How I Met Your Mother: In defence of Last Forever

Image courtesy of http://gentedigital.es/

Image courtesy of http://gentedigital.es/

This probably doesn’t need saying, but obviously from here on out there will be huge Season Nine spoilers for How I Met Your Mother.

March 31st saw How I Met Your Mother (which shall be now be known as HIMYM), one of the longest-running sitcoms since Friends, draw to a close with a two-parter that garnered very mixed response.

That’s probably being kind. It garnered mostly negative response.

https://twitter.com/Real_Minnty/status/451384841351995393

Of course, there were positive responses, but these are few and far between.

I personally loved the finale. I thought it had the right balance of emotion and comedy, and ended the way that it should have done. Maybe because way back last May after the Season Eight finale, I made my predictions for the Series Finale, most of which turned out to be extremely true. The death of the mother, Tracy, was something I foresaw so having been basically building up to that for nearly a year, I was maybe more immune to her demise, as sad as it was. That’s not to say it wasn’t hard to watch and it wasn’t emotional, but since I saw it coming a mile off I wasn’t as shocked when he got back together with Robin.

Here’s where my defence starts. I present to you the most poignant final words of HIMYM, the words which I feel defended creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays’ decision to kill off Tracy, which was made almost NINE years ago:

Penny: “That’s it?”

Ted: “That’s it.”

P: “No. I don’t buy it. That is not the reason you made us listen to this.”

T: “Oh really, then what’s the reason?”

P: “Let’s look at the facts here: you made us sit down and listen to this story about how you met mom, yet mom’s hardly in the story. No. This is the story about how you’re totally in love with Aunt Robin. And you’re thinking about asking her out and you wanna know if we’re okay with it.”

T: “I can’t believe this.I kept this story short, and to the point, and you guys still missed it. The point of the story is that…”

P: “Is that you totally, totally, totally have the hots for Aunt Robin!”

T: “No I don’t.”

P: “Yes, you do!”

T: “You’re grounded.”

Luke: “Wow, you are really into Aunt Robin.”

T: “You’re grounded too. Okay, suppose I were interested in Aunt Robin, it’s not like I’d do anything about it. I got you guys to think about.”

P: “Dad, we love Aunt Robin!”

L: “Whenever she comes over for dinner, you guys are so obvious.”

P: “Come on dad. Mom’s been gone for six years now. It’s time.”

T: “I just call her up on the phone and ask her out on a date?”

P + L: “Yes!”

T: “That’s something you guys want?”

P + L: “YES!”

It was never about Ted meeting Tracy. It was about how Ted wanted to move on and he can do that, but it took him six years and he wanted to make sure Penny and Luke were okay with him getting back together with Robin.

Why would he cover nine years in his story when he could have just done it from the moment he met her at Farhampton Station on the day of Robin and Barney’s wedding in 2014? He wanted his kids to know as much as possible about Robin.

He could never have married Robin from Day One, because as much as he loved her, he always wanted a family, but Robin always wanted to travel. Coupled with Robin’s unwillingness to have children, and later her infertility, it could just never be for Ted and Robin. Not yet.

After Tracy passed away, something which could and maybe should have been dealt with much better in the show, Ted took six years to get over it, similar to the way Tracy did in Season Nine, Episode 16 “How Your Mother Met Me”.

They could never just have Ted ending up with Robin through a divorce with Tracy, because this was true love, the girl he had spent nine plus years looking for. Death was the perfect scapegoat for the writers, meaning that Ted could have his family time for 10 years with Tracy, and then enter his (almost) post-kids life with Robin, the girl he loved for nine years but could never have.

I’d also recommend giving this a read, an article from thoughtcatalog.com, which shares the same views I do.

Soon I shall attack some things the finale did wrong, as well as look at Season Nine as a whole, but until then, stay strong. We will survive without HIMYM.

Unlike Arrow, I’m struggling for direction

There comes a point where I haven’t blogged in so long, not publicly anyway, that I feel the need to write something just to keep the creative juices flowing. I’ve had every intention to do some posts, and I even have a few drafts tucked away that I may come back to, but Uni work has been taking over a little bit. At least now I have a temporary reprieve, although this is being dominated by the Rugby League World Cup, where I am volunteering. But less of that now, since I plan to do a post on all that after the final on 30th November at Old Trafford.

