Ted Lasso: Big Week
April 4, 2023 10:14 PM - Season 3, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Richmond vs. West Ham.

Richmond finds out about Nate's sign-ripping. Ted confronts his messiness. Rupert's being Rupert again. Keeley meets someone prominent in the ladies' room. Ted is a whooooole lot nicer about the Jacob thing to Michelle's face than I would be.

Notable moments:
* Isaac accidentally discovers that the sign was ripped, and Trent thinks to go check for security video.
* While Ted's being distracted by Rebecca, he says "Surprise me" as to what to say to the team during halftime. Unfortunately the guys decide to show the security video to "fire them up," which only leads to Richmond playing like hooligans and losing.
* Nate seems to feel a wee bit of weirdness/remorse being around Ted, but not much happens.
* Rebecca spots Rupert cheating again. In other news, Bex is being openly insulting to Rupert's age, HMMMMMMMMMM.
* Keeley needs a tampon (first time I've seen THAT on television) and gets one from the VC who funded her. The credits didn't say who she was, but it looks a lot like Jodi Balfour from From All Mankind?!
* Shandy, continuing on her Inappropriateness Tour, advertises Bantr as a way to bang a celebrity. Keeley makes her take it off.
* Ted does NOT confront Michelle about Dr. Jacob, nor was he shown talking to Dr. Sharon about it. DISAPPOINTED.
* Ted did shag Sassy (with simultaneous orgasms) but she refuses to date him because he's a mess.
* Jamie is a shirtcocker in bed, and learns to wake up early to train with Roy.
* Zava gives Zoreaux inspiration to change his name to Van Damne.


"Now, get dressed, or I start flicking your balls." -Roy to Jamie, sleeping and answering the door at 4 a.m. with no pants.
Ted asks Sassy out. She says no immediately. "Well, I appreciate you taking the time to consider it."
Sassy on her own post-divorce messy: "I'm more of a slight disarray."
Zava: "I let all my children name themselves after the age of seven. This is why my eldest is named Smingus Dingus."
Isaac after the sign falls half down: "I was just checking if I acquired the ability to cut things in half."
Zoreaux: "I actually go by Van Damne now."
Shandy and Keeley on Jamie's availability. "I just wanna know if I can bang him now." "You'd have to ask him, it's his dick."
Beard and Ted: "Jane's sister is in town." "No thank you, Coach." "That's the right answer."
Ted and Rebecca: "Am I a mess?" "Of course you are, that's how we get along."
Ted: "I'm a work in progmess."
Rupert on his infant child: "Drooling and pooing around the house." Bex: "Takes after her father." OOOOOOOOOOOH.
I love how everyone comes up with different answers for Higgins's old-fashioned riddle.
"Surprise me." Ohhhhhhh my.

Game announcers:
"Spicy? This is vintage vindaloo."
"They played angry, dirty, and ugly." "Which are also the names of Zava's three youngest kids."

Barbara: "The violence was quite entertaining, in a way."
Roy and Beard making amends: "Be great if you could yell at us or something." "Please." Then calling Ted an asshole when he doesn't chew them out.
posted by jenfullmoon (56 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Enjoyable episode, but didn’t have the sheer “squee!” quotient as last weeks’. Is this because they have so many story lines they have to manage now? I feel like this season has certain eps that are super heavy on moving the plot lines forward and lose their grip on the fun.

I wasn’t sure if Ted’s talk to the ex was Ted’s version of confrontation. Certainly not how most of us do it, but he did express displeasure at how things were handled.

I continue to appreciate the story’s calling out small, incremental personal changes: Keely’s list of small changes she’s noted in Jamie, and her look of confusion. Along with the tampon, I don’t think I’ve seen another show depict that slow, sometimes dissonant process of a person updating their “mental map” of someone else who is changing in positive ways. Refreshing.

And yay to the tampon! along with The Last of Us’s Diva Cup, it’s a good year for menstruation (a word, I might note, that auto-complete was completely baffled by). We’ve had decades of tv and movies obliquely showing men peeing… all over the place. It’s super nice to see the whole “sharing what you have under the bathroom stall wall don’t care who you are no questions asked” thing that is women’s lived experience. An important contrast to the “if you make eye contact while I’m at the urinal I might punch you” stuff we see repeated ad nauseum.

And you Brits here have probably had a lot more exposure to Anthony Stewart Head being villainous, but boy does he do it well! The simple, “You smile, you shake hands, and then you beat him” was chilling.

This was a just-ok ep for me, so I’m looking forward to other comments to see if there was anything else here of value that I missed.
posted by Silvery Fish at 5:09 AM on April 5, 2023 [3 favorites]

If I wasn't convinced that they were going for a Nate redemption arc, I'm convinced now.

Partly because he fell off the rolly chair, and trying to do a Dramatic Gesture but ending up embarrassing oneself is pretty much the most relatable thing ever. Mostly because... there's so much fear and shame there. I really want to root for the Nate who is capable of being a better person if he works on the fear and the shame.
posted by Jeanne at 5:29 AM on April 5, 2023 [2 favorites]

Anyone know the full fixture list for this season? I’m assuming West Ham visits Richmond in the last or second to last episode.

Nate’s absolutely going to get a redemption arc. Maybe something like Richmond qualifies for the Champions League while West Ham just misses out on Europe; Rupert fire Nate but Nate lands on his feet after rejecting Rupert and reconciling with Ted?
posted by thecaddy at 5:55 AM on April 5, 2023

I’m calling it: after getting a needle-drop in Station Eleven, The Last of Us, and now Ted Lasso, “Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright)” is the new “Hallelujah.”

