Ted Lasso: Mom City
May 23, 2023 10:40 PM - Season 3, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Apparently I can't really say much here other than Man City and moms are involved?

Plots:

* Jamie is straight up Unhappy Puppy-like, CRIES ON ROY LEVEL OF THIS-at going back to Man City/dealing with shitty dad. Jamie, Roy and Keeley (who claim to be "just friends," OH COME ON, SHOW) all go to Jamie's mum's house, where she is super sweet and Teen Jamie had posters of Roy and Keeley in his teen bedroom. After an injury (?) during the game, Ted gives Jamie a nice talk about forgiveness and Jamie pulls on through, winning the game. It appears that Jamie's shitty dad isn't there/possibly dead.

* Oh yeah, and Roy wants to be more than friends with Keeley.

* Nate is now working at Taste of Athens, and enjoying it. Some of the team come by floating the idea of Nate coming back to Richmond, which he declines. Sounds like most people at Richmond would be fine with this except for Beard. Jade has Derek fire him so he'll go back. Ted watches the video of Nate's sign vandalism and points out to Beard that Nate was hiding under a desk for like 5 HOURS after that, and should we judge someone by their worst moment? By the end of the episode, Nate's writing a 60 page apology letter to Ted when Beard comes over....

* BEARD'S BACKSTORY: He went to prison for drugs ("I stole a loaf of meth"), Ted took him in and gave him a job. Beard forgives Nate and asks him back.

* Ted's mom shows up out of nowhere for a visit. Ted lets her hang around and everyone loves her, but he's distinctively standoffish until the end, when he drops a few f-bombs at her for never talking about his dad's death. They discuss, make up, and she tells him his son misses him. By the end of the episode it sure sounds like it's leading up to Ted's "truth bomb" being "I quit to go home to my son," which will surprise no one.

* Rebecca gets some nighttime visitors; Bex and...I think that's Ms. Kakes, right? HOO BOY DO I WANT TO KNOW WHAT WENT ON WITH THIS. And what Nate knows about it too, enough to quit, one presumes.
... Anyone wonder if Bex is gonna move into Rebecca's with the baby now?

Commentary: I know everyone's gonna grumble about Nate. I'm fine with this. For fuck's sake, get Roy and Keeley back together officially. Ted going home is predictable. Beard going to jail for drugs....absolutely fits, actually.

And seriously, what's with Jade?! That girl is just plain bizarre. She's like, being some kind of weird scheme-y mastermind in this?! Possibly has a sense of humor, but it's the most deadpan thing you ever saw in your life. Someone please post if they find an interview with the actress?

(Note: next week I'll probably be in a rehearsal for SOME show/not home until late. If someone else wants to write the last post, step up, I won't mind.)

Quotes:
Nate: "So why do we put chairs on tables?" Jade: "The patriarchy."

Richmond guys: "We're here to see Nathan Shelley? We hear he works here?"
Jade: "No such man exists."
(Nate is clearly whistling in the background.)

Roy: "We got City on Saturday, so we need you to be the prickiest prick you've ever been in your little prick life." (followed by Jamie STRAIGHT UP CRYING.)
Jamie: "WHERE THE FUCK ARE MY WINGS ROYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??????"
Roy: "Will? You missed a good one."

Higgins: "Well, I do believe in second chances, Ted. That's why I'm still married and all my sons are alive."

Roy: "I've just come down with a case of none of your fucking business."

Beard: "IF YOU BRING THAT JUDAS BACK I WILL BURN THIS PLACE TO THE FUCKING GROUND." (And Beard may break out axes.)

Beard is in love. I can't with that.

Mae: "You know, Ted, pinball is a lot more fun if you use an actual ball."

Mae quotes the "They fuck you up, your mum and dad" poem. Love it.

Every time Nate points at his girlfriend, she's gone.

Jamie on his hair dye: "I kept saying it's fucking walnut mist, mate."

Wow, Jade made the boss fire him. Damn, girl.

Roy: "I played hurt all the time." Beard: "You can't walk up stairs!"

Ohhhhhhhhh, Jamie's dad is dead? Or elsewhere?

Nate hid under a desk for five hours. Even Ted finds this funny.

Ted: "I hope that either all of us or none of us are judged by the actions of our weakest moments, but rather by the strength we show when and if we're ever given a second chance."

Nate: "Currently writing Ted an apology letter. It's 60 pages, but I'm just looking for a few trims, so--"

DAMN BEARD USED TO BE IN PRISON. HE DID HAVE A DEEP DARK SECRET!....that Ted took him in. "And in return, I stole his car." ... "Our story is very similar to Les Mis, yes. I went to prison for stealing a loaf of meth."

"So to honor that, I forgive you. I offer you a job. And the life part's up to you." -Beard

Nate: "You sure you don't wanna headbutt me? I think it might make us feel better." (Beard does a very gentle one, followed by a hug.)

Ted to his mom: "Fuck you for not wanting to talk...and fuck you for not telling me you were coming."

Bex at the door. AND MS. KAKES, I think?

Rebecca and Ted: "No, this is that time of year when I come down here and reveal something to you."
'Oh snap, that's right! Okay!" ...
"I've got nothing!" "No truth bomb this year!"
"I got one."
posted by jenfullmoon (129 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Odds that Ted’s truth bomb is a head fake by the writers is infinitesimal, right?

I didn’t buy that the players all wanted Nate back and already forgave him, but Beard continues to steal the show these last few episodes and his coming around was more believable (and Ted’s was a given I think)
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:57 PM on May 23, 2023 [9 favorites]


The Good:

Loved Jamie's mother and step-dad so much! "My sexy little baby" just made me understand so many of Jamie's weird little phrases. His step-dad is so cute with his baking nerdery, tweaking Paul Hollywood's recipes and proud of his bain-marie.

The “fucking hell” reactions from Keeley and Roy re: posters in Jamie's bedroom. Also Jamie’s step-dad confirming that Roy’s poster was the constant, when posters of other footballers came and went. Aww!

Barbara angling for a compliment from Roy about how nice she looks today.

Higgins being too nervous to cheer, for fear of jinxing things. I can relate when it comes to some of my favorite athletes/teams.

Ted finally letting some of his anger at his mother out. Their scenes together were so tense on his part, it was such a relief to see it released.

The Best:
Jamie recovering his inner prick towards the end, and taunting the Manchester crowd the way I wanted him to, and making all his hard work pay off by making that goal. He has worked so fucking hard this year, and if anyone deserves this implausible near-championship, it’s him.

The Bad:

Colin/Isaac taking it upon themselves to invite Nate back (presumably because Will told them, “Oh, yeah, he was an abusive shit to me last year, but he left a lovely apology card, so I guess that means you’ll all immediately want him back, with no debate whatsoever”). Which led to Jade forcing Derek to fire Nate, which led to a scene with Nate & Derek. I don't care about Derek! I also want Nate to have more agency in his redemption arc and not have other people driving things so much! (Last week it was his dad). I’d much rather have the Derek-scene time be used for a scene where Nate explains to Jade exactly why he thinks he wouldn't be welcome in Richmond. Or even sits her down and starts to explain, and then we cut back to her reaction at the end of the conversation.

I’ve been frustrated with the Jade storyline, because I think it’s not particularly interesting if Nate is nice to a woman he’s dating—there are plenty of heterosexual dudes who are capable of being nice to their partners, and horrible to everyone else. One of Nate’s issues in Season 2 was that the way he treated people depended on their perceived status—saying unkind things to Colin, but not Jamie or Isaac, because Jamie and Isaac were better players in Nate’s opinion. Or bullying Will because Will was just the kitman. So I would much rather have had Nate’s inevitable redemption arc be about him learning to treat all people with kindness, even if they weren’t people he wanted to date, or to impress. (The Love Hounds scene did not demonstrate that Nate had made much progress in that area, IMO. We'd have a better handle on whether that was an aberration or not if the Jade storyline didn't take up so much of his arc).

But for the love of all that is holy, since he does have this girlfriend, at least give us her on-screen reaction to “Last year I leaked Ted’s mental health crisis to the press, out of spite.” She doesn’t have to break up with him, or even ask, “what would you do to me if I made you angry like Ted did?” Just like a “do you feel like you’d make better decisions now? Or do you think you’d fall back into the same patterns if you went back?” would be better than the stupid Derek scene we got.

The I-Don't-Quite-Know-What-To-Make-of-It:

Roy/Keeley, since they punted on Roy’s declaration here.

Beard’s confession to Nate was a lot of exposition to dump really quickly. In the plus column: it gave Brendan Hunt a scene to sink his teeth into. In the minus column: yet another thing in Nate’s arc that was given to Nate, not something driven/earned by Nate himself.

What’s up with Jamie’s dad. Depends on where they go with it, I guess. I’d be fine if that’s the last we see Jamie’s dad or hear about him again. I’d really rather not have the last episode clogged up with abusive dad apology scene(s).

Rupert. Right now, I think I would rather have Rupert disposed of with a “Rupert returned to his home planet” text on the screen, and Rebecca offering Bex and Ms. Kakes jobs if they want them. But I suppose that the writers might devise some creative Rupert-comeuppance that I might enjoy, so I’ll keep an open mind for the final episode.
posted by creepygirl at 10:57 PM on May 23, 2023 [7 favorites]


I went back and watched the first minute of episode 1 which was Ted at the airport seeming like he’s flying back to Kansas before they show Henry. The last episode is titled So Long, Farewell. Like there’s really zero chance Ted doesn’t go back to Kansas, right?
posted by TwoWordReview at 11:14 PM on May 23, 2023 [1 favorite]


This episode was ALL OVER THE FUCKING PLACE.

Ohhhhhhhhh, Jamie's dad is dead? Or elsewhere?

I couldn't tell if it was an old-age home or a rehab facility.

Nate... I'm not gonna bother. Others here will write about it more eloquently than I can.

It's just fanfiction now. It's like the show got canceled after the second season, someone put up a fanfic challenge for fanfic writers to put together a final season, and so we have the fanfiction telling of the Third Season That Never Was group project. Some of it is written by really good writers, some by competent-but-that's-all writers, and some might as well have a voice-over talking about "the other man" and "cerulean orbs."

Some of it is highly enjoyable, some of it is terrible, almost none of it actually works the way it should have, how dare they spend literally one second having Ted shout obscenities at his mother, and then there are the Roy/Keeley/Jamie fanfic writers who are making out like bandits (no pun intended).

If the "You're going to have a family; you're going to be a mother" psychic prediction is meant to be about Rebecca becoming a mother-like figure to Rupert's child when Bex divorces Rupert and wins full custody, I'm burning London to the ground. Fuck that story fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it sideways.

Well, it's over next week, so there's that.

(Even though it was a total info-dump, I really enjoyed getting backstory on Beard. Shame it came about because NNNNNNNNNNate.)
posted by tzikeh at 11:43 PM on May 23, 2023 [12 favorites]


I'll skip over the dumb parts because, well, they're dumb, and I'm tired of being annoyed at them.

Everything else has been so clumsily dragged across the finish line, but Jamie's arc has been so tenderly done. Even when we've gone episodes without any plot-related progress, it's seemed like he's been working on himself in the interim.

But the fact that he can't find his dad in the crowd, and then he just has to do the work on his own with some prompting from Ted, is great. He's been fixating on the actual guy, but Ted shows him that he can get the catharsis he wants without the actual guy around. He can say whatever he wants to the depiction of his dad in his own head, and then forgive him, and the brain will actually accept it, because brains are weird. In real life the effects of the epiphany would take longer, but if Ted Lasso were like real life, we wouldn't be watching it.

