Recurring Cast: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Cristin Miloti with Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan
When you have a nine season show coming to a close that has been one of the most viewed comedies in the world, then you have to deliver a bloody good finale episode. And I think that is the problem here. How I Met Your Mother weren’t entirely sure how to do that.
The entire episode feels a little routine. It picks up where the previous episode left off. Barney and Robin have just been married and Ted abruptly stands up and announces that he needs to go. From there, we are suddenly catapulted through the remaining years of these characters. We go through Barney and Robin’s life as a married couple, the friendship group drifting apart as they get older and, of course, Ted finally finding the mother of his children that we have spent the entire show tracking down. The content of the show isn’t quite so routine and the show threw some twists and shocks up in the air that I didn’t see coming. Characters head off into unexpected directions and the ending was something I didn’t predict. Story-wise, the finale delivered, but I didn’t like the format of the show.
Maybe it was the fact that we had spent a whole season focused on those three days of the weekend of the wedding. After looking at this character’s through a microscope, it felt a little distracting to suddenly hit the accelerator and race through 2014 all the way to 2030 in 40 minutes. We didn’t have time to dissect any of the characters as much as we usually do. We would just stop on a year at random and the characters would all gather around and share their announcements. We would all briefly exclaim at these new developments, a couple of jokes were cracked and then we were off to the next stopping point, jumping over lots of potential moments. I get that it is fitting in its own way. As the group begins to splinter, so does the narrative and we are hearing these massive chunks of news at the same time as the others. However, I just felt that there must have been a better way to tell the story, rather than just ‘telling’ it. The episode lacked focus and we were all over the place. It was a rather disappointing decision from the writers.
Not that the episode didn’t have its moments. This was the god damn finale and we were going to taken on an emotional journey. I have already mentionned that there are certain plot twists that few will see coming and those were clever of the writers. The episode felt less like a comedy and more of a character piece. Of course, there are jokes, including an amusing ET reference and a joke about blogging which felt like a personal slap to the face, but the writers understand that we want more than that. We have come so close to these characters that we don’t mind the laughs being put on the backburner to have a better look at what happens to these guys that we have spent so much time with these last nine seasons. There are so emotionally powerful moments that will try their hardest to coax some tears out of viewers. My throat began getting a bit raw, when Barney finally says the vows he has been avoiding to the girl of his life. It was the way Neil Patrick Harris was non-plussed one beat and then the tears began to water in his eyes. It is moments like that that remind us why we love this show so much. We are going to miss these characters so much.
Final Verdict: Sure, it could have been a lot better, but when it needed to work, it did, and was a suitable close for a very emotional journey.