Pro – Original Finale
Raina Deerwater ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Every so often, there are television controversies that shake the entire internet. In April of this year, one of the biggest ones made it’s way into cyberspace: the shocking finale to the nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother. Though the entire show was working up to how unlucky-in-love Ted Mosby met the mother of his children, the titular mother ending up passing away in the finale. In the epilogue, Ted proceeded to get back together with Robin far into the future. Fans were livid, and angry tweets ruled the internet for a few days. Then, like all television scandals, it eventually died down. Until now.
On September 5th, the alternative ending for the series was posted, where Ted did settle down with the mother, no one died, and it seemed that all was well in sitcom world. Tweets, facebook status, and tumblr posts were made in argument of how this was a much better ending than the one that actually aired on live television. I, however beg to differ.
From the start, How I Met You Mother, was the traditional sitcom with a twist. There was an endgame. Ted was going to meet the mother. The pilot episode demonstrates this twist with Ted chatting up a pretty girl who turns out to be just Robin. Ted spends almost all nine seasons falling in and out of love with Robin. Though we know from the title, that the show should be about some unknown mother, it ends up mostly being about Robin. Robin is the reason for so many things that happen in Ted’s life, including him actually meeting the mother.
This is why the twist in the finale is so fitting. Yes, it is tragic that the mother character had to pass away, but from episode one, this story has been about Ted and Robin. It makes so much sense that this is how the show would end. Yet, viewers were still shocked and appalled at this ending. It was simultaneously a clever plot twist, and something that kept with the theme of the entire show.
This support of the finale is a very unpopular opinion to have, especially now that the alternative ending has been released. Yet, the alternative ending is frankly a little lazy. Yes, it is sweet and no one dies and everyone ends up with who the viewers think they will end up with. But the great thing about How I Met Your Mother is that, despite being a traditional sitcom, it still surprises it’s audiences. With the real finale the audience was indeed surprised, and the cleverness and intelligence of the pilot came through. It was refreshing to see not everything turning out picture perfect, but the characters were happy in their own way. The finale was the same twist on a traditional sitcom that the idea of the show encapsulated.
Though the alternative ending may make people happy, I do not believe that it captured the spirit of the show. It was simple fan-service. Thought the real finale may have angered fans, it was truly the appropriate way for How I Met You Mother to go out: not with a whimper, but with a bang.
Pro – Alternate Finale
Adam Reynoso ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Recently, the alternate ending for the series finale of How I Met Your Mother landed on the internet, sparking more debate about which ending worked for the comedy. While there were no new scenes, the new ending ended on a much happier note for the Mother and Ted. Whereas in the original finale, the Mother ended up dying to an unnamed illness and Ted got back together with Robin, the ending ends with Ted and Tracy still together and it ended right after they met. And it also featured their daughter cursing at the ending, which actually worked better than one would have thought.
The main reason that this ending works much better than the original is that it simply feels like the right ending. It leaves a lot doors open, specifically for a possible reconciliation between Barney and Robin. But it shows that after nine seasons, Ted, and the audience, finally get their happy ending. Yes, it’s very much a happy rainbows and flowers type of ending, but after many doomed relationships and drama, Ted’s earned that kind of ending. Even after rewatching the scene at the train station, it’s clear how much chemistry he has with the Mother.
Even with this ending, it’s still very much possible that what happens in the original ending could still happen. Tracy could still die and Ted could still find his way back to Tracy. But it’s up to the viewers to decide how that happens and that’s how a good finale works. A good finale looks back at the whole series and closes a lot of doors, while still planting a few potential possibilities as well.
The series started with an obvious mission, and it was to tell the story of how he met his kid’s mother. This ending makes the mother and Ted the core of the show. It shows how destiny brought them together and how they were always in each other’s orbit, it was just about their timing. With the original ending, it changed to focus to Ted and Robin’s story. And that doesn’t seem fair to the audience that waited nine seasons to see him meet the mother, only to have her killed off, off screen nonetheless and him get back together with a girl he could never make things work with. It also kind of cheapens the episode earlier in the season that showed Ted letting Robin go. That was a big moment and huge point in his character’s arc. Now, it seems like he never really let her go.
The show spent the entire season showing different points in Ted and Tracy’s life, with them being happy and together. The alternate ending adds more to those scenes and their love story. It means that the final season was worth it, that spending the last 24 episodes solely on one weekend was worth it because the audience got to see Ted and Tracy fall in love. And lastly, it doesn’t make you want to wonder what the point was of the last season was.
With the new ending out there, it gives viewers another chance at a happy ending and is at least an option. It offers another possible, that could still lead to how the original finale ended, but it doesn’t have to. Not only that, but with this ending, Ted got his happily ever after with Tracy and the kids got to have a funnier, albeit appropriate, reaction.