And then we find out that Jamie's dad is in rehab — and, yes, I'd bet a fiver that that's where he is. I like the subtlety. You can figure it out from the setting and the fact that James is nigh unrecognizable, and proud of his son.

Jamie's mom gives the right advice — she says something like “all you need to know about your dad is that he is who he is, and he'll never change” — because that's what you need to believe. You can't moor your emotions onto chaotic people and make them implicitly responsible for your happiness. The best version of Jamie is the guy who can disentangle his approach to his job from his feelings about his dad.

But James is the main character of his own life, and we get just enough of him here to feel good about his future. Maybe he'll clean up his act and maybe he won't, but at least we get a glimpse of the guy and how he truly feels about his son.

I'm really intrigued about what they're setting up for Rupert, but I'm also trying to stay guarded because they haven't exactly lined up the dominos in spectacular fashion so far.
posted by savetheclocktower at 12:25 AM on May 24, 2023 [5 favorites]


I literally expected the opener with Isaac, Colin, and Will showing up at Taste of Athens to turn out to be a dream sequence, it was so bonkers. The wild storytelling choices in this Nate redemption speedrun have audacity going for them, if nothing else. I'm very glad they decided to show us ONE fucking person still struggling to process Nate's shit behavior and I'm glad it was Beard, because the conclusion of that arc actually did work OK for me.

PEP! PEP! PEP! The moment with him and Jamie was so small and so perfect, just the most delicious fan service possible. Really, everything to do with Jamie this week was so good (give Phil Dunster an Emmy nom goddammit). I'm one of the aforementioned Keeley/Roy/Jamie truthers and I felt pretty well fed with this episode. So many scenes I wanted to see this season took place off camera that the three-way kissing might as well have been off camera too.

For personal reasons I was momentarily furious about James in rehab, but this wouldn't be the show that it is without the possibility of redemption for absolutely everybody, I guess. He'll either do the work or he won't. Jamie will be fine either way, it looks like, so that's all right.

They have a lot to wrap up with the last episode and I have no confidence that they'll stick the landing, but I'm also a sucker who cried a bunch this week already so I'm sure I'll do the same again next week.
posted by merriment at 5:13 AM on May 24, 2023 [5 favorites]


Random unstructured thoughts!

At least one person on the writing team has very clearly worked at a restaurant based on that back office scene. The “I can’t tell you what she’s threatened me with” bit is scarcely even in the realm of exaggeration.

Kind of can’t believe I’ve managed to fail to recognize the foreshadowing significance of the Wizard of Oz pinball machine. Then the movie choice not only provided a moment for Rebecca and Sam to share a Meaningful Glance, but also contained “Somewhere Over the Rainbow, for more Oz “back to Kansas at the end” emphasis.

I found myself thinking about Rebecca’s second-to-last-episode-of-the-season confessions right before the show hung a lampshade on it. It’s completely obvious to me what he said after they cut, personally (“I’ve learned to appreciate tea”)

Beard’s backstory makes perfect sense, and I wonder how long they’ve known it. It explains a lot, even down to why he has chosen to uproot his life and move to England to work with a friend. The Les Misérables angle made me wonder if the extreme close-up camera angle was meant as an homage to one of the two types of shots used in the Hugh Jackman movie adaptation.

Love the way they brought back Keeley’s hotel information channel thing.

I find it amusing in retrospect that Nate only knows Grand Gestures as a way to try to connect with people. Perhaps it’s related in some way to the pressure of his childhood? Conceivable. Or maybe he’s just kind of a nervous type who gets stuck in his own head.

I read the situation with Jamie’s dad as rehab, given the juxtaposition of “friends with hip flasks talk about him in the past tense” right before it. It is ambiguous, though, true.

Jamie limping off the field and getting applause after hurting his foot is a great parallel to his childhood hero’s last game. Hopefully he’ll be okay, or at least get into coaching?

I think it really is true that Ted Lasso the persona is finally starting to fray around the edges, and Ted Lasso the person is starting to take shape. It’ll be interesting seeing how they tie things up next week. One thing I do know: it will end with an extreme close-up on Ted’s face.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:16 AM on May 24, 2023 [14 favorites]


The “I can’t tell you what she’s threatened me with” bit is scarcely even in the realm of exaggeration.

Yeah, I figured he'd end that with "She threatened to report me to... literally anyone."
posted by Etrigan at 5:33 AM on May 24, 2023 [1 favorite]


I think the dual posters of Roy and Keeley on Jamie's wall are a subtle hint that the two of them are going to get together, because Jamie loves and idolizes them both, but idolizing someone doesn't make a good foundation for a relationship.

And yes, agree that it's obvious Jamie's dad is in rehab or something. Hard cut from buddies drinking out of a flask to a clean room with people very conspicuously drinking coffee. Love that for him. Don't think we'll need a big scene out of that in the finale, but there will likely be a minute or two about it, and then more in the spinoff.

I think we are getting a Beard story dump because he's going to be a part of the spinoff series so they have to make us care about him as something more than just the color guy.

I liked, and also felt really uncomfortable with, the thank you fuck you scene. It told us a lot about how Ted came to be the guy he is, but I can't imagine using that phrase TO my mother whom I care about very much, especially with the upbringing they would have that would cause them to have those accents.

I didn't love how Nate took the "genius" thing from the last episode so far. Talking about how serving nuts is such a good idea, and why doesn't anyone else see that. He's still got that Wonder Kid mentality that causes him to look down on other people, and I don't think that's a good thing. I want him to have a happy ending, but I'm still not sure the writers have earned him getting one.

I like that the restaurant manager was putting away a small hand mirror as Nate walked in so that we didn't have to worry (as much) that the show was giving us a hidden sexual assault story in there. I'd like to hope that Jade will become a more fully-fledged character in the spinoff, so that I can better understand how she saw something in Nate back before he really came back to himself.
posted by Night_owl at 5:54 AM on May 24, 2023 [8 favorites]


I still feels the Nate story arc is going a bit too fast, but one thought I was having this week is that forgiving is not waiting for somebody to have make full amends and reparations, it's about accepting those initial steps and going with it.

So while it's good we saw Nate make some moves to make things right, I now think the arc is not really about Nate earning redemption, it's about Ted & the Richmond team forgiving Nate. And that should have been obvious to me, this is what this show is.

I really liked that Will was with the players when they went to see Nate and I had a good laugh when McAdoo called him Nate the Great for suggesting 25 kebabs of each when he was stumped about what meat to get. Rebecca has flawless kebab eating technique.

The players carrying a seemingly passed out Will out of the bus! The show may not be perfect, but it does so many little things right. And the face the bug driver makes after they leave what has probably been a very annoying ride for him to drive.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 6:37 AM on May 24, 2023 [17 favorites]


Also the mask of Zoreaux!
posted by WaterAndPixels at 6:54 AM on May 24, 2023 [27 favorites]


Barbara and Roy was an interaction I didn’t know I needed! And loved seeing Pep Guardiola (not a City fan!).

Always good to hear Philip Larkin.
posted by ellieBOA at 7:07 AM on May 24, 2023 [8 favorites]


I now think the arc is not really about Nate earning redemption, it's about Ted & the Richmond team forgiving Nate. And that should have been obvious to me, this is what this show is.

THANK you for articulating this - I think some version of this every time I hear or read "he hasn't earned it yet"...I'm like...that's the point. Helping people be the best version of themselves carries the direct implication that they are NOT THAT, not yet, and it's a wildly generous and hopeful thing to meet people where they are and how they are and put your shoulder to it.

I recognize that people have different lived experiences, with people who take advantage of generosity and hope, but I'd personally rather be someone who is hopeful and sometimes let down than to wall myself off. And I don't always achieve that, but I always want to try.
posted by ersatzkat at 7:29 AM on May 24, 2023 [53 favorites]


I loved how Ted's mom was basically Ted v.1 and Ted was getting SO ANNOYED by all the Tedness. It really shows how he's coming out of that "everything is great and rosy and perfect" persona and coming into his actual self.

I swear to god if Roy and Keeley don't get back together I will very angrily post about my feelings on the internet. Or at least don't have Keeley get back together with Jamie. I love him but no.
posted by cooker girl at 7:31 AM on May 24, 2023 [14 favorites]


Re: The Wizard of Oz allusions -- that final song was Brandi Carlisle singing "Home" from The Wiz.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:49 AM on May 24, 2023 [10 favorites]


Here is a statement I never thought I’d say: as much as I love Rebecca and Roy and Keeley, Jamie has become the only 3-dimensional character in the series, and that is 100% Phil Dunster‘s skillful acting. A lot of the fullness of Jamie, for me, are the background reaction choices Phil makes for Jamie. At this point, I’m game to see anything else he’s in, just to see what else he can do.

I loved the scene where Roy and Keeley join Jamie while he’s icing his ankle: the people he has admired his entire life admire him back. And the implication that the hard work and humility of working on “who you are off the field” gets noticed and appreciated by like-hearted people.

And just because — did y’all see how long Beard kept his eyes wide open during his monologue? No - seriously - it’s insane!! Like The Lighthouse level of staring unblinking in maniac monologue long! Go back and try to keep your eyes open the whole time - it’s elite-athlete level of eyeball control!
posted by Silvery Fish at 7:52 AM on May 24, 2023 [22 favorites]


He's still got that Wonder Kid mentality

I've been enjoying watching Nate slowly losing the will to fight his way out of the sucking bog of knowing that the entire world will always fail to say "wunderkind".
posted by flabdablet at 8:03 AM on May 24, 2023 [7 favorites]


I’m sorry, is no one else expecting a happy thruple with Keeley, Roy and Jamie? The show has had threesomes already and frankly, given the show is fanservice at this point, I think we should get all of Jamie’s childhood dreams realised.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:37 AM on May 24, 2023 [11 favorites]


I loved this episode, I know it the arcs this season have been meh and Jade is all over the place, but it hit all the Lasso feels for me
- seeing the similarities between Ted and his mom. And yet like her cohort, she’s not interested in therapy, she’s good where she’s at, but appreciates what it’s done for him. That little “fu” scene resolved a little tidy for a pair so repressed but good enough for a dramedy series.
- do adult sons cuddle their moms these days? Because as my son nears tweenage I am praying I still get the cuddles. That scene was a little uncomfortable for me since the actress looked like five years older than him??? But I don’t know what “adults these days” do? Some stuff to unpack there.
- Keely / Roy have such natural chemistry. It just flows. Rom-com but he has to propose by the end of the season, lock that shit in Roy!
- Beard reveal. Omg.
- I finally understand why they’re always watching movies the night before a game. Rom-communism!
- Ted afraid to connect to his son. Omg does that hit deep.
- the relaxed three way friendship Roy Jamie and keeley. So sweet.
- everybody eating skewers, and slowly saying “fuuuuuuuuck” (fudge in Teds case): discuss.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:40 AM on May 24, 2023 [6 favorites]


That scene was a little uncomfortable for me since the actress looked like five years older than him???

12 years between them in real life 😂
posted by ellieBOA at 9:56 AM on May 24, 2023 [10 favorites]


The adult cuddle between Jamie and his mom moved me to tears. My son and I are close like that -- he was an epic cuddler when little, and though he's now 20, I will occasionally get a full embrace like that. It's a way that we're close with each other, and I know not every parent has this with their child.