Jamie Tartt’s underbum shot! 🥵 This show is the closest mainstream thing to a reverse male gaze I’ve ever seen. (Also that’s a classic “the characters in a show can’t see anything that’s out of frame” gag — hilarious that Jamie was dong-out for that whole conversation with Roy!)

We haven’t seen Zava’s reaction to losing yet. That’ll be interesting.

I love Jodi Balfour on For All Mankind, I don’t think you cast her for a throwaway… for those who can hear these things, how would you describe her accent here?
posted by sixswitch at 6:41 AM on April 5, 2023 [4 favorites]

A detail I'm enjoying is how Rupert keeps correcting Nate on how to address him. He says, call me Rupert. So Nate remembers and calls him Rupert the next time, and Rupert immediately corrects him to Mr Mannion. So Nate calls him Mr Mannion the next time, and Rupert immediately says call me Rupert, etc etc. It's possible the switch has more to do with who's listening at the time, but I hope Nate notices that he can't win.

I also loved how Rebecca tried to rev Ted up by encouraging him to have fun.
posted by harriet vane at 6:45 AM on April 5, 2023 [6 favorites]

And my hopes for end-of-season outcomes got a few little boosts this week. Roy and Beard are a great team who could run things if Ted goes back to the US, but only if they learn to really embrace Ted's philosophy instead of half-arsing it. So learning the hard way for themselves that getting the team angry actually does make them less competent might be what levels them up.

And like so many people I want Nate to redeem himself. I want him to see that his dad and Rupert are manipulative and abusive, and that there's room in-between hero-worshipping Ted and hating him where they could just treat each other as equals. He's missed his chance to reconcile with Ted this week, but I'm sure there'll be more opportunities. Him being open to trying is important.

As for Ted himself, I love that Sassy called him a mess and he actually reflected on it. I interpreted Michelle's face at the end as her recognising that he's growing because he actually expressed a negative feeling to her. I don't want them back together, but I want him to be able to return to be near his kid while still leaving Richmond with his head held high. A trophy would be a great justification of his coaching methods but I'll accept anything that fits that same goal.
posted by harriet vane at 7:05 AM on April 5, 2023 [4 favorites]

The Diamond Dogs scene in this one was so damn funny.

I interpreted Michelle’s look at the end as an “I really don’t have an answer for this.” If she starts dating pretty much anyone else, Ted has no business telling her anything except good luck or something along those lines, and he acknowledges that. But with the new guy being her - and then their - therapist, he is not out of line when he expresses displeasure about this. She knows this.
posted by azpenguin at 7:19 AM on April 5, 2023 [8 favorites]

This season has made me uncomfortable. I am probably reading too much into it, but it feels like maybe Jason Sudeikis is bringing too much of his own messy personal life into the show. All of the women have gone from strong and interesting to kind of pathetic and dumb. Rebecca is going through the same problems she had in season 1, feeling inadequate around her asshole ex-husband. Keely was a bad-ass at the end of last year, so this year Roy dumps her and she feels like a fraud at her new company, and just generally being very un-Keely-like.

It's like they didn't have storylines for the women, so they decided to give them fake storylines, and made them damsels in distress in them. They don't do anything, they depend upon others to fix all of their problems. It's weird.

And outside of Rupert, we have our first real villain in Ted's ex-wife, who is dating her therapist/former marriage-counselor. That is just 100% shitty, and I cannot believe that would have been part of this had Sudeikis not had a very, very ugly public relationship. And Ted's response to his ex-wife was so measured, so calm and collected. He comes off as the Better Man. Which is weird because they keep saying he's a mess. Based on what? The fact that he's divorced, working a job that keeps him away from his son? That's messy? I honestly don't get it.

Meanwhile, the show is weirdly tight and loose at the same time: tight in that everything related to the team is about nothing except beating West Ham, and even there, they've made all of the players into damsels in distress as well, depending on Zava to save the day in every case. Loose in that the whole show feels unfocused. What is the story this season? The only potential storyline for the team seems to be Jamie's growth, which is good. I like it, but it's not enough to cover 45-55 minutes per episode.

WHICH IS ANOTHER THING. This used to be a sitcom, with tight, 25-30 minute eps. Now it's an hour-long drama, but without much actual drama. I suspect they could tighten up the scripts and get it back down to a half-hour program, and it would be better all around.

Anywho, I'm still watching, but I'm getting anxious. We all know that they're going to win in the end, we know that Jamie will save the day. But I'm anxious about all of the people in this show, I fear it's going to be an unsatisfying ending if they don't change direction soon.
posted by nushustu at 9:22 AM on April 5, 2023 [14 favorites]

Reviews: AV Club, Marvelous Geeks.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:08 AM on April 5, 2023

This episode confirmed my sense that Season 3 is largely about opening the show to be more fully about the whole supporting cast, and less about Ted Lasso personally--he is definitely one among an ensemble of characters now, the lead/support dynamic is being reduced episode by episode. I expect this is to try and find a life for the show beyond its initial story arc, which the primary creators have often mentioned as a three-season arc for Ted, and I expect they'll hold to that (especially given his video call with Michelle, which I read as milquetoast on Ted's part for sure, but actually a huge step for him to articulate his own negative feelings and stand up for himself, acting from real self-respect, and her smile at the end of the call was actually her seeing that in him, and maybe even being proud of him despite everything else and even despite feeling ashamed because he's right to call her out), but now they've all created this wonderful ensemble of characters and have a lot more stories to tell and seem to be trying to metamorphose the show into AFC Richmond or something.

made them damsels in distress

This isn't my read so far, but I see where you're coming from. To me, the women are being shown as real and nuanced people: Keely has talent and ability and self-respect, but that doesn't magically create professional experience and knowledge, so the learning curve she's on seems believable to me, and one that a lot of smart, capable people probably mess up in real life all the time; Rebecca is over Rupert in a literal sense (she really doesn't give a fuck about that narcissist anymore) but hasn't gotten to the real issues that drove her to choose a Rupert in the first place, and those have everything to do with her as a person; she's all tied up about beating West Ham not because of Rupert, but because of how she still feels about herself (i.e., that she's not good enough).

