‘How I Met Your Mother’ finale has its ups and downs

| Movies editor

After nine seasons, “How I Met Your Mother” has finally come to a close. The last few seasons started to drag and lose their charm, but the extended goodbye of this season had enough moments to make it worth it. Those moments were almost all due to the mother, whose name we finally learned: Tracy McConnell, played by Cristin Milioti.

The two-episode finale had enough references to classic jokes (the cockamouse, high-fives, judge puns) to satisfy the fans who have been there since the beginning. As always, the focus was on the evolving relationship between Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin and Barney, up until Ted tells his kids how he met their mother.

We’ve had a few scenes with Ted and Tracy this season, so their actual first meeting wasn’t the first time we saw them together. However, it was a beautiful culmination, showing how perfect they were for each other as they completed each other’s sentences during their first conversation standing under the yellow umbrella in the rain. Finally given a chance to share more than one scene this episode, it’s too bad we didn’t get to see more of them because their chemistry was great.

Now on to the last scene: fans had predicted that the mother would be dead in 2030 (the year in which present-Ted is telling the story) and that Ted would actually end up with Robin, which is precisely what happened. It’s great that the writers had planned it from the beginning, and ending with Ted holding the blue French horn was a great throwback to the pilot. Despite being a comedy, “How I Met Your Mother” has usually done a good job of dealing with painful emotions, especially within Marshall and Lily’s storyline, but the balance was off in the final scene. Going from the mother’s death to Ted’s kids telling him to ask Robin out felt completely disingenuous.

As great as the mother was this season, the show was never really about her—it was about the friendship of the group. The episode rushed through 15 years in which all of the characters went through huge changes, not all of which worked. Barney was especially all over the place without the character arc that he had been developing over the season, and his marriage with Robin lasted all of 15 minutes of screen time.

Seeing them drift apart and Ted and Robin end up together was a reminder that not everything can have a happy ending, and all we can ever try to do is get along the best we can. After nine years, it’s time for us to get along without the gang at MacLaren’s.