Seeing that Jamie's mom was so young-looking just hammered home the idea that she had him when she was very young, which was probably why she was with his dad in the first place -- didn't know better, didn't have better resources perhaps, was too young and was making dumb decisions. And that made it easy for me to extrapolate that she and Jamie were close when he was little, and that just didn't go away as he grew.

On top of all that, I love that she'd found a way to make a stable life with a man who seemed extremely stable.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:56 AM on May 24, 2023 [20 favorites]


I really appreciate that a show so much about fathers (and toxic masculinity, etc.) gave us such a wonderful mothers episode. Totally unexpected.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:19 AM on May 24, 2023 [10 favorites]


Also, yeah, it looked like Jamie's dad is in rehab, and was watching the game because he wanted to see his son play because he loves him. His friends were toasting the memory of their drunken companion, who is effectively dead to them because (hopefully) Jamie's dad is sober and recovering now. I assume that being literally punched in the face by his son was an effective wake-up call.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:23 AM on May 24, 2023 [5 favorites]


I would LOVE a Roy/Keeley/Jamie threesome, but honestly, I cannot picture Roy going for it :/
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:10 AM on May 24, 2023 [5 favorites]


I would LOVE a Roy/Keeley/Jamie threesome, but honestly, I cannot picture Roy going for it :/

I am so, so sorry for this:

Thirsty fan: Ugh Roy Kent is so hot, I want to sit on his face.

Thirstier fan: You can have his face, I just want to sit on his forehead!
posted by sixswitch at 11:19 AM on May 24, 2023 [1 favorite]


The Ted/Mom FU scene was brutal. It was uncomfortable and I can only imagine they went that route to really pound into everyone's minds how much Ted felt let down by his mother. We're talking years of pent up frustration and disappointment. For all that, the FU repeats seemed a little too much.

I'm really starting to feel like Jade is a manic pixie dream girl, but not manic, not pixie. Her ability to vanish, just like her polish accent, almost makes it seem like she's only toying with reality. Were it not other characters engaging with her, I'd almost think she was a figment of Nate's imagination.

Isaac and company just randomly showing up at the restaurant to ask Nate to come back just felt like it came out of nowhere. There had been no previous team discussion about Nate, other than Beard's intent to go throw axes at his picture, and the chitchat present from other parties in the show, such as Rebecca asking, the news being reported, and so on. For a show which loves team conversations, not showing anything like this in advance of the scene was a bit bizarre.

Why did no one tell Nate his salty nuts idea wasn't some genius level take? POP HIS BUBBLE PEOPLE. His actor does fantastic at portraying the character, and it helps a lot through all these moments.

I can't believe all the Wizard of Oz cues are misdirection. So Ted wins the Premiere League, then heads back to Kansas, because there's no place like home. Unexpected cheap shot at Topeka. Surely that's the second best city in the state?? I can say with authority that Mae's pub is better than the Irish pub in Jefferson City, Missouri, though.

It's very easy to see a threesome with Roy, Keeley, and Jamie, but at the same time, Roy has so much trouble simply sharing emotions with one person, I don't think he can handle doing it with two. Much of this episode was definitely built to show that Roy is comfortable in who he is, and how he believes Keeley feels about him, that he no longer views Jamie as a threat to that happiness. Fact, they're friends, but this season has built on Roy believing in himself.
posted by Atreides at 11:49 AM on May 24, 2023 [6 favorites]


Bex needs advice from Rebecca because she's about to take West Ham away from Rupert for infidelity. Pretty sure.
posted by Molesome at 12:15 PM on May 24, 2023 [33 favorites]


That. Sounds. Awesome.
posted by Night_owl at 12:24 PM on May 24, 2023 [2 favorites]


I loved the Rebecca eating kebab and Jade eating kebab scenes. Also the apple eating. Kind of a fuck you to the patriarchy in its own way. Women eating with appetite and gusto? That’s fucking political in the best possible way. I will also be outraged if Rebecca ends up mothering Rupert’s child in some way. Finally, did anyone else enjoy how Roy decided to get a hug from Jamie’s yummy mummy and Keeley just spun him around to prevent an unfortunate occurrence? Honesty, Roy’s attempt made no sense to me (but it was late and maybe they’d been drinking). It made me laugh anyway.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:35 PM on May 24, 2023 [6 favorites]


Molesome: Bex needs advice from Rebecca because she's about to take West Ham away from Rupert for infidelity. Pretty sure.

I WILL WATCH THE FUCK OUT OF THAT SHOW PLEASE AND THANK YOU. God, anything would be better than my fears about the Rupert-spawn.

(Is it possible Ms. Kakes is pregnant too? Rupert wouldn't be that careless, would he?)
posted by tzikeh at 12:39 PM on May 24, 2023 [3 favorites]


Bex needs advice from Rebecca because she's about to take West Ham away from Rupert for infidelity. Pretty sure.

Does infidelity break a pre-nup agreement in England?

Because in the Diamond Dogs episode in Season 1, Rupert announces his engagement to Bex thusly:

But, well, when we're married, what's hers will be mine and what's mine... well, that'll stay mine 'cause I've learned from you.

But I guess a continuity error would be the least of this season's writing sins, so sure, let's give West Ham to Bex.
posted by creepygirl at 12:45 PM on May 24, 2023 [4 favorites]


I can think of plenty of ways to get West Ham to Bex that wouldn't require even the slightest of retcons:
  • Rupert obtained West Ham while married to Bex, and the prenup doesn't cover things acquired during the marriage.
  • Rupert was bragging to Rebecca but folded when her lawyer pushed back.
  • Rupert grew up as a Richmond fan. It hurt him when Rebecca got it. West Ham is just a thing, and if he has to hand it over to Bex to get rid of her and stop paying his very expensive lawyers, then he'll do it.

posted by Etrigan at 1:18 PM on May 24, 2023 [7 favorites]


> I couldn't tell if it was an old-age home or a rehab facility.
They're all wearing the same tracksuit, so unlikely to be a home. I'm unfamiliar with rehab, but my initial take was "low-security prison" (which, for me, seems more likely).

> did anyone else enjoy how Roy decided to get a hug from Jamie’s yummy mummy and Keeley just spun him around to prevent an unfortunate occurrence?
I can't put my finger on it, but I'm pretty sure this is a reference to some throw-away line in season one, when Roy was winding up Jamie about sleeping with his mum.

> I've been enjoying watching Nate slowly losing the will to fight his way out of the sucking bog of knowing that the entire world will always fail to say "wunderkind".

It was very quiet, but this episode he did admit for the first time that he said "Wonder Kid". That's.. actual growth.

The nate redemption tour can still get in the fucking bin, mind.
posted by coriolisdave at 2:59 PM on May 24, 2023 [5 favorites]


Lots of Queen references in this episode. And really, it is indeed a shame that Fat Bottomed Girls hasn’t been adopted by a football club. Then we have Sam Ryder singing Fought and Lost in collaboration with Brian May, near the end. And amazing song and worth another listen.
posted by rongorongo at 3:27 PM on May 24, 2023 [5 favorites]


I liked the bit with Beard and Nate at the end - forgiveness for Nate not because he's earned it, or because he deserves it, but because he needs it, as we all sometimes need some unearned grace in our lives. It doesn't quite solve the problem of whether he has learned much about being a good coach, or whether we really needed to spend some time on the dramatically inert Nate/Jade rom-com to get there, but I liked it.

Not quite enough to make up for the entirely unmotivated scene of Isaac, Colin and Will asking Nate to come back to Richmond, but my expectations are pretty low at this point.
posted by Jeanne at 4:12 PM on May 24, 2023 [12 favorites]


ellieBOA: "12 years between them in real life 😂"

If it helps at all: Phil Dunster is 31, but Jamie Tartt is not going to be any older than, like, 23. The thing Man City did when they loaned him out to another club is what you do with young phenoms who need match experience. I'd wager he was 20 in Season 1.
posted by savetheclocktower at 4:38 PM on May 24, 2023 [7 favorites]


Women eating with appetite and gusto? That’s fucking political in the best possible way.

I've also been working my way through The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and whether women do or do not eat (and how they police others' eating) is such an important plot point it was great to see this show showing a lot of women just doing normal "I like food" eating things, agreed.
posted by jessamyn at 4:46 PM on May 24, 2023 [9 favorites]


If it helps at all: Phil Dunster is 31, but Jamie Tartt is not going to be any older than, like, 23. The thing Man City did when they loaned him out to another club is what you do with young phenoms who need match experience. I'd wager he was 20 in Season 1.

In season 1 (Save the Children) Keely refers to him as a 23 year old footballer so he'd be 25ish now? Of course, she could have been approximating - the line was something like "When I was 18 I was dating a 23 year old footballer and now I'm almost 30 and still dating a 23 year old footballer."
posted by macfly at 5:21 PM on May 24, 2023 [3 favorites]


In the same episode, Ted also implies that Jamie is 23:

ROY: Just the usual. Jamie being a little bitch prima donna.

TED: Roy, let me ask you something. What were you like when you were 23? Playing in this league, making all that money.

ROY: Little bitch prima donna.
posted by creepygirl at 7:16 PM on May 24, 2023 [8 favorites]


Just want to say it’s an excellent use of the Buzzcocks’ “why can’t I touch it”. Manchester references, lyrics and mood.
posted by gluejar at 8:34 PM on May 24, 2023 [7 favorites]


dramatically inert Nate/Jade rom-com
Oh good god, are we all going to be converted to this version of rom-communism?? IS THIS A SLOW BURN JOKE?!?
posted by coriolisdave at 9:03 PM on May 24, 2023


The undercurrent story of Ted Lasso is how our behaviour, our reactivity to life events, our ability to relate to others are all shaped by the worlds of our upbringing.

Rebecca’s straying father and the eliding mentality of her mother during her childhood, produce her marriage to Rupert and her deflected need for domination, game-playing, disdain and control in her early relationships with Leslie and Ted. She was obviously raised wealthy, and this episode notes her wealth in ways it hasn’t quite done before [revelations of a private jet] showing how the social world of her childhood echoes out into her adult life. But now, she is able to critically distance herself from her earlier snobbery.

The competition with other women has been eroded over the three season arc beginning with her acceptance of Keely and stepping into her feminine power; the finding sources of knowledge within herself - instead of with her parents, Rupert or the tarot reader - show her land on being fit for mature responsibility. She has no bombshells for Ted. She’s living her authentic life. Like last week, she is now available for the sisterhood.

As in this episode with Ted and his mother, and with Jamie an his mother, Rebecca had her reckoning with hers in the previous season. She gets to say how angry she is to her, and yet also sing kindly about the disappointing father/ husband. Back then, as it is now, the theme is Never Gonna Give You Up.

Everyone persists. In this and last season Ted faces the separation he needs from his parents’ ways of doing things and what their way of doing things has meant for him. He abandoned his son physically like his father did to him. The key point about a son missing his father was Dottie’s main imparting news of her visit. He adopted his mother’s distracting humour [and what we see this episode, folksy embellishments that seem doddery rather than cute] and avoidance, and lost the chance for an authentic partnership with a wife who persevered in asking for it over and over. I think the ‘fuck yous’ were appropriate in the context of what Ted lost because his mother didn’t do the work.

