First off, if you haven't watched the series finale of How I Met Your Mother, STOP READING NOW. Spoilers ahead!
Consider yourself warned....
There were plenty of surprises in "Last Forever," but most of all it taught us that almost nothing actually lasts forever. How I Met Your Mother Season 9 Episode 23 opened with Ted saying goodbye to his friends as he planned to leave for Chicago.
Robin and Ted did their goofy salute. Marshall made jokes. Lily cried and got an ET goodbye that was just a little creepy and Ted and Barney did a high-five to echo throughout eternity. All of it seemed a fitting end.
Until Ted showed up back at MacLaren's the very next day.
The old lady on the train platform pointing out the beautiful girl with the yellow umbrella holding the bass was the perfect foil for Ted. And I loved how Ted kept telling her…
Just be cool, Lady. Damn.Ted
Because Ted was anything but. The next day, Marshall worried about his friend. That Ted keeps doing this. He falls too hard too fast and scares off his potential love. But Lily could see it. This was different. This was destiny calling.
Just as I was riding the high of true love, things took a turn.
Big Shocker #1: After three years of marriage, Robin and Barney weren't happy. She was traveling around the world for her dream job but Barney was getting left in the dust. When Robin offered him an exit ramp from their marriage, I never expected that he'd take it.
When the two announced to their friends that they had divorced. I, like Lily was devastated.
I've been a huge fan of Barney and Robin since they got together the first time and although I never expected their marriage to be easy, I truly believed it would last.
So as How I Met Your Mother Season 9 Episode 24 opened, I was more than I little ticked off. We'd just spent an entire season leading up to Barney and Robin's wonderful wedding, only to have their entire relationship dismantled in the matter of minutes.
Lily made them all promise to always be there for the big moments but it would never be the same.
Lily and Marshall eventually had to move from their beloved apartment when their third child was on the way. After years of enduring a miserable existence in corporate law, Marshall finally became a judge and eventually ran for State Supreme Court. I expected nothing less.
Barney reverted back to chasing anything in a skirt. As he explained to Lily in this How I Met Your Mother quote…
If it wasn't going to happen with Robin, then it's not going to happen with anyone.Barney
I found that heartbreaking. Barney truly loved Robin and as Lily pointed out, having a playbook at 40 was just sad. That's when we got to…
Big Shocker #2… As Barney lamented the loss of his "Clooney years" when #31 became pregnant, I couldn't help but smile. Somehow I always knew he'd make an amazing dad and if there was one female in the universe who was meant to capture his heart, it was baby Ella.
You are the love of my life. Everything I have and everything I am is yours. Forever.Barney
Nothing was funnier than watching Barney Stinson, the life of any party beg to go home at 9:45pm so he could get some much needed sleep.
Big Shocker # 3 was that Ted and Tracy (The Mother) still weren't married after having two children. What on earth were they waiting for?
I'd get married tomorrow in a White Castle but this guy needs more of a wow factor.The Mother
After five years and two kids, the two finally decided to get married on a Thursday and they celebrated with their friends at MacLaren's instead of a castle in Europe.
One of the things I loved about this scene was that Tracy was the one to make sure that Robin was there. Where so many of Ted's previous girlfriends were intimidated by Ted's relationship with Robin, Tracy wasn't. She knew it was important for Ted to have his best friend present on their big day.
Big Shocker #4…As Ted finished telling his kids about he and their mother's romantic first meeting in the rain under the yellow umbrella, we find out that Tracy became ill and died six years earlier. I found that horribly sad. For as little screen time as they had together, they really did seem to make the perfect couple.
Finally, we got to…
Big Shocker #5…The kids push Ted to pursue "Aunt Robin." I had mixed feelings about this. I sort of hated that Robin was made out to be such a selfish loner for much of the finale. Not that there wasn't precedent for it. It was certainly within character. Robin was always career driven but I hated that she let that passion for her work end her marriage and drive a wedge between her and her friends.
So, in the end I wasn't sold on a Ted and Robin pairing. I always believed that they were meant to be friends. The best of friends, but as a couple I'm still not sure they work. I suppose we'll really never know. But the reappearance of the French horn was a nice touch.
Either way, I look back on the nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother with lots of smiles. I'm only sad that the story is over.
What did you think, TV Fanatics. Should Ted and Robin have ended up as a couple?
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.