Ted Lasso: Man City
September 10, 2021 1:41 PM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Ted and Dr. Sharon realize they might have to meet each other halfway. Tensions are high as the team prepares for their FA Cup semi-final against Man City.

This episode was a lot, y’all. I’m sure everything is going to work out.
posted by Happy Dave (76 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow.
posted by synecdoche at 1:44 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


I know, right?
posted by Happy Dave at 1:56 PM on September 10


This episode, damn. Tears running down my face. Finding out how Ted's dad died. Learning about Dr. Sharon. Roy embracing Jamie. Beard falling apart.

I'll wait until we know how the Rebecca/Sam arc plays out before any real judgment, but right now: lovely scenes together but still nope.

I don't really have too much comment, maybe once I watch it again, but I'm still just kind of rocked. This certainly is an effective episode of television.
posted by LooseFilter at 2:07 PM on September 10 [5 favorites]


This episode, damn. Tears running down my face. Finding out how Ted's dad died. Learning about Dr. Sharon. Roy embracing Jamie. Beard falling apart.

I'll wait until we know how the Rebecca/Sam arc plays out before any real judgment, but right now: lovely scenes together but still nope.


Agreed on all counts. Any interactions with Roy and Phoebe just hit me in the heart, and then when he's the one to go for that hug..."wow" is absolutely right.

The Rebecca/Sam interplay is sweet but not enough to make me feel okay with that dynamic. Still, I'm amazed almost every episode of this show gives me warm fuzzies, makes me laugh, and induces silent tears (sometimes sad, sometimes joyous). This one was no exception.
posted by xenization at 2:20 PM on September 10


Damn.

I loved Sam and Rebecca's scenes, and also her response once they realized what was going on was absolutely right. The age difference is whatever, but the professional power dynamic really is a huge problem. The only way I can see that getting resolved is if Sam gets transferred to another team, which would be sad in its own right.
posted by cosmic owl at 2:26 PM on September 10


What will Nora do when she finds out her godmother is shagging her crush?
posted by snofoam at 2:28 PM on September 10 [5 favorites]


I really like the choice to have that early scene in Phoebe's school - it has nothing to do with the main plot of the episode, but it speaks so strongly to the themes running through the whole thing (this episode and this season) about the ways in which people are let down by their fathers. Nate's father ignores him, Jamie's father belittles him. Roy Kent is explicitly contrasted with Phoebe's father, and he's a marked improvement by being in her life and caring about her, but... you don't get to choose what the kids in your life pick up from you, good and bad. And Roy very earnestly wants to be a positive influence on Phoebe but he's also aware that he has the potential to not be that. It's one of those little scenes that doesn't seem to do a lot but sets up so much.

I think that both Ted and Sharon are people who very much want to give to others the support that no one gave them, and that they can't give to themselves.

Prediction: the press is going to get wind of Sam and Rebecca and it's going to be Really Bad.
posted by Jeanne at 3:07 PM on September 10 [11 favorites]


When Jayme was standing there after his dad left, with everyone just staring at him, I said, "Somebody help him." I'm so glad that somebody did.
posted by merriment at 3:19 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


When Jayme was standing there after his dad left

Phil Dunster's performance there is riveting, and he barely speaks. The actors on this show say more in one scene, without speaking, than entire seasons of other shows say with words.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:43 PM on September 10 [11 favorites]


if the guy who plays Sam in Ted Lasso does not go on to become an international star on the sheer power of his charming charisma alone I shall tear this unfair world to the ground
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:43 PM on September 10 [19 favorites]


the guy who plays Sam

(Toheeb Jimoh, and yeah, keep an eye on him! I hope many careers take off--or continue to rocket--following everyone's work here.)
posted by LooseFilter at 3:47 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


I knew it. I fucking knew it.
posted by tzikeh at 4:58 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


I mean, there's so much more to say about all that reveals about the Ted Lasso we know, but those are hard thoughts to put into words and then share with others.
posted by tzikeh at 5:11 PM on September 10


I’m sure everything is going to work out.