Jamie’s source of resilience and perseverance in his sport, and also vanity, is shown in this episode to be sourced in the clearly secure, abiding and trusting attachment to his mother. Roy’s keenness to hug Jamie’s mum at their farewell seemed to me drawn not from lust but from childlike need for the beautiful thing that Jamie showed he had with his attachment, that Roy never had. I think it was really meaningful that the scenes at Jamie’s house moved Roy into Jamie’s childhood bedroom.

Nate’s narcissism and insecurity are also shown in terms of his upbringing. Beard too, is shown to have relied on Ted for parenting and attachment.

I dunno, sometimes this show has pissed me off but I am pretty good with how the arc that started in Season One is going to rest. Sometimes we have to go a long way to go home changed.
posted by honey-barbara at 11:44 PM on May 24, 2023 [27 favorites]


Then we have Sam Ryder singing Fought and Lost in collaboration with Brian May, near the end. And amazing song and worth another listen.
A little more follow up on my own comment here. Viewers may recall that Hannah Waddingham, who plays Rebecca - was a presenter at the 2023 Eurovision song contest - which also brought Sam Ryder to fame recently (and which will, I suspect, have sent many viewers in the direction of Ted Lasso). Given its background, this song will be the sort of massive global global hit that we will hear for years to come - so you can say your heard it here first - it was released for streaming along with the episode itself. But it seems to have been shoe horned into this episode at the last moment...

Ryder's song is heard for just a couple of minutes - getting cut before it reaches its main crescendo. It is shown over footage of Ted getting his Mum's cake, Will seeing a changing room tidied by Nate and Rebecca getting some unexpected visitors - but nothing that matches the drama of its very Ted Lasso appropriate lyrics. Apparently Marcus Mumford - who wrote the show's theme and incidental music - pulled some strings to get it used here - presumably well after original production. If I had been producer of this show, I would have structured an entire episode which thematically leads up to it.
posted by rongorongo at 11:53 PM on May 24, 2023 [2 favorites]


There was an in-joke for Hannah Waddingham fans in her “‘everybody goes on about a four-octave range but if you asked Freddie about his biggest gift, he would say ‘flipping straights’” as she is a noted four octave range singer herself I think.
posted by honey-barbara at 12:31 AM on May 25, 2023 [11 favorites]


I'm on board with Nate being given a second chance not because he's earned it, but just because he shows a desire to actually use it. Ted persuading Beard to give that chance, and Beard's way of offering it, seemed note-perfect to me. Geez it was rough getting to this point though!

I refuse to believe that Rebecca will end up with a baby by any method. Bex and Ms Kakes are there for revenge/living your best life advice I reckon.

Roy trying to hug Jamie's mum and Keeley's Roy-style growl at her poster just seemed like something funny for the actors rather than the characters. It'd have been better in a blooper reel. Phil Dunster continues to be amazing.

Like Dani, I'm very glad to see Roy and Keeley sitting next to each other and assume it means that if they're not back together now then they will be soon.

My head canon is that The Mask Of Zoreaux allows him to be who he really is, an amazing goal keeper. Van Damme is his alter ego only.

The scenes between Ted and his mum were perfect for a show paced like Season 1. I'm glad they're here now even if the journey to reach them has been rough like the one with Nate. I've yelled and screamed at my parents, but for someone who was saying "fudge" earlier in the episode this was much more realistic. There's no way Ted could get angry at his mum without also acknowledging the good parts of her parenting. It really was the most angry we've ever seen him, and once he'd been honest he was so relieved. I think he got the Fuck You / Thank You idea from when he asked Jamie what he'd say to his dad.
posted by harriet vane at 1:13 AM on May 25, 2023 [8 favorites]


Oh and someone on Reddit pointed out that Roy had signed that poster - there's a tiny black squiggle near his knee.
posted by harriet vane at 1:14 AM on May 25, 2023 [7 favorites]


Just want to say it’s an excellent use of the Buzzcocks’ “why can’t I touch it”.

I SCREAMED when it started.
posted by cooker girl at 5:38 AM on May 25, 2023 [4 favorites]


Lots of Queen references in this episode. And really, it is indeed a shame that Fat Bottomed Girls hasn’t been adopted by a football club. Then we have Sam Ryder singing Fought and Lost in collaboration with Brian May, near the end. yt And amazing song and worth another listen.

That song definitely has a strong Queen vibe to it, for a moment I thought that was a cover of an obscure Queen song I didn't know about.

That song feels is kind of like a bitter sweet complement for 'We Are The Champions', and I'm left wondering if we'll hear of this classic of classics for sporting victories in the next episode. Because if they have to not win the whole effing thing, it would have probably been better to keep 'Fought and Lost' for next episode.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 6:52 AM on May 25, 2023 [3 favorites]


OK LET'S TALK ABOUT NATE'S REDEMPTION ARC.

(Once again I'm typing this before reading anyone else's comments because I have to get it out.)

I have been one of the most critical about the treatment of Nate this season, and the fact that he seems not to have learned anything from his bad behavior, and hasn't put any real effort into trying to make things right.

AND THEY FLIPPED THE SCRIPT ON ME.

The ultimate message of this episode (and maybe the season) is that you should give people second chances WHETHER THEY DESERVE IT OR NOT. That is, everyone is entitled to redemption even if they don't have an arc. Nate is still a shitty, selfish person, and they forgive him anyway.

What a message. Forgiving people is a gift to yourself, not to the person you forgive. Hurt people hurt people. The way to solve many interpersonal problems is through kindness, not punishment or retribution. Jamie forgave his dad without knowing a thing about his circumstances, and it freed him. Beard paid Ted's kindness forward. Ted didn't let his mother off the hook, but he clearly loves her anyway. [Except Rupert. Fuck that guy.]

Bravo.

(Side note: When Beard described his story, I said "oh, like Les Miz" about half a second before Nate did. Hilarious.)
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 6:53 AM on May 25, 2023 [31 favorites]


Jamie's funk kind of puzzled me at first and I was wondering where they were going with all that. Happy where they ended up, though. I started out the series loathing Jamie, and now I'm so happy for where he's ended up. I really hope that his father is in rehab and we get to see him reconnect and start making amends.

I'm a sucker for redemption and forgiveness. I love that they pulled the rug out of all the complaints about "unearned" arc for Nate. Love it. And I feel like his refusal to just accept the invite for his job from the team also showed he understands he hadn't done the work, anyway.

My prediction is Nate is going to take over from Ted at the end of the season. I think they could do a Ted Lasso without Ted at this point. The entire season has been putting him out of the spotlight anyway. Whether they can keep the magic going or not is another story.

Loved the whole episode. Sad that it's ending. I need a Ted Lasso or Good Place type fix to keep me going these days, don't know what to replace them with. Good thing I have a lot of Terry Pratchett books in the meantime...
posted by jzb at 7:03 AM on May 25, 2023 [5 favorites]


I loved this episode. I don't have the hate for the show that people here generally seem to have. (But hating on shows seems to be a Metafilter thing for the most part.)

People keep talking about Nate's arc as a redemption arc. It's not - and neither was Jamie's, or Rebecca's. It's a restitution arc. They learned that they needed to make restitution for the things they did. They can never redeem their actions of the past. Rebecca hiring Ted so that he would fail and destroy the team, and sabotaging him when he started to have some success, is absolutely unredeemable. The only thing she can do is try to make restitution for those bad actions.

Nate did not JUST leave a note for Will Kitman. He snuck in to do ALL the kitman work - the laundry, hanging the uniforms, putting out the towels, etc. His actions were a much bigger apology than just words. Based on Will's behavior, you have to assume he talked about it with the team. And I seem to remember the team talking about Nate leaving West Ham, too. Honestly, writing an apology letter to Ted is a pretty epic thing to do. You have to get to a certain point to be able to apologize like that to someone you have wronged. Most people don't.

I love Jade and find her hilarious. And unlike others, I am seeing a lot more personality from her. Her disappearing act is a thing she did a little bit earlier in the show, and the way they've made it her thing cracks me up. Her dry sense of humor makes me laugh. I want a Jade episode like the Beard's Night Out episode. Or even a Jade episode in which all the Richmond stuff is going on around her - and she's pretty much ignoring it, so you just get the bits and pieces around the edges.
posted by rednikki at 7:18 AM on May 25, 2023 [25 favorites]


Rebecca gets some nighttime visitors; Bex and...I think that's Ms. Kakes, right? HOO BOY DO I WANT TO KNOW WHAT WENT ON WITH THIS.

I think Trent foreshadowed this in the previous episode or two when he said "I've heard rumblings about sexual harassment at West Ham". Like Bex isn't just angling for a private divorce but Bex+Kakes taking Rupert down in public.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:32 AM on May 25, 2023 [5 favorites]


The poster in the room where Jamie’s dad is watching the game says “Progress Not Perfection,” which I think is meant to imply a rehab facility.
posted by alicat at 7:40 AM on May 25, 2023 [15 favorites]


And I feel like his refusal to just accept the invite for his job from the team also showed he understands he hadn't done the work, anyway.

Shame. This is shame, and internal shame can fuck you up and prevent you from giving YOURSELF a second chance and making amends and just doing better just as much as anything our parents specifically did.

Mercy is the act of giving a person a second chance even if the other person hasn’t “earned” it. It’s a step beyond forgiveness. It’s the actual second chance.

Ted taking in Beard after jail was forgiveness.

Ted keeping Beard in his home and job after Beard stole his car is mercy.

Damn, I was glad we heard that story.
posted by Silvery Fish at 7:46 AM on May 25, 2023 [32 favorites]


I don't have the hate for the show that people here generally seem to have.

I don't think this is a fair characterization at all. I've read (and participated in most of) every Fanfare thread about Ted Lasso, and can't recall seeing a single person posting that they hate the show. This season, for instance, all of the criticism I've read (and the complaining, even) has been thoughtful reaction to something that people fundamentally love watching. Despite the power of the "thumbs up/thumbs down" metaphor in our culture, people's reactions to interesting shows are rarely merely binary; one can love an episodic creative work and have mixed reactions along the way, even strong ones.

It's like how long-time Star Trek fans famously love to complain about all the worst parts of Star Trek, a universe with multiple shows they love more than any others. To criticize is not to hate, to hate a show is to be mostly indifferent to it. Anyone typing as many comments--favorable or unfavorable--about a show as many of us have typed about Ted Lasso, does not hate that show: we love this show. And so we have hopes and expectations for it, and like to talk about it and dissect it some and try to figure out what makes it work and what larger ideas might be in play, because like all substantial creative work, it rewards discussion and repeated experience.

As mentioned upthread, I'm also hugely moved and impressed by the deft context shift in Nate's story, and our criticisms of it along the way are an interesting, real-time log of audience reaction to the writer's ideas and the show's major themes playing out and becoming clear as the three-season storytelling arc reaches conclusion. It's also, for me at least, a delightful reminder of why I'm not a professional writer: they're way better at this than I am, and the purpose and meaning of Nate's story demonstrates that pretty clearly. It also is an example of substantial work that will reward repeated experience: this whole show is going to land differently on rewatch, and I'm now excited to go back through and watch it all again, knowing clearly what the major themes are, where characters will go, and so on.

