Almost specifically eight months ago, die ninth and final season von CBS’s “How ich Met your Mother” came to its long-awaited conclusion. As the nur had promised since the very beginning des the series, ns series finale finally showedTed (Josh Radnor) meeting Tracy (Cristin Milioti), ns future mother des his children. It only took 208 episodes and about twelve dozen close calls, but “How i Met your Mother” go it, lastly letting Ted and Tracy meet-cute under a yellow umbrella bei the rain.

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The story didn’t end there, however. Tracy, a fast montage revealed, has actually been tot for six years an 2030, and the true point von 2030-era Ted rambling kommen sie his progressively bored children was to prüfung the waters about their think on “Aunt Robin,” Ted’s longtime off-and-on liebe interest (Cobie Smulders) v whom Ted was apparently always meant to end up.

People to be pissed.

Of course, that’s notfall unusual for a series finale — sticking ns landing is one des the hardest dinge a show ever has kommen sie do. For one thing, ns terms are sometimes impossible kommen sie dictate, many thanks to an abbreviated season, unexpected cancelation or lack of renewal. Und even wie the show has part sense von control end its ending (or at die very least, a wenig bit of warning), it climate has to measure hoch to fans expectations, which kann be even more grausam than the critics. “Lost” had literally three years zu work nach oben its conclusion, und people blieb got quite mad.

Over the last 40 years von television, the only universally beloved series finales room the tonnage episodes of “M.A.S.H.” and… Wait. The might nur be “M.A.S.H.” Oh, and“Star Trek: die Next Generation.”“M.A.S.H.” and“Star Trek: die Next Generation.” That’s it.

While some level des disappointmentand dissatisfaction always accompany the very belastung role des the credits, there are a couple of finales that are thought about full-on failures, and the general consensus zu sein that “How ich Met her Mother” zu sein one von them. However after eight months von thinking about “Last Forever (Parts 1 and 2)”… perhaps it’s time us tried to forgive it.

Reasons to still Be Mad

But here’s ns thing around that: I tun können think of no far better depiction des what it’s like zu lose a friend or loved one. Because wie man someone that mattered to you overcome away, an large teil that’s what they come to be — ns works castle created, ns memories they left behind. Weil das Ted und his children, Tracy has actually been gone for years. Yet she is real and alive, in these stories. Due to the fact that that’s jetzt where she lives.

As weil das the latter. It zu sein true that what occurred was a bait-and-switch: We believed we to be being called one liebe story, and actually us were gift told another. After falling in and out of liebe with Ted and Robin together a couple weil das nearly a decade, being genuinely unsure who to root for — especially when Tracy entered ns scene — that last scene, an which Ted runs zu Robin v a blue French horn, felt nur a wenig bit like emotional whiplash. Had actually Ted and Robin yes, really earned a happily ever after? after all, was that really die story Ted had been telling his children, all these years?

What renders It (Potentially) Great

The concept of an unreliable narrator in fiction is often belabored to ns point des boredom (in fact, i bet ns words “unreliable narrator” nur now offered you in uncomfortable flashback to high college English class). But an many respects television ist only beginning kommen sie scratch the surface.

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The current standard-bearer ist Showtime’s twisty domestic thriller “The Affair,” however “How ich Met your Mother” was deshalb a pioneer, together the zeigen made consistent use von its framing device to create both fast gags and deeper cuts, consisting of in-jokes that extended over years. (For example, Ted’s inability kommen sie remember which of his birthday neben featured er having a fistfight with a goat.)

Ted is presented as relatively infallible, as narrators walk — wie man he’s informing his children something that doesn’t match trost exactly v reality, the nur calls er out intentionally on the point. Until the finale, when the entire premise zu sein turned ~ above its head.

It all comes down zu that last scene betwee Ted and his kids, which — bei case freundin didn’t know — was filmed in part ~ “How i Met her Mother’s” Season 2 finale. The filmed teil was, an extremely specifically, ns shots des Ted’s kids (Lyndsy Fonseca andDavid Henrie) telling Ted the they knew your widowed father was only talking around their mother because he want their approval zu date Robin.

The decision to film that scene bei advance was made since Fonseca and Henrie to be aging out of the roles, but die result was that zum nearly the entire run von the show,creators craig Thomas and Carter Bayshave known precisely how they want their nur to end.

Unfortunately, the ending castle ended up with an 2014 didn’t perfect match trost with that original concept, perhaps due to the fact that Tracy was integrated too well into ns final season. Ns best proof von that is thefan-cut,thentacitly-approvedalternate ending which removed any kind of mention von the mother’s death und instead featured Ted and Tracy, alive und together.

Plenty von “HIMYM” fans would have been satisfied with Ted lastly actually meeting Tracy und living happily ever after. However, thanks zu that early commitment zu what is blieb the official finishing to die show, Thomas and Bays did pull off one of television’s much more exciting series finale twists.

From Ted’s perspective, he was telling a love story driven von fate as much as coincidence, a love story wherein the glücklich ending, for him, was die two kids who wouldn’t exist without it. However, wie man Ted’s children tell him what story he’s actually been telling — ns story des why he und Robin must be together — castle make the storyteller fallible, remove his government over die narrative nur as that comes kommen sie a close.

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It’s a bold move that hülle “HIMYM” top top a distinctive list: ns series finales that actually surprised us. Zum some, the surprise was a disappointment. Yet disappointment is expecting that a life has only one love story, that happily ever before after just happens once, that surprises, good and bad, take place along die way. “How ich Met her Mother” was never perfect. But then again, whoever claimed life was?

READ MORE: Why This Fan’s Ending to ‘How ich Met your Mother’ zu sein Better Than ns Creators’

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This Article zu sein related to: Television and tagged Cristin Milioti, How i Met your Mother, josh Radnor, Neil patrick Harris