There have been dozens of buzzed-about series finales in recent years, and reactions always seem to run the gamut. There are those who loved the ending of The Sopranos, and those who hated it. The finale of ABC’s LOST was met with a similar reception. The best that most shows can hope for is to go out the way Breaking Bad did last year, which received near universal acclaim as a “perfect” series.
How I Met Your Mother was not quite so lucky this week.
SPOILER ALERT: If you were planning on watching the finale on your DVR and have not yet, then obviously, stop reading.
The Cliffs Notes version of the ending is that the mother, who was finally introduced in the previous season’s finale after 8 years of waiting, dies of a terminal illness in the future. As it turns out, the whole reason lead character Ted Mosby is telling the story of “How I Met Your Mother” to his kids is to justify his intentions/beg their permission to hook up with “Aunt Robin,” whom we were assured way back in the 2005 pilot episode was not technically “the mother.” Fans saw the ending as a cruel trick–the ultimate twist, in that the title of the show became one big fake-out in itself. And one quick glance at Twitter during the final moments of the finale confirmed that the decision was universally hated by fans, who felt betrayed and angry that they had wasted years watching the show only to have it reach such a poor resolution. You see, most of them actually liked the mother, Tracy (played by Cristin Milioti). And the show had spent so much time creating distance and tension between Ted and Robin that it didn’t even make sense to put them back together again. But the writers dug their heels in and refused to budge on their original intention for the story, even going so far as to use footage filmed of Ted’s children way back in the second season for this very purpose. Clearly, the show’s creators paid the price for their stubbornness with their fans. It just goes to show that being clever does not necessarily mean “good” in TV-land, and given the range of predictions for the episode, many didn’t even find it clever at all. We’ll see if people even bother watching the upcoming How I Met Your Father spin-off.
Meanwhile, as critics continue their debate over the things HIMYM should have done differently throughout the past 3 or 4 years of the 9-season show to justify an ending like the one they delivered, the video above is a fan-created redux of the finale. So now you can rewatch the final episode, pause it just before the final moments, and watch this YouTube video instead. Ain’t the internet grand?
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