In a discussion with reporters after a screening of the Season 8 premiere, creators of the CBS hit "How I Met Your Mother," Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, teased the chance that, although they are writing the season as the final one, the show could possibly come back for a ninth season, prompting the show's most frustrated fans to cry out, "Just meet the #@*! mother already!"
However, at this point, it's clear that Ted's story to his future children about "how I met your mother" is primarily a clever device to carry the series, to create stakes, and to move the story along. Viewers angry that the show hasn't yet gotten around to introducing the eponymous mother might be missing out on more important aspects of the show.
Barney and RobinMore than any of Ted's relationships, Barney and Robin have been the will-they-or-won't-they couple throughout the show's run. Way back in Season 1, the chemistry between Barney and Robin clicked when she agreed to be Barney's "wingman" for a night. She suited up, smoked cigars, and even played laser tag.
Despite being a notorious womanizer, Barney's crush on Robin and their eventual relationship shows him in a more admirable light. The episode where Robin talks to her imaginary future children resonates more emotion than eight years of Ted's never-ending story to his. Now in Season 8, Ted and Victoria's reunion has fallen flat (because, of course, we know she's not the mother), but we know Barney and Robin end up together, making them both models for how the sworn single person can become someone who wants a committed relationship with the right person.
FriendshipsIn the pilot, Future Ted tells his children the story of how he met their "Aunt Robin." The story of "How I Met Your Mother" begins not when Ted and Robin start dating, but when Robin becomes a friend and a member of their group. The stories of the friendships between Ted, Marshall, Lily, Barney, and Robin develop over the years as they all mature, go through love and loss, and stick together. Barney matures enough to become a husband. Marshall and Lily become parents. Ted fails in one relationship after the next. Robin finds out she can't have children. Even in the milestones of life, as they each assume new roles, the group still keeps their friendships strong.
The mythologyMore than the relationships of the couples and the friendships between these five people, "How I Met Your Mother" has built the kind of mythology all successful TV shows strive for: from the Bro Code to the Slap Bet to recurring cast members like Ranjit the cab driver, the slutty pumpkin, or even the goat. So when Future Ted mentions that he saw in a woman's apartment, say, a yellow toy bus, then shows us the yellow bus that we've been seeing on a shelf behind the children he's been talking to for eight seasons, it means something. When the gang "eats sandwiches," we giggle at the inside joke. When the flashback in Season 7's "Now We're Even" explains the reason Ted was in a dress in Season 6's "The Mermaid Theory," we feel a sense of satisfaction.
With pay-offs in the form of couples like Barney and Robin, the strong friendships, and nods to the show's mythology, finally meeting the mother (no doubt in the series finale) will merely be the final pay-off for devoted fans.
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