Ted Lasso 2.11 “Midnight Train to Royston” Episode Review

Synopsis:

Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh) gets an incredible offer to help build an African National team, Keeley (Juno Temple) and Nate (Nick Mohammed) go shopping, and Ted (Jason Sudeikis) says goodbye to Dr. Fieldstone (Sarah Niles).

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun. That’s fun, isn’t it?

Roy Kent

Breakdown:

I have to say, it was quite the relief that this episode wasn’t so emotional and returned to several key storylines from earlier this season. We now know that AFC Richmond is one win away from promotion to the Premier League, thanks in part to Sam’s stellar recent performances. This is a show about a soccer team, after all, so it was nice to see a little advancement on the pitch during this episode.

I theorized earlier in the season that Sam was going to have to leave AFC Richmond, though I thought he was going to be removed from the team because of the whole Dubai Air boycott (remember when that was a plot point?). What I did not expect was Sam choosing to leave, to bring honor and glory to his home continent. And to be honest, why shouldn’t he leave AFC Richmond? He is at the top of his game, and he has the chance to do some actual good in the world for his fellow Nigerians. That’s not to mention the fact that Rebecca still doesn’t know where she stands with him. I think its time for Sam to leave and let everyone else move on. Get Richmond promoted, and then ride out in a blaze of glory.

We also catch back up with Nate, who seems primed to have an episode focus just on him next week. All season has been about tearing him down and infantilizing him while he constantly pursues his fifteen minutes of fame from earlier in the season. I’m absolutely convinced now that he is going to leave to be the head coach of whichever team Rupert (Anthony Head) has inevitably purchased. I get what they are doing with his character, but I absolutely hate watching it happen. Not from an “oh no, what happened to sweet Nate” point of view, but from the point of view that he has just become so unlikable, and I can’t stand it when he is on screen. His scenes with Keeley were cute enough, but he had to go and ruin it by kissing her and then spitting on the dressing room mirror to build himself back up.

Nate also leaked to Trent Crimm, The Independant, the story that Ted told him in confidence, that Ted left a game not because of stomach issues, but because he had a panic attack. I knew he was going to use that against Ted, and I hope the writers don’t turn it into an accidental reveal on behalf of Nate. I’m ready for him to turn full villain, so I can be justified in my hatred for him. Also, can we just focus on the fact that Trent told Ted that he respected him? Ted really does have that effect on everyone, huh?

I absolutely loved the scenes between Ted and Dr. Fieldstone. I love that she has been calling him Ted now that they’ve had a breakthrough, and it was fun to see them hanging out outside of the office. Also, nice Easter egg of SMF being Dr. Fieldstone from earlier this season. Is the good doctor really gone for good? I assume so, but I am sad to see her leave. When she first appeared this season, she was set up to be the villain, but she really turned into the catalyst for change in Ted, and their mental health storyline has been so compelling and so captivating to watch.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Juno Temple’s performance as Keeley this week. She is so fantastic and subtlety and genuine empathy, and she just really shined in this episode. Watching her face as she expressed her fears about people knowing who she really is with her magazine interview, and then watching her decide to tell Roy (Brett Goldstein) about Nate and Jamie (Phil Dunster) both making moves on her was just so expertly done.

Verdict:

For those saying that season two of Ted Lasso was lacking any real conflict, I present to you this episode. Keeley and Roy are now dealing with Jamie’s profession of love; Roy and Jamie, who have actually started to become friends, will undoubtedly come to blows because of this; Ted knows that Nate leaked the story about his panic attack; Rebecca and Sam’s relationship is on uncertain ground; Sam, who is playing the best he’s ever played, might be leaving AFC Richmond; the team is one win away from being promoted; and Nate is almost guaranteed to be working with Rupert to run his own team. That is a lot of conflict to be tied up in next week’s season finale. Can the writers deliver a story that will satisfyingly tie up these conflicts and tease more to come in the final season of this amazing show? As long as next week doesn’t just focus on Coach Beard, we are in sure hands.

Mark Pereira is an associate writer for Boss Rush Network. He loves all video games, but his top three favorites are Skyward SwordSuper 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.

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