TV finales are a hard thing to pull off, especially when the shows pack an emotional punch or require a large time investment from fans. Series like Lost, Dexter and The Sopranos are famously divisive, and as of last week’s finale, we can now add How I Met Your Mother to that list as well. The wave of negative reactions from fans and critics was a bit surprising, because while we’ve come to expect such debates over drama series, sitcoms are usually more straightforward.
How I Met Your Mother, for all of its pitfalls, was one of the most unique and inventive comedies on television. It also managed to carry more emotional weight than its competition, which only made the show’s final moments that much harder to swallow for those who stuck with it for 208 episodes.
After spending all that time watching Ted Mosby mature and go from relationship to relationship before finally meeting the woman he’s meant to be with, we’re treated to a short little sequence showing their life together before she dies, off-screen, from some unnamed illness. Then, years later, Ted tells their story to their children, only to have it be a roundabout love letter to Robin (who he winds up going after, yet again).
For those of us who felt cheated, there’s a bit of light on the horizon as according to Deadline, the Season 9 Blu-Ray set will include an alternate, “happy” ending, which will be created without any additional footage.
That seemingly gives us two options. For starters, Tracy could still die but Ted won’t go back to Robin, deciding to stay a widower forever after losing the love of his life. That’s not particularly “happy,” but could please fans who were outraged by his sudden Robin Relapse. The second option could be to simply keep Tracy alive, letting the two live happily ever after.
That of course raises the following question: does this undercut the finale that the creators ultimately decided to go with? After all, it’s an ending they had planned since the second season, and even filmed it then in order to make sure the kids looked the same age. However, they may not have anticipated how long the show would have run or how hard we’d all fall in love with Cristin Milloti as Tracy.
Maybe they’ve simply seen the error in their ways, or are trying to appease to fans that are upset and will refuse to buy the show on Blu-Ray. Of course, this doesn’t change the fact that the “real” ending, the one that upset everyone, is the one that aired, which may make the “happy” ending even tougher to accept.
Tell us, what kind of alternate ending would you like to see for How I Met Your Mother? Or were you happy with the way Ted’s story concluded? Let us know in the comments below.