Jump to 2015 and Robin (Cobie Smulders) is a network news superstar who's always traveling and never around. Ted (Josh Radnor) and the Mother (Cristin Milioti) are planning a wedding in France but then it turns out she's pregnant so they have to come up with a new plan.
In May 2016, Marshall (Jason Segal) is back working in corporate law; Lily (Alyson Hannigan) is about to have her third baby. Robin and Barney are arguing endlessly. And, oh by the way they tell their friends, "We got divorced." It wasn't exactly a surprising turn, even for a viewer who only tuned in occasionally for the show's last couple of semi-painful-to-watch seasons.
Robin tells Lily "it's never gonna be how it was," causing a pregnant Lily to cry while dressed as a white whale (for a Halloween costume party) while standing in the empty New York apartment she and Marshall were moving out of.
In 2018 a supposedly fortysomething Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) is celebrating plans for another legen--dary! night on the town. Marshall finally gets the judge job he's always wanted. Everyone is there except Ted's partner and the now-often-absent Robin.
Barney pleads to just be allowed to be his womanizing self
In 2019, we learn Ted and his partner -- the mother -- never married. And Barney got a one-night-stand pregnant (it had to happen sooner or later).
In 2020 Ted is showing his daughter, Penny, the Goliath Bank building when Robin wanders by, a sighting Lily compares to a sasquatch sighting. Barney's daughter, Ellie, is born. Barney declares her to be, "the love of my life" as he gets all choked up. "Everything I am and everything I have is yours forever."
Ted finally proposes to the Mother and makes plans to marry her on Thursday after "seven years and two kids." Robin returns for the big event. Marshall says he's running for "state supreme court," which friend-of-Tuned-In-Journal Legal Eagle says is a blunder because as a trial court judge, Marshall is already on the state supreme court. Oops.
Ted and the Mother -- whose name is finally revealed to be Tracy McConnell -- marry and then "HIMYM" lowered the boom because in the future the Mother got sick and died, leading to the inevitable, predictable revelation that after Tracy died, Ted gets back together with Robin.
Finally, the show flashes to Ted telling the story of "How I Met Your Mother" to the kids, six years after their mother's death, the scene shot in the show's second season.
"That's it, I don't buy it," Ted's daughter, Penny, says. "Mom's hardly in the story. This is the story of how you're totally in love with Aunt Robin. You're thinking of asking her out and you want to know if we're OK with it."
"I kept this story shot and to the point and you still missed it," Ted says -- har-de-har-har because it went on nine years.
Then he goes to ask Robin out. The end.
It was a fairly anti-climactic ending and won't go down in series finale history as something memorable (or legen-dary!), but it did hit plenty of notes/jokes/gags "HIMYM" fans will appreciate. And it was maybe emotional for viewers who stuck with the show much longer than it deserved to have them watching.
But it also felt cheap: The show always seemed to want to put Ted and Robin together and producers claimed she wasn't the mother, which, while technically true, is also a major dodge since Ted did end up with Robin, which is what everyone thought would happen nine years ago. So to get dragged along to the inevitable end and have it be EXACTLY what was suspected, will leave some fans disappointed while I suppose some others might be satisfied with seeing the inevitable come to fruition.
Personally, I gave up on "HIMYM" several seasons back and after that lame finale, I'm so glad I didn't spend another minute more watching it.
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