How I Met Your Mother-Last Forever Parts One and Two-Josh Radnor, Coie Smulders, Jason Segel , Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris

On the series finale of How I Met Your Mother the gang perishes in a fiery oblivion, only for The Mother to find out she dreamed the whole thing in a coma. April Fools! “Last Forever Parts One and Two” speeds through life after Barney and Robin’s wedding. Though everyone gets what they want, the end is bittersweet.

The Players:

  • Director: Pamela Fryman
  • Writers: Carter Bays and Craig Thomas
  • Cast: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Cristin Milioti, Bob Saget, Lyndsy Fonseca, David Henrie, Judith Drake, Marshall Manesh, Joe Nieves, Saidia Rashed, Courtney Hope Turner, Brooke Lynn Howard, Justene Alpert, Alexandria Skaltsounis, Patrick Kang, Kerrigan Milker

Episode Title: “Last Forever Parts One and Two”

Ted finishes telling his kids the story of how he met their mother.

The Good:

  •  The Yellow Umbrella: In true How I Met Your Mother fashion, they waited until the final minutes to reveal Ted and The Mother’s first conversation at the Farhampton train station. It’s a total meet-cute moment. They introduce each other as Cindy’s (Rachel Bilson) roommate and the Professor. It’s the umbrella that makes the magic, as it should be since we’ve been counting yellow umbrellas for years. When they discover that they’ve been sharing the same umbrella for years, the look that passes between them was everything we were hoping for. Learning that Ted and his love have the same initials didn’t matter: Tracy McConnell will always be The Mother to us.
  • When Being Right Burns: Yes, Ted and The Mother end up together. They’re so meant to be that at Marshall and Lily’s Halloween/Farewell to The Apartment bash in 2016, The Mother is a Gore/Liberman granny to Ted’s decade old hanging chad costume. Ted always planned things out, so it was fitting that his fanatical French Castle wedding be derailed by The Mother’s unexpected pregnancy. Five years and two kids later, they still hadn’t wed, which was cute. Ted and The Mother interrupt their unwedded bliss to make it official so they can enjoy some years together before the bad times. Everything we felt in “Vesuvius” was true. The Mother perished from an unidentified illness before their children reach their teens. Though they waited until the final seconds to drop the anvil, we still felt the loss. But they did find a way to make it work.
  • Those Kids: Lyndsy Fonseca, the actress who played Ted’s daughter, recently stated in an interview that all of the kids’ scenes were filmed during the first season of HIMYM. It was always the plan for the kids to conclude the story with the same words that we’ve been saying for years. This story had little to do with The Mother; she’s barely in it. This is the story of how and why Ted loves Robin so much. Even when The Mother is finally and happily in the picture, the underlying focus of the finale shifts to Robin’s echoing absence in the wake of her divorce from Barney. Carter Bays and Craig Thomas never lied: Robin was not The Mother. But when Ted’s kids permission prompted him to run to Robin’s five dog apartment in a suit with a blue French horn, you kind of knew it would always end like this.
  • Daddy’s Home: To his credit, Barney slipped immediately back into his party playboy persona after his divorce.  It was an odd comfort to see him back in his natural habitat, even if it went on well into his 40’s. Until the Robots & Wrestlers show of 2019 where he confessed to Marshall, Lily, Ted, and The Mother that after the creation of a second playbook to achieve a perfect month, his 31st conquest got pregnant. We never meet 31, or learn her name. This was never really about her. Barney celebrates his freedom, throwing cigars in the air in the hopes of observing, “Not a Father’s Day,” right up until he holds his daughter for the first time. The love-at-first-sight pledge Barney always mocked was made immediately and our Barnacle was forever changed (“You are the love of my life. Everything I have and everything I am is yours.”). Switching his bedtime from 3 a.m. to 9:45 was cute, but watching him lecture young women on their bar lifestyle was almost too much. But if it had to work out with Barney and one girl, we’re glad it was little Ellie.
  • The Happy Family: Marshall and Lily continue to be the happily married couple and we’re completely fine with that. It only took a few episodes of strife between them for us to realize some things shouldn’t change. Lily gets pregnant with the third child right as Barney and Robin announce their divorce. Marshall becomes a judge after a few soul crushing years in corporate law post-Italy.  One of the best jokes of the night was Marshall’s announcement at Ted’s wedding that with his application to the State Supreme Court, “Judge Fudge,” was soon to be “Fudge Supreme.”

The So-So:

  • What Was The Point?: Robin and Barney’s divorce hit like a sucker punch. After spending an eternity turning us from skeptical observers to die hard believers, their relationship expired about 20 minutes into the finale. The stress of Robin’s success, traveling the globe reporting the news tore them apart three years after that formerly questionable scene in Argentina. However, since Robin starts pining for Ted immediately after the separation, it’s hard to believe nothing else was driving the split. Even though parts of the journey made sense by the end, we couldn’t shake the disappointment of this drawn out plot seeming suddenly pointless at the end. Though they’ll forever remain separated, let us now light a candle for the love of Robin and Barney. We believed in you.

Overall:

“Last Forever Parts One and Two” saluted, “Major Pleasure,” and almost played, “Have you met Ted.” We remembered that time Ted and Barney licked the liberty bell and even visited the once Arcadia now Goliath National Bank that Ted built. There was a legendary high five, and the last shot of Robots vs. Wrestlers for eternity. There was even one last bad pun from Marshall: “Has the abominable snow man called yet? Not Yetti. All loose ends were tied up. The girl of Barney’s dreams is his daughter, Robin finally became a broadcast news success, and Lily and Marshall remained happy. Ted got The Mother, but ended up with Robin in the end. Did it feel like a total cop out? Absolutely. This was the most roundabout way to achieve the most obvious conclusion. Sometimes you get a girl pregnant by accident and you find the rest of your life. Sometimes you fall in love the first week of college and you stay that way. And sometimes you fall in love with a girl that you don’t end up with until the other love of your life dies too soon. Was it perfect? No, but neither is life. No matter how much we didn’t like it, they ended the series with reality, beauty and a blue French horn.

Rating: 9/10

How I Met Your Mother aired Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

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