In Return of the Jedi.
posted by tzikeh at 7:32 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Roy’s sister works in an ER - did we meet her tonight???
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:39 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


I was watching Nate's face carefully when Ted revealed that he'd been having panic attacks (after reading the interview with the actor who plays Nate, linked in last week's thread). Nate's eyes seemed very bright and I'm worried that he's going to be the traitor and leak this to the press in order to sink Lasso. They already set up that Trent Crimm is digging into why Ted left the game abruptly.

(Also, Nate was the only coach who didn't reveal anything self-incriminating in the coach-sharing - rather than confess that he's been psychologically abusing team members, he shared something that could in no way be used against him.)
posted by rogerroger at 7:45 PM on September 10 [10 favorites]


rogerroger: Nate's eyes seemed very bright and I'm worried that he's going to be the traitor and leak this to the press in order to sink Lasso.

I said this out loud to my housemate the moment it happened and offered a bet on it. Whoo-hoo that five bucks is gonna be mine, baby!
posted by tzikeh at 8:09 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


The Haircut:Ted Lasso :: The Jackal:West Wing
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:59 PM on September 10 [12 favorites]


Great writeup on Vox about the episode:

"...Sharon is played by a Black actress, and there’s a long, unfortunate history of movies and TV shows using Black characters as sounding boards for white characters’ problems. Sharon is a nuanced character, and Niles plays her brilliantly. Still, it’s not like Ted Lasso is subverting this trope in any way, at least not to date..."

This is a really good point. Sharon is beginning to have more character development, but it does seem like the purpose of her character is to allow Ted to reveal his truth.

Ted Lasso is ever so carefully edging up to questioning one of the core, sacred tenets of American sitcoms: Family trumps everything. ... the show is refreshingly smart about the ways in which families can be callous and cruel to each other, and it doesn’t make excuses for that behavior. What’s more, the show turns the soccer team at its center into a found family, of sorts.

WOW. That just cracked my heart open a bit. What a fascinating observation and ugh, makes me need to watch every episode again with this in mind.
posted by rogerroger at 10:04 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


This was a stunning episode of television. Even though I know this show can make me laugh and make me hurt in a short space of time, I think this was the height of its powers - it was almost too much, but also just right.

Also just the title "Man City" while literally about the team facing off against Manchester City, also being about men and their emotional problems, just perfect.

The writing is so deft, the details so perfect. Getting to know Sharon a little better in the opening minutes (the therapist in therapy!) before her accident. Sam getting a haircut with the whole team present. Ted finally opening up to Sharon about his dad because she opened up about something personal - being scared to go riding her bike again. Just so wonderful.
posted by crossoverman at 10:36 PM on September 10 [5 favorites]


I can’t remember the last time (if ever) that I finished watching an episode of television and immediately restarted it. Jamie fucking Tartt, man.
posted by bluloo at 10:59 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


It's really interesting to consider how the theme of "our parent and our relationship to them has a huge influence on the people we become" has been there all season, and yet I did not notice it until they did a whole episode about that theme specifically

god damn I love this show
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:36 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


I want to know more about Sharon! She has the potential to be such an interesting character, and I hope they explore her more.

That scene where Jamie is just standing there shattered, and Roy comes up and gives him a hug…jeez. Totally crying here again, just thinking about it.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:11 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Loved this episode! And always happy to hear Roots Manuva.
posted by ellieBOA at 2:42 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Vulture has excellent coverage of Ted Lasso, and there are three great interviews following this episode:
Sarah Niles / Archive
Phil Dunster / Archive
Toheeb Jimoh / Archive
posted by ellieBOA at 3:04 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Roy Kent is my favorite.

We are so totally in the dark forest part of the show now and I am here for it!

The haircut scene made me really want to see some fanart imagining a Ted Lasso anime.
posted by rivenwanderer at 3:17 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Also just the title "Man City" while literally about the team facing off against Manchester City, also being about men and their emotional problems, just perfect.

One of the things I like about this show is that it's in large part built on men treating each other well. (People generally, but a lot of men.)

In the first season, Ted walked into a locker room full of dickmeasuring contests. And he worked his papa bear thing and by the time the second season started, the team was together, gelling, supporting each other in unexpected ways.

