Tonight’s season finale of How I Met Your Mother was everything the show is and has been for 4 seasons now. It was pretty funny, it was full of heart and it had it’s flaws. Sure parts of it were silly and sure it’s incredibly frustrating how Ted calls everything that happens to him “a defining moment”, but there were elements in this episode that really made it work, like they always do.

HIMYM is one of the most self-referential shows out there. It’s full of in-jokes and callbacks to previous episodes. The finale was even more full of them then usual. There was a flashback to the pilot episode, a callback to the season 4 episode “Three Days of Snow”, the use of Ted’s name as a verb (to “Mosby” someone, see also “Ted out” and “Ted up”), jokes about Lily’s established inability to keep a secret, the motif of Ted’s birthday, a shoutout to the yearly rooftop Halloween party and even the resolution to the long-awaited goat story.

As for the current most popular storyline, Barney and Robin finally confessed their feelings for one another (sort of), hashed it out (sort of) and decided how they are going to move forward (not really at all, actually). Either way, it’s all out on the table, Barney doesn’t look like he’s running any time soon and Robin just has to sort out has she really feels now. The whole thing resulted in one of the great HIMYM scenes of all time: “marry me…you’re smothering me…*kissy time*”.

And the mother? Well we’ve got it lowered down to one of 500 or so co-eds in Ted’s architecture class. You see, that “big momentous moment that changed his life” when he ran into Stella on the street, resulted in the man who stole her from Ted offering Ted a job teaching at Columbia. So now we know that the mother is in that class- it shouldn’t be long now. That said, unless CBS and the producers reach an agreement on an end date for the show, there’s no telling how long they can preposterously drag out the rest of the story. As much as I love this show, I think the central premise only has about another season’s worth of story left.

The season as a whole was a mixed bag. There were some great episodes (I particularly loved “Intervention” and “Three Days of Snow”), some annoying storylines (STELLA!), some excellent character stuff (Barney’s arc, Lily sabotaging Ted’s relationships, everyone’s career struggles), and a couple really memorable jokes (Barney’s old man makeup, Marshall’s charts, Robin’s Canadian celebrity sex story, Barney’s fake wife, Lily’s fake British accent, and so many more). There were some incredibly ludicrous attempts at covering up Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan’s pregnancies. But this was also the year when I stopped hating and finally grew to love Robin.

Ultimately, I’d say season 4 was an improvement on season 3 but not as strong as the first 2. How I Met Your Mother is still one of my most anticipated and favourite shows every week and we here at My TV will all be waiting with bated breath for next season.