Ted Lasso: Rainbow
August 20, 2021 2:12 PM - Season 2, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Nate gets lessons in how to be assertive from Keeley and Rebecca, and Ted asks Roy for a favor.

Featuring The (Kebab) Shop Around the Corner, an indecisive bird of prey, and the immortal wisdom of Nikki Sixx.
posted by minervous (34 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Things I did really enjoy in this episode included the Keeley and Rebecca show, as always ("Let's invade France!"), the continuing delightful chemistry between Higgins and his wife (apparently real life spouses), and some top notch acting from Brett Goldstein as Roy. I felt like he really nailed the emotional beats of realizing that he did want to return to Richmond to coach.

But whew, the Nate part of this episode was upsetting. I was never super comfortable with his big "proving himself" moment last season being when he found the nerve to say deliberately shitty things to the players, but when he spat directly in his own face to psych himself up this week... Yeah.

I'm trying to let this season be its own thing, but it's hard, when I'm comparing it to last season. I'm holding on to my belief that they'll stick the landing, though.
posted by merriment at 2:46 PM on August 20, 2021 [5 favorites]

If and when Roy Kent steps up for Nate the Great re: fellow coaches, how much will he swear? My guess: five fucks
posted by Pronoiac at 2:47 PM on August 20, 2021

Yeah, I'm super interested in the paired struggles of Nate and Ted. Neither is seeing the way the other is flailing. (Though I think Beard might.) Nate's new professional role is a dizzying jump in status and power, and his under-developed sense of self-worth means he is doesn't have the tools to manage the chasm between his inner and outer worlds. And Ted's belief in believing that everything will work out is taking on an increasingly manic edge, especially whenever he bumps up against Doctor Sharon's gimlet eye.
posted by minervous at 3:33 PM on August 20, 2021 [13 favorites]

there’s nothing like an episode of TV that acknowledges a genre of media up front and then proceeds to hide constant references to that genre in plain sight to remind you that you’re watching something by the same creator as Scrubs

I do feel confident based on the show thus far that the concern we are feeling for the characters is by design, and that the writers know that these are people who are all struggling in their own different ways
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:43 PM on August 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

One more thing: "YOU DITHERING KESTREL" is my new go-to insult
posted by minervous at 3:45 PM on August 20, 2021 [10 favorites]

also I continue to be delighted by how incredibly horny for Rebecca Keeley is
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:47 PM on August 20, 2021 [8 favorites]

This was my sense of the episode, too, mostly really good but what is up with Nate, for real? And I'm really bothered that they seemed to have hand-waved the sponsorship problem away. There's no way that the new sponsor, a start-up dating app, can provide the kind of sponsorship cash they had previously, so where is the additional revenue coming from? Is Rebecca just floating the team financially? How long is that sustainable?

I do feel confident based on the show thus far that the concern we are feeling for the characters is by design, and that the writers know that these are people who are all struggling in their own different ways

I do too, as I've said previously I implicitly trust this writers room, they've earned it. BUT the pacing seems odd, they're showing these obvious struggles but have so far punted on facing them--but this may be a show that is better served by releasing all episodes of a season at once, rather than weekly. I had none of these reservations about season 1, but watched them after all were out, in one go.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:47 PM on August 20, 2021 [5 favorites]

I'm worried by the hints in this episode that Ted is the person Rebecca's been messaging with. Right after Keeley told her to tell whoever it is the truth, it cuts to Ted looking at his phone and smiling with no explanation. Maybe it's a fake-out; I really hope they're not going in that direction.
posted by cosmic owl at 6:12 PM on August 20, 2021 [4 favorites]

I'm worried by the hints in this episode that Ted is the person Rebecca's been messaging with.


Maybe it's a fake-out

posted by tzikeh at 6:14 PM on August 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

There's no way that the new sponsor, a start-up dating app, can provide the kind of sponsorship cash they had previously, so where is the additional revenue coming from? Is Rebecca just floating the team financially? How long is that sustainable?

I can't imagine that this won't be addressed. The writers are smart. They've planted these seeds and I am sure they intend them to take root, grow, and become thorny thickets. We're in the dark forest now.
posted by tzikeh at 6:18 PM on August 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

I really hope they're not going in that direction.

I still don't get why this would be a problem for so many people. Ted Lasso does lots of formulaic shit but does it it such interesting ways. I think if they went that route it would be enjoyable because how they'd get there would ring true rather than the "these are the two heterosexual leads and therefore they must end up together" route.

