In “Love Forever” we get a long series of montages that describe what happens to the gang from the time Ted meets the mother to the time Ted’s telling his story. There was a weird mix of a few favorite clips, call backs to favorite moments, and a long series of expected, and not so expected, events.
From an episode standpoint, I have to say I was a bit taken a back by the way it told its story. I thought it was very well received to give the viewer a very rapid glimpse into the futures of our friends and the various big moments of their lives, even if through the course of time, those bonds may change.
In one big moment, we even say goodbye to the biggest character in the entire show, the old apartment. It’s here we see an empty space, host to so many memories and moments in the lives of the gang. It’s here that we also are reminded of a simple fact of life. “It’s never going to be how it was. It can’t be, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.”
Weirdly though, the whole episode seemed more like and sad epilogue to last week’s wedding finale. But then again, this show strives itself not on the happy ending, but rather the sad reality of growing older. Our bonds do change, and things are never the same as they once were. Sometimes, there will be those of us who look at our friends, and think about how wonderful things are going for them, only to be reminded yourself of what things were. Robin looks at the gang and feels like an outcast, even though we the viewer knows that in some ways she is both right and wrong.
But as always the show never wants to dwell on the idea that things are either good or bad, sad or happy. But rather, the show always wanted to dwell on the reality of life, how things change, and how these relationships define who we are. Some events are happier than others sure, but these are all big moments that we should cherish together. Between the breakups, the lost jobs, the marriages, and the babies, it’s the circle of friends we keep that allow us to survive the journey.
As for Ted and the mother, the glimpse we get of their lives reminds us of how brilliant life can be and how fate always puts things where they need to be at the right time.
And it was though Ted’s “emotional endurance” that we even got to this right moment and take that final first step into a whole new life. Ted reminds us that no matter what, sometimes fate just wants us to take that bit of courage which can change the course of our lives in ways we could never even imagine. It only took that one moment of courage for Ted to change his life. What’s to say that any of us could fare better or worse had we done the same?
I’m glad that the show didn’t go into a completely dark revelation that this story was told out of remembrance of a love lost. While it was true that those “worst of times” did happen, it was never the focus of the story or the show. The loss of the Mother was so subtle, it might have been too subtle. Unlike similar stories though, it never dwelled on the fact she was gone, but rather the fact she was there, and it was Ted’s job “from the moment I met your mom, I knew I had to love this woman as much as I can as long as I can, and I can never stop loving her even for a second.”
And even though the story may have seemingly ended, it was really only a chapter in the never-ending story of a life. There’s always another chapter to read, another story to tell, another scene to see.
I’m not sure how I feel about Ted finally ending up with Robin. One the one hand, one could feel that the ending was a pure fan service after all these years, but I think it is more complex than that. These final scenes were filmed almost a decade ago when the kids were still young. Bays and Thomas knew exactly what they wanted to show to end like, and what the point of Ted’s story ultimately was. Even still, sometimes it felt like the whole final season was tacked on fairly rapidly, and this final season could have easily lasted only half a season or so.
Ultimately, the ending revelations reconcile what many had questioned for so many years. Why would Ted, in telling the story of how he met the Mother, start with the story of how he met Robin? Why would Ted always talk about the emotional underpinnings between him and Robin? Why would Ted always seem to remember the moments he spent with Robin the fondest amongst the gang?
For Ted, this story was about an older widower asking permission of his children to move on from his long deceased spouse. The Mother and Ted were two like souls who needed each other in their lives and paralleled each other in so many ways. The main difference is while the mother looked to the heavens to her long dead fiancé for his blessing to move on in life, Ted instead looks to his children for their blessing. In the end, as Ted was the ending chapter to the Mother’s life, Robin and Ted may be the ending chapters to each other’s lives.
Ultimately, Ted’s story boils down to a lesson in the courage of a heart, the destiny of a life, and the theft of a blue french horn….
- They filmed the final kid scenes way back in 2006. They wanted to make sure that the kids didn’t age by the end of the series
- Great call backs over the entire episode
- “Have You Met Ted” game
- Steer into the skid
- The 3 Day Rule
- Ted’s stupid ballot costume, combined with the Mother’s “Floridan Al Gore Voter 2000”
- Cock-a-mouse returns
- Robots vs Wrestling
- Ted’s GNB Building finally completed
- Judge Fudge becomes Fudge Supreme
- “Funny how sometimes…you just find things”
- Robin and her dogs repeat the first episode of the series.
- That white whale costume was amazing.
- The High-infinity!
- What about that damn pineapple?
“At Times it was a long difficult road, but I’m glad it was long and difficult because if I hadn’t gone though hell to get there, the rest might not have been clear.
You see kids, right from the moment I met your mom, I knew I had to love this woman as much as I can as long as I can, and I can never stop loving her even for a second. I carried that lesson with me though every stupid fight we ever had, every 5 AM christmas morning, every sleepy sunday afternoon, though every speed bump, every pang of jealousy or boredom or uncertainty that came our way. I carried that lesson with me.
And I carried it with me when she got sick. Even then, in what can only be called the worst of times, all I could do was thank God, thank every god there is or ever was or will be and the whole universe and anyone else I could possibly thank…when I saw that beautiful girl on that train platform, and that I had the guts to stand up, walk over to her, tap her on the shoulder, open my mouth…and speak.”
- “You are the love of my life. Everything I have and everything I am is yours forever.”
Final Final Thought
- Lily prematurely won and ultimately lost the Ted-Robin will-they-won’t-they bet against Marshal