Last night's How I Met Your Mother finale did, indeed, depict protagonist Ted Mosby meeting Tracy McConnell, the mother of his two children. But the long-awaited encounter was just an appetizer to the show's main course: The romantic pairing of Ted and Robin, which resumed after Tracy's death.
In an interview with David Letterman after the finale aired, Cobie Smulders, who plays Robin, justified the controversial twist ending. "[Carter Bays and Craig Thomas] are so smart, they had already planned the ending during our pilot," explained Smulders. "They shot some scenes with the two children, who are now — they shot it with them when they were teenagers, and now they're in their mid-twenties — and we shot this whole scene with them."
Based on the overall critical reaction to the finale, it's clear that many people wish Bays and Thomas had altered their master plan at some point over the show's nine-year run — but for better or worse, How I Met Your Mother was really Why I'm Still Kind of In Love With Your Aunt Robin all along. --Scott Meslow