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For some reason, I already knew the mother was dead, not because I actually remember the episode, but because the way Ted told the story it always hinted towards something that was over. No father I know would be as cruel as to tell his kids the story of why did he divorce their mother, so at the back of my head I was enthralled by the story of a man that had already bury the mother of his children.

Then again, I always wanted Ted to end up with Robin, but I thought it was impossible after the final season spent so much time with them either meeting or getting married to their respective spouses. This was their happy ending, their one true love, the better-half that finally completed them...in any other show but HIMYM.

To me, this ending was about two people growing old together, not with the mother/father of their children or their first love (or even the love of their life): Ted and Robin didn't "settle" for one another. In fact, neither one was the other's first choice. Its the choices they made what honor what they have, and because they let go of one another is that they became the person they were always meat to be. Just like the choice his kids made is what honors what their mother meant to me.

How Ted met their stepmother also honors these kids's existence, for Penny and Luke wouldn't even be here if aunt Robin and their father wouldn't have chosen the lives that they led. Penny and Luke didn't depend on a twist of fate, but a series of choices that shaped the father they got to have, the mother he finally met and the aunt they made the conscious choice to let into their lives.

Would I wish to believe in soul mates? Sure. Do I still believe in true love? You bet I do. But this show gave me something new to believe in: An attainable, no short-cuts, realistic look at love. The kind of love you look back on even after divorce, death or break up and remain grateful for that one person who chose to be part or your life because, regardless how that story ended, you couldn't imagine yourself without it.
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I hated the ending !
-Ted and Robin are not intended to be together !!!
-Robin and Barney never should have gotten divorced, unless there would be a more story to it.
-I also think that killing off the mother after 9 season building up to meet her, is just a easy way to finish the series, people always wanted Ted and Robin to end up together(I don't get that..) so they made that happen.
I hated almost everything about the last episode except the Barney scene, the birth of his daughter. I'll wait for the new ending, but I'm pretty sure I'll be just as disappointed...
-Disappointed HIMYM fan :(
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To me, it felt like Barney and Robin should've never gotten together, because when they did it was heartbreaking that they broke apart, twice.
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well took me 2 days to process the ending. still HATE it. atleast now we know y the writers wouldn't give up on the ted robin scenes till the very end.(even when they were a stretch)
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From the kids's perspective, it was importante to establish it wasn't a random person their Dad had the hots for.

This isn't just someone he met at a bar, but someone he met at a bar a loooooong time ago and was part of his life.
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I quite disagree with the divorce as a start for telling the story being a cruel act. I mean, when two people decide that they should start over because they know each other too well and they love each other so much that they want their other half to experience something new (I know this is not what 99,99999% of divorces are about), then it would have made perfect and kind sense to me. (I have already pointed out in another comment that I thought this one episode with Ted and Tracy in the restaurant, her knowing all of his stories, sounded to me like the sweetest and heart-breaking "We should end this"-talk ever... but maybe I am just really really strange... which would be ok.)

So, Ted would have just told his kids the story of how he met their mother to show, that they deeply loved each other... once... and maybe still do... and that life is complicated.
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The way I see it, viewers need satsfaction. And, while I maintain it would've been perfectly alright by me if everyone would've ended up alone (even Lily & Marshal), I can understand why Ted's marriage had to end in a succesful note: till death do them part.

Thing is, in real life children hear the divorce talk from both their parents, which is what hinted me this wasn't a divorce story all along.
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Perfectly understand your point of view here! The restaurant episode just made me really wonder about the ending: "They are not going to let the two... hmm... this sounds strange... is that a break-up... is she not going to die... what is going to happen?"
And to the "divorce talk from both their parents": I didn't want to say that this is the actual "now we are getting divorced..." but the "ok, we've been apart now for some time, let me tell you about the beginning..."
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I think that's one of the greatest parts of the finale. It's kind of a life-lesson in a way. You can't live in the past and you have to try to move forward.

But I still think that they shouldn't have revealed Tracy's death like 5 minutes before Ted goes after Robin. Even though 6 years have passed, it would have still been more satisfying if the viewers had seen the effects of Tracy's death: Ted's friends comforting him and his kids, Ted mourning, a funeral possibly, Robin starts to help Ted out with the kids and Ted starts to realise his re-emerging feelings for Robin. And possibly Ted telling his children how devastated he was after their mother's death.

