How I Met Your Mother, "Last Forever"
The real question going in is, "How much am I going to want to punch everyone by the end?"
The answer is "a lot." I wanna punch everyone in this bar not named Marshall, Lily or Tracy, because literally the ONLY things I liked in that entire freaking hour were the Mosby Family Snapshots, Ted and his amazingly cute, adorable and precocious Mini Me of a daughter**, he and his wife having matching initials (on the umbrella handle no less), and when Future Robin had a life full of beautiful dogs again. (OK, and because I'm me, I also liked when Ted was reading to his wife by her hospital bed. But I'm pretending it's because she recovered from whatever she had after a long and uncertain battle, and later they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary at the Farhampton Inn.)
**I wish we had seen like twenty-seven more flash-forwards with that adorable little girl. Or at least more of Daddy!Ted in general. Daddy!Ted is quite possibly even more fetching than Husband!Ted.
It's a given that I am rejecting literally everything new we learned in this canon except for the above things, it's that dumb. But if I weren't...that was just bad. Like, mind-bogglingly bad. Medium's series finale made me hella angry, but it wasn't as dumb as this.
Not that this didn't make me angry. I didn't think it was possible to get angrier about the state of Barney/Robin than I was when they randomly broke them up after two seconds, but it turns out that randomly divorcing them after two seconds plus a season and a half of wonderful romantic development and character growth (when Ted wasn't being a bitch baby about it) is WAY WORSE.
I remember halfway through the finale when I thought they were going to reunite them some 15 years in the future, and at that point my angriest feeling was how much it was going to suck with Barney randomly having a kid intruding on their life. LOL. WHAT A QUAINT NOTION, them getting back together. Question, where were you when Friends needed someone to kill Ross/Rachel like this? I cannot believe Ross/Rachel is no longer the worst sitcom relationship endgame ever, but congrats, bro! You did it.
And then! You couldn't even leave the friendships out of this bloodbath. It's all well and good to vaguely say the gang all "drifted in and out of each other's lives at one point or another," but that is so not the same as sending Robin down a Jessica Glitter spiral all over again. Especially after having a whole episode about Robin being afraid of that exact thing happening. That hurts. That hurts me deep, and not so good.
Oh! Oh! And we can talk about my passionate burning hatred of how almost every woman on TV accidentally gets pregnant before she gets married, and how my hatred multiplies tenfold when there is no reason not to have them married first -- say, when both things take place in single scenes in the future? How about my hatred of people who drag their feet on getting married and don't consider it an important component of pledging commitment? Or perhaps my hatred of when people don't get married in a church? That's actually a pretty minor dislike, because I don't care if people are religious or not and there are plenty of pretty outdoor settings or beautiful alternative buildings like castles -- OH WAIT, MY PICTURE-PERFECT COUPLE GOT MARRIED IN A DIVE BAR.
I wanted more Ted/Tracy (that feels weird. It should be Ted/Mother. Petition to legally change her name?). I especially wanted more of them before you made the most awful, most blatant, most if-anything-should-be-a-red-herring-in-y
And as for your coy little scene that you filmed X number of years ago, proving that this is the pigheaded theory you were always going to go with no matter HOW much character development you went through? Gross. Just gross. While it does nicely answer the question of why Ted couldn't just let things go, I would have preferred never getting an answer on that. Why...just, why would anyone ever conceive a story like this?
"Guys, I have a great concept for the show! What if the mother of his children and the central love story aren't the same?? Oh boy! That sounds like SUCH A GREAT COMMENTARY ABOUT THE NATURE OF LOVE! Hell yeah!"
No, I don't believe Ted had any conscious feelings about Robin during his marriage, but it sure does leave a sour taste in your throat wondering if they were there and latent all the while Ted was blissfully happy with his dorky soulmate. Meanwhile, what the hell was Robin doing all those years? Being unhappy and single? Having random one-night-stands? Having more failed relationships and all the ensuing heartbreak for 15 more years, but now with even fewer friends? Because she sure never seems happy any of the times we see her, and while I'd love the message that all you need are dogs and a great career, I saw no evidence pointing to that. What a fun punishment to hand her.
Well, I hope you're happy, show. You've driven me to drown my sorrows in wine and chocolate. How dare you ruin the celebration that is Wine & Chocolate Night.
I just angry texted Chris, even though he doesn't really watch the show, and I feel our convo speaks volumes:
Me: That episode SUCKED. Threw away a great relationship in pigheaded pursuit of an endgame from NINE YEARS AGO, before this relationship was even conceived.
Him: I temporarily felt the same way about JD and Eliot. Oof.
[side note: I must query him about "temporarily," because oh man now that you mention it, JD & Eliot is the exact analogy I'm looking for here. Also they might be worse than Ross/Rachel.]
Him: Looking at the summary/spoilers, that does seem kind of...well. Kind of contrary to character development? Like, maybe Barney is more than a flighty sexist pig?
Me: Exactly! Oh, but now he has a daughter, so he suddenly Respects Women. Nothing problematic about THAT!
Me: And by respect, of course, I mean he shames scantily clad young women drinking in the bar.
[side note: It is normally my least favorite tired feminist argument to yell "misogyny!" at men who only stop treating women like mere sex objects by thinking of them as someone's daughter, but I'm finding it comes in real useful for justifying my random anger right now, so Imma co-opt it]
"Kind of contrary to character development," though, is pretty much the perfect way to describe this. I can't see how anyone is happy about this, unless the only relationship you care about is Marshall and Lily (3 kids in and still going strong. That's love, bitch). (Frankly I'm surprised they didn't throw in a discussion of marriage counseling for them at some point, just to keep the theme rolling)
Even if you're a Ted/Robin shipper, while you're better off than the brOTP crowd, you've still got that ugly scar of 20 years apart (not counting the 6 years before that when they were torturing themselves on and off), plus a whole soulmate and two kids between Robin and Ted. They missed out on a whole life together**. It has to be very small comfort to only salvage their golden years. I'll take Blaine Anderson's gross one night stand over a cheating-free story with that ending any day, thanks.
**A life that a certain Front Porch theory thinks would have been incompatible with happiness anyway. Really, how good is a relationship that only works for a small part of your life? At least, in terms of the kind you want to watch and/or daydream about.
In conclusion? A convoluted mess of flash-forwards that smashed one relationship and ruined the tender hopefulness of another that we only got to see in glimpses, all to be told that the title of the show isn't even the point.
Lost looks like a friggin' masterpiece of planned endings by comparison.
P.S. My question about whether I will attempt to watch "How I Met Your Dad," if it ever comes out, has been met with a definite "no." Not from these jackasses. Nothing from them ever again.
P.P.S. When the interviews with C&B come out tomorrow, I hope they don't have a smug response about how they "knew" the finale would be a little controversial but felt they made the right creative choices. I hope they genuinely thought everyone would praise it as a surprising but fitting end, and are shocked by the force of the internet's anger.
If you would like to see more of the feelings and opinions I agree with on Tumblr, I have compiled them neatly under this tag. The name of the tag is a spoiler, so don't hover over it unless you're sure.
My favorites so far, however, are:[spoilery!]
1. "They didn’t finish the series for the people the characters developed into, they ended it for characters that no longer exist."
2. "I’m not even that heavily invested in the show, but that was the most BS ending I think I’ve ever seen. #like that was *cruel* #like a really bitter shipper’s fix-it fic