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    Tuesday, 22 July 2014

    "...legen - wait for it - dary..."

    I've probably seen the How I Met Your Mother finale at least one time too many now (any wag that says "oh, you've seen it just the once, then" gets a slap!), and kinda want to get down some thoughts on it...

    ...but before I do please beware that if you have not yet seen it and are planning to do so, please stop reading. Here be spoilers that will tell you how it all ends...

    There has been an element of controversy over the nature of the ending, in particular the very last moments of the episode with the kids... 

    The thing is, though, the ending they worked towards is one they've been heading to from the start. The kids' bit in the finale was actually filmed during the second season, which is why that scene looks a bit disjointed as Ted's bits were filmed 7 years later... 

    So, all along the mother was destined to die, and Ted was always going to end up with Robin. I have seen much criticism over this, who think that Ted and the mother should have ended up together, and there are edits of the finale on YouTube, and various suggestions that have the mother living on until 2030, and popping up in the final scene. 

    But that was never the plan.

    My main issue with the finale is not with the actual story beats - the mother's death, and Ted ending up with Robin - but rather how they were realised on screen. As we're getting close to the end, we get Ted's final speech in which he's so eloquent about his love for the mother, and how sad he was when she died, and then... ah, we get the scene at the train station where they finally meet, a moment that's had so much build up and anticipation.

    And it's wonderful. A beautifully written and acted scene that was just about perfect; as Ted and Tracey talked you really felt them making a connection, and it was worth the build up. It felt so very right. Oh, the smile on my face, yet still with tears coming from my eyes, when Ted said "And that, kids, is how i met your mother"... just brilliant. 

    But what came next was misjudged. For Ted six years had passed since Tracey died; but for us, the viewers, moments ago we'd just had Ted talking about her death, then we see him meeting her... and all of a sudden it's all about Aunt Robin, and she's all the kids are talking about. 

    As a viewing experience it was just too sudden, and too jarring. It's entirely right that Ted got a happy ending with Robin, heck six years had passed so he deserved happiness, and he has to move on and think about the future for both him and his kids. He couldn't just mope forever, as he'd end up going crazy. 

    But I'd have liked a bit more in there. They filmed something of Tracey's funeral for the episode, but cut it out. There just should have been more in there, maybe showing Ted grieving and coming to terms with Tracey's death, just something more in there so that Ted rushing to Robin's apartment with the blue horn didn't seem so rushed and sudden, from the viewers' perspective. 

    'Cos that very last moment with Robin and Ted was actually quite wonderful and heartwarming. You just know everything will turn out well for the two of them...

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