM

The time came and went, my friends. The time I had been dreading for years – Monday night was the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. I almost didn’t want to blog about this because I have too much to say and too many emotions to deal with. I’m only one woman. I can’t drown in a puddle of my grieving, confused tears because I got bills to pay and shit to do. But I felt like I would be letting myself down if I took the time to write about Juan Pablo, but didn’t spend a few minutes reflecting on my favorite sitcom of all-time.

My husband and I actually didn’t start watching HIMYM until about 4 years ago. In fact, I remember our good friend talking about how much he liked it, and I made fun of him because I imagined it to be a hybrid of Two and a Half Men, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, for some reason. I really built it up to be terrible in my head, so I refused to give it the time of day. Luckily, it’s on syndication, so it plays on 15 other channels, 24 hours a day, and I happened to catch a few episodes one day, and loved it immediately. I must have been taking a break from my charity work or my regular exercise to watch a little TV. Good for you, Alex! Even Mother Teresa needed a little crash in front of the boob tube now and then.

Thank you linus

Once we started watching, we quickly became obsessed with it and ended up buying all of the seasons on DVD and watching them in marathon form. There was even one night that I drove to a Barnes and Noble at 9pm to see if they had the season we needed, and they did! It was one of my happiest and most satisfying moments of my life. (I hope that’s not actually true, but it might be). I think we caught up at season 6 or so, and have never looked back.

that's love bitch

*SPOILER ALERT, FRIENDS. SPOILER ALERT* I’m going to be brief about my feelings on last night’s episode, because my husband and I agreed that we kind of just want to pretend it never happened. That is not to say that I hated it, because I didn’t. At all. I actually really liked the first 50 minutes or so, before disaster struck and I was left in an emotional daze. I thought they did a nice job of tying up loose ends, and I didn’t mind all the dramatic flash forwards. I liked that Marshall and Lily kept making lots of babies, and that they finally moved out of that teeny tiny apartment (even though I know in NYC their apartment would be equivalent to a suburban McMansion), and that there was a return of the cockamouse. I like how Ted met the mother (so cheesy and so romantic) and I REALLY like the casting of Tracy McConnell (the mother!). I have believed their chemistry throughout this entire season, which was a difficult hurdle for the creators to overcome. Those are really big shoes to fill, and I thought Cristin Milioti was perfect. Most of all, I loved Barney becoming a dad. Maybe I’m just a huge softie now because I have a kid, but when he broke down after meeting his daughter, I cried a puddle of the most satisfying tears one can cry. I thought it was the most beautiful scene of the episode, which was an unexpected surprise.

Barney and Baby

Here are some things I could have done without:

1) Robin dumping her friends. I know that Barney and Robin’s divorce should cause a little turmoil in the friendship, but who wants to see the last episode filled with these great friends fighting and falling out of touch? I’ve always liked that this show had very real-life twists, like how friendships fade sometimes, even for brief moments, but that’s not what I wanted for the last episode.

2) I wanted Lily to go back to teaching, but that’s neither here nor there, it’s just my thing.

3) The ending blew dog turds. I expected the mother to be dead (the last few episodes gave that plot line away), so I was prepared. I pictured Ted explaining this story to his kids because the mother had just passed away, and he wanted them to know the whole, beautiful tale. I did not, I repeat, DID NOT think that it would all lead to him asking out Robin and ending up with her. Gross. I know this ending was written in 2005, but as some h8er on Twitter noted, Ted and Robin changed over the course of 9 seasons, and they maybe weren’t still meant to be. I wanted to see Ted find love, and I was even okay with him losing that love, because that’s what happens in life. It’s not a happy ending, but it’s a real one. But not leaving it at that felt like a big step backwards. I also think we just spent an entire season getting used to Robin and Barney together, and in one episode, we dealt with their divorce, the end of their friendship, and Robin and Ted reuniting. It was too much. This part of the episode needed an intervention.

HIMYM Intervention

But instead of focusing on what I didn’t like about the last episode, I would like to reflect on the good times. I don’t know any other show that has so many memorable moments, happy and sad, than HIMYM. I’ve decided to do this in the best way I know how – a list. So for your enjoyment, here are Alex’s Top 25 HIMYM Moments (in order, obviously. I don’t do things half assed, I do one thing whole-ass, as Ron Swanson would say).

25. Marshall’s videos (The Sexless Innkeeper)

All Lily and Marshall want are another couple to be their best couple friends. But they often go overboard, and the pinnacle of that are the websites that Marshall creates to commemorate the couple dates. After their first date night with Robin and Barney, Marshall creates itwasthebestnightever.com (which is a real site). This video is sent to the gang, and proceeds to freak them out, and bring me great joy.

24. Blauman leaves (Gary Blauman)

This episode was from just a few weeks ago, but it’s still making the list. Just before Barney and Robin’s wedding, we hear the different tales of how one guest, Gary Blauman, is connected to the group. Some hate him and some love him, but the ultimate decision when he doesn’t have a seat at the reception, is to kick him out. When he leaves, Marshall reflects on all of the friends and family from their wedding that they never really saw again. Ted tells his kids that people easily leave your life, so if you want to keep someone around, make sure you do something about that. Not only do we get to see what has happened to a ton of long forgotten characters from past seasons, but it made me want to call all of my old friends to tell them I love them.

