Season Eight, Episode Twenty Four
In my opinion, the best way to go into a TV show or a movie is completely unspoiled. In this day and age of social media, that’s nearly impossible, but most of the time I make a valid effort to prevent myself from any type of spoilers. I never watch the “what’s coming up next” previews at the end of many episodes and I do prefer to walk into a theater after all the previews are done, though unless someone is saving my seat it doesn’t always work.
That being said, the best way to have viewed the season eight finale of HIMYM last night was if you had no clue what was going to happen. Also, this post is going to contain plenty of spoilers, so if you haven’t already watched the episode I would suggest that you stop reading right now!
Before I discuss the season finale, I have to mention the episode prior titled “Something Old.” It was a standard HIMYM episode: half-bad and half-good. The bad dealt with Barney’s story-line of spending time with Robin’s father while playing laser tag. Just silly throwaway stuff. But the good was Robin/Ted’s part of the episode. Robin buried a locket in the Central Park years ago and needed to dig it back up to prove to herself she’s ready to get married to Barney, but after plenty of setbacks she begins to see them as signs and doubts the idea of marrying him.
In comes Ted to the rescue, who blows off a very important meeting just to help Robin search for the locket. She finds the box, but not the locket, but still is touched by how Ted constantly drops everything for her. They touch hands while the rain pours down on them (if we’re talking about signs, how about when Ted made it rain for Robin?).
Which brings us to last night’s episode, “Something New.” The wheels are in motion for the season finale episode and everything seems to be at stake. After Robin was questioning the idea of marrying Barney, they go out to dinner and thoroughly enjoy themselves by attempting to ruin their night’s enemies. We’ve seen these two get along together well in the past, but their obsessive behavior to destroy someone they hate is something they had fun accomplishing at the restaurant. Sure, Barney and Robin are both awesome and they’re even awesomer together, but there was a sense where (for the first time) we really see how much they mean to each other and that their marriage will most definitely work out. It was touching and more importantly, assuring.
Meanwhile, Lily and Marshall are packing to move to Rome for a year, something that Marshall hasn’t told his mom yet. When she finds out, she demands she sees her grandson before they leave, so Marshall travels up to Minnesota. Lily has a right to be concerned because Marshall’s mom keeps saying hints that she’ll either persuade him to stay or she’ll move with them in Rome. While this was all filler, the hammer finally drops when Marshall gets a call that a judgeship has opened for him. He seems to have taken the offer but hasn’t told Lily yet. Are we going to see TV’s cutest couple divided during HIMYM’s last season? Doubtful! You can’t break up this group of friends!
Now to the good stuff. The show has always been about Ted. It started out with Ted falling in love with Robin and then dealing with the fact that they were in different places with the relationship. Now, we’re back with Ted’s life being the focus but the once-optimistic man is now a sad, defeated one. He realizes that he still would do anything for Robin and how it kills him that she’s marrying Barney. So he’s going to move to Chicago immediately after their wedding to start a new life, hopefully somewhere he can find someone as he sees Robin now. Lily doesn’t take the news well, but she’s the only person who knows.
A montage finishes the episode off with everyone converging on Farhampton for the weekend wedding. As we saw from all the different stories, things are changing for all of the characters. Whether they know it yet or not, everyone’s immediate future will change forever. Fortunately, the somewhat downer of an episode gets a much-needed lift when we see a petite girl (Cristin Milioti) wearing boots, carrying a yellow umbrella and a guitar case, and buying a ticket to Farhampton. It’s the mother! Ted’s wife! Even though he hasn’t met her yet, I couldn’t help but smile that Ted’s long line of misfortunes are all about to change.
It might not have been what everyone thought, but I think it’s fantastic. It’s great that it’s not a girl that we’ve already met. And it’s great that we now have one more season until Ted can get his act together, meet this girl, fall in love and live happily ever after. It’s been eight years of grueling (and sometimes tedious) story-telling until we finally meet the mother. No lie, I got goosebumps as “Simple Song” played and revealed Cristin Milioti. And then I smiled, because we all have a little Ted inside of us. At one point (or still ongoing), we all want to believe there’s a special someone out there in the world perfect for us, but as the years fly by that belief fades away. HIMYM is simply reminding us to keep holding on.