If hating on shows was the actual dominant vibe on Fanfare, I think most of the threads would have very few comments. Or most shows wouldn't even get posted. For me, anyway, I criticize things I find substantial in some way and worth paying attention to, and mostly ignore things that I think aren't very well-made or interesting. Maybe I just like liking things, but with so much stuff out there I really don't have time for what I might hate. And this show is not a show I hate, I love this show and am continually impressed and moved by it, even when aspects of it may disappoint me.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:43 AM on May 25, 2023 [28 favorites]


As a tangent, I also find Fanfare interesting generally because it so often reveals tension or dissonance between viewers' expectations and writers' choices. Sometimes, what is initially received as a bad creative choice is redeemed once the full story is told, or once an audience has had time to reflect on a specific choice. This dynamic has always been in play between artists and audiences (Nicolas Slonimsky documented it in his Lexicon of Musical Invective and composer Edgard Varèse famously remarked "contrary to general belief, an artist is never ahead of [their] time but most people are far behind theirs") and it's always interesting to me the kind of individual cognitive dissonance and collective cultural frisson that truly new, substantial creative work can stimulate. And occasionally, you can read it happening in real time in a forum like this one.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:02 AM on May 25, 2023 [9 favorites]


As a tangent, I also find Fanfare interesting generally because it so often reveals tension or dissonance between viewers' expectations and writers' choices.

This is really how I feel as well. Like I don't think there are many people in the Ted Lasso threads who legit hate the show (though you see that sometimes in threads about some shows that people are literally hate watching like a few people in the SNL threads) but they just... want it to be better sometimes.

I think what IS a MeFi thing is (occasionally) viewing any criticism of a thing as an excoriation of the thing when sometimes it's just people saying "This didn't work for me" or "I don't think this was a good way for the show to go about doing this thing." which is what I see people mainly saying in here. You see it in MeTa a lot, I think it's just a personality trait seen more in the Extremely Online than not.
posted by jessamyn at 9:48 AM on May 25, 2023 [14 favorites]


And I feel like his refusal to just accept the invite for his job from the team also showed he understands he hadn't done the work, anyway.

That part I disagree with. He perked up at the idea of coming back. But he refuses because the invite wasn’t approved (or known by Ted). Once Nate learns that this invite is outside of Ted’s knowledge he loses his spark.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:54 AM on May 25, 2023 [3 favorites]


I want a Jade episode like the Beard's Night Out episode. Or even a Jade episode in which all the Richmond stuff is going on around her - and she's pretty much ignoring it, so you just get the bits and pieces around the edges.

This would be amazeballs. It would be called “universal eyes of equanimity” for the way she sees everything and judges nothing.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:13 AM on May 25, 2023 [8 favorites]


Well, goddammit. I was content to be pissed off about Nate getting to go back to Richmond without earning redemption but then you all had to go and remind me of one of my favorite Shakespeare lines (from The Merchant of Venice):

The quality of mercy is not strain'd.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

And now I’m feeling like it’s Ted Lasso season one again and the show hasn’t gone as off the rails as I’d been feeling it had.

I had a lot of problems with things that other people have adequately addressed but I guess I’m reorienting myself around that one.

Also yeah, I can’t believe how the character I most despised (Jamie) at the beginning is now my fave.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 10:29 AM on May 25, 2023 [13 favorites]


My prediction is Nate is going to take over from Ted at the end of the season.

In this episode, they had Pep Guardiola, one of the greatest managers of all time, repeat Ted's mantra that helping players become the best versions of themselves was more important than wins and losses. They haven't forgotten that (yet).

If they wanted to make Nate Ted's successor in a way that would land well for me, they needed to show Nate nurturing other players, and other people. We're at the second-to-last episode, and we've never seen Nate nurture a player like Roy waking up before 4 am to coach Jamie, gently speaking to Isaac about anger issues, and patiently listening to Jamie ramble about his haircare ennui. Nate's arc this season has been way too much of Nate being nurtured by other people, and way too little of Nate nurturing other people:

His relationship with Jade is all about her nurturing him and making him feel better. We never once see him help work through a problem she has, or listen to her process her feelings about something.

He sets up the Love Hounds, has an opportunity to support/nurture one of his coworkers dropped into his lap, and chooses not to take that opportunity, because he wants support/listening/advice, but he doesn't want to have to give it in return.

When he gets depressed, his mom cooks for him, (for weeks maybe?) and his dad delivers a speech about what a genius Nate is and what a bad father he's been.

Everybody else works through their feelings of anger towards Nate, and invite him back. They go to the lengths of doing this in person and risk the possibility of him saying "No" to their face.

And the writers absolutely do know how to write a character who both gives and receives support to other people--in this very episode, Jamie got a lot of support and concern from other people. But we've also seen him be a tremendously kind and supportive friend to Roy, Keeley and Sam throughout this season.

If they think viewers don't need to see Nate doing that kind of emotional labor throughout the season (not just some last-minute apologies), and that he should get the head coaching position because he's a genius and it's important to forgive people, while still claiming to adhere to Ted/Pep's mantra, I will find that pretty disappointing. Especially when they showed us another coach (Roy) who has been putting in the work all season, at least as much (if not more) than Ted.
posted by creepygirl at 10:45 AM on May 25, 2023 [15 favorites]


I suppose anything is possible, but I think it's more likely that Nate comes back in a coaching role that is below Roy and Beard. The fact that he was willing to come back and do kit-man work suggests a newfound humility that would make that work.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:51 AM on May 25, 2023 [9 favorites]


I think it's more likely that Nate comes back in a coaching role that is below Roy and Beard

Me too, it makes the most sense for Roy to take over from Ted, and all of his growth this season has set him up to be capable of that. He's even the regular public face of the team to the press now. Nate is talented and capable as a coach, but still not personally ready for a leadership role (I now think that's what his terrible version of the Diamond Dogs was meant to show us, less that Nate is selfish and more that he's not yet ready to lead).

Whatever specific choices the writers made for the upcoming last episode, they've definitely set up a strong potential post-Ted show, I just don't have much sense of what it would be about (thematically). But IIRC that was the general sentiment when Better Call Saul was announced, these are great characters, great actors, great writers...but what's the story there to tell? Turns out, the 'great writers' part means they know the answer to that (or, presumably, they wouldn't be moving forward with the project).
posted by LooseFilter at 11:53 AM on May 25, 2023 [5 favorites]


Nate's redemption/restitution* arc is good, and lines up with the theme of the show. (And if I can toot my own horn for a secon, something I have been talking about all season.) Seeing people (including myself) struggle with this is, I think, because, while thematically aligned, is dramatically off. It doesn't feel like the writing has done the work. Maybe this gets solved when we can see the rest of the story, but I'm anxious about that.

When I watched this the other night, as soon as Mama Lasso was introduced, Mrs. nushustu and I were both like "sure. Why not. Why not introduce Ted's mom 1 episode before it's over." And then we had to pause and laugh about the Other Other Others, the literal fourth group of people living on the island in Lost. Who were introduced halfway through the final season of that show. Every time writers have to bring in a new person/group at the end to do the things that their characters can't, it's a sign that something went off the rails somewhere.

So while I very much enjoyed most of this episode, (and yes, again, the actor who plays Jamie Tartt needs an Emmy and then to be cast as James Bond IMMEDIATELY) I still think that, even if this show ends well, this last season has been disappointing. I still love it, but I wish they had had time to tighten it up, probably drop half the B plots from earlier in the season (why Zava? Why Jack?) and tell the rest of this story in half-hour chunks instead of 65-minute sprints to the end.



* h/t rednikki: good call on that.
posted by nushustu at 12:31 PM on May 25, 2023 [4 favorites]


Suppose we do get an AFC Richmond spin-off out of this. In that case, I suspect that the reason we didn't see Nate "doing the work" this season is that it will probably be one of the main plots of the hypothetical new show's first season, with Nate thinking all is OK now that he's back at Richmond but then discovering for himself, that no, he still has to put in the work on himself, and that despite everyone extending mercy/forgiveness to him, he's still a shit human being who needs to become a better human being.
posted by KingEdRa at 12:48 PM on May 25, 2023 [1 favorite]


I love this show and I hope it never spins off. Let all these actors go on to other projects.
posted by ColdChef at 12:53 PM on May 25, 2023 [14 favorites]


I don't have the hate for the show that people here generally seem to have.
------
I don't think this is a fair characterization at all. I've read (and participated in most of) every Fanfare thread about Ted Lasso, and can't recall seeing a single person posting that they hate the show.


Really? There has been a lot of piling-on and entire episode threads that were almost exclusively negative. I mostly stopped participating and even reading the threads because I felt like a dipshit for enjoying an episode. People have said things like "I'm pretty much just hate-watching now." I was on the verge of making a MeTa pony request for a "hatewatch"label like the "rewatch" etc. ones since that seemed to be the dominant mode in which posters were engaging with the show. These threads have gotten so overloaded so quickly with negative comments sucking the air out of the room that it can feel pointless and naïve to actually like the show.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 1:00 PM on May 25, 2023 [15 favorites]


People have said things like "I'm pretty much just hate-watching now."

That was me. I do not retract that statement. I frigging LOVED this show. Mrs. nushustu and I went to DisneyWorld on Halloween in 2021 dressed as Ted and Beard. (all due respect to the wife, my Beard is so good people assumed I was Brandon Hunt, with a pal.)

The first two seasons of this show did one of the things I love the most about storytelling. They told a story, and basically all lived happily ever after at the end of season one, and then they said "okay. Now what?" It's a great move to end a story and then make the story deeper after that.*

And season 2 was GREAT. They gave real depth to Lasso and many of the others. They showed that Lasso's brand of optimism -- the thing we all needed during the pandemic -- only works so long before you have to stop smiling and start dealing with the hurt inside of you -- just like we all needed post-pandemic. The show was the best thing on for a while. It was funny, and sweet, and kind, and meaningful, and capital-T True.

Like, they HAD it. They HAD the story. It was SO. OBVIOUS. that Nate was going to come back. I mean shit! Literally the first thing they showed at the opening of this season was the coaching team in legos, AND NATE WAS STILL THERE. Because this show CLEARLY had an opinion. It had a theme that drove it, and everything through season 2 branched off of that theme. And they managed to do this while building these characters who made internal sense.

But man, this past season? It's just not good, and that's frustrating. They might give you little hits of dopamine, where characters do things that make you say YES, but they're not in character, and it's hard to buy. I don't honestly feel like talking through the problems: as has been noted up-thread, I've done plenty of that. But this doesn't mean I don't love the show. I've just been so damned disappointed in it. And it is DOUBLY disappointing when they have really good eps or storylines interspersed among the dreck.

And you have to understand, my complaints aren't just complaints, they're criticisms. And criticism is a good thing, because what I want the most is for the show to be good. And so, I suspect, do the other people criticizing in these threads. I mean, over the past 3-4 episodes there have been so many GOOD GOOD ideas on what could have occurred, instead of what we got. And you can tell, that's because we're all so invested, in this show, in these characters, in these themes, that we feel like we know this show as well as anyone. (And in some cases, some of these alternative ideas were so good, that I would argue that a couple of you might have should have been in the writers' room.)

So again, I stand by my earlier statements.



