TV & Radio
Warning: do not read on if you want the surprise How I Met Your Mother ending.
Like Ross and Rachel and Big and Carrie before them - Ted and Robin from How I Met Your Mother can now be added to the list of TV's great on-again/off-again/on-again couples who finally got their happily ever after.
After nine seasons and close to 210 episodes - the last one of which aired in the US on Tuesday - it, however, appears "How I Met Your Step Mother" would have been a more appropriate title for the popular sitcom after the pair, renowned for their rocky romantic liaisons, ended up together following the death of both Ted's wife, Tracy McConnell (aka the "Mother") and Robin and Barney's marriage.
The big reveal when Ted gets to meet his dream woman at Robin and Barney's wedding.
The reaction to the ending of the show was mixed on social media, with a majority of fans voicing vehement disappointment in the finale. While others applauded the creators of the series, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, for writing a realistic finale which waxed lyrical about second chances, or in the case of Ted and Robin, third, fourth and fifth chances.
The hour long episode showed how widower Ted finally locked down "Aunt Robin" and cheeky skirt-chaser (and Robin's ex-husband) Barney met the love of his life - his baby daughter (the result of a relationship, or relations, following his divorce from Robin).
The critical reception to the final chapter was lukewarm.
"All told, the finale, like the series itself, was fine, if not, alas, legendary. But hey, unlike some of the shows that have come and gone while Ted searched for his dream girl, it certainly beat a slap to the face," Variety's TV columnist Brian Lowry wrote.
Interestingly, Bays and Thomas filmed the episode back in 2005 to ensure Ted's on-screen children, who were shown in the first scene of every episode, didn't age on screen.
"We shot this last little section nine years ago. It was so long ago, I don't really remember what I said," the now 27-year-old actress Lyndsy Fonseca, who played the bored looking daughter, told People magazine.
Creators Bays and Thomas say they knew the plot for the final episode when the series premiered nine years ago.
Actor Josh Radnor's character Ted meets Tracy, played by Cristin Milioti, on a rainy train platform after his friends Barney and Robin are married. Tracy was the bass player in the wedding band.
The final episode skips through several years, where we learn that the marriage of Robin and Barney (played by Cobie Smulders and Neil Patrick Harris) split up because of her success as a television correspondent. Barney has a baby through a one-night stand and Marshall and Lily (played by Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan) have three kids and he becomes a judge.
Ted and Tracy get married after a long engagement and the kids, but she falls sick and dies, a development that many fans speculated upon in recent weeks because of a foreshadowing in an earlier episode.
After that, Ted wraps up the story - how I met your mother - that he had been telling his children throughout the length of the show. The children, however, tell him that it's also a story about how he loves their Aunt Robin.
They say his attraction to her is obvious and that he should ask her on a date. ''C'mon, dad,'' says the daughter, played by Fonseca. ''Mom's gone for six years now. It's time.''
Ted and Robin dated early in the show's history and seemed a natural match. Yet the producers made clear that Robin was not the ''mother'' of the title, disappointing many of the show's fans at the time. The children urge Ted to pick up the phone and call Robin.
He thinks better of it and drives to her apartment. She opens the window to see him holding a blue horn - a reference to a story from when they had dated - and the series ends.
The producers are at work on a pilot for a spin-off series, How I Met Your Dad, that involves different actors.
On Monday night, Smulders appeared at a New York screening for the movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in which she performs. Smulders said that, after the screening, she planned to go home and watch the finale with friends.
She said many of the emotions felt by the characters in the last episode mirrored what the actors were feeling.''I am personally really thrilled,'' she said. ''The show comes full circle.''
- with AP