And like so many people I want Nate to redeem himself.

What surprised me this episode is how unsympathetic I am to/about Nate. He's way too old to be so childishly tied up with his parents and what they think about him--I know that a Big Theme of the show is healing the wounds that fathers can leave, but Nate apparently still lives with his parents and still lets himself be actively abused by his father well into adulthood, and at some point only Nate is responsible for Nate's horribleness, and he's been pretty horrible. I hope I come around, he can be a funny character.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:18 AM on April 5, 2023 [7 favorites]

My girlfriend was so annoyed at Ted for barely even saying anything substantive to Michelle, but I think that simply admitting to her that it pissed him off is a major step for him, and that's what Michelle's smile at the end is about. One way he can be less of a mess is to air the transgression and let go of it, rather than smother it with toxic positivity.

I've always been 100% certain that Nate would get a redemption arc, because this is Ted Lasso. So far, there's really only been one villain in this show, and that's obviously Rupert. What I would love is if there were no villains in this show.

I'm not saying that Rupert will stop being an asshole, or that the audience will end up rooting for him, but I would still enjoy it if the show humanized him a bit. Part of what Rebecca needs to figure out is that she has built him up to be this supremely monstrous figure — understandably, because he hurt her quite a bit — but maintaining that outsized projection is a way of perpetuating the abuse.

The moment she saw between Rupert and his assistant was impressively handled — not as a piece of dirt that she could wield over him, but as an opportunity to tut and tell him to get it together. I don't even think she had it in mind to “win” that interaction; I think it was heartfelt.

For narrative reasons, she won't come to this epiphany until near the end of the season, but I think she could move on from her obsession with beating Rupert if she could manage to see him for what he is. Narcissists are pathetic in how oblivious they are to their flaws, yet how obvious those flaws are to those who've already been through the wringer.

She will be able to move on when she honestly doesn't care what Rupert thinks of her, or what other people think of Rupert.
posted by savetheclocktower at 11:31 AM on April 5, 2023 [6 favorites]

(Rebecca) … but hasn't gotten to the real issues that drove her to choose a Rupert in the first place,

yep. She still feels ashamed at how she (in her mind) “let” herself be manipulated.

I also think Rupert’s weaponized refusal to acknowledge that his actions hurt her, Rebecca, feeds this too :: I feel it in myself sometimes, that urge to hurt someone back who willfully refuses to accept responsibility for their actions that caused harm to me. Frankly, it’s the baser impulse that drives much of our penal system.
posted by Silvery Fish at 12:12 PM on April 5, 2023 [5 favorites]

I usually watch each episode twice, just finished the rewatch. Ted's "confrontation" of Michelle kind of reminds me of me in that except for hotheaded fights with my mother who installed the buttons, I have an extremely hard time bringing up issues with anybody and will almost never do it. Ted saying he didn't like how the Dr. Jacob thing was handled was as much as he could get out, I suppose. He has to keep it nice with her because they'll always be tied together on some level. And also, the avalanche has started and it's too late for the pebbles to vote and all that. Once someone's done the bad thing that made you mad and it's too late to change and it's probably not a situation that will happen again--is there a point in bringing it up to someone and saying you're mad? Why waste time starting a fight that's not going to get anywhere and just makes a stink?

Is Ted a mess? He's kind of a hidden mess, as per last season. He's not quite over Michelle at this point and this whole situation smarts. He's a work in progmess with the therapy and all.

Keeley's on a growing up and maturing learning curve, that's a reasonable plot. I admit that Rebecca's feud with Rupert is a bit backslide-y, but it's television and you gotta have a reason to compete.

Jodi Balfour/Jack is intriguing, but she sure didn't say much and just did intense staring. Not sure what to make of her yet after the first few scenes. I'm not even sure what accent she had?
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:41 PM on April 5, 2023 [2 favorites]

I was doing fine until Rebecca said Oklahoma and my brain fizzled because that's the codeword for absolute truth and time slowed down and my heart rate went up as I thought "this is it" but it wasn't. Such a contrast to the Nate/Rupert dynamic, but then I don't ship them.
posted by Molesome at 1:25 PM on April 5, 2023 [4 favorites]

Nate is a surprisingly good and nuanced depiction of the kind of Ayn Rand-loving life-is-for-the-winners man that feels increasingly common in our society. It's an archetype that I haven't really seen depicted in a lot of media, and feels a lot closer to a portrait of the kinds of young men I know than a lot of what I've seen.

He had genuine talent and insight, and it would've gotten him literally nowhere were it not for the semi-miraculous arrival of Ted. He was universally overlooked and disrespected. What's more, in season 1, he was resigned to that. Of course the players and management and coaches were all going to overlook him. Because his identity, his lot in life, existed completely independently of whatever skills or intelligence he might possess. Who Nate Is was stamped on his forehead when he was a small boy, and there were no chances of that changing.

(There's a not-coincidental overlap between that "identity assigned from birth" idea and the way incels/red-pillers view the world, but that resigned mindset exists far more broadly and transcends sociopolitical politics. I know a lot of leftist, feminist men who struggle with the same mindset. But I digress.)