Their problems haven't stopped, but they have each other. It's OK that Roy and Jamie hate each other, but Roy giving Jamie that hug... I mean c'mon on!

There's so much shitty media that help frame our understandings of the world that it's really special to see something more bighearted and optimistic that, crucially, isn't blind to reality but rather in response to it.
posted by entropone at 4:34 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


This episode aired here on World Suicide Prevention Day.

On a lighter note, I was incredibly surprised nobody else from the team showed up to El Tucci, since they could all see where he was going and when. Also, wonder how he dodged that question the next day.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:22 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Justice for Phil Dunster, who deserved an Emmy last season and definitely deserves one this season!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:44 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Justice for Phil Dunster

His performance when his dad comes into the locker room was riveting.
posted by synecdoche at 5:55 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Ashley Nicole Black on Twitter:
In my family, in every friend group, or sports team, there’s always one guy who can cut hair or at least give you a line up. It’s one of the ways Black men take care of each other. So it meant so much to see this goofy scene in Ted Lasso. Love how these dudes care for each other.
posted by simonw at 7:21 AM on September 11 [11 favorites]


I’m legit worried for coach beard y’all. He sent out hidden “I need to talk” feeler after Tartt’s dad scene and Ted shut it down.

Love Roy. He’s the most emotionally integrated of everyone, that’s why he’s got such a healthy relationship with Keely and Phoebe. The other coaches couldnt move their feet to give a hug in a time of vulnerability but he could.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:18 AM on September 11 [8 favorites]


Yeah, Roy, what a mensch. At first, the opening scenes with Roy and Phoebe seemed to me sort of tangential to the main story threads and themes heavily developed in this episode, but watching it again last night, I realize that they directly set up Roy's response to Jamie: Roy learned, from Phoebe's teacher, that he's a father figure with profound influence whether he likes it or not--his only choice is how he's going to use that influence, how aware he will choose to be of the effect he has on the people around him and how he responds to that. And Roy keeps making good choices.

Looks like next week's episode is the other stand-alone, and will follow Beard's night out trying to deal with the semifinal loss. Not sure how he and Ted are going to reconcile and start seeing their friend more fully again, but they are both missing most of what's going on internally with each other, and that needs resolving. Which I'm sure will happen, I just wonder how rough it's going to get between them before that happens.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:55 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


The moment when Roy is hugging Jaime and he releases his fist to morph from the classic Bro Hug into the open palmed more Intimate Hug was so wonderful.

RE: the haircutting scene -- was anyone else kinda taken out of the moment by the odd choice of music? I was pretty confused when they started playing what sounded like an old (and beautiful!) African American spiritual song.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:21 AM on September 11


Seconding the worry for Coach Beard. He truly did not look okay. Along with all the other great things about this episode, I finally saw the toxic side to Ted's aggressive optimism. Beard and Nate arguing about what to do as the train wreck is happening, and Ted just ignoring both of them to shout meaningless encouragement at the team. And then when Beard is reaching out to his friend, Ted reminding him that it's his turn to bring coffee tomorrow, bright and early! OOF.

Thanks LooseFilter for pointing out the connection between Roy's scene with Phoebe and his actions in the locker room. I had picked up on the convo as part of the "fathers and sons" theme, but didn't make the connection to the hug. Reading it as a conscious choice of using his influence in a positive way makes the hug that much better!
posted by bluloo at 9:52 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Ted reminding him that it's his turn to bring coffee tomorrow, bright and early!

I saw someone suggest that that was to make sure Beard has an appointment or obligation to keep, which could suggest that Ted isn’t totally unaware that his friend isn’t in a great place. But, I am not sure how to square that with Ted turning down Beard’s invitation to join him.
posted by synecdoche at 10:46 AM on September 11 [9 favorites]


"RE: the haircutting scene -- was anyone else kinda taken out of the moment by the odd choice of music? "

Not at all, It seemed completely appropriate. It's Mahalia Jackson singing "Down by the Riverside"

"Well, I'm gonna put on my long white robe, (Where?) down by the riverside (Oh)
Down by the riverside, down by the riverside
I'm gonna put on my long white robe, (Where?) down by the riverside"

Isaac only offers one haircut per player per year. Sam chooses that as the day. It's like a baptism by haircut, with all his teammates around. And it's a joyous song for a joyous occasion.
posted by jonathanhughes at 11:06 AM on September 11 [13 favorites]


Isaac only offers one haircut per player per year. Sam chooses that as the day. It's like a baptism by haircut, with all his teammates around. And it's a joyous song for a joyous occasion.