Most of us probably watched the first season once it was all available, and in many ways it's easier to enjoy a show that way because you don't have time between episodes to worry about what might happen next week. It's frustrating to see "If Ted Lasso does x I will hate it forever" here when what's so lovely about this show is the how, not the what.
posted by tzikeh at 6:27 PM on August 20, 2021 [7 favorites]

My not wanting Ted and Rebecca to get together -- which I don't -- does not mean I will hate tge entire show forever. TBH, not a huge fan of the dating app subplot at all.

I never wanted Eleanor and Chidi to get together, still don't like that choice, and yet I don't hate TGP.
posted by jeather at 6:40 PM on August 20, 2021 [3 favorites]

Jesus Christ, the in situ commercial for the George Clooney coffee maker or whatever. Ugh. We’re just supposed to accept this bullshit?
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:34 PM on August 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

Agreed about Ted and Rebecca and Eleanor and Chidi.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:35 PM on August 20, 2021

Have you even had a nespresso?
They’re like 50% of why I go in to work at the office once a week.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:06 AM on August 21, 2021 [3 favorites]

So the themes are
- dad issues
- perpetually happy / perpetually grumpy as defense
- self worth / self esteem

They needed to add Roy the group was too happy and too satisfied with themselves. You need some challenge. But seeing Nates reaction to him coming back… like I felt my stomach drop along with him.

Things will start to happen behind the scenes. Ted not up on time ? That’s a hint

And I giggled through the entire ending sequence it was perfect.

Looking forward to the buildup now…
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:11 AM on August 21, 2021 [5 favorites]

The product placement has been pretty relentless throughout.

I flat out don't like Season 2 Ted. He hits all the wrong notes. In S1, even in setting up a PR trap to win over Trent Crimm, or in the difficult scenes with his wife (where you could see how parts of his personality were grating to her), he still came across as genuine. That was what made him so appealling.

This season, he's just nervous grinning and papering over cracks. Which I can understand in terms of something that the writers are settting up. The trouble is, without the sincerity, Ted is just another bullshit artist, telling us everything happens for a reason. And if Ted is a bullshit artist, the central premise/promise of the show is lost.

So while I now understand the dynamic that led his ex-wife to ask for a divorce, it also means the show isn't really working for me. I wish they'd tackle it already!

I did appreciate several laughs out loud this ep though - the noise British owls make, holy shit
posted by trotzdem_kunst at 12:21 AM on August 21, 2021 [9 favorites]

The central theme of the show appears to be male re-education. How combating toxic masculinity will inevitably mean educating men to the alternative and how you do that without prioritising men and perpetuating patriarchal structures.

Ted believes himself to be the most emotionally developed man in the group. He's still controlled by the hierarchical structure of patriarchy and is fearful of losing his "Alpha" status to Dr Sharon Fieldstone. A Black woman who does what he does but better and from a position of having earned it both professionally and without his white, male privilege.

Ted has stalled on his journey from toxic masculinity because he found himself in a comfortable position. When the challenge presented by the heartbreak and rejection of his divorce are faced he finds he is unable to deal with them. He is desperately clinging to his believed position and status for comfort and it is telling he has been absent in helping Nate deal with his own fears around self-worth. Ted does not have those skills because he is enmeshed in the learned structures of patriarchy and is reluctant to face and give up the thing which has allowed himself such comfort.

Ted is showing huge divorced dad energy in the way he knows how.
The pain is real but it's not like he's going to be all "She's turned the weans against us"

Some very funny lines in this episode though.

"Let's invade France"
"It is you!"
posted by fullerine at 1:45 AM on August 21, 2021 [17 favorites]

Event better that tweet comes not just from any James Thomson but this James Thompson who actively makes a living developing his PCalc for pretty much every hardware platform Apple makes.
posted by mce at 1:51 PM on August 21, 2021 [3 favorites]

The restaurant host literally spraying cleaning fluid into the air near where Nate had been standing -- that read as racist to me (as in, "you people smell bad"); could someone who's lived/worked/something in England speak to whether I read that right?
posted by brainwane at 1:50 PM on August 22, 2021 [6 favorites]

She was spraying when he walked in too. I took it as just a very weird way to clean the menus - spray in the air, wave the menu through it.
posted by schoolgirl report at 3:07 PM on August 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

spray in the air, wave the menu through it.