Suddenly, Nate's given a new identity. He's respected as a coach and a strategist. Ted readily acknowledges that Nate is better at this than he is. His identity gets a shocking, almost unbelievable rewrite. But Nate doesn't really... understand what that means? And he has to deal with the frustrating, painful process of separating what changes when people look at you differently from what changes because you're allowed to do new things. Along with, of course, the discovery of what doesn't immediately change.

A lot of his most excruciating moments in season 2 were excruciating because he does an awful, entitled, presumptuous thing, but he does it with this weird, familiar hesitation. As if he doesn't know if he ought to be doing this thing, but he thinks he maybe gets to? And he isn't sure if it's okay but he also doesn't know what "okay" would mean, because he's never been this version of Nate before, and a lot of things that he thought he'd never, ever be allowed to do are suddenly allowed. Plus, he sees a lot of douchey men do those things, and they get away with it, right?

It reminds me of a story that my old roommate, who was a trans guy, told me about when he first started transitioning. He said that he had a phase, early on, where he wound up acting like a real jerk in a lot of situations, because he was trying to playact at being a man, and emulating the behaviors he'd seen in other men led to his acting in ways that he knew were awful on some level... but he didn't really know what un-awful looked like. For a while, his two options always seemed to be "do nothing" and "be a jerk."

Nate isn't in the same situation, but he's dealing with a similar identity crisis: he's suddenly being treated like he's more of a human, and maybe more of a man, and he has no idea of what that means. On top of that, he's dealing with two levels of frustration: the kind of resentful frustration that we've talked about incels and toxic men possessing, but also the subtler one, where he doesn't know what the hell to do, and knows it, and has to deal with trying things he doesn't think will go well and is kind of terrified of doing, and then getting exactly the results he's dreading. Which leads to his season 2 dynamics, where he increasingly leans in the direction of the one thing he can get away with, which is treating the people he works with like shit.

What's so tricky, and so interesting, is that he clearly does have a moral compass, and is constantly torn by guilty and empathy. He's not a sociopath and he's a somewhat-reluctant bully. (Somewhat.) But he also doesn't really understand his own agency. He sees Ted as abandoning him because he still needs something more, and doesn't know how to get it, and the fact that Ted doesn't immediately lead him to it feels like a betrayal. But the last straw, interestingly enough, had nothing to do with Ted at all, and everything to do with Roy instantly forgiving him for making a pass at Keely. Because while Roy genuinely does do it from a place of empathy—Nate's growing up, he's confused, he's figuring things out, and Roy thinks of him as a good person—Nate sees it as this confirmation that he really was a nobody after all. That, on some level, Who Nate Is is still stamped on his forehead. Which leads to his outburst, his ripping the BELIEVE sign, his storming away from Ted, and now off to West Ham.

And what's really neat to me is that Rupert is doing all the things Nate wanted Ted to do for him. Rupert makes fun of his old car, because Rupert is a dick... and then Rupert gets him a new one. Rupert teaches Nate how to present himself as better and tougher and stronger and more dismissive than Ted. Because Rupert understands what Nate's looking for, and knows how to give it to him. Yet Nate's still fully self-conscious, knows when he's acting like a jerk, feels guilty about doing it... and every time he comes close to saying the stuff he wants to say to Ted this episode, Rupert shows up and pulls him away from it.

(This series of incidents climaxes with Rupert distracting Nate as Ted is leaving by inviting him to a club, where he immediately throws a woman Nate's way. Nate would have loved Ted or Roy doing something similar for him; Ted, of course, never would have, though it's funny to imagine Roy begrudgingly trying to be Nate's wingman and making a total botch of it. And this episode is framed by Nate's attempt to impress the hostess at that restaurant: a scene which is itself doubled, in that first we see Nate's jerkish attempts to try and prod admiration and recognition out of her, and then we see Nate get the response he wants out of her manager—only to immediately be discomforted by it, because it isn't actually what he wants. The look on the hostess's face as he walks out was really damn well-acted, kind of a disgust on top of a softer recognition that he's playing the part of a shithead, to some extent, uncomfortably and against his will.)

Most of the guys I know who parrot that douchey alpha-male nonsense, whether in business or with sex and romance, aren't really the alpha-male type—and they know it. They're a lot more like Nate: gentler, more hesitant, surprisingly empathetic, and on some level aware that either this is nonsense or that they're "faking it." It's the whole "incel resentment towards chads" thing: the kinds of men who comfortably find the things they're looking for don't need to buy into any ideology, because to them it all seems so simple in the first place. The anti-chad thing is usually phrased as resentment towards power or handsomeness or assertiveness or whatever, but beneath that, I think it's simply a matter of comfort: some men move comfortably through the world, many don't, and the ones who don't are caught in the kinds of excruciating quandaries that Nate is, where one path means "being a decent person" but doesn't readily offer much else, and the other path pretty clearly sucks shit but at least promises something.

I remember Natalie Wynn saying on a podcast that she thinks men are stuck in a weird place with the feminism/incel divide: feminism articulates what "good straight men" look like but often does it by means of lots of criticism, judgment, and summary dismissal, and without any simple answers to how to find or attain anything in the process (because the idea of a man "getting something out of it" is itself viewed as transactional and kind of gross). Incel and red-pill stuff is pretty gross, and often in ways that men understand as gross, but it also offers a hypothetical clearer way out of their misery, while also giving them room to vent their complex frustrations in the process. (Her point wasn't to critique feminism for this so much as it was an, "It makes sense that this is how this works, but it creates a really tricky quandary, huh.")

