- I never, for a second, bought Robin and Barney as a couple. They had no chemistry. She had played witness to too much of his debauchery. Even with his vow to never lie, how could she trust him? Although I love Barney as a character, I would never wish a marriage to someone like that on a woman I cared about. I actually wanted her to run out on the wedding, but I’ll take this outcome just as well.
- We never got a chance to care about the mother. We hardly knew her so, when it was revealed that she died, my sadness was for Ted as the bereaved, not because I was like, “Oh, no, Tracy (that’s your name, right?), we’ll miss you so much.” I was worried all season that they were trying too hard to make us embrace a last minute addition to the cast, who could never measure up to the original five.
- Alyson Hannigan. Crying. The show has always done a great job of meshing humor and sadness. Lily standing there crying, dressed as a whale was sad and disconcerting and totally weird.
- The way Ted met the mother tied up a lot of breadcrumbs the writers have been dropping and that fans have been scrambling around gathering up for nine years. The yellow umbrella is the most obvious, but also the recurring symbolism of rain, the wordplay banter between the two characters, the last minute change in literal direction (i.e. to Chicago).
- Marshall got his judgeship. I was so glad when he agreed to go to Rome, because I wouldn’t have wanted the characters to miss out on such a life-enriching adventure. But one spouse acheiving her dream didn’t mean the other couldn’t do the same. Everthing, the show reminds us, happens in its own good time.
- No one woman was ever, ever going to turn Barney around. I didn’t believe it with Nora. With Quinn. Or, as I said above, with Robin. So the baby worked for me as the MacGuffin.
- The ending was planned way in advance, and several, if not all, of the seasons were written with that destination in mind. So everything hangs together, with no loose threads. Unless you count that damn pineapple.
I’m not ashamed to say I bawled my eyes out when Ted held up that blue French horn. Here’s my original review of the show’s brilliant pilot.