‘How I Met Your Mother’: The Story of How I Loved Aunt Robin (Recap)

In the end, it was the nauseating tale of Ted trying to gain his kids’ approval for asking their Aunt Robin out six years after the death of their mother

How I Met Your Mother - Josh Radnor

The series finale of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER gave Ted and Robin their happy ending.

The Mother? Not so much.

Hours before the big send-off, Vulture’s Jesse David Fox wrote about his experience re-watching the “How I Met Your Mother” pilot in anticipation of tonight’s finale. As he pointed out, series finales often try and recreate the magic of episode one. In this instance, creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays should have leaned as far away from their source material as possible.

Episode 924 was a walking contradiction.

For nearly a decade, we’ve been told that this was the story of how Ted [Josh Radnor] met the future mother of his children. In the end, it was the nauseating tale of Ted trying to gain his kids’ approval for asking their Aunt Robin [Cobie Smulders] out six years after the death of their mother. Whether we wanted it or not, there Ted was, blue french horn in hand, waiting outside Robin’s window.

My Two Cents: It’d be one thing had the show not built towards Barney [Neil Patrick Harris] and Robin following their first breakup. And had the show run two or three seasons less, perhaps this ending might have worked. And perhaps had the show not so adamantly stated that Robin wasn’t part of Ted’s endgame, then perhaps this ending wouldn’t have felt like such a cheat, but it did,and I’m upset. Tracy McConnell [Cristin Milioti] was Ted’s perfect woman, and someone the audience embraced throughout a meager ninth season. For her to have died means her story never mattered. Lastly, if Robin’s the one for Ted, Thomas and Bays felt that way all along, then Tracy was conceptualized as Ted’s next best thing. I hate that.

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As it turns out, things aren’t so happily ever after for Barney and Robin. After three years of marriage, they called it quits having found it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship after Robin’s career jettisoned to new heights as the face of World News Now. Years later, a sad, pathetic Barney would try and pull off a perfect month, banging one woman each night for 31 nights.

On the 31st night, however, he impregnated his conquest. And though this one-night stand is never revealed, Barney becomes the father of a beautiful baby girl named Ellie, and she’s the woman who’ll change his life forever.

My Two Cents: Barney’s one and only scene with Ellie is perhaps the crowning achievement of “Last Forever,” and perhaps the only creative decision that makes sense. Following his divorce, Barney had regurgitated what was left of his playboy ways, becoming an unsalvageable character just 30 minutes before the show’s close. Though fatherhood redeemed him slightly, it was never more evident that Barney didn’t deserve a happy ending. He hadn’t earned Robin’s hand in marriage, and though their split was amicable, it was as if their time together had taught him nothing. Not so legendary after all.


Marshall and Lily were already promised their happy ending in a number of flash-forwards this season, and other than the announcement of a third child, there was nothing new of note.

My Two Cents: Everything I needed to know about Marshall and Lily’s future was already mapped out. It was probably best that Thomas and Bays took care of them in earlier episodes. Tonight’s finale was crowded enough.


In the end, Thomas and Bays decided that titles meant nothing. They decided that this wasn’t HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER but instead, “How I Moved On Following Your Mother’s Death.”

That blue french horn meant more to them than that yellow umbrella ever had, and that’s quite a blow for those of us who felt that Ted and Robin’s love story ended as it should have in season two.

My Two Cents: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER was the story of second chances. It just so happens that Robin was Ted’s second chance all along.

What did you think of the finale?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Ryan Schwartz

Ryan Schwartz

Contributing Editor at TheTVPage.com
Ryan Schwartz is a New York-based television critic and founder of RyanTalksTV.com. He is a fourth year journalism student at Hunter College.In 2011, Ryan quickly became one of Posterous’ biggest success stories, becoming a featured writer for the micro-blogging website at the age of 18. The following year, he joined the writing staff of Voice of TV where he contributed features on Louis C.K., Matthew Perry, Jim Rash and Jeff Eastin. He's currently a contributor for The TV Addict.
Ryan Schwartz