I’ve spent the past few days wrestling with why I didn’t like it; why I, like many others, felt an overwhelming sadness and disappointment with how things turned out. And I have an answer. My own answer, at least.
It’s because we’re all Ted Mosby, at least a little. We all have quirks that few understand. We’ve all been kicked around by life a little bit. We’ve all loved someone who didn’t feel the same way. We’ve all been stood up, shot down, or passed over, and we’ve all felt embarrassed, happy, or sad at some point. But there is always hope.
Hope. That thing we all cling to because we feel that, someday, we’ll have endured enough nonsense to have earned our time, or our happiness, or whatever it is we’re after.
Or maybe we have hope for other people. That they can change if they try.
Ted Mosby was hopeful that he’d eventually meet the right girl; the one who wanted him back. And he did.
And then he lost her.
Barney was able to commit to a single woman. He was able to leave a life of womanizing behind and become an honest gentleman.
And then he divorced Robin and fell back into his old habits.
The finale didn’t feel like a send-off to a sitcom so much as it did a shot right through the heart of optimism. Why hope that you’ll get what you’re after? You’ll just lose it. Why hope that people can change? They can’t. Don’t bother.
I’m sure no one else who tuned in did so to be taught a life lesson. Especially not one that pessimistic. They watched because they wanted a proper goodbye for the characters they’d watched the past nine years.
They didn’t get what they’d hoped for. Fitting, I guess.