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HIMYM ends, but its legacy lives on

| Sunday, March 30, 2014

himym_header_WEBMaria Massa
On Monday at 8 p.m., the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” (HIMYM) ends its momentous nine-season run with an hour-long series finale, culminating in the titular encounter between Ted (Josh Radnor) and his unnamed future wife (Cristin Milioti) and a look into the characters’ lives in present-day 2030. For diehard fans of the show, this sad moment has come too soon. Others are glad to finally have one less show to reluctantly watch.

Personally, I’ve loved the show since the first season, even with all its recent flaws, but I won’t be reaching for the tissues once it’s over. Just like the title’s emphasis on “how” and my life mantra suggest, HIMYM has always been more about the journey than the destination.

That’s probably not what most fans of the show would tell you. For some, this is the most anticipated end of a series since “Breaking Bad” back in September. In my view, I was disappointed with how neatly Vince Gilligan wrapped up that show, but its too-tidy conclusion didn’t suddenly diminish my love for its previous 61 episodes. Though I’m intrigued to see what happens in Monday’s HIMYM finale, my overall enjoyment of the show won’t ride entirely on the tremendously difficult task of finding the right conclusion.

In the case of this series finale, the questions still to be answered stem primarily from a particular scene in a recent episode called “Vesuvius,” in which dialogue from 2021 between future Ted and the mother heavily implies that someone, most likely the mother, could be dying.

The theories go further, speculating that 2030 Ted has been telling his kids this story to keep her spirit and memories alive, so her kids can cope with having a new mother in Robin, whom the writers have seemingly always planned to be Ted’s lifelong wife.

The number of links to articles and texts I’ve received from my dad about what I think is just a red herring has been overwhelming. Milioti herself called the theory insane, and I think the writers concocted all of these suppositions to add suspense to an ending that was never meant to be climactic. HIMYM has always set itself apart from other sitcoms with its novelistic continuity, smart writing and sympathetic characters, but I can hardly imagine the show differentiating itself by taking a page from the playbook of “Lost” and ending in a potentially morbid fashion.

It wouldn’t surprise me if I were completely wrong about all of this, however. I initially thought the writers were making huge mistakes in adding the mother to the cast and spanning all 24 episodes of the final season over the course of the wedding weekend. On both counts, I’ve been proven wrong with what has turned out to be a hit-or-miss but still solid ninth season.

The writers’ spinoff “How I Met Your Dad” coming in Fall 2014 worries me slightly, but I’m guessing the lead actress Greta Gerwig alone will prove me wrong again. So I’m sure that even if the finale does end up with a widowed Ted marrying Robin in 2030, it will still be very satisfying.

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About Kevin Salat

Kevin is a junior from the suburbs of Chicago pursuing a degree in Marketing. He is currently studying abroad in Shanghai, China.

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