[S9E24] Last Forever (2)
In 2018, Barney gets ready for another night at MacLaren's, even though Ted and Lily, both being parents, are not intending to stay out late. Marshall arrives and announces he is replacing a retiring judge in Queens, which prompts a celebration. When Barney attempts to score with a young woman, Lily blasts him for fully regressing into his previous self. After Barney defends his behavior by telling her that he will never make it work with anyone except Robin, Lily relents and Barney leaves to enjoy his night.
[S9E24] Last Forever (2)
In 2019, Ted, the Mother, Marshall and Lily are at Robots Versus Wrestlers. A depressed Barney shows up to say that while he recently completed a "perfect month" using a new Playbook, the last woman is pregnant with his child. Sometime later, Ted runs into Robin, now a famous news reporter, while showing Penny the GNB building he designed. Marshall, Lily, and Ted gather at the birth of Barney's daughter, Ellie. Despite his initial misgivings, Barney is moved to tears.
Before writing the episode, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas decided to watch the series finales of other sitcoms for inspiration. They said that they crafted the last ten minutes of the series right from the start. In February 2014, Bays tweeted that he found a rough draft of the series finale that he first wrote in 2006.
Andrew Meola from MStars praised the episode, saying "I couldn't believe that they actually killed the Mother. But I let it sit for a bit, and then I felt something profoundly beautiful come out of this last hour of How I Met Your Mother."
In the last flashback, it returns to the train platform. Ted approaches The Mother. She recognizes him as the Best Man from Robin and Barney's wedding, and invites him under the yellow umbrella. He compliments her on the show, then recognizes her as Cindy's roommate, while she calls him "the professor". She remembers the first college class he taught. He realizes the umbrella is his umbrella. He left it at Cindy's place once. She claims it's her umbrella, and remembers buying it. They both recognize the initials on it as theirs, revealing The Mother's name as Tracy McConnell. They playfully argue over ownership of the umbrella...until she admits she once lost the umbrella at a club on a St. Patrick's Day. That's when Ted found the umbrella. As Ted and Tracy come to a realization, Tracy mentions it's funny how sometimes you just find things.
Bittersweet Ending: Several examples in the finale. Barney and Robin, despite loving each other, find they are simply incompatible in their life goals and divorce.
Barney's promiscuous ways catch up with him and a one-night stand ends up pregnant, leaving him with a daughter to take care of ( Although he obviously considers this the best event of his entire life ) .
Close friends drift apart because of life circumstances , no longer as close as they were in their youth . It's sad to see such a realistic example happen to the main characters !
The Mother is revealed to have died in 2024 from an unstated illness, leaving Ted to raise their children alone.
Blatant Lies: Ted has the audacity to say "I kept this story short, and to the point..."
Book Ends: The original ending mirrors the pilot episode's.
Call-Back: The Revised Ending features Future!Ted giving an awesome summary of the entire series leading up to the point where he finally meets the mother. The end credits following both endings show the first shots of each main character with their actor and character's name.
Ted marrying The Mother meant Lily won the bet about whether or not Ted and Robin end up together. Before the wedding, Marshall pays up while the gang is at McLaren's. A deleted scene has Lily pay Marshall after Ted and Robin get back together.
Barney: Daddy's home. Can't Get in Trouble for Nuthin': Finally averted with Barney, as he finally ends up with a child by his reckless escapades.
Comically Missing the Point: Penny and Luke are certain in the end that the story wasn't really about The Mother, but about Robin. It takes Ted some convincing, though.
Couple Theme Naming: Ted Mosby meets and falls in love with Tracy McConnell, better known as The Mother.
Daddy's Girl: Invoked in the finale. After years of convincing himself he'll never find "the love of his life", Barney gets someone pregnant in 2020, and the resulting daughter becomes that love of his life.Barney: You are the love of my life. Everything I have... and everything I am... is yours. Forever.
Deconstruction: The entire finale can easily be viewed as a deconstruction of a HUGE number of tropes, from tv shows to character tropes to audience reactions. It is so biting with how realistic that it is a main reason why the Grand Finale was so controversial, all along the irony of the episode name "Last Forever." A brief rundown goes as follows: After so much time and effort with building Robin and Barney together and spending a season on a "legendary" wedding, their marriage lasted only three years because of fundamental differences they ignored, Robin's Married to the Job and Barney had abandoned so many of his own interests to be with her that he had nothing to do. There is also significant foreshadowing in retrospect that their relationship will not end well, with them riding off the belief that just because they love each other it will work out. Most weddings tend to be amazing but the success rate remains the same.
After they divorce, Barney goes back to his womanizing ways and it is fully depicted as pathetic. His excuse for reverting after so much Character Development is THE SAME excuse after his first relationship with Robin, that if he couldn't make it work with her there was no one else who could make it work. It also runs on the precept that characters can grow but they are still fundamentally the same person, changing that makes them someone else entirely. Him eventually fathering a child is the most logical end point for a man who has had as many sexual partners as he has.
After they divorce, Robin's job takes her away from the city for long periods of time and whenever she visits the old gang, all she sees is her ex-husband picking up random skanks and two sets of friends being Happily Married with their own families. Seeing Ted with Tracy, Robin feels that choosing Barney over him was a mistake and missed out on real happiness by rejecting Ted. She spent several years estranged from the group before reconciling during Ted and Tracy's marriage.
