HIMYM, by the way, is short for How I Met Your Mother, a show I started watching in its 3rd season (I went back and watched the first two seasons later, thanks to Netflix). And last night was the last episode of the series.
Many people have many opinions about the last episode, many of them negative.
But here’s my Horton-hears-a-Who moment of why I loved the last episode. If you’re a fan of the show, fair warning: spoilers ahead.
If you’ve never seen the show, here’s the elevator pitch: in the year 2030, a dad is telling his adolescent children how he met their mother. Except we don’t really meet the mother until Season 9, so it’s really a winding yarn about how Ted spent the better part of his 30s looking for The One. Moving on.
A few weeks prior to the finale, in the middle of a conversation with Ted, the protagonist, and The Mother (it was a flash-forward), there was an insinuation that perhaps the mother was dead by 2030. I definitely bought into that theory, and didn’t mind it so much because life is messy and conflict abounds and all that writer crap that Stueve is always telling me.
And last night, we learned that’s exactly what happened. Ted meets the mother in 2014. They have two kids, but he doesn’t marry her until 2021 (not judging at all here, just giving time references). She dies in 2024. In the last ten minutes of the finale, Ted tells his kids how much he loved their mother and how lucky he was to have the moments he had with her.
And then the kids call him out on the 9-season story: it’s not about The Mother, it’s about “Aunt” Robin.
Robin, the girl that Ted says “I love you” to on their first date, steals her a blue french horn, eventually dates her but it ends in disaster.
The kids encourage Ted to call Robin and ask her out on a date. Mom’s been gone for six years, they say. It’s clear you love Robin, they say.
And the Internet freaks out, while for me, hope springs eternal.
My uncle, who I love so dearly, fell in love with a woman while in college. He asked her to marry him, then he left for his LDS mission. While he was gone, she married someone else (not a decision she made lightly, by the way, so don’t be upset with her). He came home from his mission, married someone else, had a family.
And his wife passed away. And the woman he proposed to in college, her husband passed away. And they reconnected, and married, and raised their families together, and lived some happy years together. So I’ve seen in my own family, the “girl that got away” be re-gotten.
Then I think of me. And my favorite Jane Austen book Persuasion. And my uncle. And last night’s HIMYM. And a small flame of hope appears: maybe I’m someone’s Second Act. And I don’t say that for pity–I say that because it just might be true. That perhaps one day, **someone I laughed with or studied with or fought with might show up outside my window holding a blue french horn, and all the pieces of my life will suddenly lock into place while the universe screams at me: THIS. This is what I had waiting for you. Isn’t it great?
So, Internet haters, I wasn’t disappointed with the HIMYM finale. I quite loved it.
But I also loved the last episode of Lost, and I was in the minority then as well, so maybe I just don’t know good TV after all.
**I am in no way wishing ill will on any spouses of ex-boyfriends. Please understand that.**