MAJOR SPOILER WARNING: DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE IF YOU ARE YET TO SEE THE HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER SERIES FINALE.
For the past nine years, we’ve been flies on the wall in the Mosby den listening as Ted tells his kids the long and winding story of how he met their mother. On Monday March 31st, viewers snuggled on the couches with a box of tissues ready to hear the last installment of the tale and boy was it a doozy. The writers managed to pack the hour long episode with the answers to so many questions and references to many of the series long running jokes and trademark quirks. Marshall and Lily have a third baby and become Mr. and Mrs. Fudge Supreme. Robin and Barney divorce after a three year marriage; she goes on to become an extremely successful anchor with World News and he (in what had to be one of the more unseen twists) has a baby with number 31 in his Perfect Month stretch of ladies. Ted marries Tracy (the mother finally has a name!). And Tracy dies, six years before Ted starts telling his story to Penny and Luke.
As heartbreaking as the death of Tracy is, loyal fans of the show can’t say they didn’t see it coming. Ever since the episode titled “The Time Travelers” aired at the end of season eight, fans have been speculating that the mother’s fate was not a happy one. More evidence of this theory continued to pop up throughout season nine, one of the most telling moments being when Tracy and Ted both tear up when she poses the question “What type of mother doesn’t show up to her own daughter’s wedding?” while reminiscing about the surprise appearance of Robin’s mother. With their worst fears being confirmed within the last three minutes of the show, the audience was left eager to know if Ted’s story would have a happy ending. And, as much as people may gripe and fume about it, it does.
With the story completed, Penny calls Ted out for his bluff: This hasn’t been a story about how he met their mother, it’s been about how he’s in love with Robin. Quite enthusiastically, they urge him to call her and ask her out, which he goes to do and then quickly stops. Cut to a scene very similar to one we saw nine years ago: Ted, suited up, with the blue french horn in hand standing below Robin’s window. Much to our heart’s delight (whether we’re ready to admit it yet or not), Robin comes to the window, dogs at her side and smiles down at him the way she did after their first date all those years ago.
Twitter has already been abuzz with hundreds of thousands of tweets, and unfortunately, the vast majority seem to be quite discontent with how the beloved show has ended. Some people are even saying that the entire series was ruined in a mere few minutes. BUT, I have to put the kibosh on all the hate right now. As is the most logical thing to do, after watching the series finale I had to turn back to where it all began. I caught a quote at the end of the first episode that never seemed as important as it does now. Ted is finishing the story of that disastrous first date and says to his kids:
“…that’s the funny thing about destiny, it happens whether you plan it or not. I mean, I never thought I’d see that girl again, but it turns out I was just too close to the puzzle to see the picture that it was forming. Because that, kids, is the true story of how I met your Aunt Robin.”
All along, this has been the story of Robin and Ted. Robin was always his destiny. Everything that ever happened in Ted’s life was meant to happen for a reason- I mean if we’ve learned anything from this show, it’s just that. Destiny is real and none of us can truly predict how it’s going to work out. Tracy was one of the loves of Ted’s life, but she wasn’t the only one. Ted did not tell this story to his kids to be spiteful or cruel, he told it as a way of seeking closure in the death of his beloved wife and to gain his children’s acceptance in looking to move forward with his life.
Tracy and Ted were meant to be together, but when we look back, so were Robin and Ted. The meeting between Tracy and Ted is adorable and everything we hoped it would be. He knew she was going to be his future wife. But we must not forget that the same happened with Robin. On his very first date with Robin, Ted tells her he loves her. Yes, this can be seen as crazy behavior, yet on the other hand, it can be seen as a true blue emotional reaction. To further drive home this point, I will bring us back to the season 8 premiere in which Klaus, the fiancé of Ted’s former flame, Victoria, makes an interesting speech about a special word in German: “Lebenslanger Schicksalsschatz.”
“‘Lebenslanger Schicksalsschatz’ is not something that develops over time. It is something that happens instantaneously. It courses through you like the water of a river after a storm, filling you and emptying you all at once. You feel it throughout your body, in your hands, in your heart, in your stomach, in your skin…”
Robin is Ted’s Lebenslanger Schicksalsschatz, people! For this loyal fan, everything just makes sense. In a way, there was no other way this could end because this is what it’s always been about. For this loyal fan, the series finale was more fulfilling than I ever thought it could be. And deep down you all realize a part of you was seriously disappointed during the second to last episode when Robin told Ted she should be marrying him and he told her she was wrong (even though we know he still loved her at that moment).
If none of these points are soothing those of you with fresh wounds right now, disregard the finale altogether and instead focus on all the lessons How I Met Your Mother has left us with in the past nine years. While a comedy, the show was never afraid to deal with real life issues. With Ted, Robin, Lilly, Marshall and Barney we learned how to love, how to cope with break ups and deaths, how to take chances and how to let go. We learned to chase our dreams, whether they be to become a famous Canadian pop star, to move to Italy, to open a bar called Puzzles, find Bigfoot or to sleep with over 200 people (please don’t). Because of HIMYM, I now consider “500 Miles” one of the best songs of all time, I’m afraid of the creature they call the cockamouse and I know that nothing good ever happens after 2 a.m. Many of us have grown up with this show, and through it we know that life is unpredictable and messy, and there are going to be times it seems like absolutely nothing is going our way. But through those hardships, we grow and change, and growing and changing right along with us will be our friends, and for that we’ll always be fortunate. Most importantly, if you’ve gained anything from this show, let it be the facts that love will always be worth chasing and patience rewarding.