After finally watching the long awaited last episode of How I Met Your Mother, the internet exploded with disappointment. Those on Tumblr hoped it was a joke, while others lauded it as one of the worst television endings of all time. I’m not going to go so far to say that the show has been ruined, but the ending left me with a bitter taste. After nine series, three weddings, and many high fives, the audience finally get to see how Ted met ‘The Mother’. The gang are back for two final episodes and what seems to be the group’s end: Ted’s moving to Chicago, Marshall and Lily are heading to Rome, and who thought Barney would ever settle down?!
The run up to the end has gradually seen ‘The Mother’, who we come to know as Tracy McConnell, and Ted’s lives gradually intertwine. As the series went on I felt myself become more attached to Tracy’s (Christin Milioti) character. Milioti does a superb job of bringing this character to life, giving an incredibly touching performance in an episode dedicated to Tracy’s backstory and the hardships she has overcome. Throughout the series the audience gets to see how Tracy has met each of the gang, my favourite probably being Tracy trying to comfort a stressed Lily. Series Nine shows an array of similarities that Tracy and Ted seem to share, from calligraphy sets, to Ted always wanting to date a bass player, and from the start it’s made clear that these two, excuse the cliché, are made for each other. From the first moment the audience met Tracy you can tell she’s going to fit right in.
The last episode picks up with the gang at Barney and Robin’s long awaited wedding reception. Barney’s keen to play a game of “Have you met Ted?” with the bassist of the wedding band. However, Ted’s reluctant and breaks the news that he’s moving to Chicago, and he has to leave. Skip to a few days later, after waving Ted off, Marshall and Lily return to New York, where they find Ted sitting in Maclaren’s bar. Ted’s decided to stay in New York after meeting a certain bass player, and everything seems to be going swimmingly.
Cut to three years later, Marshall and Lily are having their second child, Ted’s proposed to the bass player (Tracy), and Barney and Robin are fresh back from Argentina. However, the happily married couple we were left with just a few scenes ago are now divorced. This was the first disappointment of the episode. The divorce inevitably leads to Robin drifting from the gang, and Barney regressing back to his previous womanising self. At this point I was left feeling that Barney’s character development had been flushed away in a matter of minutes. However, just as you feel that Barney can never change, he gets a girl pregnant. At first reluctant to meet his new born daughter, Ellie, the gang persuade him otherwise, thus leading to a tender moment shared between father and daughter.
All together, the last episode seemed rushed and a little jarring. Significant events left little emotional impact, with Tracy’s appearances being few and far between. In the last few minutes of the episode the audience discover The Mother’s name, and a few moments later discover that Tracy has died. At the end of this the audience receive a fairly, dare I say it, mundane, and unemotional chat with Ted’s kids. The subtle ongoing chemistry between Ted and Robin is something that can’t go unnoticed for the nine series, with Ted’s kids telling him to date Robin.
The episode wraps up with Ted holding a blue French horn, thus giving a huge nod to the show’s first episode. Although the reference was nice, I can’t deny that I wasn’t disappointed with the ending. Maybe, somewhat naively, I (along with many others) wanted the story to end happily ever after, and I suppose for Ted and Robin it did. Although the ending left many disappointed, I feel it’s harsh to say the ending ruined the rest of the series, and with the possibility of an alternative ending being released I can’t be too begrudging. All in all I’ve enjoyed watching these characters grow and develop, and for the majority of the time this series has been legen…. wait for it …… dary.