*Fun fact, one of my favorite versions of this is in Into the Woods, where this literally happens: Act One ends with every fairy tale character getting what they wanted. And then Act Two opens and they're all miserable. It's great.
posted by nushustu at 1:25 PM on May 25, 2023 [11 favorites]


I can't claim ownership of the Restitution thing - I saw someone say it on Tumblr and it articulated what I had been feeling.
posted by rednikki at 1:34 PM on May 25, 2023 [2 favorites]


Hm. "Hate-watching is the activity of watching a television show (or film) with the intention of acquiring amusement from the mockery of its content or subject." (Wikipedia's definition.) There's a big difference between that and criticizing something you love.
posted by rednikki at 1:38 PM on May 25, 2023 [8 favorites]


Nate's arc this season has been way too much of Nate being nurtured by other people, and way too little of Nate nurturing other people

That will be the point of some theoretical spin-off: how he learns to come back from weak narcissism to genuine love and connection.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:52 PM on May 25, 2023 [2 favorites]


This whole season has been pretty weird IMO. The pacing is weird. I don't have the film-school background to articulate it, but I intuitively recognize that in a one-hour format show, we're going to hit a certain number of storyline beats, a certain number of changes in POV, that sort of thing. And this show just doesn't do that. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but some episodes seem to put their ending ⅔ of the way through and then keep going. The episodes meander. There's a huge amount of character development, but developing toward what? There are major and minor character arcs that don't seem to go anywhere, Nate's being the most obvious example. Calling Season 3 "fanfic" nails it exactly.

Other S3 episodes have struck me as especially didactic (like, they spent five minutes lecturing us to delete our texting history with someone after we break up (also, I did not realize this was A Thing)). This one not especially so, but that's been a recurring theme this season.
posted by adamrice at 2:00 PM on May 25, 2023 [5 favorites]


I intuitively recognize that in a one-hour format show...

AND REMEMBER: this started as a half-hour show. And half-hour shows are (mostly) pretty different than hour-long shows. Usually half-hour equals comedy and hour equals drama. There are exceptions, but it generally holds.

And this show started as a half-hour show and has morphed this season into episodes which are often over an hour long. That is almost always a no-no: most "hour-long" dramas used to be 45 minutes because ads. And even in our streaming era, that rule mostly holds. a 65-minute episode would have been a Big Deal. I believe there was a late episode of GoT that was over an hour and it was A Thing. So to have Ted Lasso turn in shows that are over an hour this season? It's weird.
posted by nushustu at 2:12 PM on May 25, 2023 [3 favorites]


There's a big difference between that and criticizing something you love.

Funny thing. I bet Ted Lasso would say love is the big “Yes, and…” ;)
posted by Silvery Fish at 2:38 PM on May 25, 2023


nushustu: "most "hour-long" dramas used to be 45 minutes because ads"

I thought about that—I think the exact number is 42 minutes for U.S. broadcast TV. I just looked at the run times for some shows I've watched recently, and most of the streaming "hour long" shows seem to average about 50 minutes, but there are some—Succession and White Lotus, for example—that clock in at a solid 60 minutes or more. Those shows don't seem to have the meandering pacing of Ted Lasso, so I'm not willing to chalk it up just to length.
posted by adamrice at 3:18 PM on May 25, 2023 [1 favorite]


There has been a lot of piling-on and entire episode threads that were almost exclusively negative.

This is orthogonal to hating (or loving) the show. And what reads as "piling-on" to you, reads as simple consensus within a conversation to me. As far as I recall, no one has been mocked or told they're wrong for loving this season uncritically, that just seems to have been a minority perspective so far. So it goes, but that still doesn't make active criticism into hate-watching. I do hate that my--or anyone else's--critical responses in these threads made the conversation feel unwelcome to diverse reactions and opinions in any way. That's not my intention, and I haven't gotten the sense that it's anyone else's intention, either. As I said earlier, I like liking things, and when something that I really love, that's been so consistently and thoroughly well-made, starts to--IMHO of course--stumble, I'm grateful to know it's not just me, to have a forum to discuss my criticisms within a context of respect for the work and sincere hope that its satisfactions ultimately outweigh any disappointments (and for commiseration if they do not).

That's a lot of words to explain the differences among not liking something, liking something uncritically, and liking something critically, but these seem to be often confused with one another.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:22 PM on May 25, 2023 [3 favorites]


I don't think anyone is "confused", though, for assuming that when the phrase hatewatching is used, it implies hating the show.

As a tangent, I also find Fanfare interesting generally because it so often reveals tension or dissonance between viewers' expectations and writers' choices. Sometimes, what is initially received as a bad creative choice is redeemed once the full story is told, or once an audience has had time to reflect on a specific choice

This nails why I've found the Ted Lasso discussions here a bit frustrating, actually, and so it's really interesting to see it framed positively. For those of us who did have expectations in line with the writers' choices, the tension you describe just looks like other viewers misunderstanding what the show is doing.
posted by Ballad of Peckham Rye at 4:10 PM on May 25, 2023 [11 favorites]


I want to focus on things that I loved first:
- Jamie Tartt, his story this season has felt real and full and the closest to what the show really used to be, taking a kind of trope-y character, pulling them apart and seeing what was really underneath. Season one he was all cocky and surface and season two we started to see the facade crack and seeing his dad was a real eye-opener for us and for him. This season he has had to learn to sort of hold those two sides of him together, embrace the cockiness for the game's sake but be more gentle to himself and more of a team player. His relationship with his mum was gorgeous (though it took me a while to figure out it was him mum, because they were so physically affectionate and this episode contained a lot of strong Mancunian accents that I had trouble deciphering)
- Ted's FU scene with him mum felt real, not because of my own relationship with my mum but with people in my life who wish they could have been that open with them about their mothers not doing the work and leaving their kids to fix themselves and forgive them. While I thought Ted's speech to Jamie about forgiving his dad felt dramatically "easy", it's true for both of them. Jamie needs to forgive his dad for *himself* not for his dad. Ted then got the strength to talk to his mum; he hadn't the strength to forgive her and he was afraid of losing her and his son, etc. It all rings true - even if she was introduced to us in the second-to-last episode.
- Roy and Keeley in Jamie's childhood bedroom was beautifully crafted and wonderfully acted. That scene felt like it contained all the history of their relationship; with each other and with Jamie.
- If this show was still a tight 30 minutes, these above parallel stories about mothers could have made an excellent penultimate episode of the series, but alas.

Everything else:
- Forgiving other people for you and not for them, I think, only goes so far. Jamie forgiving his dad to take the weight off his own shoulders feels right. (Having his dad in rehab is okay; having Jamie reach out to him feels a bit too neat/simple, even for this show.) So... forgiving Nate because "everyone deserves forgiveness" (even Freddy Krueger, because of his bad childhood, hurt people hurt people - honestly the metaphors this season have been so messy, even knowing how folksy Ted can be) when he caused a lot of hurt to a lot of people feels wrong
- "People shouldn't be judged by their worst day" is a lovely aphorism but Nate's actions didn't happen once. Plus the phrase always used to be "People shouldn't be defined by their worst actions" which I think is saying "People contain multitudes" and doesn't necessarily endorse forgiveness, just an understanding
- I appreciate that people are enjoying Nate being forgiven because they think everyone deserves a second chance but unlike Jamie forgiving his dad or Ted calling out his mum, we're pretty clear both those relationships still need work. Nate being forgiven actually gets him his old job back. Nate benefits from other people's generosity, as always, and I still don't think he's done enough to earn it or to prove to the team that he won't do it again.
- The teammates turning up at the restaurant and slagging off service workers pissed me the fuck off. Dragging him back to Richmond to save him from a life as Head Waiter is just a true garbage take. This season has taken a real delight it trying to make us believe being a footballer is some kind of higher calling and that feels wrong - in life but also in what this show used to be
- Brendan Hunt nailed that monologue and I totally buy that as Beard's backstory but it feels so convenient and manipulative and makes Ted's monologue to him about not being defined by our worst days feel super pass-agg, passing the emotional labour of forgiving Nate to Beard because Ted gave him a second chance once. This all comes back to me wanting to have seen some growth in Nate. As someone else said upthread, a lot of Nate's change was brought on by other people. Jade turns out to be super manipulative, too.

I can see how forgiveness is a really tricky thing for people. It's hard to give and it's hard to get. Forgiving people for your own wellbeing is healthy but this show has been so fast and loose with character stuff this year, it all comes off as a bit neat. (Nate's relationship with his dad was so toxic but somehow that was fixed last week after a violin piece? That's the sort of simplistic stuff this season has resorted to - speed running through stuff that could have played out in a more meaningful way if the show had remained focused and not mutated into a dramedy about everyone in the club.)

Finally, the mental health stuff has been weird this season. Ted's panic attacks in previous years felt essential to the story and this year they have been used to provide a couple of dramatic stings but somehow he's overcome them. He's talking to Doctor Sharon, but it's all happening off screen, so we just have to believe it's working. And then Jamie seemed to have some kind of depression in this episode that was solved by a chat to his mum and a good game against his old club. I know it was all about seeing his dad again, but I just can't take it seriously when he compares it to an old Red Bull ad - which felt like heavy-handed product placement.

This episode, despite all my complaints, felt most like the old show and perhaps put everyone in a good position so that the finale could be amazing. It's been a rough season and I wish putting people through tough stuff just to come out okay by the end felt more earned.

If next week is the last episode forever, though, I'll be glad it's all done.
posted by crossoverman at 4:41 PM on May 25, 2023 [6 favorites]


Brendan Hunt nailed that monologue and I totally buy that as Beard's backstory but it feels so convenient and manipulative and makes Ted's monologue to him about not being defined by our worst days feel super pass-agg, passing the emotional labour of forgiving Nate to Beard because Ted gave him a second chance once.

Beard had said that if Ted rehired Nate, he would burn the whole fucking place to the ground. Ted was asking Beard to forgive Nate on his own behalf, not Ted’s.
posted by Etrigan at 5:27 PM on May 25, 2023 [10 favorites]


Yes, that's true but also one of the most egregious things that Nate did was expose Ted's mental health condition - and he's never apologised for that.
posted by crossoverman at 6:05 PM on May 25, 2023 [3 favorites]


Ted was telling Beard that Ted had forgiven Nate, so Beard didn’t need to be mad at Nate on Ted’s behalf anymore.
posted by Etrigan at 6:24 PM on May 25, 2023 [7 favorites]


The whole point of forgiveness in the Ted Lasso universe is that an outright apology is not a necessary step.
posted by cooker girl at 6:52 PM on May 25, 2023 [3 favorites]


This would be amazeballs. It would be called “universal eyes of equanimity” for the way she sees everything and judges nothing.

Oh, she's judging.
Just silently.
posted by coriolisdave at 7:00 PM on May 25, 2023 [7 favorites]


I really liked all of the nods (subtle and obvious) to "The Wizard of Oz," but my favorite is how "Dottie" is short for "Dorothy."
posted by donatella at 8:36 PM on May 25, 2023 [20 favorites]


The part that took me out of the thank you and FU scene between Ted and Dottie is that my mum would never listen to anything I had to say if I told her to fuck off that many times!
posted by ellieBOA at 2:53 AM on May 26, 2023 [7 favorites]


On second watch, I realized that Isaac, Colin and Will went to find Nate at Higgins/Rebecca's request. Higgins then goes to Ted and Beard with the report from his "little birdies" about Nate's response.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:25 AM on May 26, 2023 [9 favorites]


- I appreciate that people are enjoying Nate being forgiven because they think everyone deserves a second chance but unlike Jamie forgiving his dad or Ted calling out his mum, we're pretty clear both those relationships still need work. Nate being forgiven actually gets him his old job back. Nate benefits from other people's generosity, as always, and I still don't think he's done enough to earn it or to prove to the team that he won't do it again.

