The same structure that made HIMYM so much fun and so emotionally absorbing for so many years, though, meant it was placing a gigantic up-front bet on its final episode. It’s hard to argue that it’s all about the journey when the destination is right there in the title.
And you know what? Intellectually, maybe that destination did make sense. Couples do divorce. (It makes sense — maybe the most sense of anything in this finale — that Robin was actually not necessarily in a place to get married to anyone, and that she could be perfectly happy with her career. Part of me hopes that she and Ted date but never move in or marry.) People take years to find themselves, people drift apart and come back together, people die too soon. A great series could tell those stories and lay out those complicated, hard truths. The problem is, that is not the series that How I Met Your Mother was for the previous nine years. It was just the series it tried to force itself to be for its last hour."