Some Thoughts on the HIMYM Season 8 Finale

Well, on the flip side, we finally saw her. For some viewers, that shot of the Mother will surely tide them over for the months to come.

[My roommate is not among that group. Nor am I.]

Still, noted television critic Alan Sepinwall is correct, and I agree completely – the decision to cast the Mother as a relative unknown was a good one. We have nothing to judge her off of, and no other characters in her past to compare her to, the way we did with Sarah Chalke, or anyone else. [She’s also kind of cute, and actually realistically could be someone that Ted marries, so props to them for casting a girl who could look it.]

But my problems with this finale have very little to do with the reveal of the Mother, which was well delivered, and a long time coming. It has nothing to do with Marshall and Lily, who I thought were fine. It has nothing to do with Barney and Robin, either, although my good friend Ethan Novak hates the way that they are written together. [I think they were cute tonight, but I digress.]

Instead, what bothers me – and I believe what bothers most fans, or should – about the finale was how little progress we’ve actually made. In essence, “Something New” allowed Carter Bays and Craig Thomas more opportunity for narrative sleight of hand down the road.

We now know who the Mother is. Fine.

But what we still do not know when the encounter between she and Ted will occur, and that not knowing feels much like the misdirection and uncertainty that has annoyed so many fans as it is already. Will Season 9 begin with Barney and Robin’s wedding? Will it be cut to periodically throughout, the way it has been for the last couple of years?

Nobody knows, and I think that’s what bothers me so much about “Something New”. The show built up this season finale to be the actual wedding, but once again stops short of actually giving it to us again, even though this would be the actual point in the timeline in which Barney and Robin get married. What point is there in delaying it further? Why not just actually give us the wedding, especially after making a post like this?! ON THE OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE?!?!

So, what we got Monday was a 24 minute equivalent of LOL JK GUYS. Thanks.

In the absolute worst case scenario, I could see Bays and Thomas actually using the meeting between Ted and Mom to actually end the show – as in “and that kids, is how I met your mother.” Roll credits.There was a time when that ending would’ve worked – when cutting it off like that would’ve been okay, and actually somewhat romantic. We would’ve had to imagine the rest of their story.

Nine years into the spiraling mire that is Ted’s love life, though? No. I think what viewers deserve now is a chance to actually see Ted and the Mom actually falling in love with each other, and to see their relationship progress and grow. Hopefully Bays and Carter actually give that to us this fall, but I doubt it.

[On another note, the pace at which Ted and Mom fall for each other, and eventually have a kid is getting to be a bit unrealistic. This better be a hell of a train ride/meeting, if he’s going to have a kid with her a little over a year from now. I’ll still be watching. I’m in it too deep to turn back now. But the way this has gone on has pretty much ensured that the Mother will not be worth the wait, likely through no fault of her own.]

HIMYM has been at its best when we were sure things were heading somewhere. Give Bays and Carter some credit, at least – Season 8 ensured that things are, once again, heading somewhere. The pacing of it just happens to be all wrong.

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