I think this is exactly the point the show is trying to make. Beard, for example, didn't do the work before benefitting from Ted's generosity and forgiveness. But as a consequence of receiving that generosity and forgiveness, Beard was then able to repair that relationship and change his life. Given Nate's 60-page apology letter, I think a big part of next week's finale will be Nate making amends to Ted.

On a side note, until this episode, has Ted ever said "fuck" on screen?
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 6:57 AM on May 26, 2023 [6 favorites]


Bex needs advice from Rebecca because she's about to take West Ham away from Rupert for infidelity. Pretty sure.

Not that it would be out of scale with the nonsense this show puts out (lots good, some bad), but West Ham is probably a billion-dollar asset. We're not talking about something you give away to keep something quiet here.
posted by that's candlepin at 7:22 AM on May 26, 2023 [1 favorite]


On a side note, until this episode, has Ted ever said "fuck" on screen?

Something like "and then we'll come back and win the whole fucking thing"....
posted by ersatzkat at 8:35 AM on May 26, 2023 [3 favorites]


Yeah that's the only other time I can remember, but this time was probably deliberately contrasted against the fuuuuuu...dge Roy-ism from earlier in the episode.
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:33 AM on May 26, 2023


the tension you describe just looks like other viewers misunderstanding what the show is doing.

It often is that, and sometimes it's just plain disappointment that a show didn't do what a viewer wanted it to do. But it also often happens that thoughtful viewers understand what a show is doing and simply disagree in some way. Or are reacting to longer story arcs as they are revealed, episodically, with incomplete information. Which can happen within a framework of liking--and even enjoying--a show, and is not the same as hate-watching, has been my point.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:16 AM on May 26, 2023 [2 favorites]


forgiving Nate ... when he caused a lot of hurt to a lot of people feels wrong

I guess I'm calibrated differently. Nate's sins seem much more forgivable than Jamie's abusive father's, who seems not only to have been verbally but physically abusive. Nate behaved awfully, but largely seems to be a result of immaturity in the face of sudden fame / responsibility he's not prepared to handle.

I think it's more likely that Nate comes back in a coaching role that is below Roy and Beard

On reflection, yeah, that would work better & make more sense. I'm famously bad at predicting where these things go, so I won't be surprised to be wrong. It hasn't stopped me, but I'm very bad at it... which might explain why I don't have a career as a TV writer.
posted by jzb at 11:53 AM on May 26, 2023 [2 favorites]


I am this close to starting the Church of Ted Lasso. The writers are cramming in such great stuff. Coach Beard and Nate is an amazing bit of writing, as well as incredibly well made. Coach Beard's outline in the door was brilliant. Tartt's Mom, Ted's Mom, RoyKent's poster, it just didn't let up.
posted by theora55 at 12:16 PM on May 26, 2023 [7 favorites]


Which can happen within a framework of liking--and even enjoying--a show, and is not the same as hate-watching, has been my point.

I agree, but "hate watching" is a direct quote, it isn't being inferred from simple disagreement.
posted by Ballad of Peckham Rye at 12:22 PM on May 26, 2023 [3 favorites]


Predictions?

Ted almost has to quit to be with his son, maybe to coach US Soccer, maybe to run for Senate.
If Ted leaves, will Coach go, too? or find love?
Rebecca will find lasting love with some fabulous fellow or woman.
Nate will be redeemed in some surprising way.
Keeley & Roy. fingers crossed.
posted by theora55 at 1:51 PM on May 26, 2023


BTW, if you don't believe Coach Beard's backstory, he could have made it up to help Nate forgive himself.
posted by theora55 at 1:52 PM on May 26, 2023 [1 favorite]


My really Big Question: Will Richmond win the League Championship?

I think they might go out and not reveal this, ending the show before the end of the game.
posted by theora55 at 1:54 PM on May 26, 2023 [1 favorite]


Will we see the release of Trent's book? Methinks only in a montage of people reading it after Ted leaves.
posted by emelenjr at 2:15 PM on May 26, 2023 [5 favorites]


I do hate that my--or anyone else's--critical responses in these threads made the conversation feel unwelcome to diverse reactions and opinions in any way. That's not my intention...

This really hinges on framing. Critical statements that include an I statement mean it's someone's opinion - and specificity as to why people dislike something gives insights that can help other people see that person's POV. Stuff like:
"I have no confidence that they'll stick the landing"
"I’ve been frustrated with the Jade storyline, because..."
"I want him to have a happy ending, but I'm still not sure the writers have earned him getting one."
"If they wanted to make Nate Ted's successor in a way that would land well for me..."

Other framing can feel like a commentary not just on the show but on the people who like it. Some direct quotes as examples:
"I'll skip over the dumb parts because, well, they're dumb..." (there's an inherent judgment that people who don't find it dumb are...well, dumb.)
"It's just fanfiction now." (again, this by extension casts aspersions on anyone who likes the writing in the show - "just fanfiction" definitely indicates that fanfiction is less worthy than something real)

They're also statements that don't give any real opportunity to engage. Words like "dumb" and "fanfiction" (as it is used in this context) indicate a level of disdain. That level of disdain in turn makes me avoid engaging. I've gotten enough disdain on the Internet for liking things; I don't want to leave myself open to it again. When I saw the thread had turned to more of a critique, I felt comfortable posting. (I can be hesitant in other contexts too: if people say, "This is sheer genius!" and "It's an epic masterpiece!" without specifics I may be hesitant to post a critique.)
posted by rednikki at 2:25 PM on May 26, 2023 [12 favorites]


I agree, but "hate watching" is a direct quote, it isn't being inferred from simple disagreement.

From me? Only in response to framing initiated by another commenter (and first used in this thread by someone other than me).
posted by LooseFilter at 2:53 PM on May 26, 2023


The only prediction I’m confident making is that the last shot is a close-up of Ted’s face in an airport.

I really hope they win the whole fucking thing.
posted by mcdoublewide at 3:10 PM on May 26, 2023 [4 favorites]


Nope not from you LooseFilter, I was referring to this comment, but on search there seems to be no sign of it actually being used in a prior thread so I'm now unclear how it factors in.
posted by Ballad of Peckham Rye at 3:13 PM on May 26, 2023


> I really hope they win the whole fucking thing.
...and Colin gets to kiss his guy during the televised celebrations afterward. (Fuck you, DeSantis.)
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 6:19 PM on May 26, 2023 [22 favorites]


I am imagining a new show that has two parallel storylines: how Nate earns the forgiveness he is given by Coach Beard, and -- flashback -- how Coach Beard earned the forgiveness he was given by Ted Lasso.

("Our story is very similar to The Godfather Part 2…")
posted by applesurf at 8:11 PM on May 26, 2023 [2 favorites]


I liked this one a lot! The Jamie story was especially perfect, and this is a character I hated so much in Season 1 that if he had been kicked off the team/show I would have applauded it. Now he's just the best.

Random thoughts:

I have been one of the most critical about the treatment of Nate this season...
AND THEY FLIPPED THE SCRIPT ON ME.


They got me too. I'm 100% on board with Nate coming back now, keeping in mind it's the BEGINNING of his redemption and not the end. He should be Coach #3 after Roy and Beard though. They're both more qualified than him and they've earned it.

I know it was all about seeing his dad again, but I just can't take it seriously when he compares it to an old Red Bull ad - which felt like heavy-handed product placement.

I actually thought this line (product placement or not) was PERFECT because it's exactly Jamie's character: thoughtful but uncultured. Instead of making a reference to the legend of Sisyphus, his touchstone is a Red Bull commercial that made a reference he completely missed.

The Mask Of Zoreaux allows him to be who he really is, an amazing goal keeper.

It was far from the main story but I felt like Dani inadvertently taught Van Damme something about himself: He's scared to death of getting hit in the face, and if he has that protected he can be amazing... (Is being Van Damme instead of Zoreaux another mask?)

I loved how Ted's mom was basically Ted v.1 and Ted was getting SO ANNOYED by all the Tedness. It really shows how he's coming out of that "everything is great and rosy and perfect" persona and coming into his actual self.

I really wish we had had a visit from Ted's mom in Season 1, they would have been Tedding back and forth at each other and driving everyone nuts. Now Ted can't handle it in much the same way Michelle couldn't handle the constant positivity.
posted by mmoncur at 8:41 PM on May 26, 2023 [10 favorites]


Yeah I honestly kind of love the way that the show implicitly shows us, this week, exactly why Michelle divorced him
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:47 PM on May 26, 2023 [12 favorites]


I think in the final scenes there will be a narrator doing a voiceover describing the events and then we will switch scene to the interior of a London bookshop where Trent Crimm is finishing a reading and we will realize the whole show was Trent’s book.
posted by snofoam at 2:51 AM on May 27, 2023 [12 favorites]


And Trent Crimm in the bookshop has slightly less fabulous hair than Trent Crimm in the story
posted by boogieboy at 3:54 AM on May 27, 2023 [26 favorites]


The show ends with infinite zooming out from a snow globe on Barbara's desk, revealing another snow globe. You know the one.
posted by emelenjr at 6:30 AM on May 27, 2023 [14 favorites]


Interesting conversation. I have had a rule for a long time that I (someone that doesn’t have a creative job) won’t engage with criticism of a film or music or tv show at a place like this, but if I have something positive to say I’ll say it. I just feel that if someone has worked hard on a creative endeavour, it’s not right for a complete novice in that field to be nit picking or rude about it on a public forum.
I have broken that rule once - for an episode of Ted Lasso a few weeks ago. I just felt that it was so half-arsed that I didn’t have to worry about being rude about something someone worked hard on. The writers just seemed to have given up and clearly hadn’t worked hard enough to craft the story.
I still believe that to be the case, for the record. I did feel bad about it!
[Bill Hicks shrug: “So forgive me”]
posted by chill at 10:26 AM on May 27, 2023


The poster in the room where Jamie’s dad is watching the game says “Progress Not Perfection,” which I think is meant to imply a rehab facility.

This. "Progress not Perfection" is an AA slogan. Pop Tartt was definitely in rehab (and based on his warm smile watching Jamie, I think he's putting the work in. Good for him, I didn't expect to be rooting for that.)

Unsurprisingly I continue to like the Nate stuff, especially with this episode bringing home the "grace" aspect of forgiveness. I don't need the dude to be wearing a hairshirt, I just wanted this season to show him growing and possibly coming back into the fold. He's grown like crazy this season, and I liked that this episode showed that he gets joy simply from being good at something, whether that's premier league coach or waiter. Also, I just really like Jade. I find her fucking delightful. I'm sorry that not everybody agrees, because this arc has been making me very happy.

Ted & Dottie was fascinating just for how much her presence absolutely unnerved Ted, even though we the audience will clearly love her (she's played by Becky Ann Baker, for one thing, and she tells Trent how fabulous his hair is, for another.) The "fuck you" scene was good but brutal, particularly when we remember what a big step it seemed Ted was taking just weeks ago with his "Would it bother you terribly if I told you that you dating our marriage counselor isn't my favorite thing" speech to Michelle. I'm glad that Mae got to quote the Philip Larkin poem, because, yes, Ted has some shit to be angry about, but also, come on, give your mom some slack for doing the best she could through unimaginably tough circumstances.

WHY THE SHIT WEREN'T JAMIE'S MOM AND STEPDAD AT THE GAME?! (This bugged us.)

