Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) is now a full-time coach at AFC Richmond, and he brings his unique “Roy Kent Effect” to the pitch as the team approaches a critical game on the path to promotion. Most of the team is ecstatic that Roy is back—except for Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster), who just wants Roy to actually coach him instead of ignoring him. Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) has a surprise visit from her mother, and Leslie (Jeremy Swift) struggles with the decision to give a friend some unwanted advice.
I love meeting people’s moms. It’s like reading an instruction manual as to why people are nuts.Ted Lasso
Now, that’s more like it. Much like AFC Richmond, Ted Lasso sees a true return to form in this episode after last week’s somewhat filler episode. Before we get into the episode review itself, can we please talk about the talent behind the screen? This episode was written by none other than Roy Kent himself and man does Goldstein know these characters. Everyone’s interaction with each other is just pitch perfect (excuse the pun), and he really delivered on the funny throughout the episode and a truly tense ending. He might just be the breakout star from this series, and it honestly is well deserved.
It took a while for the show to move key characters into position, but now that both Jamie and Roy are back in each other’s lives, it is just a treat to watch. Jamie is really trying to turn over a new leaf and wants to be coached by Roy, but Roy knows deep down that Jamie is just an arsehole and that is the secret to his success. Ted (Jason Sudeikis) has basically castrated Jamie and turned him into a team player. Great for his personal life, terrible for the team that desperately needs some wins. The writers have been playing a lot with the effects of Ted’s special brand of positivity and life-change, and it was interesting to see what happens when the “Ted Effect” is a bad thing.
Rebecca’s storyline with her mother was fine, although the major purpose it served was as an example to Leslie about why he should tell Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) how he really feels about his relationship with Jane. It is endearing to watch how much these characters have grown individually and together over one-and-a-half seasons, with Leslie earnestly and honestly calling Coach Beard one of his friends and Rebecca noticing something was wrong with Leslie simply because of a noise he made. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, it is in these small character moments and interactions that the show really shines.
There were so many great comedic moments in this episode–with the signal that the coaching staff gave Jamie to let him know to unleash his inner prick, to seeing Leslie once again struggling to find an office to the conflict between Roy and Jamie–but the ending of the episode was dripping with tension. AFC Richmond is on the cusp of winning a critical game, and Ted starts to have another panic attack. Rebecca tries to follow him because she knows what is happening, and the episode ends with a visibly shaken and broken Ted telling Dr. Fieldstone (Sarah Niles) that he would like to schedule an appointment. It is interesting to note that both this episode and the season one episode where Ted had his first panic attack happened after a critical win from AFC Richmond. It is almost as if Ted doesn’t know what to do with himself if he is not needed, which could find him in quite the precarious situation as he has spent the past year making those around him better people. What becomes of the man whose passion it is to coach when he has no one left to coach?
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the reveal of who Rebecca has been texting with for the past couple of episodes on the anonymous text-only dating app Bantr—Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh)! I have to say, even though I was on the fence last week about a Ted/Rebecca courtship, I’m a little bummed it isn’t Ted. Surely Rebecca isn’t going to date a member of the team she owns, right? They’ve been trying to pull Sam into the spotlight this season, so this is a twist I should have seen coming, but I’m interested to see how this might play out.
Ted Lasso delivers another fantastic episode of television. This show is full of humor, yes, but it is filled so much more with heart and emotion. The rag-tag crew of footballers and the people around them are filled with real people, and the actors that play them and the writers that write stories for them imbue each-and-every one of them with so much humanity that it honestly is one of the realest things I’ve ever seen on television. I love this show, and it is episodes like this one that prove why it has such a winning formula. Great actors, great writers, smart humor, and more heart than anything I’ve ever seen. Well done, team.
Mark Pereira is a staff writer for Boss Rush Network. He loves all video games, but his top three favorites are Skyward Sword, Super Mario 3D World, and Batman: Arkham Asylum. You can find him on Twitter where he’s usually talking about Nintendo, video games, movies, and TV shows.