I think she was using the menu to waft the spray around in the air.
posted by tzikeh at 3:46 PM on August 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

Higgins brought in payroll to discuss with Rebecca which I took as a gun being set up on stage. They’ve got multiple salaries to pay and Roy isn’t going to work for free.

Ted trying to do all the things instead of accepting that he needs help - I think it’s less toxic masculinity/male fragility but someone whose worth is tied up in how helpful they are to other people, being afraid that if he isn't helpful, he has no value independently. Helping is his power. Beard and he have a lot of trust but he’s still in a precarious position with people who literally pay him to be helpful and where his work and life is tied up in being helpful. Watching him get to realising he can accept help from Dr Sharon and step back and share power would be so good.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:48 PM on August 22, 2021 [6 favorites]

I'm worried that the reveal of who Rebecca is talking to on the app will be Rupert and that's why Anthony Head hasn't shown up in this season yet.
posted by haileris23 at 5:13 PM on August 22, 2021 [5 favorites]

I've hesitated to mention this, and I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure that was Bill Patterson in episode three playing the head of the oil company who told Rebecca to fire Sam over his withdrawal from the Dubai Air campaign. He has such a distinctive voice. And an actor that notable can't just be an uncredited voice, right? So my theory is that that plotline is far from over, and may indeed hold this series' actual villain.
posted by minervous at 5:56 PM on August 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

Here to confirm that Reba is a Ted Lasso fan. And that Ted and Roy are Reba Fans.
posted by pjsky at 5:27 AM on August 23, 2021 [2 favorites]

This was more writers being afraid to extend a piece of tension longer than the next scene. Have Nate embarrass himself in front of his parents by failing in a humiliating way in front of them the first time, then the pay off when he gets it together would be so much more satisfying.

I feel like they have introduced a character in Sharon who is supposedly so brilliant, but never showing her in session feels like they are wasting her. There needs to be a reckoning and soon, season one gave you good moments in each episode that made you learn something new about each character. This one we learn that Roy loves football.

Also Beard in season 1 called Ted out on the fact that these aren't kids, they are professionals. The "rom-communism" speech should have made him apoplectic.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:05 PM on August 26, 2021

Also my spouse and I both really fucking hated Nate's whole spitting at himself in the mirror thing.

We did a combined total of 30 years working in restaurants. Spitting on the mirror and walking away to leave the staff to cleanup after you fucking sucks. Seeing that played as a Nate Gets Courage winning moment was weird, and we were taken out of it immediately.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:59 AM on August 28, 2021 [5 favorites]

“Fuck your feelings” is Ted Lasso-approved advice?

The “rom communism” part was kind of a sour note for me. I don’t always enjoy watching the show: for exactly the reasons Ted Lasso said. I’m watching a show about wealthy people who struggle with self actualization. Granted, the show makes an effort to develop these characters, but there’s only so many winks and nods to the fact that “everything’s going to work out” and “problem solved: I will buy the restaurant!” jokes I can take before I feel like I’m watching a fantasy.
posted by Monochrome at 3:29 PM on October 9, 2021

minervous - I believe you are correct. I DID catch Bill Paterson's name in the credits at the beginning of episode 3 (and I just went back and re-watched the opening credits to make sure; it's during Trent Crimm's question in the press room). It's weird, though, it hasn't made it to his IMDB credits.

As for Jade spraying the air in this episode, I definitely took it as her way of cleaning the menus - she does it more than once, and each time she waves a menu through the spritz, and then turns around and wipes down the menu.

I waited until the whole thing had aired before starting to watch, and I'm up to episode 8. I'm enjoying it a lot, and was especially delighted to learn that Brett Goldstein (Roy Kent) wrote two or three of the episodes.
posted by kristi at 12:22 PM on October 16, 2021

The rom-com theme of this gave me hearts and flowers reactions. It was hilarious and sweet, and with Roy, of all people. I also like "She's A Rainbow" since I'm that kind of girl :P I admit that I thought from the title this would focus on Rebecca dating, but it did not. Go figure.

I continue to be "eh, could go either way" on a Ted/Rebecca pairing. I don't see them having sexy chemistry together, but they have great emotional chemistry, which is why I wouldn't mind it, other than the "don't date your employees" logic. That said, I'd be fine with Ted/Sassy and Rebecca finding a hot young stud even more.

I don't get what's going on with Nate per se, but he did certainly need assertiveness training. I find it kind of ironic that two women are giving it to a guy, though. Also (she says, posting hella late), I have finally watched this show and know what this comment was referring to!
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:07 PM on January 18

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