We often times use words like “amazing” and “perfection” out of context, calling insignificant things in life the most amazing thing we ever seen or experienced.
In the case of “How I Met Your Mother” saying goodbye last night, the 9 year rollercoaster ride ended the way it was supposed to.
There was no Hollywood ending: the gang didn’t walk off into the sunset holding hands with a rainbow developing over their heads, and that’s what made this ending so perfect.
Lucky for me, i had a front row seat for the development of this show. Working in radio back in 2005, we had a young Josh Radnor come in for a live interview the day the series premiered. He was quiet and shy but had a confidence about himself and this character “Ted” he was going to debut to the world. Not knowing a thing about the show, our consensus at the time was this show wouldn’t be able to balance the realness, comedy and deepness Josh was telling us about (Also had the pleasure of interviewing Cobie Smulders and Neil Patrick Harris at a private CBS event for season 4, as you can see in the photos).
Thankfully, we were dead wrong.
This show was truly special, showing us that it’s OK to be unlucky in love because it’s all part of the ride we will look back at one day and cherish.
Ted was truly an amazing character: he was one of the “good guys” in a sea of monsters, a sensitive, deep person who wanted to find love and stay in love, looking for the fairytale ending most of us could only dream of.
He went through so much to get to the pivotal point of the finale, having the guts to talk to Tracy while she fought the rain with that yellow umbrella at the train station.
We rooted for Ted when he thought he found the one in Stella, we yelled at him through the TV when he ruined it with Robin early on, and i dare anyone who was a true fan of the show to say they did not shed a tear in the finale when he said this:
It was at times a long and difficult road….
But I’m glad it was long and difficult because if I hadn’t gone through hell to get there, the lesson might not have been as clear…
Right from the moment I met your mom I knew, I have to love this woman as much as I can always for as long as I can and I can never stop loving her, not even for a second….
I carried that lesson with me through every stupid fight we ever had, every 5 AM Christmas morning, every sleepy Sunday afternoon, through every speed bump, every pang of jealousy or boredom or uncertainty that came our way…
I carried that lesson with me…
And I carried it with me when she got sick…
Even then in what can only be called the worst of times, all I can do was thank god, thank every god there is or ever was or will be and the whole universe and anyone else I could possibly thank….
And I saw that beautiful girl on that train platform…and then I had to guts to stand up, walk over to her, tap her on the shoulder, open my mouth, and speak…
I’m about to be a father for the first time in just a couple of weeks, and the words above couldn’t hit home any harder. As i look at my wife, the love of my life, and think about the little girl inside her stomach that will one day ask me how mom and i met, it only makes the words more powerful.
Holding true to the show’s premise, the final few minutes were a rollercoaster, showing all the love Ted had for Tracy leading up to her death, and then having his kids call him out for a 9 year story that only included mom in the end.
I know lots of people are mad because he went after Robin, but i agree with the decision. He always loved her, even in these final episodes he couldn’t fully let her go, and this stood consistent. Tracy had a love of her life too, Max, who died in an accident. Both Ted and Tracy were so close to getting married to different people. While my first reaction was to be a little upset with the quick transition, it made sense.
We can’t get mad that Ted moved on, i think it’s ticking people off because it happened so fast in the episode, after that powerful sequence the kids seem apathetic, but it’s 6 years later and they love their Dad! They also seem to love Robin, who “comes by for dinner” quite often at that point, it seems”
The image of Ted holding up the blue French horn will be embedded in my mind for a long time, as a lesson that life can come full circle, no matter how heartbreaking it can be along the way.
This is how life works, we don’t always wind up with the #1, sometimes we do and we lose them. Sometimes we settle for someone else and live a happy, fulfilling life anyway. Nothing is actually perfect, and there was no better place to experience that than in “How I Met Your Mother.”
Do i wish they could’ve stretched this final hour out into a couple of episodes not to rush through the aftermath of the wedding, ABSOLUTELY! It would’ve been great to see the flash forwards in more detail, but i understand why they didn’t.
As great as Cristin Milioti was in the role, you can’t dwell on the “mother” too much because it’s not about her! We only find out her first name is Tracy in this last episode! This show was about one man’s journey through the prime of his life and the wonderful story he was able to share with his kids, and us, through 9 seasons.
We won’t see a show this smart, funny, emotional and real for a long time, or ever again.
Cheers to a wonderful life, Ted Mosby!