Monday, May 21, 2018

'HIMYM' finale was the mother of all letdowns

It felt like getting left at the altar. Hurt, shock, confusion — all rolled into one, at the exact moment you thought would be the happiest of your life. A slap in the face.

After eight incredible seasons (and whatever this last roller coaster was), the acclaimed How, If You Saw the Pilot, You Know Exactly How It's Going to End wrapped, just as it began, with send off nods from past gags and looks ahead to the (happy?) future.

I cried a couple of times during this final episode of How I Met Your Mother, but these moments were fleeting, as the heartfelt moments were immediately followed by rage. Why would we spend an entire season on Barney and Robin if they were getting divorced 15 minutes into the last episode? Yes, it's where Ted meets The Mother, but even the actual meeting is put on the back burner for (gasp!) Barney and Robin. The meeting was cute (TM on the umbrella and the realization of the umbrella's journey brought forth more than a few tears), but the voice-over ruined it for me. Why, Bob Saget, must you tell us what we could be hearing for ourselves? I've waited nine years for this moment. Shut up.

More tears came from the previously teased ending of The Mother's death, which, though tragic, bugged me a lot. No time at all was devoted to her passing. Where was Ted's mourning? Why no further explanation? I get that he's telling the story to his kids and the kids probably know all of what happened here, but it felt like a cop-out to the viewer.

The biggest tears of the night came for, surprisingly, Barney. Neil Patrick Harris gave perhaps his best performance ever in the nursery, which actually completely broke my heart. It was probably the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, and redeemed the episode for a time.

Then there was the ending. The show has spent nine years bringing Ted and Robin together and pulling them apart, reminding them (and the viewers) why they aren't meant to be together. Why, then, introduce the woman made for Ted Mosby, kill her, and leave him going back to Robin Sparkles? Haven't we seen this three, four, seven times before? Why spend all that time getting back to exactly the point where they began? Why not just end the series at the end of the pilot? Oh, wait. They did do that.

Nine years left me expecting a bigger payoff. The show undoubtedly will be around for generations to come, and with good reason, as the show had many, many high notes (and not just those sung by NPH).

The finale was a low, and perhaps will grow on me over time, but for now the feeling of betrayal is just too strong.

Joey Hager is a senior at Palm Harbor University High.

   
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