23. Ted introducing himself to the mother (The Time Travelers)

In this episode, Ted is thinking back to a night where things didn’t go as planned, and imagining what he would have done if he could go back and have a do-over. He would have gone to the mother’s apartment, introduced himself, told her that they were going to meet in 45 days, that he loves her, and that he wants every extra second with her that he can have. This was the first time we hear when he will meet the mother, and it is such a lovely and bittersweet scene.

22. Robin needing the win (Subway Wars)

Each character thinks they know the fastest way to get to a certain restaurant in New York, so they decide to take the subway, take the bus, run, take a limo, or a taxi. Throughout the episode we find out why each person “needs the win.” In the end, the person who needed it most was Robin, and Barney did or did not trip Ted to make sure she won. It was sweet.

Robin needs a win

21. Marshall bringing the marching band to the airport (Three Days of Snow)

When Marshall greets Lily at the airport with a marching band, every heart melted in unison.

HIMYM marching band

20. Searching for the best burger (The Best Burger in New York)

The entire plot of this episode is the group running around NYC trying to find the restaurant where Marshall ate the best burger he had ever had when he arrived in New York. Marshall was out of work, and feeling lost, so he needed to find at least one thing he was searching for. The bigger picture was how supportive everyone was, even if it seemed silly. And when Robin was starving.

19. The Slapbet (Slapbet)

When we are miraculously introduced to Robin Sparkles (which I’ll speak more about, on down the list), we find out that Barney had lost a bet with Marshall as to the reason that Robin refused to go to malls. Since this was a slapbet, the loser could decide if he receives a lot of slaps in a row, or 5 slaps given at any time. Barney chose the latter, and the slaps proceeded to be doled out by Marshall about once a season, from there on out. This episode started us off on the slaps heard round the world, and they never disappointed.

SlapbetSlapbet 2Slapbet 3Slapbet 4slapbet 5slapbet 6

18. La Vie en Rose (How Your Mother Met Me)

The 200th episode was done completely from the perspective of The Mother. We get to learn how the mother came to meet Ted (well, how she was ABOUT to meet Ted). It was for sure the best episode of the final season, but maybe one of the best episodes all around. The last scene of Cristin Milioti singing the most gorgeous version of La Vie En Rose is the clincher:

17. Last cigarette (Last Cigarette Ever)

This was another flashback episode where we learn a) that everyone in the group has been a smoker at different times and b) why they all started up again. When they decide, as a group, to smoke one final cigarette, Ted tells us when in the future they each ACTUALLY have their last cigarette. It was an awesome way to give us a glimpse into what will happen to these people we love.

Robin cigaretteBarney cigaretteLily's CigaretteMarshall's cigaretteTed's cigarette

16 .Robin can’t have a baby (Symphony of Illumination)

Holy crap, this was sad. Although Robin made it clear that she never wanted to have kids, she was shocked to be told that she had no choice because she never could. This is definitely not a side of Robin we had ever seen. And Ted trying to cheer her up at the end, without even knowing what the problem is, is so sweet that I literally have sugar dripping from my tears, instead of salt. (Well, not literally literally, but literally like not really).

15. Barney learning the truth (Cleaning House)

We don’t learn a lot about Barney’s personal life in general, but when everyone helps him clean out his mom’s house, we find out that his mom worked endlessly to protect him from the rough parts of growing up. When she gives him the piece of paper with his father’s name on it, Barney tears it up because he wants his mom to know that she is all he’s ever needed. It is such a soft moment for him, and also I want my son to love me that much, too. (But that’s maybe my own issue).

14. Ted Using the Yellow Umbrella (No Tomorrow)

When Ted goes back to the club to find his cell phone the day after St. Patrick’s Day, he walks away with a yellow umbrella left there by someone else. It turns out that the mother was the owner of that umbrella, and it comes to represent her for the next 6 seasons (and we learn all about that in the finale).

Ted and Tracey

13. The rabbit vs. duck argument (Rabbit or Duck)

The classic debate of which is more loveable, a rabbit or a duck, is one of my favorite arguments I’ve ever seen on television.

12. Blah Blah  (How I Met Everyone Else)

In this episode, Ted is on a date with Blah Blah (he couldn’t remember her name at the time, but we just figured out it was Carol! Oh, closure. So delightful), and he is telling her the story of how he met everyone else. I love me a good flashback, and this had all the best ones. It was also just a nice way to find out everyone’s quirky back story.

11. Robots vs. Wrestlers (Robots vs. Wrestlers)

Sometimes I worry that my group of best friends will fall out of touch at some point, or we won’t always be in sync. This episode was all about that anxiety, and how in groups of friends, locations change and lives change, but you always come back together. In this case, it was at least once a year for Robots vs. Wrestlers.