I would be shocked if this season wasn't a conspicuous long Nate redemption arc—like, I'd bet my rent money on it. And I think that Nate's overall arc is interesting in part because, when I ask myself what a hypothetical "good path" for season 2 Nate is, the answers I come up with don't feel all that plausible. Nate's so used to other people telling him who he is that, when Ted recognizes something innate in him and goes "No, Nate, this is all you," he just sorta takes what he's been given and tries to figure out the new "rules." When the rules don't work, he leans on a bunch of people to help further him along... but it doesn't help, because he's such a passive person that he thinks he only gets to have whatever people hand him, or whatever he's entitled to claim. He keeps trying to work out what "good and fulfilled" would look like, but doesn't have a clue, in part because he can't see how he's getting in his own way. And now he's off with Emperor Palpatine Rupert, because Rupert is the first person in his life who ever has just given him everything he wants on request, but he's sane enough to know that something's off about this; he just doesn't know how to reject the bad bits without also rejecting the good, and he's literally never been able to figure out all the good stuff in any other way. This is the first time he's ever found any of that, he doesn't know if there's any alternative that doesn't involve him transforming into Roy or Jamie, and it's hard to insist on righteous asceticism after a lifetime of involuntarily being assigned to the role of "ascetic."

The whole series literally revolves around Rupert: he's why Rebecca hires Ted in the first place, and more specifically it's him treating her as a disposable means to an end. Ted is Rupert's foil, obviously, but Nate's journey forms the skeleton of the show. It's someone with talent and ambition who's being offered two different visions of what it means to be successful in life, literalized in the form of two competing football clubs. Rupert was a ghost in the first season and a malevolent pest in the second, but now he's fully arrived—not in the form of a seemingly-unbeatable team, but as the father-figure who will offer Nate everything he thought he ever wanted. And all that Nate has to forsake in return are the things that Ted gave to him: the things that made him feel seen and loved, but also led to his being the coach of a team that was literally impotent and couldn't stop tying games. (The Richmond limbo of season 2 parallels Nate's frustration with Ted's seeming willingness to remain here, when everything in Nate is basically screaming that this is not enough. Which is how you get a season whose very first shot is Nate's eyes in close-up, as he watches Danny kick the failed goal that kills Richmond's dog, and whose last shot is Nate's eyes again, as he surveys Rupert's invulnerable battle station football team.)

tl;dr Ted Lasso is a show about two opposing masculine ideologies warring over Nate's soul, and is totally gonna hinge on Nate's finding a way to reconcile the two. And I wouldn't bet against the show finding a way to make this a Star Wars trilogy gag in the process.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 1:34 PM on April 5, 2023 [46 favorites]

Restaurant hostess clearly sees right through bluster-Nate, but seems perfectly positioned to confirm that Nate has finally been redeemed through her romantic acceptance of him by the end of the season.

I don’t agree that the female characters are being portrayed as damsels in distress this season. I think having significant problems is what distinguishes main characters from supporting characters in this show for the most part. We don’t know the crises of Higgins, Sassy, etc because they are not the focus. I also don’t expect male characters to save female ones. I think any character could end up being the support that another needs.
posted by snofoam at 5:46 PM on April 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

Smartest move Nate has ever made was spitting that martini back into the glass.

Guess that could be a mark of Nate's turn - actually spitting for a good reason.
posted by minsies at 6:00 PM on April 5, 2023 [8 favorites]

Nate seems to be having a pretty basic "Be careful what you wish for" plot -- he gets what he thought he deserved from Rupert, but it feels wrong, and the huge self-doubt is still there. Which leaves him still craving attention from Ted. I don't think he's got the moral code to think an apology is necessary at this point -- think about the other people he hasn't apologized to. But he wants a reason to talk to Ted because it's the only validation he received that didn't have strings attached.

Restaurant hostess clearly sees right through bluster-Nate, but seems perfectly positioned to confirm that Nate has finally been redeemed through her romantic acceptance of him by the end of the season.

I'm not sure there's romance there, but Nate definitely needs another scene with Jade where he spends some time asking how she is doing instead of talking about himself in a desperate attempt to prove his validity to her. I did love how her stare and her opinion of Nate didn't change at all when she found out he was famous.

Similar to Rupert vs. Ted, Nate wants respect and attention from Jade but instead he gets fawning superficial bro-tastic admiration from her boss and he doesn't know what to do with that.

Random things:

- I loved seeing Sassy trying to sweet-talk her Uber driver after finding out Ted had a "5" rating.

- I'm a bit of a Ted myself and his effort to (barely) tell Michelle about his feelings seemed brave.

- I love how everything Zava says sounds deep and inspirational until you think about it for 5 seconds.

- Keeley's plot is interesting, I'm curious if she's going to have to fire her old friend to do the right thing for her business. (But I feel bad for the friend, all she did was say the quiet part out loud. Keeley was fine with "We have famous sportsmen on our app" but not with the subtext.)

- I thought for sure Colin's sexuality would come out when he was forced to make a dating profile but they're taking that plot slowly. Trent Crimm is obviously not about to out him though.
posted by mmoncur at 7:28 PM on April 5, 2023 [5 favorites]

Trent Crimm is obviously not about to out him though.

Agreed, but he’s definitely very interested in how Colin is coping with being a closeted pro footballer (like those painful “ironic” ‘ha-ha I’m gay’ jokes).
posted by LooseFilter at 7:54 PM on April 5, 2023 [5 favorites]

“Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright)”

Right? That song was part of my childhood and it's been weird seeing it showing up everywhere. Also I've always loved that Digable Planets song (when they're walking in to the stadium).

