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"Funny how sometimes, you just... find things."

THIS. This is the ending the series deserved.


To say that I was incredibly infuriated at the finale would be an understatement. There I was, so ready to bid this show goodbye, grateful and satisfied. I've already written down everything I loved about the show, and everything I had to say for those who no longer believed in it. And then they gave me (us!) that abhorrent conclusion to nine years of character development and effective story-telling -- all for the sake of using an old footage they shot a year into the pilot. It was a complete betrayal. They completely missed the point of the entire show. THEIR show.

I won't even go into every reason explaining why I'm so invested in How I Met Your Mother. But the most important thing to declare, I suppose, is the fact that I bought into the whole ideology of the show. I sincerely, honestly held on to the idea of the journey being the destination. Of finding hope in the struggle. Of waiting it out. Of things falling into place, eventually. 

That's what I loved most about the show, I guess. I sank my teeth into it because it gives me hope. There, I said it. As completely trite as that was, I embraced the kind of faith it gave me. Everything that's happening now? It will make sense eventually. All the shit you're going through? It will be worth it in the end. That is the whole premise of the show, for me, at least. It wasn't so much about Ted actually meeting the Mother, as it was about just Ted -- a story about himself and how he got to the place emotionally to meet the love of his life. That if he hadn't loved and lost all those times, didn't have all those life experiences, and hadn't gone through all that stuff with his friends, he wouldn't have made the right decisions once he met the Mother.

I hated the ending because the show long stopped being about the Will They/Won't They situation with Robin. (At least not until around Season 3.) No. The show was about the group of friends -- of Lily and Marshall adjusting to the married life, of Robin pursuing her career, of Barney outgrowing his illusions. Of Ted making all the mistakes in order to be so completely devastated about the whole idea of love, not knowing that it's the very thing that will redeem him.

How I Met Your Mother was about all the fuck ups you make in life until it all just clicks.

Not about still holding out for this girl you've obsessed about in the past who clearly isn't in love with you the way you were with her, and who is obviously only pining for you because now you're both available and want to get laid. It's a cheap, easy ending catered to the writers who so desperately wanted to use old footage to seem "radical." Anyone who's ever seen the show's ability to rise above the occasion and break the barriers of situational comedy would agree that it was a tacky and tasteless way of ending a great show. What a great disservice to the characters and stories they've built up over the years.

(That is: I'm not saying that I prefer a neat fairy-tale ending, with no divorces or death in the picture. That, I can accept and embrace even, because this show's never been afraid to touch on heavy topics like that. If they wanted to kill the Mother, that would have been fine. What I didn't like was how they threw away all the development, growth, and learning over the years written into each of the characters, just for that ending. It didn't feel earned, at all. If they wanted that conclusion, at least make us feel that the people in the show deserved it. It didn't make sense, narrative-wise. Especially what they did to Barney, whom they regressed in under five minutes, and to the Mother, whom they merely used as a means to an unwarranted end.)

And then, there's this. The promised "redemption." I doubt this erases the bad taste that awful finale left in my mouth. It doesn't even restore my faith in Bays and Thomas. But hey, at least I'm getting some kind of closure, even though I still feel short-changed.

So yes, the alternate ending is here, in its quiet, charming way, salving the wounds of "Last Forever Part 2."

In my head, this is how the show ended. The pilot gave us the blue french horn, but the last image we will see is of the yellow umbrella. It's Ted coming full circle -- hopeful, longing, miserable, but eventually, redeemed.

"It was a long road, you might even say it was really, really, really, really long. But difficult? Nah. It was life. Stuff happens in life. Things fall apart. Things get put back together.

When I think how lucky I am to wake up next to your mom every morning, I can't help but be amazed at how easy it all really was.

All I had to do was to get out of the apartment for a couple hours so that your Uncle Marshall could propose to Aunt Lily. Go to the bar. Meet your Aunt Robin. Convince your AUnt Robin to fall in love with me. Break up with your Aunt Robin.

Go on the rebound. Go get a rebound tattoo. Go get the rebound tattoo removed. Meet Stella. Convince Stella to fall in love with me. Get engaged. Get left at the altar.

Get fired. Get beat up by a goat. Get a job as a professor. Teach the wrong class. Date the wrong girl. Date the wrong girl again. Date the wrong girl a few times actually.

Let Uncle Barney fall in love with Robin. Let Aunt Robin fall in love with Uncle Barney. Book the wedding band. Go to their wedding. Make sure the wedding actually happened.

Leave a little early. Be in the right place at the right time. And somehow, summon the guts to do the stupidest, most impossible thing on the world. Walk up to that beautiful girl standing under the yellow umbrella, and start talking.

See? Easy.

And that kids, is how I met your mother."