Robots vs. wrestlers

10. Seeing the mother for the first time (Something New?)

Hello! We’ve waiting 8 seasons to see this lady, and she finally arrives on the season 8 finale! The mother utters one line: “One ticket to Farhampton, please.” And the rest is history. Apparently, really old history to Ted, because he’s now dating Robin.

?????????????????????

9. Lily is Pregnant (Challenge Accepted)

Lily gets food poisoning when she eats the soup she brought home for her and Marshall from the dirty deli with the cats roaming around. Marshall eats it before he knows Lily got sick, and he spends the entire episode waiting for it to hit him. In the end, Marshall never gets the food poisoning, and we find out that Lily was sick because she was pregnant. The entire season had chronicled not only Marshall and Lily’s difficulties getting pregnant, but Marshall’s stress about finding a job. The news of the pregnancy was the win they both needed.

8. Why can’t you tell someone you love them on the first date? (Pilot)

In the pilot episode, Ted goes on a date with Robin, and tells her (accidentally) that he loves her. She, rightfully so, freaks out and abruptly ends the date. Ted sheepishly heads for the subway, but turns around halfway down the block to ask the question: Why can’t you tell someone you love them on the first date? Although the answer is that it’s weird, I think a) that’s a fair question and b) it was so telling of what Ted is like as a person, and was such a smart way to reveal his character to the audience.

Ted Pilot

7. Ted gets in a car accident (Miracles)

After Ted screws up with Stella, and gets in a fight with Barney, his taxi gets hit by a bus. Ted ends up in the hospital, and there is an incredible montage where we see Robin, Marshall, and Lily literally drop what they’re doing to get to the hospital (to the amazing soundtrack of Nice Dream by Radiohead). The ending is very anticlimactic because Ted is just fine, but was such a great example of these people being not only friends, but one another’s family. It gives me chills every time.

6. Robin Sparkles (Slap Bet)

One of the best parts of HIMYM are the running gags and inside jokes. The episode Slap Bet started two important running gags, the first being that we uncover the truth of Robin’s hatred for malls. Why, you ask? Because she was a Canadian pop star named Robin Sparkles in the 90’s and had a hit called Let’s Go to the Mall, which forced her to tour malls. And there’s a music video to go with it.

5. The 2-minute date (Ten Sessions)

Who in the world didn’t love Ted’s 2 minute date with Stella? Please ignore the subtitles and just enjoy the serious sweetness, with another perfect soundtrack – Thirteen by Big Star.

4. Leaping from the Building (The Leap)

As someone who does not like risk taking, I actually hated that they all decided to leap from the ledge of a NYC apartment building over to the roof of a different apartment building. Some questions: Are you crazy? How did you get down from the other roof? Those details made me angry. But, the lovely part of the scene (which far outweighed the illogical part) was that each character was at a crossroads, and they needed to take a leap in order to be brave and move forward in their lives. But the key was that they couldn’t have each taken a leap if they hadn’t done it together. So cheesy, I know, but I am a sucker for every last second of it.

3. Marshall’s voicemail from his father (Last Words)

Season 6 of HIMYM basically turned into a drama. I’ve never cried so hard in my damn life. But what took the cake was Marshall’s dad passing away suddenly from a heart attack. When everyone gathered at the funeral, Marshall struggled to write a eulogy. He felt angry and resentful when he thought that all his dad had left him with was an accidental voicemail. This scene showed such a different side of Marshall, and Jason Segel was brilliant.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

2. “She’s getting here as fast as she can” (As Fast as She Can)

I don’t know what it is about Stella’s advice to Ted about finding the love of his life that gets me every time, but I think it’s perfect: “I know that you’re tired of waiting, and you may have to wait a little while more. She’s on her way, Ted. And she’s getting here as fast as she can.” I love the thought that everyone has a soul mate that is just trying to find their match, but they just need to get through all the obstacles that life throws at them along the way. I am ridiculous with this stuff. I know.

And the number one spot goes to…

HIMYM Wait for it

1. Ted Makes it Rain (Come On)

In the season 1 finale, Ted wanted to stop Robin from going on a romantic camping trip with her douchy co-anchor Sandy Rivers. All he needed in order to keep them apart was the remote chance of bad weather. When the rain doesn’t come, Ted gets desperate and does a rain dance, which miraculously works. He goes to Robin’s apartment, and they hug and kiss and Ted is finally with the woman he loves. But the fantastic twist to the end is when Ted takes a cab back home, happier than he’s been in a long time, only to find Marshall sitting on the stoop, engagement ring in hand, because Lily left him to move to California. The finale was both so satisfying and so heartbreaking, all at once, and I still cry every time I see it.

 

 

Well, there you have it! What did I miss? (A lot. I know). And what did you think of the finale?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to “Let’s Talk About How I’m Dealing with the “How I Met Your Mother” Finale. Quick Answer – Not Well.”

  1. Iva April 17, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    Awesome!!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Leaves Change, and So Do My Scheduled Recordings on the DVR, Part 2 | broadcouching - October 23, 2014

    […] I Met Your Mother. (If you don’t know by now that she was dead, I apologize. But you do know. And you’re angry about the ending, just like everyone else is). Because of this mind fuck, I have also been programmed to like any project she did following […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: