The series finale of “How I Met Your Mother” has come and gone, but some fans are still reeling from the somewhat shocking end as it seemed to confirm some of their worst fears about the fate of the title matriarch, and also played a little bit of a trick on longtime watchers. But one fan has taken the finale into his own hands and undone what fans seemed to dislike the most.
Just as a fair warning, don’t read any further if you haven’t watched this week’s series finale of “How I Met Your Mother.” Ricardo J. Dylan (via Vanity Fair) decided to recut the end of the show to remove both the death of Tracy McConnell (Cristin Milioti) and older Ted’s (Josh Radnor) romantic reunion with Robin (Cobie Smulders). Watch the edited ending to the series right here:
Now does that feel better? Well, not really. Because guess what? I’m actually a big supporter of the ultimate end of the series. While the finale as a whole contained some of the stupidity that made this entire season rather difficult to endure more often than not, the last 10 minutes were so lovely and heartfelt, even with the passing of the mother and Ted’s decision to again confront the feelings he’s always had for Robin.
For a sitcom that has been frustratingly over-the-top and unbelievable for the past couple seasons, this ending was refreshingly and fantastically true to life. For nine seasons we’ve been waiting for Ted to find the one that he always knew was out there for him. And while audiences were led to believe that Tracy would be it for Ted, depending on your perception of romance, that may not have been true. While I’m not refuting that Ted and Tracy were perfect for each other, maybe there just wasn’t one person out there for Ted.
After all, there are plenty of real stories in the world of people who have fallen in love, gotten married, and lost their spouse. But that doesn’t mean they can’t find love again. Perhaps the audience just wasn’t ready to let go of the character they had come to embrace throughout this whole season. In an interview with Vulture, even Radnor admits:
There’s a jarring disconnect between fans who had five minutes to process that information and kids who had six years. The kids were in a completely different emotional space than a lot of fans of the show.
In addition, apparently there’s some sort of deleted scene between Ted and Robin (as evidenced from a photo above) that might have softened the blow a little bit for fans. Radnor explains the existence and eventual cutting of the scene, but also discusses the reasoning behind why the ultimate romantic resolution at the end shouldn’t be so surprising:
They cut a scene that Cobie [Smulders] and I shot between Ted and Robin. I thought it was a really important scene and I talked to Carter and Craig [Bays and Thomas, HIMYM’s co-creators and co-showrunners] about it. I understand why they cut it, but I thought it laid in that Robin had been thinking about Ted all these years more than Ted had been thinking about Robin. But who knows?
It’s weird to speculate on something that isn’t actually real. [Laughs.] It’s an imagined story, but you also have to wonder what happened in the six years after she died and what was that like for Ted. Obviously, he’s been mulling over his past and sifting through things. And there was that comment about Robin always coming over for dinner, so they’ve clearly reestablished a contact and a deep friendship.
At the end of the day, maybe fans are just having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that these characters are gone more than they’re dissatisfied that the ending of this story didn’t wrap up they way they had hoped.
For my money, the brief depressing end to the finale didn’t surprise me, and I actually hoped that a bold ending like that would come to fruition on a bland network such as CBS. While the shift in tone seemed hard to swallow, as the end to an overarching story where the hints at this ending are there, this finale just worked for me, and I wasn’t disappointed in the least.
What do you think? Is this fan-cut version of the “HIMYM” ending better than the real one?
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