Especially "I ain't gonna study war no more." These are men who've chosen to support each other instead of compete with each other. Definitely a ceremony of loving brotherhood!
posted by entropone at 11:28 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Mmm that’s fair. I hadn’t really considered the lyrical content - definitely fits the narrative.

Maybe I’m just projecting a bit, but the reason it kinda took me out is: I’ve been following so much of The Discourse on Ted lasso online and oftentimes people (I assume my fellow Americans mostly) are offering close readings of scenes involving Sam and other players through a lens of African American culture and in relation to American current events.

While that’s all well and good, these guys aren’t African American and I wish the discourse in general and the show in particular would offer a little more insight into African narratives / Nigerian culture.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:06 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


(It won’t surprise anyone to hear that I fist bumped my spouse the moment Sharon made the crack about Ted constantly making super specific references that are pertinent to 40something white guys from the Midwest USA)
posted by lazaruslong at 1:08 PM on September 11 [13 favorites]


Also anyone else notice the teacher give Roy a little lookie lookie after that parent teacher interview thing. For the love of faaaaaaaak don’t mess with my Roy Keely pair here they’re perfect.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:40 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


I love this show so much.

In the words of Higgins, I try to love my dad for who he is and forgive him for who he isn't.

My dad killed himself when I was 19. I have been identifying strongly with Ted from the beginning to the extent that I can also be annoyingly, relentlessly positive. I make jokes when I'm uncomfortable, talk a lot but share little about myself, and try to solve everyone else's problems while ignoring my own.

I'm worried about Beard, I love the Jamie/Roy scene, and I am skeptical about Rebecca/Roy. I cannot get enough of this.
posted by elvissa at 2:01 PM on September 11 [15 favorites]


Also anyone else notice the teacher give Roy a little lookie lookie

The first time Ted met Keeley this happened and it freaked me out to no end. I feel like this show tries to trick us.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:08 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Also prediction: the Rebecca / Sam story will blow up not because of her being the boss but because of that sponsorship deal that got cancelled and the optics around it will look like favoritism.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 2:26 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


I'm also worried about Sam / Rebecca blowing up. I note that we ended the episode on The Kiss and the door closing. Wouldn't be too terribly surprised to open next episode with that night not going at all how it is implied.

Did anyone else notice that Sam was drinking water at dinner and seemed to clock Rebecca's wine consumption quantity a bit? I might be over-interpreting but that caught my eye as a potential 'red flag' moment from Sam's perspective that gets swept away in the heat of the evening.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:38 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else notice that Sam was drinking water at dinner and seemed to clock Rebecca's wine consumption quantity a bit?

Yep, and Rebecca's drinking has been shown to be potentially problematic, I think, but the show never lampshades anything, so who knows, but she sure is conspicuously drinking wine all the time, and always has to down (at least) a big glass before doing anything that makes her nervous or anxious. If Sam noticed, then maybe he'll be a catalyst for her to face alcohol dependency. (Some of the other characters' drinking has struck me as potentially problematic, too, but I'm also hypersensitive to that so may not be reading it well.)
posted by LooseFilter at 3:10 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Since the scene in the pub where Ted tells Jamie about his dad, I've figured there was no other way it could turn out than this. So that wasn't a surprise for me.

What was a surprise? First, that Roy came to Jamie's aid is far less of value to me (because we know that Roy is a grownup and a giver) than that Jamie didn't fight him, not for a second. He let him hug him, then he hugged him back, and then he let loose with tears and sobbing. More than anything, Jamie giving in to the heartbreak — of what his father is, of how he can't change him, of how he can't change himself in how he reacts to his father, and that his father did this in front of all the people (other than his mother) who matter to him? Because in this kind of "Man City," accepting comfort is usually even harder than offering it, it's Jamie who blows me away. Ted Lasso (the man and the show) have created a different city of men.

