As I mentioned in the Cup the other day, I managed to get caught up with and watch the Ted Lasso series finale the day it was released. That's just big for me, since I haven't seen a finale on the day of release in a long time. I was a little ways behind on Game of Thrones and The Good Place, and other than that, we probably have to go back a decade. For some reason, I really wanted to do that with Ted - I think because, at least in my little middle-aged white male bubble, this show really seems to have been so much of an antidote to the current zeitgeist.
It was a show about connection in a time when we were all distanced from each other. A show about people from all over the world coming together when so many are caught up in nationalism. A show about forgiveness when so many are quick to judge and condemn.
I saw a number of headlines/first paragraphs of articles as this season was going that made it clear the trendy thing to do was to be upset with this season. And, admittedly, there were a few problems (namely the bloated episode length - a little bit of editing would have gone a long way). But those problems weren't the main thrust of these articles - they were hating on Ted Lasso because they were Nathan Shelley at the end of Season 2. This show made them feel everything warm and happy, even when bad things were happening, they just felt so spoken to. But Season 3? It didn't start that way. It was messy and followed lots of other people and things weren't so great, and then Zava shows up, and we don't care about that guy at all, and wasn't Ted going to work his magic on Zava, but no, that's not the way it really works. It wasn't what we wanted it to be.
At least, not yet. And maybe it was just hearing that this was the end of the series, but for some reason - even with my little complaints - I trusted the writers. And the criticism really bothered me. Ultimately, I feel like the writers knew what they were doing. Wandering around for a little while really helped those last 3 or 4 episodes nail what Ted had been and could be. I left feeling very satisfied. And I appreciated that they left most characters at a beginning, not an end. Yes, a few things got left on the table (couldn't you just see Ted wishing he had been able to help Rupert? Man, that would be some juicy conflict!). But in the end, I think the writers brought it home.
Trust the writers. Or, rather... believe.