Marshall passes on a prestigious judgeship offer to give Lily a chance to fulfill her dream of working in the artistic field. He justifies it saying things will work out eventually. They do, but it takes several years and he had to suffer as a corporate lawyer once more before things start going their way. Lily appreciates the sacrifice but regrets being a part of why he is miserable now. Plus she takes Robin leaving the group the hardest, being one of her closest female friends.
Ted meets Tracy, the love of his life and the mother of his children. They were absolutely perfect for each other, but their history isn't exactly a fairy tale as their engagement lasted years because of Ted being a stickler for the perfect wedding and Tracy getting pregnant with their daughter Penny around the same time of their first wedding date, with Luke following soon after. Tracy ended up dying from an unspecified illness, leaving this perfect couple able to be together for 11 years. True love and a happy relationship doesn't always last forever. The final shot of the series is Ted reconsidering his love for Robin, as despite everything he went through to be happy with Tracy that doesn't mean he doesn't still love Robin in some way.
The idea of the One True Love, which both Ted and The Mother believe in so deeply, ends up taking a toll on them. Ted's ideal forces him to keep going after Robin, no matter how many chances he had to let go, because he believes she is "The One"; and Tracy withdraws from romance entirely on the belief that, since she already lost her One, she can never get a Second Love. They both finally find love when they realize they can let go of other things and be with each other. When the Mother dies, Ted even tries again with Robin.
Earn Your Happy Ending: The Revised Ending ends the story (specifically, Ted and The Mother's) in a more triumphant note.
Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: As they light-heartedly bicker over ownership of the yellow umbrella, The Mother and Ted realize she's the one who left the yellow umbrella at the St. Patrick's Day party way back when Ted found it.
Felony Misdemeanor: When Penny insists the story is really about Robin and not The Mother, Ted eventually grounds her. When Luke agrees, he's grounded as well. He may have been kidding in both cases.
Foot Dragging Fiance: By accident, Ted and The Mother end up as this by accident, because of a few surprise pregnancies.
Grand Finale: The last episode of 9 season long series. There's no more of Ted meeting the mother and the wacky adventures of the gang. They drifted apart. Ted's wife Tracy has even been Dead All Along.
I Knew It!: The end of the episode confirms the fan theory going back to the first season that the mother's name is Tracy. The theory that the mother was Dead All Along was also prevalent in the buildup to the final episode, helped by some fairly heavy-handed foreshadowing of same.
Maybe Ever After: Future!Ted and Future!Robin in the original ending, while the alternate ending hints a reconciliation between Barney and Robin.
Meet Cute: Ted and The Mother, Tracy. They playfully argue over the yellow umbrella.
Pet the Dog: Barney meeting his daughter is a redeemable scene after he has been shown to be not much more than a perpetual ladykiller.
The Reveal: In the final flashback, we find out The Mother's name is Tracy McConnell.
Revised Ending: It ends with The Mother's illness being Adapted Out and her and Ted getting the Happily Ever After majority of the fans wanted. Additionally, Future!Ted hints that Robin and Barney end up rekindling their romance.
Romantic Rain: Ted meets the love of his life and mother of his kids when it's raining.
Shipper on Deck: Ted's children for him and Robin in the original ending.
So Proud of You: Lily gave one to Ted in his wedding. The Revised Ending uses this as a lead to make a more triumphant closure to the series.
Spared by the Adaptation: The Mother's illness is omitted in the Revised Ending, thus allowing her to live a Happily Ever After with Ted.
Split and Reunion: Robin finally returning to the group for Ted and The Mother's wedding.
The fact that Robin has her dogs again implies she is done with her globe-trotting. There is no mention of her being a bullfighter.
Statute of Limitations: Ted mentions to his fiancée Tracy in a scene from the future that the statute of limitations for marriage proposals was five years, so he proceeds to re-propose right there.
Title Drop: "And that, kids, is how I met your mother."
Umbrella of Togetherness: Ted meets Tracy the Mother at the train station when it's raining. He comes to talk to her and she encourages him to share her umbrella with him. They stand close to each other in this archetypal image of lovers.
Unreliable Narrator: It turns out that even the title of the show is an example of Ted being this.
The Unreveal: The illness that killed The Mother in the original ending was never mentioned, though Fanon universally agree that it's cancer.
Wham Episode: In this series finale, the gang shifts apart, Tracy aka The Mother is revealed to be dead which opens the opportunity for Ted and Robin to get together after Ted mourns for six years, and Barney is blessed with the unexpected gift of a daughter.
Wham Line: When Barney mentions having a perfect month:Barney: That last girl, number 31...Tracy: Oh, that's a pretty name. What is that, French?Barney: ...She's pregnant.
From Ted concerning the fate of Tracy:Ted: ...and I carried it with me when she got sick...
From Penny, confirming the fate of Tracy:Penny: Mom's been gone for six years now.
You Have Waited Long Enough: Essentially, what Penny has to say about Ted going back to Robin.Penny: C'mon, Dad. Mom's been gone for six years now. It's time. Ted: What, I just... call her up on the phone and ask her out on a date? Penny and Luke: YES!!!