Also? I don't think Beard is broken by the loss. (But oh, that backward fall over the barricade was magnificent.) Beard's not happy about the loss, and sure, the magnitude of the loss hurts. But he's working a ton of pain over the fact that Ted kept this secret from him. Beard's led a long and winding road of laconic weirdness, but for Ted to keep his panic attacks from him, his work husband, is likely going to resonate for a while, I think. It's that (understandable) sense of betrayal, compounded by the loss, topped off by the agony of witnessing Jamie's father's behavior and everyone being impotent to step in and do anything until it was too late —it's all of that I imagine Beard having to shake off.

I think it was interesting, and perhaps smart, that Keeley was kept to a minimum in this episode. She is emotionally healthy, surrounded by so many people who are not, and with Sam and Roy (the other most emotionally healthy characters) taking pivotal supporting roles in this episode, Keeley's three tiny pop-ins made sense. And if this were the real world, I suspect that Keeley would know a lot of Jamie's history with his father, much more than Ted knows from their pub discussion or the team would know from the banishing of the ghost. Having her absent requires that Jamie's story be all a matter of men — Higgins' advice, the powerlessness of his teammates, Roy's embrace, and Beard's passive-aggressive ejection of Mr. Tartt.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 3:43 PM on September 11 [11 favorites]


Did anyone else notice that Sam was drinking water at dinner and seemed to clock Rebecca's wine consumption quantity a bit?

I don't drink, so when I watch shows like this, I always assume that when any person shown drinking alone, it is going to turn into a whole thing. And when someone doesn't drink in a convivial atmosphere, I always assume we're going to get an explanation (alcoholic? pregnant? religion?) for abstaining.

I'm fairly certain that we've seen that Sam doesn't drink alcohol. I've assumed he doesn't drink because he is a devout Muslim. (Toheeb Jimoh is Muslim.) I noticed the table scene showing her drinking wine and him drinking water and am open to it being an issue because of the problem of drinking, but am more inclined to think that it will be just another checkmark in the column for them to note the differences between them.

Speaking of what the camera focuses on, I've noticed over multiple episodes this season that the camera focuses on Rebecca's shoes, both when she's taken them off and left them at the bottom of the stairs (I was sure her mother was going to fall and break her neck on them) and when she's walking in them (like when she and Sam approach her front door). Signs and portents, or no?
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 3:56 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


I actually found the message of this episode to be delivered a little less...deftly?...than in previous big emotional moments like the end of season 1 and the Darts Scene. But they had a lot of beats to hit in a short span. And also big emotional (and physical) conflagrations like the locker room scene tend to leave one's memory and feelings disjointed and cloudy, so I'm prepared to believe that the unsubtle-ness of it all was not an accident.

What stuck out to me was Ted is usually very good at calibrating his schtick to the moment. He'll throw out the down-home analogy, but get to the point quick. He's usually good at reading what the other person needs. And at knowing the limits of what he can do. But his radar for that was wayyyyyy off this episode. With Dr. Sharon, with his attempt at the Hoosiers speech when they walked out on the pitch, and with Beard at the end. For the first time he seemed like a man who wanted to fix everything but didn't know what to say.

In the words of Higgins, I try to love my dad for who he is and forgive him for who he isn't.


It's funny that I totally didn't register this line in that conversation, especially considering it's really how I've come to think of my late mother (with whom I had a...complicated...relationship). Definitely changes my perception of Higgins in this episode, for the better.

My wife tried to convince me after the episode that Sam/Rebecca wasn't problematic because there are like two layers of management between them, but that's really not the only icky power dynamic at play. It feels like they are doing it to create dramatic stakes of Sam having to choose between Rebecca and staying with AFC Richmond.
posted by dry white toast at 4:23 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


But his radar for that was wayyyyyy off this episode.

I think an understated message this season is that relationships/people need constant tending. And that we sometimes end up in the dark forest in part because we don't recognize issues aren't fully resolved and/or it's scary to think about or take next steps. Season one had many set ups that seem to be playing out now: the dart speech for Ted; Jamie's balance between star/team with family/self, Nate's insults to motivate the team, etc.

