The Last Forever: Goodbye, HIMYM

It’s finally time.
9 years in the making, and it’s finally time. And it’s something we don’t-no, can’t- accept.
But How I Met Your Mother is ending. And with it our journey with the lovable 5 ends. We won’t get to have those precious 30 minutes with our mutual best friends, the people we know better than ourselves, the people we suddenly lose contact with.
It’s bittersweet: We’ve left behind people like Zach and Cody, Walter White, and Michael Scott, but we’ve gotten used to it. But never have we left an entire group, who would wait for us every Monday to let us catch up with them.

Never again will we have those moments in Maclaren’s laughing at Barney’s insane stories, cringing at Marshall’s terrible puns, or crying over Ted’s loneliness. Never will we have those moments that we feel in sync with people so close to us, yet so very far. Never will we have those moments where we yearn to see our best friends again.
And something about that really leaves a gap in our hearts.
But it’s ok, because we can remember the great times How I met your Mother gave us.
We can remember the times we cried for Ted, all worried together over his aching sorrow and his crippling loneliness. We remember the moments of high and low in his life, just hoping that things would work out for him. In him, we saw us: we saw the hopeless romantic vying for the time of his life.
In that same regard, however, we also saw the flimsy drunk in him trying to fight against his innate sense of moral responsibility. And as we look into the new chapter in his life, we can only hope for the best- but the journey he has so painstakingly taken is finally ending. He will have closure.
We can remember the times we laughed at Robin Scherbatsky- sorry, I mean Robin Sparkles- over her canadian descent, yet oogled at her attractiveness, but yet so swiftly enamored by her unique femininity that could only be called “tomboy girly.” We traveled the roller coaster of her own love, unsure of the direction we were headed.
We watched her evolve as a friend, girlfriend, and best friend right in front of our eyes. We poked her with our incessant Canadian desires and jokes, tipped her off with our introduction of Patrice, and fulfilled our love of all that can only be described as “Robin.”
We can cherish the moments we saw true love in Marshall and Lily. We saw that no matter what happened, they were always together either in spirit or in Marshpillow/Lilypad. Their love teetered on insanity, yet stayed within the limits of love.
We saw the trust and compassion we wanted from our soul mates and companions We can empathize with Marshall during those moments that we saw the devastating heartbreak in Marshall’s breakup with Lily and the tides of joy we felt when they were together.
We can hope that we’ll have a wedding just as quirky and strange as theirs, with only our closest friends right next to us, literally doing our vows for us.
And last, but definitely not least, we will miss Barney for the stripper-addicted, story-lying, horrible risk taker he is. We’ll miss him for the suit-loving, PLEASE antics, and amazing friends that he is. We’ll remember how he was singlehandedly the cause for most trouble in the group, yet somehow the elixir for everything single situation in one way or another.
We’ll remember him for the greatest evolution known within mankind in him, the evolution of a 30-year something constantly looking for hookups turn from a naive 6-year old boy into a somewhat mature adult, all the meanwhile providing the same amount of comedic relief that we so long for in our lives.
We’ll remember him for his own defining loneliness and his shenanigans within the community. We’ll remember him for the entire journey he took with Ted as the “greatest wingman of all time” all the while still vouching for the bro-code.
We’ll remember him for the times that we wished we were with him laughing our asses off while trying to fix him up for those “no questions asked.” We’ll have wanted to have been right beside him during those slaps, but alas we could only experience the pain through our hearts.
And as the series ends, we’re left with the question of “what now?” The finale answers our very questions that lay within our heart, and we can do nothing but watch and cry those last tears we will have them. But we can’t forget the love and joy we had of ever even getting to meet the lovable 5 from the start. We saw them grow nearly 9 years ago: like any good parent, we have to learn to let go. 
And I just realized that the title of the show “How I Met Your Mother” could be ironically symbolic of letting go of our own children in the show, letting go of people we held so dearly to us.
As Barney Stinson best put it, this episode is going to be “Legend…wait for it”
Please don’t please don’t please don’t please don’t.
– Josh, from Fleeting Thoughts
Catherine here…

This episode is called “The Last Forever,” and we anticipated a bunch of final goodbyes; we expected an episode about Ted’s move to Chicago, but we were dead wrong. This episode took a dramatic turn when he took one last chance, his apparent stupidity excused by the fact that this was the one. 

We do see a lot of lasts but we also see the first hello, about getting the guts to say the words that lead to the romance we’ve been wondering about for nine seasons, finally seeing the way that the next few years would play out.

How I Met Your Mother, the title, implies a love story, but the spread of multiple seasons reveals that it’s much more. It’s about five persons’ journeys of friendship, love, death, and everything in between.

We thought Robin and Ted might end up together, even up to the penultimate episode. We didn’t know if Marshall and Lily would stay together. We didn’t know if the mom was going to die (damn conspiracy theory articles circulating on the interwebs).

This is a tale of life that basically strings together every major idea and realization that this blog has ever uncovered, summed up in one, hour-long episode.

The situation with the mother is unique – we know that she’s the mother, but life isn’t a sitcom. Sometimes, we are Ted, and not a person in the audience. We don’t know if this girl or guy is any different from everyone else before them.

But if and when we meet someone special, it should make us want to break every rule that we’ve ever created, every expectation of our significant other we’ve ever constructed, simply because they make all the same mistakes as you.

A large portion of the show just shows us the near and distant future, revealing that even when the present seems perfect, life will switch around in different ways, giving us the up and downs that eventually feed into the stories we tell later in life.

Barney and Robin, as happy as they are on their wedding day, end up frustrated and unsatisfied with the marriage. So they divorce, and it slowly fractures the whole gang.

Robin comments that the gang is no longer who it was at the beginning of the series. And it’s true. Is it something that we should cry about? No, because that’s life.

People make promises and then they break them – they lose their authenticity and are backed up by empty claims.

The apartment itself shows that people move on to bigger and better things, but where we come from, we should never forget…we call it home. Moving on doesn’t have to be a sad thing – being young and stupid is a thing of the past, transition is both developing and inevitable.

Sometimes we’re Robin – everyone around you looks happy but you’re sad inside because you don’t know where the course of your life is leading you, and everyone else seems to know.

And sometimes we’re Barney. Does he ever change? In his 40s, he still pursues strangers and maintains a playbook – he’s stuck in his past because if he were ever to settle down with anyone, it would be Robin. But he’s lost that opportunity…does that then make Barney a bad person, or a flawed character? Not really. Because at one point or another, we’re all like him.

AND THEN LIFE GOES AROUND AND SURPRISES US. BARNEY CHANGES. AND FOR THE BETTER! We finally see some sort of role perversion, where he gets a girl pregnant. Maybe romantic love isn’t for Barney but maybe children can be the love of his life. The baby keeps him grounded and slowly weans him off women; he sees them like he sees his own daughter, Ellie, and that’s how we see his “character flaw” resolved.

For a TV show whose had the same theme song for all of its seasons, we see another group picture taken right near the end, of the gang back together for one of its last “big moments.”

Marshall turns around to the next booth over and tells them that lots of amazing things have taken place in this booth, and that McLarens has been the start of many adventures.

The booth, the yellow umbrella – all of these are motifs that remind me of the Tree, from my favorite novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; alas, this TV show tells the tale of life, a modern-day coming of age story.

The lesson is long and difficult. In the last few minutes we learn that the story isn’t over, even when Ted’s met the mother and dealing with salt-and-pepper hair.

Goodbye, HIMYM.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Perhaps I’m a Curmudgeon? | Thoughts & Theories

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