I'm now hyperaware of Colin and he made some "haha only serious" statement about some guy on the TV and him winding up with him (or something, it was early in the episode) making me feel like he really wants to be out to the team and maybe that will all work out okay?

Am curious about Jack. Am curious if Keely needs to fire her friend (or what that whole scene was where Jack was overhearing their conversation and wondering if Jack was viewing it positively or negatively).

I also interpreted Ted's convo with Michelle as braveness on Ted's part but also Michelle's smile was more about "Oh hey Ted is really starting to feel his feelings" and not her being some sort of negative/villain person.

Also iirc Nate doesn't drink, right?

I miss seeing so much of Sam since he's a truly charismatic character. Was happy to see a bit less of Zava.
posted by jessamyn at 8:08 PM on April 5, 2023 [2 favorites]

I'm curious if she's going to have to fire her old friend to do the right thing for her business.
My fear is that it will be Keeley who will be fired. The VC heard her tell her friend to reverse an action that had increased numbers. Jack seemed pleasant enough, but in reality is probably an amoral husk of a human being.
posted by chill at 11:49 PM on April 5, 2023 [2 favorites]

I would be extremely disappointed if Jade ends up being Nate’s reward for stopping being a dick. My hope is that she basically says to him, “yeah you were a massive twat before, now you’re alright” and that should be enough, this being Britain.
posted by adrianhon at 12:31 AM on April 6, 2023 [13 favorites]

A random thought - remember what Dr. Sharon told Ted? “The truth will set you free… but first it will piss you off.” The truth Ted just learned about Michelle has definitely pissed him off. Wonder if this is going to be a catalyst for him going forward.
posted by azpenguin at 4:52 AM on April 6, 2023 [4 favorites]

Ted being honest to Michelle (still Lasso in his phone) is a huge sign of growth for him. Part of his problem that resulted in the melt down last season was his inability to share negative feelings inside him. Michelle's smile at the end was a sign she was recognizing this growth.

Zava is an X-factor this season. He's definitely there to inspire Jamie to work harder and become better. He also has an insanely huge influence on his teammates. But, what about Zava? I find it difficult for the show to have another "the star has to learn to work with others" storylines, which was Jamie's storyline essentially. I think Zava is being setup to do something, say something, that will pit him against the team and the team will have to decide who they are, and will they just blindingly follow Zava's words or actions. This could even be something in terms of Colin being outed and Zava being a surprise homophobe (I don't think there's been any evidence of this so far, though?) and the team siding with Colin.

Since this is Ted Lasso, I think Colin will be outed, but he will have the love and support of this team. (He may come out, himself), but I don't know how or where this will play. Rupert would definitely do it if he thought it would undermine Richmond.

I keep waiting for Keely's friend to really blow things up. It makes me nervous, because in one moment, she's showing promise and that Keely made a smart decision in bringing her in. Then flip the coin, and you're like, GEEZ YOU'RE GOING TO GET KEELY IN TROUBLE. This is the most nerve wracking thing in the show for me at the moment.
posted by Atreides at 6:51 AM on April 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

I've been hoping that Keely will treat her staff like Ted treats his team, and learning to do that would be her plot this season. But she wasn't coached by him, they were more like friendly peers. So that seems like a no-goer.

But if it was like that, Barbara would be her Roy Kent, and Shandy would be her Jamie Tartt.
posted by harriet vane at 8:44 AM on April 6, 2023 [4 favorites]

Zava's going to jump ship to West Ham, isn't he?

Yes, fingers crossed Jade isn't set up as Nate's trophy. It would be so much more satisfying to just see him respectfully interact with her as a standard mature human being with healthy boundaries and be happy with that.
posted by sapere aude at 9:39 AM on April 6, 2023 [5 favorites]

Jodi Balfour/Jack is intriguing, but she sure didn't say much and just did intense staring. Not sure what to make of her yet after the first few scenes.

I did see an interesting prediction that Jack is being set up for a Keely spinoff show.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:15 AM on April 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

Silvery FishKeely’s list of small changes she’s noted in Jamie, and her look of confusion. 

I have been very ship and let ship with this show so far, but Keeley better not go back to Jamie now that he's "growing and changing" I swear to fuck.

Nushustu: We all know that they're going to win in the end.

I don't think they are, actually. I think they'll do well but I don't think they're going to "win the whole fucking thing," as Ted said at the end of Season One -- and I think that will be just fine. I keep going back to "You Can't Always Get What You Want" as the score for the Season Three trailer. I think this season is more about how you get what you need.

Molesome: I was doing fine until Rebecca said Oklahoma

Oh I winced so hard at "Oklahoma" because that word was chosen by Doctor Jacob. Yikes.
posted by tzikeh at 2:32 PM on April 6, 2023 [2 favorites]

I kind of feel like a major theme of this episode was "recognizing growth in people you aren't romantically with anymore and being pleased about that, for them" between Michelle and Keeley. I don't see them getting back together with Ted or Jamie, but given this show's overall emotional maturity, I could see them actually becoming good non-romantic friends.

I had a weird feeling after watching this episode, like not that much happened, but I know objectively that a lot happened! I don't know why I felt that way, honestly.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:37 PM on April 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

I recall Jade at the restaurant acting racist towards Nate in the past so that's how I'm reading her continued disdain. No matter how much he achieves, he will never be more than a [slur] to her, and his family will never be more than a bunch of [slur]s to her, and she wants him to know that.
posted by brainwane at 5:50 PM on April 6, 2023 [2 favorites]

One of the fan regulars at the pub invited a guy to come watch the game, but the guy showed up in a West Ham jersey. The regular initially said "he's with me" but ended up shouting at him to leave when the reaction of the others got intense. Then he had a shame reaction before the scene cut away.

