Ted Lasso 2.02 – “Lavender” Episode Review

The doc…tor is in.

I hear Bono’s father was a real piece of work. Then again, so was Joshua Tree.

Ted Lasso

Synopsis

After a little bit of a slower-paced introductory episode last week, Ted Lasso hit the ground running in the second episode of its second season. This episode finds AFC Richmond’s former star players Jamie Tart (Phil Dunster) and Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) trying to discover what they should do next with their career, while coaches Nathan (Nick Mohammed) and Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) both deal with ongoing changes in the workplace. 

Breakdown

When Ted Lasso premiered last year during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the world was in a much different, darker place than it had ever been. We were all walking around with the heaviness of the unknown and in came Ted Lasso like a breath of fresh air. A show that was light, pure, and inspirational but with an emotional depth that served much like one of Doctor Sharon Fieldstone’s (Sarah Niles) therapy sessions. A year later, there is still a lot of unknown out in the world, but we have become more accustomed to it—so Ted Lasso has a little more to prove. Was it just the right show and the right time? Or does it have any other tricks up its sleeve?

The first episode laid the groundwork for what this new season is going to be about, and this episode kicked the ball further down the field (pun). It was a nice pairing to see both Roy and Jamie following similar paths in struggling to find their next step and gaining some significant ground by the end of the episode. Roy becoming a sports pundit and Jamie slinking back to the team that saw him at his best make sense for both characters, and I can’t wait to see what happens as Roy has to deliver commentary to the inevitable ups and downs of Jamie’s return.

One thing about Jamie–it seems that all of the character development from last season has completely vanished, although that may just be the point the writers are trying to make. Here’s hoping we don’t have to go through too many episodes of him only caring about himself and Ted trying to get him to be a team player. We saw that all last season, and we don’t need to go through it again for too long this season.

Ted Lasso is a comedy, there is no question. But it isn’t always the laugh-out-loud style comedy that we may be used to—several of the best lines are so quick and delivered in such an off-the-cuff manner that you may not even catch it the first or second time through, and that is very much the case with this episode. Scenes of Higgins (Jeremy Swift) with his desk in random locations in the background of key moments throughout the episode were a highlight, culminating in him knocking over his pen cup every single time. But where Ted Lasso shines is in its quieter moments of incredible depth: Jamie and Ted talking about the burdens our fathers place on our shoulders or Doctor Fieldstone and Ted sharing their favorite books with each other. It’s in these character moments that the show’s true promise and appeal shine. 

The fact that the show doesn’t hold your hand through these character moments and allows a shared history to develop in the background is one of its strongest assets. Small moments such as the respect and love Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) and Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) have for each other or Coach Nathan becoming increasingly irritated at the changes the new kit-man is introducing show that the writers respect the audience and reward us by continuing these threads while larger, flashier stories take place.

Verdict

Last season portrayed Ted as a fish-out-of-water American coaching a British soccer team, to much comedic and dramatic effect. This season’s first two episodes seem to be continuing the trend of casting Ted as a fish-out-of-water, but through the introduction of Dr. Fieldstone and Ted’s seemingly failed efforts to win her over. Ted obviously has some baggage to deal with in the fallout of his divorce from Michelle (Andrea Anders), which leads to his distrust of the good doctor. And he is not used to not being the one who gets through to people and makes them better. It’s an interesting direction to lead the new season in, and if this week’s episode is any indication of how things will progress, I’m eager to see how it plays out in the weeks to come. 

What did you think of this week’s episode? Comment below and let us know!

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