I'm not a writer but I think that the finale provided a realistic ending that had a lot of potential but then fell flat because of the hectic way the writers handled it.
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The name of the show didn't use "Step".
I was starting to get angry a couple of seasons ago when it became clear that the mother would have to get pregnant almost immediately after meeting Ted so that the kids were the ages they were supposed to be in 2030.
Then they broke Ted up with Robin over and over again, he renounced her more than Peter renounced Jesus.
Fast forward in ONE scene and you get "Go bang Aunt Robin, dad! Sheesh!"
That is why I want to forget the two-parter finale ever existed,

One last thing, They basically spent 6-7 seasons showing us how Barney and Robin grow up in the people that eventually got married in the final season, The ones that couldn't stop high-fiving each other and were so much in sync it was baffling even their friends. All their issues were solved especially over the duration of the last season, from the Playbook, to Barney's most significant exes, to his lying all the time.
Again using the fast forward, we suddenly have a Barney who is what? Sick of living in various places around the world and seldomly seeing his wife. The Barney we knew and loved would just have found something legendary to fill up his time with (no, a blog about wang jokes is not that) and sipped whiskey with the woman he loved at the end of the day.

In my mind, this is a complete failure, but that's just me.
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I'd say it wasn't the storybook ending we're programmed to expect: Ted's life wasn't magically fixed by meeting The Mother, as you pointed out he wasn't even married to her by the day their daughter was born.

Robin was never upset that Ted had kids, the strech was for her to be present when Barney had them. And this could very well may not be the end of the story, for even if it works out Robin could call it off with Ted 3 years from now, just like she and Barney did.

The beauty for me is that it doesn't matter, because the characters look back on each and every story, not only for Tracy, but for every ex Ted ever had, and share the same smile that Robin shared with Luke and Penny's father.

This was worth it to me, not because they weren't alone at the end, but because alone or with someone it was worth it for them.
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What you describe here has no bearing on my grievances, though. I don't want the magical ending, but I would settle for a plausable one. Just resetting everyone to the first episode seems like an insult to me as a watcher.
The rest is just details.
And all the beauty you describe is basically... a reset. So no... I'm not happy!
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Reset for me would've been a storybook ending, but Ted wasn't in love with Robin, theirs wasn't an epic relationship, he certainly isn't the love ofher life judging by her history with Barney.

Ted was just an average guy that dated a series of women, fell in love and married the love of his life. And after she died he started dating again, because that's life.
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I can't be upset just because meeting the Mother didn't fix all of Ted's problems, nor because marriage didn't fix them for Robin and Barney. That's life too.

As neat as it is to believe the right person can fix everything so we can be happy, I find this ending far more rewarding because that isn't the case and the characters are happy anyway.
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Let's just agree to disagree.
I am upset that all the premise of a show that I've been watching for 9 years is "let's lie to the viewers", and all you can come up with is: "that's life"?
Let me just say that in real lie once you try, try, try try, and try again with the same person it clearly isn't working - get out now! This show has basically just short-circuited the problems between Ted and Robin by the plot-device Tracy.
I don't have a problem with weather this could possibly happen in real life (the answer is no, otherwise all the characters would never have been able to discuss mentally, so once you suspend your disbelief for some elements, you give up on the 'real world' premise), what irks me is that within the confines of this show, with the character development they showed throughout 9 seasons, the ending was rushed, poorly executed, badly written, and basically just a hack job.
I'm not trying to convince you, you certainly won't convince me (especially not with the 'shit happens, let's just be happy' line of thinking), let's just call it quits.

PS: If you think they wanted to tell us that Ted and Robin were just settling on one another, you didn't watch very carefully. They wanted to tell us that despite Tracy being Ted's soul-mate, Robin was the love of his life. That means this WAS the happily ever after for the writers, which means your 'such is life' theory doesn't hold water.

Deep breaths, deep breaths...
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1. Scene: "and then she got sick" - Mom in Hospital bed
2. Scene: "Come on dad! Mom is dead since 6 years go and get Robin"

I mean what the hell!
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Then again, she's been dead for six years to me. I don't remember the episode but I could swear it was severly hinted The Mother was already dead back then.
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There was always the question of why Ted was telling the story, so while I'm not thrilled about it, her being dead was always in my mind.
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What I like is that this wasn't a quest to validate Ted's life: he didn't define himself by the woman he was with, but by the kids he was telling the story to.

The Mother wasn't a goal and neither was Robin, regardless how Ted's story would end they had a story, dreams and lives of their own.
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no no Im totally fine with the Mother being dead! I just hate they way they showed it - in like 3 sec.
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Thanks for writing one of the relatively few positive reviews of the finale. It was not a "happily ever-after" episode. But after spending 29 minutes tracking numbers and happiness in "Sad News" and then being shocked by Carter and Craig to find out Marshall's father had passed (as did Jason -- remarkable performance on one take when he didn't know the ending of the ep), I was not surprised by the twists they put in the finale. As a lot of people have said, the joy of HIMYM was always the journey and not the destination. And the "destination" was not what I wanted, but neither are a lot of life's destinations. Now, may we all hope for the best for the new HIMYD and that it gets picked up by CBS. Looking forward to another journey this fall.
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So this means you enjoyed the finale?
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