BY SOPHIA WENGIER
How I Met Your Mother is a popular sitcom that aired for nine seasons with interesting characters and comedy, mixed with important themes about life and love. While I could go on about the wonderfulness of this show, my greatest regret is my decision to watch the last season. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t because the show became any less captivating or hilarious, but because the way the writers decided to end this show actually managed to ruin the entire, beautiful, eight season masterpiece with just two episodes. Although it’s been awhile since it ended, the anger lingers.
The premise of this show is basically that the main character, Ted Mosby, is telling his two children the story of how he met their mother. Throughout the series, future Ted describes the large collection of women he dated and even came close to marrying, a common theme present even in the pilot. In the first episode, past Ted meets a woman named Robin and is immediately interested in being with her. At the end of this episode, Ted tells his kids “And that’s how I met… your Aunt Robin,” making it clear that she does not end up being the mother, but just a very close friend. However, throughout the series, Ted and Robin do end up dating each other on and off.
For the purpose of this article, it is essential that I analyze the true reasons why Ted and Robin didn’t work out. For starters, it is revealed that Robin is incapable of having kids but also has no interest in adopting. This is a fundamental issue in Ted and Robin’s relationship because Ted had always dreamed of having kids, so they decide to break up.
Eventually, Ted and Robin decide that their friendship is more important than any idea that they might get back together, so this is what the writers really focus on. Robin even goes on to date one of Ted’s best friends, Barney. This is a couple that, unlike Ted and Robin, truly developed both of their characters while simultaneously melting the hearts of the people watching. Barney goes from a womanizer who doesn’t care much for anyone, to someone who would give up anything for the girl he loves. Barney and Robin just go well together. For instance, Ted was always shown to be bothered by the fact that Robin never really needed him whereas Barney loved and appreciated Robin’s independence. Robin and Barney even end up getting married and despite every bump that they go through, it is clear that they love and care for each other very much and that they are much happier together than they ever were apart. Robin and Ted’s friendship truly develops and becomes something one can appreciate along with the fact that throughout the show, they grew into very different people who just didn’t belong together.
This brings me to my next point: the mother. Throughout the series, we learn various small things about the mother and it is made very clear that she’s perfect for Ted (and pretty perfect in general). The writers make it so that without even meeting her, the audience falls in love with the woman Ted is destined to marry. Finally, after eight seasons of waiting, the audience is introduced to Tracy, the mother. It is revealed that she really is the perfect girl for Ted and although she only appears in a few episodes, the audience can’t help but fall for her kind and goofy personality.
This is where things begin to go downhill. It is ultimately revealed in the last episode that the mother had died. The writers spent nine seasons of a show building up the character of a mysterious but perfect woman and allows the audience to fall in love with her for a few episodes, and then make the decision to kill her off. Now I’m not one to criticize the death of important characters, but only if it’s done right. There was no indication whatsoever that Ted was not still happily married, no allusion of sadness or wistfulness when speaking about the now deceased mother, not even a single mention of the fact that she had passed away at all. It is clear that the writers were aiming for the element of surprise however, they only made it seem as if the death of Ted’s soulmate didn’t even affect him.
For some reason, after hearing their father’s nine year, sad story about their dead mother, Ted’s kids urge him to go after Robin as “it’s clear that he’s still totally in love with her.” For this to happen, it had to be revealed that Robin and Barney end up getting a divorce. This is a hard blow as it is barely developed and came across as a last minute decision to get Ted and Robin together in the end. It even made the mother’s entire storyline just seem like a way for Ted to get the kids he’s wanted so that she can be conveniently killed off and he can end up with Robin. So in the end, the writers ignore basically all previous seasons of the show, acting as if the relationship they built up between Robin and Barney meant nothing and ignoring the fact that, although they were cute at first, Robin and Ted were not meant to be together.
How I Met Your Mother was a show about life, love, and loss. It displayed so many themes and messages, showing the characters grow and learn from past mistakes and making it clear that just because life turns out differently than expected doesn’t mean it’s not wonderful. A major theme in the show was that even if one doesn’t end up with who they think is their dream girl, they shouldn’t give up hope; sometimes soulmates are still out there, just waiting for the person one has yet to become. Or, maybe that person will just supply children and then die, who knows.