Roy to me is interesting as he seems several steps ahead on the path, perhaps reflective of his emerging role as the elder wise man, due to his older age and first season retirement. PErhaps that he's found himself surrounded with true tellers that he listens to? The team, the yoga moms, Keeley, Phoebe's teacher and Phoebe herself have all spoken to him when he was at risk of going off-path and he chose to listen and learn and improve.

If this is actually an arc within in a three season arc, then this is the arc where you learn all is not as it seems even if it seems all is fine.

And don't you dare settle for fine.
posted by beaning at 4:48 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


With Rebecca and Sam, surely tabloids are also a potential landmine?! So many issues here.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:18 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Great writeup on Vox about the episode:

"...Sharon is played by a Black actress, and there’s a long, unfortunate history of movies and TV shows using Black characters as sounding boards for white characters’ problems. Sharon is a nuanced character, and Niles plays her brilliantly. Still, it’s not like Ted Lasso is subverting this trope in any way, at least not to date..."


I think I disagree with this (and there were several inaccuracies in this article that made me feel like the writer isn't paying attention: Ted did not bring on Dr. Sharon, for example. It's a major plot point!) but anyway:

Three things about Ted Lasso that subvert the trope: Ted is not eager to have Dr. Sharon solve his problems, and actively resists this; Dr. Sharon is more concerned with being professional and doing her job her way than making Ted and Beard comfortable; and we see (in this episode in particular) that Dr. Sharon is as human as everyone else, not a magically sassy being here to make every white person on the show feel good about themselves at no expense to herself and no discomfort to them.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:27 PM on September 11 [9 favorites]


With Rebecca and Sam, surely tabloids are also a potential landmine?! So many issues here.

Who wants to take bets on Nate spilling the beans?
posted by oneirodynia at 5:36 PM on September 11


Watched this last night so I’m paraphrasing:

Phoebe: Please can we play Princess and Dragon?
Roy: Can I be the dragon this time?
Phoebe: No!

Loved it.
posted by ejs at 5:40 PM on September 11 [13 favorites]


Who wants to take bets on Nate spilling the beans?

No bet.

Ugh, I really think Nate's gonna be the bad guy in all kinds of ways.
posted by tzikeh at 6:20 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


While that’s all well and good, these guys aren’t African American and I wish the discourse in general and the show in particular would offer a little more insight into African narratives / Nigerian culture.

I absolutely get this and some of the criticism has been from Americans talking about these characters through an African-American lens, but the barber shop thing is a great detail because it's about the African diaspora. I watched this great play as part of the UK's National Theatre Live last year, Barber Shop Chronicles, that tells a bunch of interconnected stories set in barber shops across Africa and London. So this moment felt real to me. A little bit heightened, with the whole team standing around, but Ted Lasso is not quite reality. But this detail is definitely about Africans in the UK.

I'm fairly certain that we've seen that Sam doesn't drink alcohol. I've assumed he doesn't drink because he is a devout Muslim.

This is a good suggestion. I wondered if it was just because he looks after himself, as a professional football player, but either way, I think Sam drinking water tells us about Sam. I really hope it's not some nod to Rebecca drinking too much. Because I don't really think she does.
posted by crossoverman at 7:29 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


With Rebecca and Sam, surely tabloids are also a potential landmine?! So many issues here.

I was surprised that it didn't come up in this episode. Rebecca was already tabloid fodder from her marriage. I'm curious to see if Rebecca tells Keeley about Sam given that she already told Keeley about Sam being at the restaurant. There are a lot of people on the team invested in how that meeting went without knowing that it was Sam meeting Rebecca.

Also? I don't think Beard is broken by the loss. (But oh, that backward fall over the barricade was magnificent.) Beard's not happy about the loss, and sure, the magnitude of the loss hurts.

That fall was magnificent, but when Beard parodies Ted's "it is what it is," there was real anger there. Beard is furious, and I think he still doesn't get why Ted isn't feeling something stronger.

Jamie overhearing Sam's conversation with Sam's father was such a good precursor to Jamie seeing his own father in the club house. Sam's father said that he was proud of him and he loved him in a two-minute conversation. I can't imagine how that must have sounded like a fantasy to Jamie.
posted by gladly at 7:30 PM on September 11 [8 favorites]


Jamie overhearing Sam's conversation with Sam's father was such a good precursor to Jamie seeing his own father in the club house. Sam's father said that he was proud of him and he loved him in a two-minute conversation. I can't imagine how that must have sounded like a fantasy to Jamie.

Yes, I thought that was good too, if a little on the nose as a counterpoint to Jamie’s terrible dad (who weirdly reminded me of a Mancunian Mel Gibson). I thought Phil Dunster did a great job of showing the emotions as Jamie listens to this utterly foreign exchange between a father and son and realizes (or has it reinforced) how ripped off he’s been by his own sorry excuse for a father. Heartbreaking.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:52 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Why is Beard still having to teach Lasso the rules of the game? During the most important match no less. Of which they lost horribly. Why hasn’t any of the coaches had to answer to that yet?

I do think they’re setting Nathan up for a fall. In a nutshell, he’s gone from suave and supportive to yelling abuse in a too tight suit.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:55 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Beard is furious, and I think he still doesn't get why Ted isn't feeling something stronger.

I think we're back to the season one friction. "But those were kids and these are professionals and winning does matter to them." We're in season two and we still have jokes about Ted not understanding how offsides work. (on preview: what iamkimiam said).

In many ways, Ted is right and at this point everyone's mental health is more important than some game. But I don't see how this show ends without Ted heading back to the US to coach college sports somewhere closer to his kid.
posted by Gary at 12:00 AM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Just want to say that I’m happy these fanfare posts and comments exist; they make the already great experience of watching the show still so much better. And now I’ll have to watch the episode again to focus on some of the details you all pointed out.
posted by meijusa at 12:52 AM on September 12 [12 favorites]


I watched this great play as part of the UK's National Theatre Live last year, Barber Shop Chronicles, that tells a bunch of interconnected stories set in barber shops across Africa and London. So this moment felt real to me. A little bit heightened, with the whole team standing around, but Ted Lasso is not quite reality. But this detail is definitely about Africans in the UK.

Oh totally and just to be clear -- it wasn't the scene but the choice of music that I found a bit odd.

Sidenote: I'm fascinated by diasporas (met my spouse when they were working in a restaurant centering food of the Jewish diaspora) so I'm definitely gonna have to check out that play.


Something else I was thinking of last night:

- Higgins. So part of his arc includes finally getting the respect he deserves from Rebecca, right? Getting treated like a person instead of an evil doormat? But they STILL can't find him a goddamn office so he isn't doing Director of Football Comms work with his nose right next to a wet mop?

It's humiliating. With some shows, I'd write it off as a lazy comedic joke (haha look at Higgins knocking over a weight rack while he tries to work or whatever) but I don't wanna do that here so...I think perhaps foreshadowing Rebecca's relinquishing of power to Higgins instead?

Moving from the broom closet to the Boss Office would be a nice narrative, we know that Rebecca is very uncomfortable being Sam's boss and possible entering a romantic relationship, so maybe we end up with Boss Higgins?
posted by lazaruslong at 6:08 AM on September 12 [17 favorites]


I would LOVE that!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:00 AM on September 12


we know that Rebecca is very uncomfortable being Sam's boss and possible entering a romantic relationship, so maybe we end up with Boss Higgins?

Oh, hell no. Awesome, Strong, Powerful Boss Woman gives up her elite job in a male-dominated career for her 21-year-old employee-turned-boyfriend?

Please, anything but that.
posted by tzikeh at 1:28 PM on September 12 [12 favorites]


Heh, nah. Not really at all what I'm getting at here. Rebecca wouldn't make a massive choice like that because of a boy. She's not some weak willed fool.

I'm more thinking along the lines of potential Rebecca arc's that I was getting at in this comment.

Perhaps a more charitable way of framing this theory is Strong, Powerful Boss Woman Moves Beyond Divorce Revenge Job, Which Just So Happens To Benefit Potential Newfound Love? Not nearly as pithy, I'll grant you!

