Lousy Smarch weather.
After taking a brief hiatus from watching The Simpsons because my local FOX affiliate stopped airing two episodes at 5:00 & 5:30 after YEARS of them occupying that particularly convenient time-slot and because I prefer to watch The Amazing Race right when it airs and it goes up against The Simpsons I stopped watching one of my absolute favorite TV shows.
Then last week I began a horrible new project and needed entertainment so I started watching season one of The Simpsons and decided to keep the momentum going by researching every single episode from beginning to current…
I really have no reason to share this with the general public but I’m ridiculously enthusiastic about it so there you go.
1. Ted and Robin have loved each other since they met. They really did, BUT they both wanted very different things out of life. Ted wanted marriage and kids. Robin decidedly did not. Either one being forced to compromise for the other would have lead to, at the very least, some pretty sizable resentments. Their relationship, in the beginning, had an expiration date and rightfully so, at THAT time.
2. Barney and Robin loved each other. They really did, BUT in spite of giving it their best shot it just didn’t work out they way they thought it would and they weren’t happy. You can love someone and still not be able to make it work. Love does not concur all, so to speak, unless you interpret that to mean “love allows you to keep swallowing down your misery for the sake of staying with someone who you love but are starting to like less and less each day.”
3. Ted spent years watching everyone else be happy. Marshall and Lily got to be happy. Robin and Barney got to be happy. Ted? Not so much. Then he met The Mother and he got everything he wanted. (Though not getting married for a really long time seemed super way off canon to me.) Most importantly, to Ted, he got to have the family he never ever would have gotten to have if he had stayed with Robin. For a portion of his life, Ted had everything he ever wanted and he was really, really happy.
4. Meanwhile Robin got exactly what Robin wanted, she traveled the world and was extremely successful. She and Ted fulfilled sections of their life separately that they never could have together. Although not much time was spent on it, Robin seemed to be really happy too.
5. When Ted’s daughter eventually calls him out on his story actually being about Aunt Robin, she’s actually calling the entire show out, which I thought was perfect. However, at the exact same time, the story really was about how Ted met The Mother. But, it was also about Ted and Robin’s epic love story.
6. Ted and Robin’s paths in life HAD to diverge from each other in order for their lives to truly be happy. Each of them wanted the other to be happy and at the time they were dating there was no way that could happen if they stayed together. They had to travel very different paths at the exact same time in order to end up right back where they started. Life is tricky like that. Ultimately, Ted and Robin end up exactly the same, yet completely different. Finally fulfilled, yet still very much in love with each other. Ted’s journey wasn’t abandoned (or ruined) in the final episode, it simply continued and the next step on that journey was Robin and Ted, having fulfilled their separate destinies, finally reconnecting to pick up where they wisely had decided to end things. I thought it was phenomenally well done and sophisticated for a show that knew it was going to piss off an awful lot of fans.
7. HOWEVER, Barney becoming a father seemed like a really overdone TV trope tacked on at the last moment to appease, I don’t know, someone that’s totally not me. I was so happy when he told Lily to just let him be who he is, because he was right. Also, her smug look of triumph when he said he knocked up “Number 31” made me very happy to know I wouldn’t have to watch her much longer. Also, “Oh look, the perfect woman for him is his daughter, he’s using that pick-up line on his baby…” is spectacularly creepy and unbelieveable to me.
Ultimately, I thought they did a fantastic job of wrapping up a show that I had, quite frankly, gotten a little sick of by the time the wedding FINALLY arrived. They won me back in the final episode by not slapping a trite happy ending on a complex show and instead choosing to complete the story they were telling all along, which is why it’s amazing to me that so many people hated the ending.