I think they're setting him up to be the face of who is helped when Colin eventually comes out. And I think Zava's going to play a part in that. Dramatically they need the team to come together with their own identity, and opposition to Zava is how they get there.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 6:06 PM on April 6, 2023 [8 favorites]

I just realised while reading all your comments that I am cheering for all these characters like I would cheer for a sports team. I want things for them. The guys in the pub. Will the kit man. Even bloody Jane, I want her to heal if only so she stops causing Beard anguish. I'm emotionally invested in their success, tracking every tiny detail that might indicate progress or an injury (to their hearts), discussing them with other fans. I care more about their success than the real-world sports team I'm supposed to be following.
posted by harriet vane at 7:25 PM on April 6, 2023 [8 favorites]

I appreciate the use of Fist Fight by Crisis of Conformity during the second half of the game. A real Jason Sudeikis musical deep cut.
posted by migurski at 7:50 AM on April 7, 2023

Am I the only one struggling with how painfully thin Keely is? I find myself quite distracted with worries for the actress's physical state. :(
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:27 AM on April 7, 2023 [6 favorites]

I did kind of like that subtle joke where Higgins asks the old brain teaser ("I can't operate on him, he's my son!") but now there are four perfectly normal answers instead of one.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:52 AM on April 8, 2023 [6 favorites]

Well, three were normal, Shandy's was....a little weird.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:00 AM on April 8, 2023 [2 favorites]

I recall Jade at the restaurant acting racist towards Nate in the past so that's how I'm reading her continued disdain. No matter how much he achieves, he will never be more than a [slur] to her, and his family will never be more than a bunch of [slur]s to her, and she wants him to know that.

I just rewatched the episode where Nate reserves the table and didn't notice anything racist, but it certainly appears the restaurant has a snobbish policy for the window table: they don't take reservations for it, and only seat people there they think are worthy ( an ethos totally in line with how Derek treats Nate once he recognizes him in this week's episode). After Nate spts at himself in the mirror and gets a bit more demanding about the window table for his parents' anniversary dinner, she relents and lets them sit there. Then he asks for her number- which is frankly not cool to do to people at work- and she tells him "No, that's okay- sorry, I'm just picky".
posted by oneirodynia at 3:28 PM on April 8, 2023 [3 favorites]

Yay, Jodi Balfour - Ellen in "For All Mankind" - isn't stuck in an alternate history! Or - is she?!

I was honestly relieved that Angry Team didn't result in Zava getting injured.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:34 PM on April 8, 2023 [3 favorites]

‘I look for the good in all situations’: The Power’s Ted Lasso’s Toheeb Jimoh [Guardian / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:55 AM on April 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

> Am I the only one struggling with how painfully thin Keely is?

Same. I try to respect that people naturally come in all sizes, including very small, but she's so tiny.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:16 PM on April 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

The fantasy of Ted Lasso and the reality of Jason Sudeikis [Vox]
posted by ellieBOA at 9:39 AM on April 10, 2023

The fantasy of Ted Lasso and the reality of Jason Sudeikis [Vox]

Not a fair column at all in my reading, and tries way too hard to conflate Sudeikis the person and Lasso the character by taking fan projections and hand-waving them into writerly intention. For instance:
The divorced energy, too, is off the scales. Ted’s ex-wife has a new boyfriend this season, and Ted gets to make a righteous speech about how he should have been informed earlier while his ex-wife listens in penitent silence.
That description leaves out a key piece of information (that the new boyfriend was their ex-marriage counselor, holy shit) and mischaracterizes what Ted says and how he says it: it definitely was not a "righteous speech," it was more like very timid, very tentative baby steps toward Ted actually respecting himself and his feelings; and Michelle wasn't listening in "penitent silence," she was clearly moved by both the truth of what he said and that he was finally respecting himself and voicing criticism to her.

That the writer of the Vox piece misread that scene so badly shows me that she is writing more about her own projections than any by Sudeikis as writer or performer. (And also, she relies on a gossip piece from the Daily Mail, of all sources, to substantiate her thesis of Sudeikis-as-asshole--an article that has the former nanny being sued by both Sudeikis and Wilde.)
posted by LooseFilter at 2:31 PM on April 10, 2023 [10 favorites]

I get uncomfortable every time someone throws the real life Olivia drama into this show. I think this plotline was set up before the breakup anyway. I'm pretty sure Jason played some non-Ted people and she's REALLY insisting that he's insisting he's Ted, and I suspect this isn't actually the case. We shouldn't assume anyone is their TV character, really (and god knows there's a lot of milkshake ducks out there).
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:39 PM on April 10, 2023 [2 favorites]

This episode was also about what to do with anger - toxic positivity? Use it to fuel your energy? Express it directly? Ted avoids himself a lot and that’s why he’s a progmess; he will hopefully move towards a more whole version of himself. I’m loving how this show explores modern masculinity and its expression through the various characters. So even with its flaws this season I trust the writers and the over all arc and themes that are being explored.

Also side notes
- Suedekis usually disappears so completely into Ted Lasso for me that I totally forget it’s him acting and believe Ted is a real person; and then in the scene with Sassy there was some moments where Suedekis was so clearly peeking out it was really jarring for me.
- Rupert’s manipulation is so obvious: when Nate “behaves”, he gets a reward (car, girl, call me Rupert) and when he fails it’s punishment / emotional withdrawal.