I know that, in all likelihood, there are restaurant managers out there who are not cokeheads. But both in movies and in my own experience, the only purpose for a restaurant manager's office is for them to have a place to do some blow.

We laughed our asses off over here at the reveal of the Keeley poster.

Barbara took a little time to grow on me and now I want her around all the time.

Bex and Ms. Kakes coming to see Rebecca... now this is interesting because I believe it poses a situation that the show really doesn't have the space to deal with in a single episode that probably won't center on this: If Bex and Kakes want help in bringing Rupert down, and Rebecca is over Rupert taking up so much of her headspace, is it better for Rebecca to say, "godspeed but I'm out, for my own mental health?" Because that'd be kind of a fucked up message, but Rebecca taking on such a thing also kind of regresses her own growth and accomplishments. Very curious how they plan to thread that needle.

I love that they gave the Nate/Beard thing both a classic romcom beat (Nate is writing out his apology! But what, Beard is already at the door!) but also gave it horror movie tones, because Beard. And it makes a lot of sense that Beard, who has the life he does because of Ted's mercy and grace, is the person most vicariously violated by Nate betraying Ted, but also the person best suited to paying forward that forgiveness.

Finally, I wanna throw out a shout to this show about football but not really about football and what they did with the sport in this episode. Jamie's goal is the second goal in the game when Richmond is already up by one. Dramatically, this should by all logic be utterly inert. But this show knows that being up one-nil in soccer, especially against a team like Man City, doesn't feel like winning - it feels like holding your breath waiting for the other shoe to drop. 2-0 feels like actually somewhat comfortably winning. It also makes the goal be specifically for Jamie, who has earned it and then some this season. I wonder what kinds of negotiations went on between the production and Man City for this episode to happen, since Pep appears and gets to be basically a living saint (which I don't have a problem with - it was just notable) and the City fans even give Jamie an ovation after his goal. Basically, it seems like some work went into not making Man City into heels here, which also fits the show's tone, thankfully.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:48 PM on May 27, 2023 [5 favorites]


WHY THE SHIT WEREN'T JAMIE'S MOM AND STEPDAD AT THE GAME?! (This bugged us.)

It can be extremely unpleasant (to put it mildly) to root for the opposing team in some sports. I don't know if Man City is like that, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was.
posted by creepygirl at 8:02 PM on May 27, 2023 [9 favorites]


To be clear, I'm thinking of the opposing team's fans being harassed and assaulted by the home team's fans, not just "the vibe isn't very fun there." We've seen abusive fans in the Lassoverse before, so it seems like something in the realm of possibility.
posted by creepygirl at 8:11 PM on May 27, 2023 [5 favorites]


Yeah, that's a good enough reason for me.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:14 PM on May 27, 2023 [3 favorites]


. . . I think he got the Fuck You / Thank You idea from when he asked Jamie what he'd say to his dad.

Interesting that Ted may have learned from Jamie how to grow up and deal with his shit when part of Jamie's story arc in season one was Ted trying to get Jamie to grow up and deal with his shit.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:58 AM on May 28, 2023 [5 favorites]


I guess I'm calibrated differently. Nate's sins seem much more forgivable than Jamie's abusive father's, who seems not only to have been verbally but physically abusive. Nate behaved awfully, but largely seems to be a result of immaturity in the face of sudden fame / responsibility he's not prepared to handle.

I think this is the sticking point for a lot of people and their reactions to this season's suggestion that forgiveness is divine.

The Jamie story works for me to a point because the forgiveness that helps Jamie move on with his life is healthy. Does his dad actually deserve forgiveness for being abusive? No. Should Jamie forgive him and move on? I think so. (I don't really think reaching out to his dad at the end was that helpful for either of them. But the show has complicated that by putting Dad in rehab.)

The Nate story doesn't work for me because whether it's immaturity or "hurt people hurt people" or self-hatred because of his own dad, he's still a full adult and his toxic traits are all those things that are easily forgiven by people in male-led fields like football. Compare Jamie's first season antics, which were similarly immature but the show has jumped through hoops to actually grow him as a person. Nate hasn't changed and he hasn't even had to come to the crucible of forgiving an abusive father because he played the violin and he and his dad are just mates now, I guess?

There's been a couple of suggestions up thread that this is now the start of Nate growing and changing but we aren't going to see that. I understand the comparison to Coach Beard - Ted giving him a second chance helped him to be a better person. (I also don't think any spin-off will have Nate learning to grow. It would be much smarter for a new show to put all this stuff behind it and have Nate back at Richmond healthy and happy.)

This thread has at least got me to see the story from other's people's POV. I can see what the show is trying to do here, but I fundamentally understand Jamie learning to forgive his dad in a way I don't understand the Team/Ted/Beard giving Nate a second chance. At least not in the way the show has presented it. Nate being redeemed was always the show's agenda. I knew that last year when he was spitting in his own reflection. But that sort of self-hatred doesn't go away overnight, even if the world thinks you're the "wonder kid".
posted by crossoverman at 4:33 PM on May 28, 2023 [2 favorites]


I feel like the Nate story isn't about Nate being redeemed, but about him realizing he'd made a mistake and regretting it, and being given the chance for redemption in the future by someone whom he has personally wronged. The core of that part of the story is less about Nate Making Things Right and more about Beard giving him the chance to. Like, Nate wrote a sixty-page apology letter to Ted. Dude's clearly feeling Remorse, especially as it has seemingly dawned on him that he can't continue to blame Ted for being another father figure who disappointed him by failing to say how proud of him he was.

There's also the implication that maybe Nate left West Ham because Rupert wanted him to cross a moral boundary he was unwilling to, and that he may be grappling with the pain of having to do the right thing even when it's uncomfortable. Beard's speech about his personal history explains a lot of what's going on, and very nearly ties everything together in a way that I think pretty much works perfectly. Beard too did not Make Things Right until after he was forgiven and provided with a chance, by the person he'd personally wronged.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:42 PM on May 28, 2023 [9 favorites]


Yes, it obviously is about being given a second chance, because they invented a backstory for Beard that totally justifies giving Nate a second chance. (Yes, I know all backstory is invented but if only we'd had some idea, this wouldn't all feel so convenient.)
posted by crossoverman at 3:41 PM on May 29, 2023 [2 favorites]


If anyone needs a downloadable version of that Roy Kent Chelsea poster, here you go. (source)
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:33 PM on May 29, 2023 [6 favorites]


I loved Beard and Lasso squeeing over meeting Pep Guardiola as soon as his back was turned.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:36 PM on May 30, 2023 [3 favorites]


Finally caught up so I know I'm coming in to the discussion late, but I really liked this one. Thanks to everyone who pointed out the flip on forgiving Nate. It made it all make sense for me now, once you'd said it. Wow.

I thought Jamie was amazing. I'm not sure I really bought that he would sob so much or cuddle so much - both felt like overacting for comedy at the heart of a series that mostly aimed for truth (at least for his character), and it took me out of those scenes a bit. But it didn't matter. He was great and I loved his whole arc through the episode, and especially at the match.

I loved just watching the goal saves that Van Damme made. I'm guessing the mask let them put in a stunt goalie, because holy cow those were some great moves.

When Ted's mom appeared and started telling stories, which he then corrected as untrue (especially once celebrities were involved, like dancing with Bruce Springsteen), I thought the story was going to be that the reason he didn't want her there was that he also made up most of his own stories throughout his time there. That that was part of a facade all along, and she was about to blow his cover in some way. But it made more sense that she was just a wilder storyteller. But then I was surprised again, when she brought him "your clippings," and right on top was a news story about him having a panic attack at a game. Why would he have saved that, if they were his? Why would she, and then brought it to him? It didn't make sense to me, especially if his biggest problem with her was that she refused to deal with problems. And yeah, I can't imagine saying FU to my mom, and especially to a midwestern mom, and not immediately apologizing or being immediately told to. Cathartic or not.

I really loved that Keeley slept through You've Got Mail while everyone else was all choked up. I could see her getting halfway in, rolling her eyes, and thinking "I would never fall for that catfishing shite." I really miss them, but old school rom-coms are dead for a reason.

"I stole a loaf of meth" may be my favorite joke of this season.
posted by Mchelly at 12:15 PM on May 31, 2023 [6 favorites]


> I loved just watching the goal saves that Van Damme made. I'm guessing the mask let them put in a stunt goalie, because holy cow those were some great moves.

The actor who plays Jamie is on a recent episode of No Such Thing as a Fish, and he said that in a lot of the scenes the ball is CGI.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:20 PM on May 31, 2023 [6 favorites]


The actor who plays Jamie is on a recent episode of No Such Thing as a Fish

I literally screamed when I heard his name on this episode.
posted by ColdChef at 10:32 AM on June 2, 2023 [3 favorites]


I just watched this last night and the Wizard of Oz references setting us up for what I assume will be a “no place like home” finale were laid on pretty thick for sure. The moment that delighted me was one that I don’t think anyone above has mentioned, though: as Beard heads back to the table from the pinball machine, he can be heard grumbling about the goddamned dogs of society.
posted by MarchHare at 5:16 PM on June 2, 2023 [3 favorites]


are plenty of heterosexual dudes who are capable of being nice to their partners, and horrible to everyone else

Are there? I don’t know any.
posted by bq at 6:52 PM on June 3, 2023


I think Beard having done time for drugs actually really fits with what we've seen of his personality (i.e. um....still doing drugs, chasing love addiction, being kind of a Wild Man periodically), so it didn't feel out of nowhere for me. Like I'd bet they had this in their back pockets for the run of the show and it wasn't just made up for episode 11.

Literally the only thing I wondered about was if he'd be permitted to emigrate to the UK for work. Not that I know shitall on that topic.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:25 PM on June 3, 2023 [3 favorites]


I just watched this episode and am an inveterate credits watcher and FanFare is where I wanted to share that the last three characters listed in the credits - presumably the three little boys playing football as Jamie nears his mom's house - are Barry, Maurice, and Robin (also notably from Manchester).
posted by kristi at 1:45 PM on October 30, 2023 [6 favorites]


Watching this quite late!

When season two came out, a lot of people didn't like it as much, and it was theorized that it was because the one-episode-per-week format made it a bit harder to catch the subtle long plays which build over the season. I think this is basically the case for season three as well.

Zava is the counter point to total football - it's a bit abrupt, but clear on respect what they were doing.

Likewise, it's clear that Nate is having real growth - afaict, he willingly left West ham after realizing his boss was trying to upgrade his girlfriend in the same way he upgraded his car. (There's a bit of a callback here, too, to Nate's humiliation over Ted buying him a suit.) He's obviously not 'there' yet, but who is?

Finally, the Beard backstory seems like a direct call back to Bryan Stevenson, civil rights lawyer and author of Just Mercy: "Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done."

But also:
"The power of just mercy is that it belongs to the undeserving. It’s when mercy is least expected that it’s most potent—strong enough to break the cycle of victimization and victimhood, retribution and suffering. It has the power to heal the psychic harm and injuries that lead to aggression and violence, abuse of power, mass incarceration."
posted by kaibutsu at 10:03 AM on March 4 [5 favorites]


Just rewatching this and it struck me that Pep had a bit of a nerve. He must have had a say in sacking Jamie previously. Still a better guest star than Mike Dean in the finale.
posted by biffa at 1:29 PM on May 19


« Older The Great: Ice...   |  Bob's Burgers: Amelia... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments