This has been an odd show built around the premise that we already know what happens: Ted meets The Mother and they have two children together. How Ted gets to that point, however, has always been a mystery to the audience. Tonight, that mystery is solved and the story comes to an end.
Yesterday, we had a special podcast retrospective of the show in which we discussed our theories on what is going to happen, what we'd like to see, and reminisced about our favorite moments as fans. Give it a listen! Is The Mother dead, or is that just a red herring?
Let me be blunt here: my gut reaction is to be mad. Throughout this entire series, I've been hoping that they would stick to their guns and Ted would not end up with Robin. Little did we all know that they were in fact sticking to their guns, but that that WAS their original plan.
It's disappointing, and I feel like they even admitted why: The Mother is barely in the story. Ted really just spent all that time talking about some other woman instead of their mother. How does that make Ted Mosby anything but LESS likable than before?
It's obviously not their intention, but it really comes off as though Ted's relationship with Tracy wasn't actually the love of his life. She was just another bump in the road like Stella and Zoey and Victoria to fill the void. She was a means to an end for him to have kids and after that was done, she was no longer useful.
Again, while I'm writing this out, let me remind you that this is my initial gut reaction to something I've waited nine years to see, so my opinions might change on this later, and right now, ten minutes have gone by and I'm already less angry and more disappointed.
I liked how the episode started with a flashback to the origins of the group, but immediately it started to make me think that this was just another sign that they were making Robin too integral.
I'll give credit to Carter Bays and Craig Thomas that they did stay true to the idea that this might be fictional, but it doesn't mean everything is a fairy tale. Barney and Robin getting a divorce? That happens in real life. The likelihood that we would have three perfect couples in Lily/Marshall, Barney/Robin, Ted/Tracy that all live happily ever after and play bridge on the front porch was probably not going to happen.
But damn it, why did this have to turn out to be a series about how Ted was still in love with Robin throughout everything? I know that it would be even more depressing if Tracy died and there was nobody there for Ted, but doesn't this just make you think that Ted only loved Tracy as much as he allowed himself to be deluded into thinking? He thought he loved Zoey, he thought he loved Victoria, he thought he loved Stella, he even thought people like Leilani were "the one." So what's the difference with Tracy? There were more clues about destiny than the others?
A friend of mine brought up a great point. He said it's as if they completely glossed over Tracy and said to the audience "what did she die from? Who cares." And then the kids basically have the reaction of "Dad, our mom has been dead for like, six years, just get over it already." Ouch. Also, why don't we even get a name for Barney's daughter's mother? I liked the idea that his daughter was the true love of his life, but her mother doesn't matter either?
I'm glad that they at least tried to tie up some loose ends, like Marshall paying Lily after losing the bet, but he technically didn't now, did he? And why was there no explanation about Bob Saget's voice?
It's going to take a long time for me to process this and I'm sure I'll be easier on it in the future, but if I'm giving an honest initial reaction to it, I can't help but be disappointed that for a show that has meant so much to me over the years, built upon the concept of receiving a payoff, it all ended up being kind of tossed aside for a Ted and Robin ship. Ted was supposed to be telling us the best love story that ever existed: the story of how he met Tracy. Not the story of how he always had a thing for Robin and now that his wife is dead, it's supposed to be justified for him to go after her for the millionth time.