'How I Met Your Mother' review: CBS' hit series has a good-enough farewell

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Josh Radnor as Ted, Cristin Milioti as The

Josh Radnor as Ted, Cristin Milioti as The Mother on the series finale of "How I Met Your Mother." Photo Credit: Fox / Ron P. Jaffe

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Meet mom.

Actually, you've already met mom on "How I Met Your Mother," which ended nine seasons Monday night. She's Cristin Milioti, aka "The Girl with the Yellow Umbrella," and she did apparently have a name after all, too (Tracy McDonnell).

But mom wasn't the point of the story, as it turns out. Robin (Cobie Smulders) was.

Go ahead and admit it: You saw that coming anyway, right?

We don't have nine seasons to tell you, so quickly: Mom died six years ago, or 2024 in "HIMYM" time (the series is actually set in 2030) thus confirming a fan theory that's been in circulation for months. Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) had been relating this long (very long) story to his two teen children as a pretext to get their permission for him to ask out "Aunt Robin." She had been his first big love nine seasons ago -- in fact, the love that launched this hit (along with a blue French horn; that's also a long story too, and you don't have all day.)

Robin and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), who got married in last week's episode, got a divorce in last night's finale, which essentially set up the entire series. (Behind every cloud is that old silver lining, as you may have heard. Behind that one was Ted's. . . . )

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Perfect finales are impossible, and "HIMYM" lived up to that fraught tradition: Those somewhat bloated 44 minutes drifted and sagged, filling up airtime with stories that most fans probably would've been content to have left untold. But it was sweet, sentimental, good-hearted, and gentle. Plus Ted ended up with Robin.

And after nine pretty good seasons, maybe that was more than good enough.

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