I suppose the only logical direction, for me anyway, to go is in the direction of TV. Not literally. There is one show that has been dominating my schedule at the moment: Arrow.

This contains spoiler-y stuff for Arrow

The cast of Arrow

(from L-R) Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance), Manu Bennett (Slade Wilson), Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak), Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen), David Ramsey (John Diggle), Willa Holland (Thea Queen), Susanna Thompson (Moira Queen)
Image courtesy of http://www.denofgeek.com

Arrow is by far my favourite current TV show out there. After a bipolar first season which saw a slow first half get completely blown away by a mesmerising second half, the second season is pulling out all the stops already. And we’re just five episodes in.

For those not in the know, Arrow is based on the DC Comics hero Green Arrow, aka Oliver Queen. Queen was shipwrecked on a Chinese island for five years, and in the Pilot episode of the show he returns to his home town, Starling City. Aside from being a spoilt billionaire thanks his family business Queen Consolidated, Queen is now a skilled archer (I know, shocking).

The pilot was really good, for a pilot. Obviously there’s only so much that can be done in such an episode because you need to introduce the characters and give them basic traits, but here I found it balanced it all both perfectly (including flashbacks which become a major part of the series) unlike some recent shows *cough* Agents of Shield *cough*.

Having originally seen the pilot at an advanced viewing in July 2012 at San Diego Comic Con, I couldn’t wait for the season to start. What happened next was nearly caused me to give up on the show before it started.

The first half of Season One, as I previously said, was dull. Really quite boring. It was soon obvious that Stephen Amell (Oliver) couldn’t act, he had little-to-no chemistry with female lead Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance, Ollie’s childhood friend), and Willa Holland (Thea, Ollie’s younger sister) didn’t capture the hearts of viewers early. Actually, Thea was the focal point of many of the early episodes, and was one of the only ones to really care about Ollie’s experiences on ‘the island’. The problem is, I personally couldn’t have given a flying monkeys if Thea had popped it (as she so nearly did a couple of times early on) because she was just annoying and didn’t add much to the show.

The better characters early on were John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). Diggle, or Dig as he is usually known, is an ex-soldier who was hired by Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson), Ollie’s mother as her son’s bodyguard, although he soon became aware of his alter-ego and started to work with him. Felicity adds a little comic relief to the show, often accidentally piping up with double entendres in an adorable way, but also becomes a more useful character later on as she becomes Ollie’s tech gal when he’s off out skewering people with arrows.

However two cast members were added later on which arguably saved the show. They go by the names of John Barrowman and Manu Bennett. Barrowman is no stranger to the geek world, playing Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who before playing the same character in its spinoff, Torchwood. He is added around five episodes in, but it takes a couple more before we find out a wildly important fact, which I won’t reveal. He then dons an alter ego himself and becomes probably the most interesting character of the series.

Bennett is a little less well-known, but the Kiwi actor has been making a name for himself in the last few years, most notably as Crixus in Spartacus (the first season had the subtitle Blood and Sand, for a bit of reference) and as The Pale Orc in the Hobbit trilogy. The great hulk of a man, who plays Slade Wilson (comic fans should recognise that name) makes his first appearance in episode 13, and is an integral part of Ollie’s island adventures. To reveal much more would spoil it big-time, but he starts to train our hero and as a member of the Australian Secret Service, gives him the skills he needs to survive. Wilson has also been a brilliant character in Season 2 and it’s getting exciting as we slowly find out his motives for his actions on the Island.

Now onto Season 2, which picks up the chronology pretty much straight off. The DC references pick up, although some are in there purely for the comic fans and nothing more (probably). Thea’s boyfriend, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), is in it a lot more after being somewhat infrequent during his supporting role in Season 1, and anyone who knows DC lore (or has access to Google) will be able to tell where his storyline is going. The writers have even been dropping subtle hints about it, such as his clothes. Anyway, he’s been fantastic so far and his relationship with Thea is really blossoming, making him choose between his “destiny” and his family in a way not dissimilar to Ollie.

