Yes, we know. You're feeling things about the finale. Rest assured, you're not alone, because now we have Josh Radnor's thoughts on the How I Met Your Mother finale. The actor spoke to Vulture in a lengthy (and very informative) interview, and now we have the opportunity to hear his riff on what we — well, the majority of us — thought was big downer of a finale. Spoiler alert: he's okay with the finale. (CUE RAGE! Then cue calming down, because, I mean, it's Ted.)
Radnor actually knew what was coming since Season 1 — he mentions that the writers mentioned the twist, and he had put the idea out of his head throughout filming (he can't run around acting the entire series knowing his future wife will die). And he even mentioned that he's a "fan of the finale," but that he did think the show's title was "a bit of a fake-out." He has a point, and let's be honest — this show was about far more than Ted's journey to finding the mother of his kids. It was a hook for a sitcom about friends growing up in their late twenties and early thirties and their coinciding relationships; it was about the journey to this end. That's likely why we're all so disappointed with this finale — despite the ploy of a title, the journey was so good that we expected our HIMYM appetites to be satiated by the end.
Still, Radnor spoke to the intensity surrounding the finale in the same vein that co-creator Craig Thomas spoke to it: it's indicative of the show being really damned good. He said:
There are so many opinions floating around. There have always been people that thought that Barney and Robin were perfect together, there have always been people that thought it didn’t make sense. There are people that wanted Ted and Robin to be together. There are people that thought they didn’t work together. So I just feel that part of the divisiveness and part of the anger and also part of the enthusiasm all speaks to something really great. I think if you’re going do something new and bold and daring, you’re going to upset some people and you’re gonna thrill others. I think it’s better to do that than try to have some homogenized, safe ending that was never really what the show was. The show was always bold and daring and questioning assumptions and leading you where you thought you didn’t want to go, but realized at the end that that was where you belonged.
I mean, he wasn't going to say that he didn't like the ending — that wouldn't speak too highly to the show, would it? (That said, he did say that Ted frustrated him at times — but after playing him for nine years and existing in his fumbles, how could he not?) On that note, Radnor mentioned that he's "also in the process of letting go," so perhaps, we, too, should take some advice from the man behind our narrator and just let go.
I’m a fan of the finale and obviously I’m a fan of the show. I think people are having to deal with grief on a number of levels. There’s grief in the episode, but then there’s grief at letting the show go. People are in various Kubler-Ross stages of grieving and when they contextualize it and step back and maybe even watch the finale again or revisit the show, I think when the dust settles people will feel pretty complete.
That comment about grief is another testament to how effective the show was. Are we going through grief? Over-analyzing what could have been, what might have been, what should have been — it's like we really did know these people.
If we're that invested, then perhaps we can forgive a finale we disagree with. If we're going to disagree and feel let down, it's only because we trusted something so much.
And that kind of analysis is something that would come straight from the mouth of Ted.