There are characters whose job is to just observe it seems, and I like that, we’re not all extroverts:
- restaurant hostess is just not having Nate’s “I’m important” bullshit; she’s zero percent interested in what he feels he has to prove.
- Jack, whose silence and demeanor struck me as odd, she seemed way too withdrawn for a VC.
- Trent Crimm (love himm)
posted by St. Peepsburg at 4:48 PM on April 10, 2023 [2 favorites]

Other random:
- I’m not feeling a Zava arc (he’ll be as pithy and superficially deep and ego/less as ever) but others may arc around him, like the team will lose their group worship and truly find the Zava in themselves
- I’m also waiting for Rebecca to stop playing polite politics with Rupert and tell him he’s a shit (which she kind of did by telling to stop fucking around) and come to the “you have no power over me” Labyrinth conclusion
- “ask him, it’s his dick” best line ever
posted by St. Peepsburg at 4:55 PM on April 10, 2023 [1 favorite]

- I’m also waiting for Rebecca to stop playing polite politics with Rupert and tell him he’s a shit (which she kind of did by telling to stop fucking around) and come to the “you have no power over me” Labyrinth conclusion

I got the feeling it was as much about her telling him he’s being a jackass as it was her seeing what was going on with the assistant and then wanting to protect both women. Rupert, for all his money and popularity, still seems to feel the need to put Rebecca in her “place.” If she takes away his power over women, she’ll have hit him where it really hurts.
posted by azpenguin at 8:41 PM on April 10, 2023 [3 favorites]

The marriage-counselor stuff has been foreshadowed for ages. I rewatched the show while feeling sick last week, and Ted has off-handed lines about how uncomfortable couples therapy was for him as far back as season 1. Then it becomes a core part of his arc in season 2, because that experience is why he distrusts therapists period.

In keeping with Ted Lasso generally being about different kinds of men, all of whom are Ted's foils—Ted is basically a superhero and all the other men on the show are his rogues gallery—there's something insidious about a man whose job it is to be a therapist, to formally do what Ted informally does, but takes advantage of people's vulnerability. Him forming a bond with Ted's wife is one thing, but it's clear that a part of his interactions with Ted involved his not forming the same bonds with Ted, hence that bit where Ted looks through his texts with the counselor and it's just a clinical "your next session is at XX:XX on X/XX" every two weeks, like clockwork. So it's not just that he got close to Ted's wife—it's that Ted reached out to him too, and received nothing back.

Jason Sudeikis has been talked about as kind-of-grody for a while, and not just regarding the Olivia Wilde stuff, but it feels disingenuous to think that a conversation where Ted asks his wife to talk with him, and then says, "Frankly, I'm hurt and upset about this thing" in a way that doesn't push any of his emotions on her, is somehow his way of turning his wife into an antagonist. The whole arc of his marriage has been Ted struggling with his need to support her despite feeling heartbroken; she is portrayed pretty constantly as a good person who is wracked with guilt over the fact that she doesn't love him the way she once did. And this step wasn't Ted turning on her: it was Ted realizing that he's allowed to feel hurt, and to express that hurt, without being unsupportive. Which is a really good message! And a rare one to depict in TV! It is, in fact, healthy and vitally important that you can share all your feelings with a loved ones, even if those feelings are negative. And Ted expresses them predictably healthily.

I wouldn't be surprised if, on some level, Ted Lasso was Jason Sudeikis's fantasy about the man he wishes he could be. The whole thing is a male power fantasy, only the "power" in question is "what if you were good and nice and supportive and able to play
a meaningful part in other people's lives?" And sure, on some level it's propaganda, because you can't script and play a character who's a Good Person without knowing that people will confuse you for your character. But it's possible to be kind of grody and wish you were better and nicer without it reducing all the way down to "manipulative scheme." And in either event, I'm personally less interested in Jason's qualities as an IRL partner than in whether or not Ted Lasso is a good show, which—for all my gripes with it—I think it is.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 6:10 AM on April 11, 2023 [17 favorites]

I wouldn't be surprised if, on some level, Ted Lasso was Jason Sudeikis's fantasy about the man he wishes he could be.

I'd concur with this. Or that he's trying to be.

And in either event, I'm personally less interested in Jason's qualities as an IRL partner than in whether or not Ted Lasso is a good show, which—for all my gripes with it—I think it is.

posted by jenfullmoon at 8:58 AM on April 11, 2023 [3 favorites]

Brett Goldstein on Being a F—ing Sex Symbol, Wanting More ‘Ted Lasso’ and Breaking His Rule of Not Smiling in Photos [Variety]
posted by ellieBOA at 2:59 PM on April 11, 2023 [6 favorites]

New episode dropped early! Is anyone ready to make a new post for it?
posted by tzikeh at 7:11 PM on April 11, 2023 [1 favorite]

(I'll just say "I knew it" and wait for the next post)
posted by tzikeh at 7:14 PM on April 11, 2023

I'm in rehearsal and gonna run late, someone else has to make the post, hopefully.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:27 PM on April 11, 2023

Noting first of all that Richmond's replacement kit man after Nate, is a character actually called Will Kitman. An episode or two before, Zava had singled him out as having one of the most important roles on the team. But here, in a foreshadowing of the problems Richmond are about to have in the Westham game, we see that nobody goes to help him as they get off the bus and he is left to struggle with some enormous kit bags. I like that the show focuses on how apparently small details like this can be indicators of much bigger problems.
posted by rongorongo at 10:49 PM on April 12, 2023 [4 favorites]

Hmm, I just looked at the latest free thread and followed the link to here. It looks like Zava's eldest kid's name isn't just nonsense words.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 4:43 AM on April 17, 2023 [3 favorites]

Everything else has been covered at this point, but let me just say that I am shook by the revelation that West Ham is two words.
posted by schmod at 4:32 PM on July 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

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