At least from what I think the show has been telling us so far: Rebecca doesn't give a shit about football. She's not a career football club owner, she's doing this for the first time motivated initially to deliberately do a "bad" job and sabotage the place and destroy it. Her story so far isn't some like, glass-ceiling destroying tale of female business acumen -- AFC Richmond is hers because she took it from Rupert in the divorce, and wanted to kill it to hurt Rupert.

Rebecca deserves a new act in her character arc that is bigger than AFC Richmond and Rupert. There's gonna be a power vacuum if she leaves. It'd be cool if Higgins ends up in that as part of his growth. And I don't think Rebecca would do something like that for Sam, but for herself. And if that neatly solves half of the unethical gordian love knot that she's tying now, so much the better for her?

Idk. I'm still very much on the fence about Sam / Rebecca. But I can see some potential foreshadowing with those prior moments (Rowling etc) and wonder about what her next move could be.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:48 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Linda Holmes, NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour, has things to say.
posted by theora55 at 7:35 PM on September 12


Wait - Is Rebecca and Sam a Cheers reference or is that coincidental?
posted by Faintdreams at 3:54 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


- Higgins. So part of his arc includes finally getting the respect he deserves from Rebecca, right? Getting treated like a person instead of an evil doormat? But they STILL can't find him a goddamn office so he isn't doing Director of Football Comms work with his nose right next to a wet mop?

We're hitting some very heavy storylines for a show that is ostensibly a comedy. It's important to have little comic relief moments like Higgins in a broom closet. I wouldn't read too much into it.

What was a surprise? First, that Roy came to Jamie's aid is far less of value to me (because we know that Roy is a grownup and a giver) than that Jamie didn't fight him, not for a second. He let him hug him, then he hugged him back, and then he let loose with tears and sobbing.

Agreed, and that was a stunning moment. But what stuck with me is that Roy came to Jamie's aid and Ted didn't. He had no idea what to do, and you could see it in his face, even accounting for the realization about his own father. It's another sign that Ted's shtick really doesn't work at the important moments. It may have been enough with college students whose lives aren't that complicated, but it's too superficial here, and I think he is starting to come to terms with the fact that he is utterly failing.

It's something I have always thought about when someone has told me I have impostor syndrome. How do you know? What is the difference between having impostor syndrome and actually not being equipped to do what you are doing? The fact that some people are unable to acknowledge their own skills doesn't change the fact that there are other people who are simply out of their depths.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 7:53 AM on September 13 [11 favorites]


Faintdreams, it's not coincidental. Sudeikis's uncle is George Wendt. There was another Cheers reference earlier in the season when Ted walked into Rebecca's office, and everyone said, "Ted!" to greet him. (This was a "Norm!" reference.)
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 8:20 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


And another last season!

“Cheers.”

“Nightcourt.”
posted by lazaruslong at 9:14 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]




hahaha i completely forgot about that moment, thank you for that
posted by lazaruslong at 12:25 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


George Wendt's photo was on the wall of the kebab shop (along with Roy's and Marcus Mumford's) in the episode where Ted convinces him to coach Isaac out of hours.
posted by John Shaft at 8:25 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]




I want so much for both Rebecca and Sam to be happy, but I don't see that happening with them being together. They're hot and they have great conversations as well as chemistry, but that's not enough. The tabloids will be merciless. The boss/employee dynamic is not great, although I'm sure you could fix that by him changing clubs or her selling Richmond. But the age gap is the killer - Rebecca has said she's nearly 50, and Sam is 21. Even if we round Rebecca's age down to 45, they don't pass the "half your age plus 7" rule.

I feel like the great Bantr conversations have earned them a bit of a fling though. Surely they both deserve some fun?
posted by harriet vane at 7:28 AM on September 21


I feel like the great Bantr conversations have earned them a bit of a fling though.

That's my peeve with this storyline. Every time she picks up her phone the Bantr chat is exactly where it was in the previous episode. As far as I can tell their entire text conversation consists of short texts from him, her ghosting him for days, and then one word answers.

I get that it's TV and we're not going to spend our time reading. But a few extra lines thrown in as easter eggs would go a long way to make that relationship feel earned.
posted by Gary at 10:14 AM on September 22


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