If you’re as big of a fan of How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) as I am, you’ve probably got some strong feelings about the series finale that aired on Monday night.
Honestly, I still don’t know how I feel about it. I only hopped onto the the HIMYM bandwagon about three years ago when my friend Patrick suggested I start watching. Even though I am fairly new to the fan base, I still felt a connection to the characters and I’m sad to see the series end. I can’t tell you how many days I spent binge watching the first 8 seasons over my Christmas break last year to make sure I could remember everything for the upcoming 9th season.
For me, the HIMYM finale was as much of a disappointment as it was a success. The first reason I was disappointed was because the finale made the whole series about Robin. It felt like I just spent nine seasons waiting to hear more about the amazing life that Ted had with Tracy (the Mother) to only find out that Tracy was nothing but a a side note to Ted’s love for Robin. I could have lived with Tracy dying, but I can’t live with it all being about Robin. Tracy seems so minimal in the the grand scheme of the series because it seems like this whole time, we’ve been listening to Ted tell a story of love all while asking his children’s permission to pursue their Aunt Robin.
I think the biggest disappointment for me, though, was Robin and Barney’s divorce. To me, their divorce completely erased three seasons of character development for Barney. His proposal to Robin in the 8th season completely threw me for a loop in the sense that I never imagined him to let go of who he was for love. Honestly, I didn’t imagine that Barney was capable of loving anyone other than himself.
As much as these were major disappointments in the series for me, they were also things that made me realize how much these characters have grown, and how this is the beginning of another journey for them. Yes, I’m disappointed that the past nine years have been devoted to asking permission to move on. Yes, I’m disappointed that Robin and Barney didn’t work out. But the importance of these greatly outweighs my disappointment. If you look back on the series, Ted has always been willing to sacrifice what he loves most in favor of those he loves. He sacrificed moving to Chicago for Tracy. He sacrificed his love for Robin by letting her go up to the top of Goliath National Bank to let Barney propose. He sacrificed his apartment when Lily and Marshall got married. I’m not saying that Tracy was a sacrifice for him, but rather Ted finally being gifted with someone who was not only a perfect match, but also someone who had loved and lost before as well. If you also remember, Tracy’s first love was Max. Ted and Tracy both sacrificed their first loves, willingly or not, only to meet someone who they were compatible with and who they were able to love.
Secondly, I’m partly glad that Barney and Robin didn’t work. Barney never said that he didn’t love Robin. In fact, he said that despite his love for her, the marriage just wasn’t working. As far as we know, Barney was completely faithful to Robin in their three years of marriage. Barney grew as much as he was thrown back in those few seconds it took to admit that it just wasn’t working. Carter Bays and Craig Thomas took those few seconds to show us how important honesty is in love. They showed us how important it is to be true to ourselves and to not change just to make someone else happy. Yes, the breakup was devastating. But Robin and Barney staying together for the sake of happy fans isn’t worth making two characters unhappy.
In the wise words of Ted Mosby, “love is the best thing we do”. While the finale was a disappointment, I think the series as a whole did its job in teaching viewers the importance of the relationships you build, and how sometimes you need to make those sacrifices and struggle to find your yellow umbrella.