By the end of the second season, everything had changed for the people in and around AFC Richmond. Ted (Sudeikis) finally dealt with the trauma of his father’s suicide with the help of Dr. Fieldstone (Sarah Niles), the group’s therapist. Roy (Brett Goldstein) and Keeley (Juno Temple) the combination of sunshine and sadness were on the rocks. Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) watched her ex-husband Rupert (Anthony Head) buy West Ham United and pursue Nate (Nick Mohammed) as the team’s manager and Sam (Toheeb Jimoh) buy a restaurant! (Would I like to watch an entire season of the always wonderful Jimoh as a Nigerian restaurant owner? Yes, but unfortunately the Ted Lasso The team chose a different direction for Season 3.)
In the first episode of this season, Ted is on the phone with Dr. Fieldstone, now his personal therapist. She asks him how he feels about the job. “Well, I guess sometimes I wonder what the hell I’m still doing here,” he tells her. “I mean, I know why I came, but I can’t quite figure out why I’m sticking around.”
Is this a challenge for the show’s vocal minority? critics? An admission from the show’s creator about the anxiety that comes with massive success? A way to kick off a season that will finally answer the question of why Ted stuck around? Of course the answer is D, all of the above — congrats to the team for the hat trick.
AFC Richmond return to the Premier League after a draw at the end of last season and every pundit expects them to finish bottom. Ted, inspired by his son who wants to face his fears after watching The, takes his desperate team into London’s sewer system to teach them a lesson in “creating an internal sewer system” within themselves. The idea here is that they will prevail if they can access the other’s attributes (confidence, positive attitude, oenology) when they lack their own. All is going well – Ted appears to be a quasi-philosophical Phil Jackson coach with a compulsive pun and a much worse team than the ’96 Bulls – until a world-viewing worker tweets a photo of the team going down in the sewer.
Meanwhile, Nate, who can be said to be a competitor because his hair is silver now, is thriving as West Ham United manager. Under the supervision of Rupert, who can be said to be a competitor because his office is black, the former man in the clothes has embraced being toxic, dropping bombs on Richmond and Ted during a press conference, and nicknamed ‘Wonder Kid’. (Nate points out that he must be a “wunderkind,” not that anyone cares.) In a funhouse version of Ted’s original problem, Nate can be rude and only climb after a brief panic attack. While Ted’s panic attacks drove him to be even sunnier in an attempt to hide a deeper trauma, Nate’s panic attacks are an attempt to hide a genuine affection for his former colleagues. See, it’s not him Really he is, and doctors expect a full recovery by the series finale. In fact, the way this series has been going, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s revealed later in the season that Rupert has some traumatic history that causes him to dress and act like Mads Mikkelsen in Casino Royale.
Rebecca, now desperate to beat Rupert and having the whole internet laughing at her football team, begs Ted to “fight back”. In classic Ted fashion, his version of coping doesn’t go for Nate’s jugular, but turns a press conference into a roast of himself. “I had more psychotic episodes than Twin Peaks” he says, referring to the panic attacks that became tabloid fodder last season (which Nate himself leaked). A room full of journalists was once again won over by his goofy American charm. Making himself the center of the joke and refusing to get into any big digs at Nate’s expense, our hero Ted begs us to take the high road. Meanwhile, Nate watches on his laptop as tweets hail Ted and his Wonder Kid meme. If you are good, you win. If you’re mean, people will create impactful font memes calling you a bum.
Like everyone else this season, Keeley and Roy have found themselves in a difficult position. As the final season came to a close, Roy revealed that he hadn’t told his niece’s art teacher that he had a girlfriend, and Keeley revealed that Nate kissed her and that her ex-boyfriend Jamie (Phil Dunster) was still in love. with her. Combined with Keeley’s business era, this was too much for them to handle, and now they are splitting up. Keeley cries her eye makeup onto the shirt of anyone who will lend an ear while also running her own PR firm, one that seems to only employ boring people in contrast to her dazzling nature. In the real world, this would be a big step forward for Keeley (who, like Nate, started at the bottom and in just three years has taken over the world). In Television World, it takes her out of the stadium, which makes her feel more removed from the main plot dramas and forces a series of new side quests for the character. (For what it’s worth, I’d probably watch that spinoff too; maybe on that show they’ll stop pretending Temple’s hair isn’t naturally curly.)
Due to embargoes and the fear that Apple will make my phone stop working, I can’t say much about what happens in the next three episodes given to critics. But enough seeds are planted in the first episode to hint at where things might go. AFC Richmond force a draw in their opening game thanks to Dani (Cristo Fernández) scoring with his face, so the team won’t go down as easily as everyone thought. Keeley struggles to be both a boss and a woman with feelings. Nate suppresses what we’re supposed to believe is a kind heart, and at Lasso-verse that is not going to end well. And at the end of the premiere, Ted learns that his ex-wife is now seeing some guy named Jake, which will likely put him in a bind.
“Okay, but is it funny,” you ask—no, screaming. The answer is: sometimes. There are few things funnier on the show than Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) delivering a perfectly timed scream, which is deployed multiple times to great effect in all the episodes I watched. A match that turns rough in Episode 4 nicely illustrates just how vicious a football match can get. And if what makes you laugh is a reference to a movie you’ve seen or just heard about, then you’ll be floored.