There has also been another superhero added into the mix, another DC favourite: Black Canary. To reveal her real identity would ruin some stuff big-time (I only said “spoiler-y”), but she’s given another dimension to the show and the League of Assassins has been mentioned by her more than once. As has the name Ra’s al Ghul. The writers of the show also said a man by the name of Barry Allen would be entering the fray soon. Mr Allen is better known as the Flash.

So it’s clear that Season 2 will be a cracker, and I, for one, am really excited for the rest of it to see how it comes together. One of the best shows out there by far.

How I Met Your Mother – Season 9 finale predictions

For those who saw How I Met Your Mother (which shall henceforth be known as HIMYM) on Monday night, you’ll know that, after 8 long years, one of the biggest secrets in TV history was finally revealed: the identity of the mother of Ted’s kids.

This is where the *spoilers* start, so if you haven’t seen the episode, I’d recommend waiting until you have before reading this.

Still reading? Ok.

The mother will be played by Cristin Milioti.

Who? She had a hilarious turn in an episode of 30 Rock, and also starred in the smash-hit Broadway musical Once

I think we all know how the last few episodes of Season 9 will play out. Ted and the so far nameless Mother will get married, have kids, and it’ll be hunky-dory, right?

Wrong.

This last season has revealed that Ted still has feelings for Robin, and Robin for Ted. They can’t just throw that out like it never happened, so here’s what I think will happen to all the characters.

The Mother

This is a little dark, but I honestly think the mother is dead in 2030. I think Ted needs a reason to be telling his kids the long story about how he met their mother, and it seems like an odd thing to do out of the blue.

I think he’ll be telling them the story because it’s been, say 5 years to the day, since she died.

It’s more likely to be death than divorce because Ted claims she’s the love of his life, so is highly unlikely to divorce her or vice versa.

Ted

You’ve probably guessed where this is going. Ted gets remarried. To Robin. They’ve been playing off that ever since the first episode where he basically fell in love with her and it’ll bring it to a nice round circle.

As for the 16 years between the show ending and the story being told, Ted will have his two kids (obviously), stay in New York designing more buildings, and then after the Mother dies in, let’s say 2025 for consistency’s sake, he mourns for a year or 2 before getting back together with Robin.

He rekindles his romance with her and they end up getting married a year later.

Robin

Obviously based on my previous paragraph, Robin gets married to Ted. As the entire of the last season seemed to be building up to Robin and Barney’s wedding, this may seem odd.

I think Robin and Barney will get married. But not for very long, maybe 6 months to a year,  as I think Robin will realise that she doesn’t love him as much as she loves somebody else (Ted).

Unfortunately for our Canadian friend, Ted has already fallen in love with the Mother. Robin can’t face seeing Ted with someone else, and in the same way Ted threatened to move to Chicago in the season finale, she moves to Argentina and various other countries. I think this was previously confirmed by 2030 Ted at one point during the show’s run that she lived all over the world in the future.

She has minimal contact with the remainder of the group, but moves back to New York after a few years. Here she learns of the Mother’s demise and gets back together with Ted. They then get married and she becomes the kids’ stepmother.

Barney

This will be kept short and sweet. His marriage to Robin collapses quite quickly, as I previously said. After that, I think he’ll just return to his previous life of womanising and sleeping with anything that moves. I don’t think anything else needs to, or will, happen to him.

Marshall and Lily

I’ve put these together because I think they’ll stay together forever. No reason why they won’t.

Marshall will take the job as a New York Judge, as shown at the end of Season 8, but Lily will still move to Rome. However she will only move over summer, as she realises she needs Marshall, and that she will be able to find a new job in New York.

By 2030, I think they’ll have 2 or 3 kids, Marshall will be a powerful judge, and Lily will have a job at an art gallery somewhere in Manhattan.

That all being said, I could be completely wrong and everything I’ve written here could be a waste of time.

Whatever happens in the final season and beyond, it will be Legen-wait for it-dary! Legendary!