First off I’ll say I wasn’t disappointed nor surprised. In the end it played out how it probably should have. I won’t spoil that.
I tuned into last night’s hour long finale and braced myself. The one thing I was not prepared for and made me cry was, for me, the best moment of the episode (spoiler alert!). Watching Barney hold his infant daughter Ellie for the first time and get teary as he said the words he had earlier told Ted, Marshall and Lily he could never say to any woman, “You are the love of my life. Everything I have and everything I am is yours. Forever.” And then he kissed her and broke down. I think the writers and producers brought the perfect redemption for Barney who only loves suits. Here he had just handed out cigars hoping he wasn’t the father and had to be pushed into the nursery by Ted, Marshall and Lily and now he had become the man they all knew he could be inside. And it was a woman but not romantic love or lust that changed him.
While I’d been told/figured out what would eventually happen to the “mother” who we found out’s name is Tracy, watching the montage of Ted and Tracy’s life together with their children also brought me to tears as Ted described how thankful he was for all of it. All of it. Even the painful times.
I was more emotional at the end of this series than I had anticipated. I knew I would cry at the end of The Office and would even be a little misty at the end of 30Rock. But this one totally caught me off guard. I didn’t think I had invested as emotionally as I had, after all, HIMYM was not appointment tv for me like The Office and 3oRock were. As the end credits rolled to The Walkmen’s Heaven, which paid tribute to each character and actor, I began to realize how they had impacted me. First of all, they’re my age, something I find rare in television. Characters are usually just older or younger. Second, there were underlying themes that resonated with where I am in life: Marshall and Lily who fought for their marriage and family against all odds and learned how to compromise their personal expectations for the better of their family; Ted who dated looking for someone to marry only to be disappointed that the rest of the world didn’t time and time again; even Barney who searched for the love of his life covertly and unsatisfyingly through his search for his father, various women (including, sadly, Robin, that was the only thing that disappointed me in the finale), and finally found it in a daughter he thought he didn’t have room for in his life; and Robin who struggled to find balance between who she was and who she wanted to be. Their friendship and stories met my life where it is right now. And it turns out, that meant a lot more than I thought. And just as their time together at McLaren’s has come to an end, one day this phase of my life will end. And all we’ll have will be the memories.
Remember, remember all we fight for