The recent finale of How I Met Your Mother brought another round of Internet rage, but as a loyal viewer I thought the ending was right, as I did with both Dexter and Breaking Bad, two other shows with finales that met the wrath of the masses.
How I Met Your Mother
People were mad that Robin and Barney got divorced, and I get that. They were mad that the mother died, and I get that too. For Ted to tell the whole nine-season story about how he met his children’s mother to then only focus on her for a short time didn’t make much sense, unless you consider it from the point of view of his children’s observation that Ted was still pining for Robin, as he always had since the series’ beginning.
Of course he had to end up with Robin. I thought he would season after season, and when he started referring to her as “Aunt Robin” in his story, I had a hard time letting go of the idea that she was the mother. When she was set to marry Barney, I still found it hard to believe that she wouldn’t end up with Ted. So the divorce had to happen and the mother had to die. Ted loved the mother and honored her, but he was always going to end up with Robin. I knew that blue horn would be there too. While the last couple of seasons were less funny than the show at its best, the story arc was perfect.
The ending of Dexter was exquisitely haunting. Even though for the last few seasons, my interest had waned as I thought the show got too repetitive, the ending redeemed the series. The monster became human, just in time to have to sacrifice his happiness in penance for his many crimes and to protect the people he loved. I do not think he would ever harm Harrison, but for Dexter to have happiness in his grasp and walk away from it was so beautifully unexpected. He could finally feel feelings, and those feelings made him ache. That final shot in a dark lumberjack’s cabin, such a contrast to the bright pastels of Miami, stabbed me.
The part of me that loves happy endings bargained that he could still make it to Argentina someday, but the grim storytelling was perfectly painful. He became a good person, and good people suffer.
While I thought both How I Met Your Mother and Dexter had seasons that dipped in quality, Breaking Bad was a thrill the whole way through. The creator had imagined a character who turns from Mr. Chip into Scarface, and while I had liked poor Mr. White for many seasons, he clearly crossed the line into evil. Watching Jane die after moving her and poisoning Brock were both unforgivable. The suffering he caused Jesse was so severe that I remember one commenter calling it “torture porn.”
I loved Jesse, and he needed to get free. Some people said the series took the easy way out by giving Jesse a happy (although ambiguous) ending, but I don’t see it that way. Sure, Jesse was a drug dealer who shot a man in the face, but Jesse was good deep down. He grieved, he mourned, he took responsibility. He tried and tried to escape the life he was stuck in.
As much as the show was masterly at keeping its viewers rooting for the evil Mr. White, I grew increasingly disgusted with him over his claims that he was doing it all for his family, the idea that had made me like him in the first place. To me the most crucial moment in the finale was when he admitted to Skyler that he did it for himself. That moment earned him a moment of peace before his death.
Those pesky viewers
I understand that loyal viewers feel ownership for the shows they love and stay loyal to, but the writers usually are the ones who know best how to wrap it up, and these writers got it right. Now, as for the Lost finale? Horrendous!
What did you think of these finales? What was your favorite TV show finale?
Source: Uproxx via Reddit